Piecework by Pete Hamill

By Pete Hamill

This acclaimed assortment offers Hamill's top journalism when you consider that 1970--43 hard-hitting, opinionated items on what tv and crack have in universal, why American immigration coverage towards Mexico is incorrect, what Mike Tyson did to move time in penitentiary, and what it's wish to detect you're middle-aged.

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Here is another case—the most important case for purposes of this chapter—in which we can make use of the distinction between fundamental and non-fundamental properties: namely, the issue of separability. Above, I said that the state of the history of the world is separable if that state is determined by the features, the properties, of each spacetime point. Now, if we place no restriction on what counts as a property of a spacetime point, then every world is separable, for one of the properties of any space-time point p whatsoever is that it is surrounded by a world with such-and-such features.

Note that this should not be understood as the idea that the fundamental properties are defined as the properties that occur in the fundamental laws of physics. No, the distinction between fundamental and non-fundamental properties, and relations, is basic—not to be analysed, explained, nor understood in terms of other, more basic, concepts or distinctions. 3 36 Why assume that there is such a distinction? Because armed with such a distinction we can attack a number of otherwise vexing puzzles.

Including accounts of this structure would lengthen and complicate this chapter, without in any essential way altering the content. (3) It is only because time is one-dimensional and simply connected that the topology of time amounts to the betweenness relations that hold between instants. More generally, the topological structure of a space is given by designating a collection of sets of instants, the open sets, which is closed under union and finite intersection. This is discussed in a little more detail in Chapters 2 and 4.

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