Recently I've thought that if gravity, which relativistically is a
sort of squinch applied to the shape of space itself, if that effect
reaches out into space, and further conflates itself with the
squinches from all the other particles close enough to effect each
other, perhaps **space itself ***is* a projection out from
each massy particle.

(For gravity to be) a projection of a distortion of space (space pre-existing, and gravity distorting it when projected onto it) versus (space-gravity to be) a projection of distorted space (in which space itself, with a slight gravitational distortion built it, is what is projected out): the idea seems simpler in the latter case. Ockham referees positively.

To identify the conflation of gravitational pulls from every nearby massy particle, with the conflation of this space stuff, whatever it is, projected by every massy particle, also seems like a win, since you get two for the price of one.

Three, since the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe could also find explanation. We must further imagine some limits to the conflation of these overlapping spaces projected by the various particles, which would lead to an expansion of space between them. At some smaller scale, they conflate, they share the same joint space; at others, they do not conflate, and therefore their projection of space around them forms expanding balloons around each, pushing everyone apart in all directions at the speed of space. Indeed the Big Bang theory says cosmic inflation happens pretty fast, which is a mystery if space isn't itself some kind of projection from something or other. But it is no mystery if each particle in a tiny dense universe started projecting out space at the speed of light (or, say, the speed of space), between itself and each other.

Four, the apparent present-day acceleration of the expansion of the universe would also follow as a consequence, in a somewhat matter-populated universe when particles reach the non-conflation distance, and start pushing each other away, as they would if once the universe did start expanding.

Five, the whole argument about Dark Matter, which seems so specious to me, is based on effects observed not in matter but in space, like, that due to self-contradictory imaginings it justifies the expansion of the universe. It doesn't, and we don't need it for that, if space is a projection of matter. Or to solve the winding problem. Which it doesn't. More stuff means more stuff falling together, not more space between things -- unless you follow my view that space is a projection of matter). So maybe we don't need dark matter to explain anything. That would be a bonus.

Maybe we have to reconceptualize time itself. Einstein took a whack at this with spacetime, but spacetime is hardly a thing, since you can rotate objects in space but not in time or in any time-including part of space-time. Spacetime is a bookkeeping mechanism, that says a thing that is here is not there, and vice versa. Space is what keeps things apart. So if the primitive stuff of the universe is matter or stuff, which spends its force on keeping itself apart from other stuff, then space is its tool for doing so. Masses arrange to stay apart, by conflating the spaces that each projects, so long as their origins are kept separate.

So space is not a cartesian coordinate system with an origin, because two spaces each have their own origin but, conflated, they are one space.

Space seems to be like a 3D analog of a 2D napkin tucked into a napkin
ring for each particle of matter, where the particle is pulling the
napkin back through the ring, putting a certain amount of pull or
tension on it. But all the napkins that overlap in space are merged
into a single non-uniform napkin with rings here and there all pulling
into themselves but nonetheless flattening or merging or melding into
a single napkin which looks a lot like 3D Euclidean space, pretty flat
at our human scale, but not very flat after all at planetary scales
because we are all falling into the planetary hole formed by all the
particles making up the planet. I like the napkin idea for two
reasons. First, napkins are finitely spatially bounded, and so is my theory of gravity.
Second, it captures the inverse-squared law without having to say it.
The influence of the pull at the center of the napkin ring is spread
out across rings (or spheres) of equal influence across the whole ring
or sphere's surface, which therefore receive influence diluted in
proportion to the surface of the sphere, or at 1/r^{2}.

So much for space. Can we say anything about time? Maybe not, but let's review time's exception, which is light.

Light has a known, distinctive, relativistic quality (so-called time-dilation) that a photon exists in all places that it ever exists at one instant in time, from its own frame of reference. You might say light is transparent to time. But then it is also transparent to space. Any amount of space is spanned by a photon in its (self-viewed) instantaneous existence, travelling at the speed, as we say, of light. A photon released near the Big Bang, will travel to our distant future and be seen by future astronomers, yet its existence from its own perspective spans both endpoints' times and locations. That's what speed means, a spanning of location by duration, a spanning of space by time. And that's what time dilation means: you are there already.

So we have the bookkeeping system of spacetime, and we have light which lets us check it in and locate it in space and in time, but which does not have an internal bookkeeping of its temporal evolution. We may presume that light does detect WHERE it is, at least, since it polarizes and depolarizes probabilistically as it travels through filters here and there. and since it absorbs itself into an electron making a shift in energy levels, on a certain atom and not others. But light obliviates regarding time.

So what is time, then? Something light ignores. Something space uses to organize its bookkeeping, so that stuff has to cohere, or travel, across both space and time in order to not run into other stuff. No, I don't have the answer, except that I just don't think entropy rise is itself time, rather than a consequence of time.

Suffice to say, the concatenated expanding balloons of space around each non-conflating massy center of the universe are themselves transited instantaneously by photons, but also carefully kept on the books of a grand expanding space hotel, as passing from there to there to here to the beyond. So even without conflating spaces, since they push each other apart, they are somehow the same space, since they are able to host one photon transiting the whole thing.

Mysteries, and bullshit, and insights, which are these? Definitely we have mysteries here. Looking at stuff from different perspectives is what brings insights, so even if they are wrong, that's okay. Wrong is progress. Because then someone will be able to show me why. Will you?

I invite correction.