I discuss the recent claims made by Mario Bunge on the philosophical implications of the discovery of gravitational waves. I think that Bunge is right when he points out that the detection implies the materiality of spacetime, but I reject his identification of spacetime with the gravitational field. I show that Bunge’s analysis of the spacetime inside a hollow sphere is defective, but this in no way affects his main claim.
Macroscopic irreversible processes emerge from fundamental physical laws of reversible character. The source of the local irreversibility seems to be not in the laws themselves but in the initial and boundary conditions of the equations that represent the laws. In this work we propose that the screening of currents by black hole event horizons determines, locally, a preferred direction for the flux of electromagnetic energy. We study the growth of black hole event horizons due to the cosmological expansion and accretion (...) of cosmic microwave background radiation, for different cosmological models. We propose generalized McVittie co-moving metrics and integrate the rate of accretion of cosmic microwave background radiation onto a supermassive black hole over cosmic time. We find that for flat, open, and closed Friedmann cosmological models, the ratio of the total area of the black hole event horizons with respect to the area of a radial co-moving space-like hypersurface always increases. Since accretion of cosmic radiation sets an absolute lower limit to the total matter accreted by black holes, this implies that the causal past and future are not mirror symmetric for any spacetime event. The asymmetry causes a net Poynting flux in the global future direction; the latter is in turn related to the ever increasing thermodynamic entropy. Thus, we expose a connection between four different “time arrows”: cosmological, electromagnetic, gravitational, and thermodynamic. (shrink)