## Perpendicular to the curve?

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### Perpendicular to the curve?

Standing strait. Who is and who isn't.

Ideologically speaking what is standing strait?
Mowk
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### Re: Perpendicular to the curve?

Mowk wrote:Standing strait. Who is and who isn't.

Ideologically speaking what is standing strait?

"Straight" is a description of points lying along a linear path.
Straightness in this case is only a spatial measure of something's internal state, not a relation to something external - e.g. you can also be straight when lying along the ground.

"Perpendicular", however, is a relation of something to something else.
It could be the relation of something straight to something else that's straight, for example.

From the thread title, it sounds like you're questioning whether straight things can be perpenducular to non-straight things.
It's true that someone can stand straight relative to the tangent of a curve (tangents are also straight lines), to which that someone might be standing perpendicular.
But if someone is "standing straight" on either side of the apex of that curve, they're no longer perpendicular to the tangent of that curve.

This is because someone "standing straight" is not just a comment on the straightness of their posture (which by itself is only an internal measure, as above), but the relationship of their straightness to the centre of mass of everything around them in accordance to the gravitational force that it exerts on that person's centre of mass. To "stand straight" is to be internally straight but also with that straight line extending exactly through the centre of mass of everything around them. Theoretically, everything around you this includes the whole universe, so it needs to be clarified that gravitational force acts according to the inverse square law. This means that the gravitational force between two bodies of mass is more effective the closer they are to each other (inversely proportional to the square of the distance). So standing straight is not relative to the centre of mass of the universe (which apparently can't even be said to exist), but a function of the centre of mass of both everything around you and its proximity to you.

If this centre of mass is in line with someone whose spatial orientation is straight, then they are standing up straight whatever their spatial relationship is to any curves around them. In some cases they might be perpendicular to a curve, in other cases they may not.

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### Re: Perpendicular to the curve?

Mowk
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### Re: Perpendicular to the curve?

To further express the dilemma. Perpendicular to the curve... only one person can occupy one place at a time and each of our relative positions on the planet expresses a unique perpendicular. That is to say from any one perspective everyone else appears to be leaning one way or another, while in fact they are standing straight.

It seems I would have to lean in some direction to perceive a point of view that is parallel to an other's perspective. But surely a metaphoric leaning is not equivalent to an abstract reference to an actual spacial position relative to a planet's mass?
Mowk
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### Re: Perpendicular to the curve?

Leaning in, towards one distraction eliminates an other distractions and upsets any notion of a perpendicular.

Perhaps a better question is who is not standing straight? Really the same question...
Mowk
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### Re: Perpendicular to the curve?

Mowk wrote:To further express the dilemma. Perpendicular to the curve... only one person can occupy one place at a time and each of our relative positions on the planet expresses a unique perpendicular. That is to say from any one perspective everyone else appears to be leaning one way or another, while in fact they are standing straight.

It seems I would have to lean in some direction to perceive a point of view that is parallel to an other's perspective. But surely a metaphoric leaning is not equivalent to an abstract reference to an actual spacial position relative to a planet's mass?

People can have the same perpendicular if their straight orientation is along the same line that extends through the centre of mass of the planet, for example if one person is standing straight on another floor of the same building immediately above or below another person, or underground, or up in the sky e.g. on a plane. Perhaps you'll even allow the same to apply to people standing straight on the polar opposite side of the world, even though their straight orientation is inverted. Though maybe they're doing a handstand or diving into water.

Another way to share the same perpendicular is when motion is involved, for example when somebody is speeding up or slowing down they might tilt their body to compensate for the unequal distribution of force across their body as they push off the ground with their feet. You say "standing" straight, but the same goes for people standing still within or otherwise effected by an accelerating or decelerating vehicle like a bus or train - their static straight posture is being acted upon by another force than gravity pulling their centre of mass to the centre of the planet. Since gravity is just a force, and there are other forces at work on a planet, there are all kinds of ways to share the same perpendicular. Being blown by the wind, being suspended within a liquid, being supported by solid mass, being affected by magnets etc.

The only other way that I can think of where people might share the same perpendicular is when there are multiple centres of mass at play - perhaps some configuration of stars, moons, planets, debris etc. could cause multiple stationary people to be parallel to one another. I'm not certain, but the same might even apply to massive enough mountains exerting enough gravitational force on people - the earth is not uniformly smooth nor uniformly dense.

But yes, other than those exceptions, for stationary people on a smooth enough planet with no other significant masses around, with no other external forces acting upon them, and all on the same level and excluding those on the other side of the planet, all perpendiculars to the surface are unique i.e. no other people are perfectly parallel. This is actually engineered into e.g. large suspension bridges, where multiple tops of the same bridge are a few centimeters further apart than at their bases, to account for the curvature of the earth.

Mowk wrote:Leaning in, towards one distraction eliminates an other distractions and upsets any notion of a perpendicular.

Perhaps a better question is who is not standing straight? Really the same question...

Not sure what you mean by "distraction" here.

You probably need to let go of the need for people "standing straight" to be relatively parallel in order to qualify as standing straight. There's nothing wrong with two people standing straight and not being parallel.

And plenty of people are not standing straight. Like the example I gave of people laying down on the ground, straight or otherwise.

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### Re: Perpendicular to the curve?

Need?

Appreciate.
Mowk
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