Home > light, metaphysics, Perception, philosophy, physics, universe > A Proposal Against Light as Energy

A Proposal Against Light as Energy

September 18, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

We don’t need to think of energy or mass as identical to light. I propose that there is no ‘light’ as a noun but ‘illumination’ as an event with properties that are likely actually primarily visible but also cross over into the tactile-tangible.

When we use a tangible apparatus as an instrument, we are not necessarily measuring the most important or defining aspect of illumination, but rather we are overlooking it completely. By limiting our inquiry to how physical objects behave when illuminated, we make a misguided assumption based on another presumption of the supremacy of tangibility. When we use something like a photomultiplier, we get a tangible effect that is really only a small part of the story, and not the important part.

“Energy” and “mass” are entirely reducible to a geometry of motion of tangible objects. Energy and mass are abstract theoretical entities of measurement that we use to explain why objects move and change their motion/shape/state in the way that they do. These geometric-tangible properties are posited from a hypothetical experience of sightless space and time, again, overlooking completely what illumination is to us and likely to all other organisms with eyes… which is a completely intangible aesthetic of color and image.

Notice that sound is not completely intangible. We can feel body parts vibrating from sound. Light has some tactile qualities – the light can ‘hurt your eyes’, but you can’t feel waves or particles colliding with anything. This might be just because the scale of light is so much smaller, but remember, studies have shown that people can detect single photons.

All this to say that I propose the possibility that there never were any literal light waves or particles – no massless photons literally traveling through empty vacuum, only a misguided inference based on prioritizing the sense of touch rather than the experience of sight. I think that sight should be explored as a direct receptivity of conscious experience across distance rather than some abstract confabulation of brain tissue in the dark. What is particulate or waving about physical ‘light’ is the behavior of tangible instruments when illuminated (electromagnetically stimulated), not illumination itself.


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