Author Topic: Time: Are You For or Against?  (Read 279 times)

Offline SGOS

Time: Are You For or Against?
« on: February 09, 2020, 07:37:20 AM »
Here is another supposedly intellectual discussion of time.  I put it in the philosophy folder of the forum, where bullshit outside of the usual theist bullshit belongs.  OK, I don't know (OR CARE) if it's bullshit or not, but I started reading and then decided it was just another way of saying something of little practical value.  Maybe it has practical value, or will someday that will add to our understanding.  Hey, I love time travel movies, and the way they introduce the what ifs and paradoxes, and it's great fun.  It taxes the mind in interesting ways, and I guess that's good, but it always seems to carry the theoretical to an absurd extreme:

Quote
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Returning to Hume’s notion of the illusory self — an idea advanced by Eastern philosophy millennia earlier — Borges considers how this dismantles the very notion of time as we know it:

    Behind our faces there is no secret self which governs our acts and receives our impressions; we are, solely, the series of these imaginary acts and these errant impressions.

But even the notion of a “series” of acts and impressions, Borges suggest, is misleading because time is inseparable from matter, spirit, and space:

    Once matter and spirit — which are continuities — are negated, once space too is negated, I do not know with what right we retain that continuity which is time. Outside each perception (real or conjectural) matter does not exist; outside each mental state spirit does not exist; neither does time exist outside the present moment.

Read it all if you want.  I didn't, but I included the excerpt because it was the point where I threw up my hands, and said to myself, "Not this shit again!"  It was interesting the first time I read the old saws about "time does not exist if we are not here to conceptualize it," or, "There is no progression of time.  Everything is all happening at once!"  Oh really?  You can puzzle over this until the cows come home, and if you find some deep philosophical point to your musing, then good for you.  But is it really that mysterious, and not what it seems?  The excellent movie "Arrival" capitalized on this conundrum and was widely acclaimed.  I loved it, but my stretching the characteristics of time in actual reality doesn't go much past the theory of relativity.  I can handle that and see the practicality in it.

People like to make a big deal out of simple things.  Even some early reporter (I think he was a sportswriter), who was sent to interview Einstein came up with the quote that said the theory of relativity was so incomprehensible that only three people could understand it, and with that, the theory seemed to gain traction on the idea that it was the stuff of genius, when in fact it is actually quite elegant in its simplicity.  Then followed a bunch of wannabes trying to make a name for themselves by coming up with things so non-intuitive as to be actually incomprehensible.  Actually, dabbling in the incomprehensible is part of humanity that probably goes back to the original cave men.  Lets not get too excited about it.

You know, I probably should have put this in the pet peeves folder.  Anyway, I got this out of my system, and am looking forward to the rest of my day.  I have to go to the Post Office at 10:30, and then I'm going for a hike in the woods after lunch, and that's about as much as I need to know about time.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 07:41:43 AM by SGOS »

Offline Sal1981

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2020, 09:12:42 AM »
Time is just our measurement of change.

Time travel as presented in science fiction is impossible.

If it was possible, the very act traveling through time would affect the present in such a way that would negate the traveling backwards through time in the first place, because by traveling to a point in the past you're going towards a different timeline from that point in which you traveling backwards in time changes the future (the moment you traveled from), and any change in the  timeline negates your act of backwards travel through time. It's sort of like a Catch-22. That's how I see it.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline SGOS

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2020, 10:33:37 AM »
Dr. Strange did a depiction of the non existence of time, where the villains tried to create a perfect universe precluded on the concept that time had to be eliminated.  It was a world were nothing happened.  Everything was frozen.  It's only a movie, but I tend to think they nailed one aspect of time: Without it nothing can happen.  Oversimplified?  I'm speculating that time does not need to be anymore complicated than that.  Physicists speculate that time did not exist before the big bang.  Maybe it's possible, assuming that nothing happened before then.  Does time allow things to happen or does something happening allow time to exist, not in a physical sense of course.  I don't think time is a physical property.

Offline Baruch

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 10:41:19 AM »
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Dr. Strange did a depiction of the non existence of time, where the villains tried to create a perfect universe precluded on the concept that time had to be eliminated.  It was a world were nothing happened.  Everything was frozen.  It's only a movie, but I tend to think they nailed one aspect of time: Without it nothing can happen.  Oversimplified?  I'm speculating that time does not need to be anymore complicated than that.  Physicists speculate that time did not exist before the big bang.  Maybe it's possible, assuming that nothing happened before then.  Does time allow things to happen or does something happening allow time to exist, not in a physical sense of course.  I don't think time is a physical property.

Some people are triggered by decay, there can't be decay without time.  Joan of Arc 1999 Milla Jovovich scene, the girl Joan comes upon a dead man.  In time lapse she sees the decay of the body, which results in spring flowers coming from the fertilizer of the man, in his outline ;-)
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline Baruch

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 10:58:07 AM »
St Augustine was the first one to think in the West, about time ... "What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know."  St Augustine was the first Heisenberg.  This has been a theological question from the start, philosophical/secular explanations being the first step away from that.  In theology space is also explained in theological terms.  It was in the Middle Ages, that the first x vs t diagram was made to understand motion, even before Descartes (x vs y).  This led to the absolute time and absolute space of Newton.  This matched the theology of Newton (sensorium of God) which matched Plato.

But fact is it isn't quite accurate ... "Each observer has their own proper time measured by the clock in their rest frame. However, one man's proper time is not another man's proper time. Time dilation means that each observer will see the other observer's clock running slower (compared to their own proper time measuring clock)." aka Einstein.  Which at the time was considered heresy by most physicists (except Mach).  So already, even before Heisenberg, a person taking a measurement changes "reality".  But "no hidden variables" quantum mechanics shows, that there is no such definite "reality" behind the measurement.  There is only measurement.  Plato was wrong.

Again, with polarizers, in my own room, I can demonstrate that Heisenberg is right.  There is a quantum wave function, before measurement, but we can't know what its value is, unless we measure it.  Much easier than trying to bounce a high energy photon off an electron (the usual example).  This is part of a much more general mathematical problem, which impacts control theory (theory of automatic devices).  In a mechanical system, you can't simultaneously control both position, velocity and acceleration (you can control any two).  Because that would violate the definition of those variables.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 11:11:08 AM by Baruch »
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline aitm

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 04:37:36 PM »
I’m against it.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline aitm

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 04:57:58 PM »
Baruch will correct me of course, but it seems to me in my limited study of philosophers that most, especially during and after the “enlightenment” come from families that are adequately wealthy that they never really needed to work, but spent their time inventing new words to explain things to each other in a battle for supremacy of word entanglement. When crowds used to gather to listen to them, this eventually, due to mass confusion, simply walked away shaking their heads while the philosophers continued their battle of enlightening each other while the public lost interest. This explains why today philosophy classes are attended by people who have no noticeable talent other than pontificating on thoughts nobody else gives a shit about. They assure us they know something but work very hard to make it so we could not understand what they are saying, thus they can claim multiple versions depending on whom they are talking to and each one is different but no one would know.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2020, 05:51:34 PM »
I'm definitely going to finish reading the link when I have time. Borges is one of my favorite authors.

Lately I've been thinking about what it might be like to combine interstellar travel with time travel. For example, if you were in orbit around a distant star when you traveled to the past you would never have to worry about causing any paradox back on Earth.

Maybe you could travel to another star, then, before returning to Earth, you could travel to the past in such a way that when you finally did return to Earth it would only be shortly after you left, from the perspective of those who remained on Earth while you went galavanting off into space. Since the journey there and back would be made at relativistic velocities, more time would pass for those on Earth than for the travelers, so the return would have to be "timed" in just such a way as to never arrive back at Earth before leaving.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 05:53:18 PM by Unbeliever »
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“Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2020, 06:02:07 PM »
Since time seems to be only change, there may come a future during which no more change can occur. A time when anything that could act as a clock will be gone. This is the idea of Roger Penrose, and depends on the continued expansion of the universe. I read somewhere that once the universe reaches a temperature of 10^-29 degree K (I think this is called the Baker-Hawking temperature) all oscillations will cease.

Anyway, Penrose thinks that when all clocks are gone the universe will lose track of size, and so a re-scaling will occur that will amount to a new big bang. That's it in a nutshell, but it probably isn't quite that simple.
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“Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2020, 06:05:37 PM »
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Time is just our measurement of change.

Time travel as presented in science fiction is impossible.

If it was possible, the very act traveling through time would affect the present in such a way that would negate the traveling backwards through time in the first place, because by traveling to a point in the past you're going towards a different timeline from that point in which you traveling backwards in time changes the future (the moment you traveled from), and any change in the  timeline negates your act of backwards travel through time. It's sort of like a Catch-22. That's how I see it.
The only way it could ever work is if it were like Twilight Histories where you're just punching a hole in spacetime leading to a parallel timeline.
"Existence is beautiful, if you let it be. Life is not a question. There does not need to be an answer."
- No Man's Sky

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Offline SGOS

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2020, 08:07:01 PM »
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I'm definitely going to finish reading the link when I have time. Borges is one of my favorite authors.
I didn't mean to disrespect Borges.  I'm sure he's quite bright and knowledgeable.  I was feeling in a nuts and bolts mood when I started this thread, and had one of those "not this shit again" moments.  I actually enjoyed philosophy classes in college, but at the same time, I saw little practical purpose for at least the writings we studied.  At the same, time science and logic are branches of philosophy that have had the greatest impact on the lives of modern man.  But I suspect science and logic were founded by renegade philosophers rebelling against their peers.

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Lately I've been thinking about what it might be like to combine interstellar travel with time travel. For example, if you were in orbit around a distant star when you traveled to the past you would never have to worry about causing any paradox back on Earth.
Not necessarily a given.  I'm not sure why great distances would prevent paradoxes.  I read once that quantum particles can affect the behavior of other quantum particles instantaneously, even light years away.  Again, I don't know how this can be tested, so take it with a grain of salt. But when just one quantum particle pops into existence and disappears a second or two before or after it should, then off goes the butterfly effect wrecking havoc, and the whole Roman Empire never happens.

But I think a good rule of thumb would be to stay out of the past.  On the other hand, I'm not sure what so good about what happens after a paradox is created that we need to preserve.  Consider the grandfather paradox.  This is the big one on a personal level.  So you travel back in time and kill your grandfather, and you were never born.  You would never miss a thing or experience any loss.


Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2020, 08:11:58 PM »
Well, I'm pretty sure conservation laws rule out backward time travel, so we'll never have to worry about it.
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“Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Offline SGOS

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2020, 08:18:46 PM »
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Anyway, Penrose thinks that when all clocks are gone the universe will lose track of size, and so a re-scaling will occur that will amount to a new big bang. That's it in a nutshell, but it probably isn't quite that simple.
Whether it's true or not, I find it quite satisfying.  If a big bang happens once, it can happen any number of times.  All the time in the universe is just a piddly 14 billion years.  That's just a flash in the pan in the uberuniverse that exists in the uberinfinity, which I've decided exists in the uberbeyond.

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2020, 08:23:19 PM »
It's a never ending story.
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“Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Offline Baruch

Re: Time: Are You For or Against?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2020, 08:46:48 PM »
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Since time seems to be only change, there may come a future during which no more change can occur. A time when anything that could act as a clock will be gone. This is the idea of Roger Penrose, and depends on the continued expansion of the universe. I read somewhere that once the universe reaches a temperature of 10^-29 degree K (I think this is called the Baker-Hawking temperature) all oscillations will cease.

Anyway, Penrose thinks that when all clocks are gone the universe will lose track of size, and so a re-scaling will occur that will amount to a new big bang. That's it in a nutshell, but it probably isn't quite that simple.

When things get cold, then molecule/atom wise, things move very slowly and even strangely (Helium 4).  Penrose is always a creative thinker.  Got quasi-crystals?
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

 

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