# Everything Is Size

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Everything is Size by Biopolis.ca

Everything is Size by Biopolis.ca

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## Everything Is SizePresentation Transcript

• Everything is Size
• If it exists, its size can be measured – somehow
• Given that we never actually know reality, that we can only approximate it in our minds, it should be pointed out that the measure of things is artificial.
• The small things that we see and touch have an exact size that we do not and cannot know
• Our senses and our measuring instruments can never be as precise as the size of the thing itself
• For one thing, the measuring instrument and the units of measure must be smaller than the thing being measured (unless we use fractions of units)
• For example, electron microscopes have difficulty directly measuring something smaller than an electron
• We know that between any two points there are an infinite number of points
• We are limited by our patience
• Who wants to measure something to the level of precision of 10-23?
• For most purposes that level of precision would be absurd, absurdly expensive, and really, it would still not be the truly precise measure of the thing measured
• The same occurs at the other end of the spectrum
• We cannot measure anything infinitely large
• The units we use are limited in size and we can only produce a limited number of those units
• We cannot even determine a fraction of infinity because the divisor is missing
• It would take an eternity to measure an infinite distance
• We just haven’t got that much time or patience!
• The lesson from this is that though everything has size, we always take shortcuts to measuring
• We start by speaking in the simplest of terms, the nominal
• Something exists or it does not exist
• E.g. “there is an apple.”
• If we can be more precise with little enough effort, them we might say more or less
• E.g. “There is more than one apple”
• Then, if more precision is needed we might say six units or six items
• E.g. “There are eight apples”.
• On a weigh scale at the grocer we might find that the weight of the goods is relevant
• E.g. “There are five lbs and six ounces of apples.”
• All of these statements may be true, and true at the same time
• Progressively you are giving more precise information
• While it may be clear that eight distinct apples are simply eight apples, and that could not be more made precise, it is also true that our measure of the apples’ weight could be more precise
• The number of distinct items is not really a size in the same sense as the total weight
• The number of items is discrete, while the total weight is continuous
• We do not create the units of discrete items, the number is self-evident, the ‘item’ is a unit of measure
• However, the continuity of size implies that size it is infinitely variable
• The weight is measured in units that we create (whether Imperial, US, or metric)
• Besides weight and mass, other things that are continuous include distance, time, volume, colour, sound volume, and fractions of a single object
• It may be added that counting discrete items also has its conceptual hazards
• When we count, we round off conceptually
• We round off the differences between the things we are counting
• We even decide if an apple is “an apple” for our purposes, or not
• No two apples are truly identical
• They vary in their weight, composition, and colour, for example, even if the differences are very subtle
• We decide if they are sufficiently similar to be counted or sufficiently different to not be counted
• The counter decides which apples qualify
• We decide exactly what it is that we are counting, and ignore differences that do not matter to us, real as they are
• No matter what criteria we use we will be in some way working with continuous measures
• How red is the apple? How much does it weigh? What is it’s displacement volume?
• Yes, size is everything, and everything has, or is, size
• Its just that we can never know what that precise size is for anything
• We can only approximate
• Can we ever know if we have discovered the smallest singular and indivisible entity?