Time

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nandu
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Time

Post by nandu » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:45 am

Hello everybody,

I asked a question some time back in these forums, but that thread was spoilt by the senseless debates that were then going on in these forums. It seems now that the forums have returned to normal, with less of acrimonious exchanges and more of intelligent conversations.

The question, namely, is this: what is the entity called "Time"?

Time is consumed as soon as we measure it; as the clock marks a second, it is consumed. We measure only the passage of time. Moreover, time is inextricably linked to consciousness. I often wonder, for a being without memory, would time exist as a psychological entity?

There seems to be also different types of time. Psychological time, as present in our consciousness; physical time, as measured by the clock; and biological time, as measured by the birth, growth and decay of living organisms.

Relativity has proved that time is not constant over all frames of reference. There is no cosmic clock ticking away the seconds. There could be conceiveable universes where time is stretched or compressed.

Also, is the "arrow" of time, which gives it a forward direction, a product of our consciousness? So could there be paradigms where time is running backward... or sideways?

When did time begin, or was it always there?

Nandu.
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Post by Benyboy » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:46 am

This is one of my favorite.

When I have to talk about something I experience as:

Non-linear Time

Causal relationships become ipso-facto. No begining. No end.
Some event or series of events happens. the cause at the time is, as a whole is not understood. Nothing stands out as a prior for these events.
Now you say, well it could of been this or might that...

But nothing to "push it off the cliff". But was "seen in vacinity"

Now in the GRAND THEME OF THE COSMOS. Which people call the end of time. But will be so as such. Some thing has a sudden and uncontrolable need to "cause" a whole bunch of stuff in order not to miss out on the whole life it has been living. And real fast to because time just ran out.

PPUUUSSSHHHHH
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Post by Benyboy » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:55 am

My friend half way across the country right now is in labour. Having a baby.
Push

All the abstact relational things going on collectivly, need, not now, but some
time or another need to get sweept up under the rug. God may call a surprise
inspection any time now. Collaps the Universe in on itself in a never ending never beggining recycalling creation.


Domt be late or you might miss the boat. (arch)

Now trying to figure out when all this is happanning is a big wast of time.
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Post by Aireal » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:12 am

Nandu

An excellent topic.

There is a man in England who received a brain injury that left him unable to remember, or project into the future, he lives in the eternal present. A very sad case. It does show that time is both subjective and objective. It is in a sense linked to consciousness when viewed in the subjective sense.

Objectively, every particle has an internal clock. Quantum Mechanics shows that every particle has a wave with a frequency based on its mass. Just like the frequency of a quartz watch, it keeps perfect time. Relativity showed us that at high speeds, this frequency will change because the mass of the particle has changed.

Time is linear in that it always moves forward, as best we can tell. Time can also be viewed as non-linear when you look at the repeating cycle of seasons and years, life and death.

The Big Bang theory says that time started with the Big Bang, and did not exist before that. I do not agree with that or the BB theory, but that is another topic altogether.

Physics does not exclude the possibility that time can move backward, but does show that it is very unlikely to do so. In the entire life of the universe, the odds of it happening is very very slim.

The Mayan concept of time is perhaps the only one that takes all the aspects of time into account. It is a very complex calender. Actually its 3 calenders in one. The simplest one, the common calender, is very much like the one we use, covering a one year period. the other two are a holy calender. Together they made a highly accurate calender that would be accurate for 64 million years. I guess they thought they would be around for awhile.

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Post by Clemsy » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:47 pm

Time is weird.

Is time really linear? or does it just appear to be linear? Is time how biological organisms make sense of the world? Certainly the perception of time is dependent on condition: time does fly when your having fun. A watched pot does take forever to boil.

Time accelerates with age. :shock:

I tell my students in September that they better take this seriously because it's almost June. Whoosh! Look at the date!

Then there's the whole impact of velocity on time or 'time dilation.'

Check out the defintion page. Quite long. I especially like the American Heritage's first:
A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.
Apparently irreversible? Where's that loophole!
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Post by Joemac » Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:25 pm

Time is the common denominator by which all is measured.
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Post by nandu » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:37 pm

Whenever I am faced with a complex question, I like to create paradoxes, or frame a koan (as they say in Zen Buddhism).

Suppose there are beings for whom time is moving backward relative to us. Will we be able to tell them apart, even if we see them? Our future will be their past, and our past their future. So such a being shall see the whole history of the world in reverse.

Brrr... weird. :shock:

Joemac, can you elaborate on your cryptic post?

I don't know whether it is the same person, Aireal, but Oliver Sacks wrote about a man without long term memory fixation.


The Last Hippie

"The Last Hippie" is the story of a man who suffered irreversible neurological and mental damage due to an enormous brain tumor. Sacks correlates each of the affected areas of Greg's brain with a specific behavioral change. His frontal lobe loss so drastically masks his personality that his own father describes him as "dispossessed" and unrecognizable. Greg gradually does reveal what Sacks calls an identity and a soul, despite the personality-robbing effects of frontal lobe loss and amnesia.

from www.brainconnection.com
It's in his book, "The man who mistook his wife for a hat".

Nandu.[/i]
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Post by Joemac » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:45 am

In order to determine the benefit of an idea or development it must stand the test of Time.

So Time is a common denominator and an evaluator.
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Post by Aireal » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:05 pm

Nandu

No, it seems we are speaking of two different cases. The man I spoke of was a conductor before his brain injury. He retained the memory of only two things, how to play the piano and his wife. this man had no damage to his frontal lobes, and his personality remained intact, just no memory. I was unaware of another similar case.

In physics, anything that moves faster than light would be travelling backwards in time, relative to us. Science has postulated that a particle called a Tachyon could move faster than light. However we have found no way to detect anything travelling faster than light. Thus if there are such beings, we could not see them.

I also agree with Joemac on the test of time. Also as every particle has in effect its own internal clock, time truely is the common denominator by which all is measured. As many equations have a time component in them, time is also the common evaluator.

Charles
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Post by Joemac » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:50 am

The man in England is very interesting, biologically living one day at a time.

Aireal do you feel sad for him or is he really sad?
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Post by nandu » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:10 am

The man I wrote about has only short term memory. He will meet somebody, greet him, ask his name, etc. and then forget it about 10-20 minutes afterwards. It seemed to me that his life was cut up into segments.

I wonder: if somebody has totally lost the ability to fix long-term memory i.e. if only the present registered for him, would time exist as an entity for that person?

There was a brilliant story in my native language Malayalam called Orma (Memory), in which a man slowly sinks into the well of Alzheimer's. His memory is stripped away layer by layer, and he becomes almost a vegetable: until one day, it all starts coming back. Soon, he starts remembering the future! Time flips for him. I still remember the goosebumps I got when I first read that story.

Notice that we are talking here exclusively of psychological time, as registered in the consciousness. But there is also apparently an objective time, as measured by the clock: we see that time "fly" when we are engrossed in something. So it seems that there is a time entity independent of our consciousness. But again, experience of that is linked to our consciousness: the memoryless man mentioned earlier would never understand what the clock was saying!

One more thing: when we divide time by infinity, we get moments of zero length during which the universe is at a standstill. But apparently everything moves. So is motion an illusion of consciousness?

Nandu.
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Post by Aireal » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:01 pm

Joemac

I feel sad for him, he lacks the long term memory to be sad about anything.

The only person he remembers is his wife. When he sees her, he thinks he has just awakened from a long comma and is overjoyed at the sight of her. If she leaves the room, he forgets, and the touching reunion starts again when she renters the room. I am sad for both him and her, and the grown children he can't remember at all.


Nandu

His memory in measured in seconds instead of minutes. He forgets the question while he is answering you.

So he has no concept of time "Flying By" or of "Waiting" for time to pass.

Lastly I would say that motion is not an illusion of consciousness, but rather that it takes consciousness to perceive motion.


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Post by JRW » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:22 pm

Aireal (Little Feather?),
I would love to know more about this person who has lost his sense of time. Can he learn from the past at all? Does he say "Wow, I don't want to do that again?" Does he know fear?

I train horses and everyone tells me that they live in the NOW and that there is only NOW for them. They have a short-term memory of about 10 seconds (I know this to be true) and beyond that all has no meaning for NOW. Except that they remember what they remember forever especially trauma... so I have been thinking about the paradox being in the NOW and remembering forever at the same time.

Yrs,
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Post by Joemac » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:45 am

Was the English gentleman sad?
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Post by Joemac » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:03 am

This is like the movie "50 First Dates" Drew Barrymore had the condition.
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