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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/1/2013 8:27:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What is it really? I do what I can with intuitive reasoning, but it's so limited. If time was infinitely divisible, then any temporal progress would be impossible, since there would be no agreement as to the unit or amount with which to add time. If there must be a discrete unit with which time progresses, then what is it? Or maybe I'm completely wrong and time is not actually defined that way - in which case I ask, why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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5/1/2013 8:38:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Time, I'd say, is not entirely dependent on having a unit of measure. For instance, the Moken people off the coasts of Thailand and Myanmar do not perceive time in really any means of unit. They have no word for "when," "hello," "goodbye," and other time-oriented words in their language. In essence, actual amounts of time are entirely irrelevant--not seeing another person for 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 years is all treated with the same weight. In other words, time is not actually considered to be based on a unit, or something to be measured. In essence, the Mokens have very little sense of long-term planning.

In fact, the Mokens' perception of time could barely be considered linear, if at all actually linear. This would suggest that your predisposition to say humans naturally view time as linear would not be well-supported to begin with. While the vast majority of human cultures DO view time in a strictly linear way, there are those that see it as either cyclical or practically non-existent. This would imply that the concept of time is not an inherent tendency of humans, but a cultural construct--one which could be argued to be VERY successful due to its prevalence, but still a cultural one nonetheless.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/1/2013 8:47:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
" The origin of our
time concept, the self, becomes the origin of time itself. Our
cognitive models of time become a model of time-as-
cognition. And the languages of cognition and physics
become one self-configuring, self-processing language of
which time is the unified grammar. Talk about "time out of
mind"!
- The Art of Knowing

This is my view.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/1/2013 8:50:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:31:02 PM, drafterman wrote:
http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org...

what am I looking at?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/1/2013 8:58:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?"

Because the brain is PART of time. If we were to go backwards in time, our cognition wouldn't recognize it. Thus, the only thing that is perceivable is the forward arrow of time, and that is why we perceive it as such.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/1/2013 9:01:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:58:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
"Why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?"

Because the brain is PART of time. If we were to go backwards in time, our cognition wouldn't recognize it. Thus, the only thing that is perceivable is the forward arrow of time, and that is why we perceive it as such.

By brain I meant consciousness. Consciousness IS time.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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5/2/2013 5:09:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:27:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
What is it really? I do what I can with intuitive reasoning, but it's so limited. If time was infinitely divisible, then any temporal progress would be impossible, since there would be no agreement as to the unit or amount with which to add time. If there must be a discrete unit with which time progresses, then what is it? Or maybe I'm completely wrong and time is not actually defined that way - in which case I ask, why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?

Time isn't a thing, it's a relationship, it's the dimension in which we order events linearly Time is just what our clocks measure, it measures change as a linear function of the relationship between events.

According to relativity theory, it's part of the fabric of spacetime, General Relativity theory is explicitly ontological, it tells us what space, time, matter, and energy are, and what it says is that they are relationships. If there is no matter and energy, there is no time or space. As such, it is not absolute, it can be experienced differently by different observers depending on their relative speed or relative gravitational frames of reference.

Regarding your question about it being infinitely divisible, according to quantum physics time is not infinitely divisible, it is discrete, the smallest increment of time is Planck time (~ 5.4 " 10W22;44 seconds), so Zeno's paradox of infinite divisibility doesn't apply.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
slo1
Posts: 4,340
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5/2/2013 6:47:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:27:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
What is it really? I do what I can with intuitive reasoning, but it's so limited. If time was infinitely divisible, then any temporal progress would be impossible, since there would be no agreement as to the unit or amount with which to add time. If there must be a discrete unit with which time progresses, then what is it? Or maybe I'm completely wrong and time is not actually defined that way - in which case I ask, why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?

Nobody knows, but the direction of time does not necessarily have to be dependent upon the lowest unit possible. Some would say it is infinitely divisible just like space is. Some would say the smallest unit is Planck time, which is the time it takes for light travels in a vacuum a Planck distance.

Not only that, but the theory of relativity tells us that time dilation happens due to velocity and gravity, meaning that time ticks at a different rate depending upon your frame of reference. IE: traveling at 24,000 miles per hour versus standing still. When those two people come back together the amount of time they both experienced will be different.

time is whacky
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/2/2013 8:35:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:50:13 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 5/1/2013 8:31:02 PM, drafterman wrote:
http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org...

what am I looking at?

Weird. I thought I responded to this. It's the Flame Challenge. The Center for Communicating Science submits a question to scientists in general to answer in a way that is entertaining and can be understood by 5th graders.

Last year was "What is a flame?" This year is "What is time?"
bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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5/2/2013 8:42:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
http://www.timecube.com...
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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5/2/2013 12:17:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:58:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
"Why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?"

Because the brain is PART of time. If we were to go backwards in time, our cognition wouldn't recognize it. Thus, the only thing that is perceivable is the forward arrow of time, and that is why we perceive it as such.

So time stop when we die?
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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5/2/2013 5:35:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 8:27:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
What is it really?
Change. Time is change; if there is change there is time but if there is no change then there is no time. I am referring to change at any and all levels, of course.

I do what I can with intuitive reasoning, but it's so limited. If time was infinitely divisible, then any temporal progress would be impossible, since there would be no agreement as to the unit or amount with which to add time.
Agree.

If there must be a discrete unit with which time progresses, then what is it? Or maybe I'm completely wrong and time is not actually defined that way - in which case I ask, why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?
There us a bare minimum, Plank time, below which there is no coherent meaning. Remember, time also requires a minimum of 2 things because if there is only 1 thing then change cannot occur.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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5/2/2013 5:54:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
thinking of time, is age really a thing. I mean its really just matter changing in form, but why do we perceive it as age
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
chui
Posts: 507
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5/3/2013 6:26:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The body definitely ages. Cells taken from an older person can be distinguished from the cells of a younger person by the state of the chromosomes.
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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5/6/2013 7:17:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 5:09:26 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/1/2013 8:27:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
What is it really? I do what I can with intuitive reasoning, but it's so limited. If time was infinitely divisible, then any temporal progress would be impossible, since there would be no agreement as to the unit or amount with which to add time. If there must be a discrete unit with which time progresses, then what is it? Or maybe I'm completely wrong and time is not actually defined that way - in which case I ask, why is it so immediate to us to perceive time as a linear procession of events?

Time isn't a thing, it's a relationship, it's the dimension in which we order events linearly Time is just what our clocks measure, it measures change as a linear function of the relationship between events.

According to relativity theory, it's part of the fabric of spacetime, General Relativity theory is explicitly ontological, it tells us what space, time, matter, and energy are, and what it says is that they are relationships. If there is no matter and energy, there is no time or space. As such, it is not absolute, it can be experienced differently by different observers depending on their relative speed or relative gravitational frames of reference.

Regarding your question about it being infinitely divisible, according to quantum physics time is not infinitely divisible, it is discrete, the smallest increment of time is Planck time (~ 5.4 " 10W22;44 seconds), so Zeno's paradox of infinite divisibility doesn't apply.

The smallest increment of time before current scientific understanding breaks down, or the smallest possible increment of time?
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AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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5/6/2013 7:21:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I also read on NewScientist, that the theories are predictive of time travelling in both directions, but we make it so that they only use time going forwards.

Another thing to note is, at the extremes, infinity and infinitesimal, our understanding is lacking. The fringes of existence are quite nonsensical to us.
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tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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5/6/2013 2:46:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/5/2013 8:46:39 AM, SarcasticIndeed wrote:
Time is change given order.
I agree. Besides "order", what other type of change could there be?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.