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Mikko-kun

What is time? Is time real?

88 posts in this topic

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?

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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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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.

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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
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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.

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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

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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.

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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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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.

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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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Does length exist?

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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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Time has no reverse gear.

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Does length exist?

Kind of.

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

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Just like space is something within which things are, time is something within which things happen.

Then we measure it.

Edited by Leonardo
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Just like space is something within which things are, time is something within which things happen.

Then we measure it.

Space might be made of something or at least the lack of something, time however is just a product of space and matter. It's not it's own thing.

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Space might be made of something or at least the lack of something, time however is just a product of space and matter. It's not it's own thing.

Try to visualise climbing a ladder.

Now, take 'space' out of the picture and have you make the motions of climbing without any context.

That motion that you 'see' is happening in time - without space.

I appreciate the example is not perfect - as 'you' cannot be pictured without a 'space' in which to picture you - but I hope you appreciate the sense of it.

Time exists, and is a 'thing' as much as space is a 'thing'.

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Try to visualise climbing a ladder.

Now, take 'space' out of the picture and have you make the motions of climbing without any context.

That motion that you 'see' is happening in time - without space.

I appreciate the example is not perfect - as 'you' cannot be pictured without a 'space' in which to picture you - but I hope you appreciate the sense of it.

Time exists, and is a 'thing' as much as space is a 'thing'.

What's Time made out of then?

Edited by White Crane Feather

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What's Time made out of then?

What's 'up' made out of? Or 'down', or 'back', or 'forward'?

What is 'space' made out of?

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What's Time made out of then?

As long as ANYTHING has motion, then time exists.

Just because you choose to label a specific interval with "seconds" or "minutes" or whatever, or because you decide that you want to quantify it as a physical entity (which it is not) does not mean that it does not exist.

So, if you make tangibility a qualification for existence, then time, by your definition, does not exist. But for time to actually not exist, nothing may be in motion.

However, all us amateurs can argue over and over and pretend that we know what we are talking about to make ourselves feel smart, or we can just go to an actual astro-physicist.

In this one, skip to 1:35

Edited by Neognosis
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Exactly up is not a thing either. Time is certainly real in the sense that clock is real, but it certainly Is not it's own entity that allows the clock to tick. Left right and up or down are relative concepts without a reference point it's meaningless, the same can be said for time.

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There are so many quotable statements in this discussion! Just great! The best reply is "Does length exist?" :rofl:

IMO the physical dimensions and the dimension of time can all be represented concretely. Each is a measure from point-of-origin to point-of- destination, be it six meters or six seconds--as in, "I walked six meters in six seconds." All our dimensions are differential in that way. Time is concrete when we decide a clock represents it.

A six by six by six cube that is ever before us represents the size of six in that unit, whatever it is. Likewise, a clock represents time.

We can say, "Place a marker every meter." and we can say, "The thump occurs every minute." Each is concrete.

The thing is that we are not born with an apparatus with which to measure time, in the same or similar way we are born with an apparatus to measure distance--sight. So we make an apparatus for that purpose. It is a clock. It converts time into a measurement we can sense with our sight; not just our mind. And don't sell physical dimensions short, we can likewise use our mind to see the perfect six by six by six unit cube. So, things are more similar than we might think at first blush.

Again, we have those one meter markers behind us and those we are yet to place in front of us. Likewise, we have where we are physically present right then, while we were noting the behind and the in front during the observation above. When we speak of time we call where we were previously not behind us, but the past. And likewise where we are going, the future. And the equivalent of where we are physically present, the present or now, as Einstein put it.

Now and physically present, however are both hard to express as a span (differentially). "You are here." is on a tourist map and it represents the starting point and the point where you were given the map. But how big in dimensions is here? Likewise, how big in dimensions is now?

So what I am saying is that all the dimensions are similar in these ways, IMO.

However, time is our non-physical dimension--the odd man out. So we don't understand him and like everything different, we pick on him!

The thing that really bugs me is, "How many other dimensions are there that we aren't born with an apparatus with which to measure, nor which we have not had a need to recognize and therefore have not built an apparatus to measure? Yikes!"

Might what we call paranormal involve some currently unmeasured dimension? Is there a parallel existence to ours that uses the same physical dimensions and some other dimensions that, for the most part, keeps our "worlds" apart? (The Star Trek episode where Capt. Kirk hears buzzing in his ear from a "world" that operates on a much faster time-line than ours.

Is there a coexistent world between our Plank time and distance intervals? If Planks are interval-like.

I think it is pretty obvious now that there are people who can re-experience the past. Others who realize future events (myself included--and are aware that what they realize is a premonition when it occurs.) That some can read the subconscious of people, some who can channel to contact the "dead", and those who are dead who can contact mediums. (For proof see: Science and the Paranormal; Altered States of Reality by Cambridge's Professor Arthur J Ellison.) Are these all possible because of dimensions we have yet to discover? Or better said because of various mixes of a larger set of deminsions? [if that is to be discussed, perhaps in another string?--the Other Me]

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What's Time made out of then?

a man's soul

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I've always looked at time as life; you traverse time by being alive.

If there was nothing living in this universe, would time still exist without anyone there to observe it?

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