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What is time? Is time real?


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#1    Mikko-kun

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:58 PM

I think it's just us observing changes. Time's a concept we created for that, to observe how many cars pass before your house before you go to work, how much blood a mosquito can suck from you before flying off, a lot of things happening compared to each other. And we use the origo, the zero point from which everything else is measured, in this case the earth's spin and earth's journey through sun.

Time is an useful concept for preparing for the consequences. But it's still just a concept, just like a 2-dimensional astrology map of the 12 signs which were taken from the sky's 12 constellations is just a concept. I've become to question of ultimate validity to do science with concepts in this manner. They may have good uses for everyday and simpler life, but if you want some ultimate truths with ultimate accuracy (the only thing I'd call a fact) then I dont think you can settle with only concepts. Because the real world might not fit to them.

Take an extreme example, just an example: if doomsday was coming in form of a nuke war or a big meteorite, would you count the hours or prepare for the consequences? Preparing for the consequences can include whatever you can think of, from running on the streets butt-naked and yelling ALALALALAAGOGO or breaking in to the most secure vault or spending time with your loved ones and truly loving with your heart.

This might be a question of values, of what you hold precious. If clock is more precious to you, and the concept of time too, then who am I to tell you different?

So... do you think there's actually time? Do you think we'll some day drop the use of time-concept or make it more of a thing of the past and advance from there somehow?

Can you imagine? Can you choose?
One thing there's more room for, is humility. Can you answer the question whether we're the epitome of existence, or extensions of it? Whatever existence, god, holiness, the god particle, life, or whatever it is.

#2    ChrLzs

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:28 AM

I'm afraid I just don't get it.  EVERYthing - not just most - you do is dependent on time and the measurement thereof.  How on earth would we have developed high speed computers and the Interwebz, for example, without adopting standards and measurement methodologies?

And what do you propose we do differently?  We already, in a pretty well understood way, have our own way of perceiving time and to some extent we can alter the rate at which we individually perceive it passing..  but that doesn't change what the clocks all around you say, or how others perceive their time...

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#3    Mikko-kun

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:44 AM

My method has been that you dont just do, but also think and keep questioning. That why I can't propose something to do without explaining a bit. I think we should ask ourselves what we can do differently, that's what we should do.

I'm just thinking what time is in reality. What is its essense, its pure form. I think it's possible to not see it as a dimension or an element. I lift my hand, what is that? It's an action, a consequence, a change in reality. A concrete thing happening. Without time there's just the order of what happens and how many times. Time is a standard for that.

Everything happens step by step, change by change. I dont know if we should do something differently, but if someone like you doesn't get this, then wouldn't there be a reason to think about it? Because it's quite simple thing, to get what's behind time, what time really is and what's it there for. It's a tool in my eyes, not a worthy nor meaningful thing in itself.

Lets say I have a screw with flat head and I need to screw it tight. I can use a flat-head screwdriver, or my nail if my nail holds, or the fork or spoon in my backpack, or a coin. Time is just one tool, and I dont know if it's really the most reliable one because it doesn't observe but assumes. It's an assumption taken from observations, not the observation nor event itself.

Can you imagine? Can you choose?
One thing there's more room for, is humility. Can you answer the question whether we're the epitome of existence, or extensions of it? Whatever existence, god, holiness, the god particle, life, or whatever it is.

#4    lightly

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:58 AM

I get it.    I don't understand it.. but i think i get it.   Time is relative, and so, variable, bendable, and not a constant.

Edited by lightly, 09 February 2014 - 02:05 AM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#5    Neognosis

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:01 AM

Quote

Time is an useful concept for preparing for the consequences. But it's still just a concept,

Your starting premise is false.

Time is not just a concept.

Time is the measurement of the duration of events and the duration between them.

The only way you don't have time is if you don't have anything in motion. At all.


#6    Mikko-kun

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:31 AM

View PostNeognosis, on 09 February 2014 - 02:01 AM, said:

Your starting premise is false.

Time is not just a concept.

Time is the measurement of the duration of events and the duration between them.

The only way you don't have time is if you don't have anything in motion. At all.

So what is the concrete form of time in a change, in something happening? If a car wheel rolls what's the time in it? Is it something hand-felt?

oh, and I dont see my premise false, but just another way to look at it. I know it's hard to swallow a concept you've always been told is right, something you've always thought is the one thing you can count on.

look at elephant from the front and it's a pair of eyes and a big hose in addition to the ears and all. Look at it from behind and it's a big butt and massive legs and a small tail. I see it like that, just another way to look at it.

Edited by Mikko-kun, 09 February 2014 - 02:34 AM.

Can you imagine? Can you choose?
One thing there's more room for, is humility. Can you answer the question whether we're the epitome of existence, or extensions of it? Whatever existence, god, holiness, the god particle, life, or whatever it is.

#7    Billpacer

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 04:22 AM

I think time is similar to water flowing down a gradient, it takes the path of least resistance. Since time appears to be flowing at a constant rate
it must be in equilibrium.


#8    ChrLzs

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 05:54 AM

View PostMikko-kun, on 09 February 2014 - 02:31 AM, said:

So what is the concrete form of time in a change, in something happening?

Why on earth does it *need* a concrete form?  Does your intelligence have a concrete form?  How about a radio wave?  Does your perception of blue have a concrete form - is it the same as mine?

While time is certainly unique in that we have no other dimension that is similar, that does not mean that it is has to be something you can look at or touch.  Time is simply a a comparison of rates of change, we can measure it by observing other things known (or thought) to have very constant rates of change, eg pendulums, quartz oscillators, atomic frequencies, etc...



Time is simply what it is - nature's way of preventing everything happening at once...

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The truth ONLY hurts when it slaps you in the face after you haven't done proper homework and made silly claims... - ChrLzs

#9    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:32 AM

Thinking of time as a dimension in which we are moving, as a sort of wave from the past through the present into the future is fraught with conceptual problems, especially when you try to incorporate the relativistic understanding that this process happens at different rates depending on the relative velocities in other dimensions of the observers.  A photon can make its way all the way through billions of our years from a distant galaxy to us without any motion at all in the time dimension.

Space-time seems to be dependent on the presence of matter-energy (otherwise nothing happens to take time or use space) and matter-energy seems to be dependent on the presence of space-time (it's disturbances of this space-time).

My immediate reaction is that only present exists and the others are illusions.  The past is but memories and other traces of how things once were and the future is but potential.


#10    White Crane Feather

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 07:14 AM

Frank is right . The past is merely a configuration of the universe, so is the present, so is the future. The laws of physics allow the universe to tick a Planck unit at a time, but make no mistake time does not allow this to happen , it just does, then we measure time as an extension of the laws of the physical universe. In one sense it's a complete illusion  because its just the universe doing its thing, in another its entirely real because its the universe doing its thing. Making "time" an entity of its own is a mistake.  Time is really just relativity. ;).

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#11    Rlyeh

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:15 AM

Does length exist?


#12    DecoNoir

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:19 AM

View PostRlyeh, on 09 February 2014 - 09:15 AM, said:

Does length exist?

Well the ladies make a big deal about it, so I'll say yes.




Sorry, I couldn't resist.

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#13    spud the mackem

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:06 AM

Time has no reverse gear.

(1) try your best, ............if that dont work.
(2) try your second best, ........if that dont work
(3) give up you aint gonna win

#14    Mikko-kun

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:31 AM

View PostRlyeh, on 09 February 2014 - 09:15 AM, said:

Does length exist?

Kind of.

Can you imagine? Can you choose?
One thing there's more room for, is humility. Can you answer the question whether we're the epitome of existence, or extensions of it? Whatever existence, god, holiness, the god particle, life, or whatever it is.

#15    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:54 AM

Length doesn't exist without time: you have to get from one end to the other.





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