Does anybody really know what time it is?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. earllogjam

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    On November 18, 1883, at noon, U.S. railroad corporations unified American time.
     
  2. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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  3. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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  4. mista geechee

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    My watch was only 26 seconds off (fast).
     
  5. Beauxbatons

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    No.

    The fact is, time is a completely artificial construct--a fantasy that we all indulge in so that we can feel a little more secure, so we can pretend that there's a little order in the chaos that is life. As such, "what time it is" is completely arbitrary, decided upon by someone and agreed upon by lots of other someones.

    Having said that, I will say that time is certainly a useful fiction, and I don't recommend dispensing with it at all... but the fact is, it's impossible to truly "know what time it is."
     
  6. marleyisalegend

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    Not true, all you need is a sun-dial, a bag of cheetohs and a virgin sacrifice.
     
  7. trentster

    trentster New Member

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    Yes, Robert Lamm.

    Time has been messed around with for so long, and we still don't have an accurate system, but time is relative and meaningless. An artificial construct in order to make sure people are working with the same frame of reference, lest people get to things late.
     
  8. jason_els

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    Not entirely. The ancients kept time reasonably well just by being able to know the solstices and the equinoxes, the rising of certain stars in certain places, and the phases of the moon. When the earth passes through either the orbital points of solstice and equinox, we can tell precisely when that happens astronomically. The ancients went to enormous lengths to know this information and, today, their devices for doing just this are among the earliest human artifacts we have. Now we know down to the second when earth makes these four important annual passages.

    I think it would make sense to standardize time worldwide. Have just one hour at one time for every place on earth. I think ultimately it would save a lot of money even it might seem odd. Anything that's globally coordinated already uses what is called UTC (Universal Coordinated Time), which is essentially Greenwich time, or Zulu Time to aviators.

    What we decide to call time is arbitrary, but its passage is not.
     
  9. mista geechee

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    Yep pretty much hit it on the head jason-els.

    It was probably started during the periods of the agricultural revolution to help the early early early humans properly set up their farming and irrigation systems. Or as early as the very first humans , for the purpose of navigation.
     
  10. Beauxbatons

    Beauxbatons Member

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    What you're talking about is not time--it's the manner in which we've chosen to quantify and measure that thing which we call time. In other words, the Earth's revolutions and rotations are not time--they are movement, and we have chosen to use them as units of measurement (years and days, respectively). All other units of time--seconds, minutes, etc--are just arbitrary divisions of those other units (and are, in fact, the only leftover we have of Sumerian mathematics, based on a base 60 numbering system [unlike the base 10 system we use today]).

    You say that the passage of time is not arbitrary, but it is. It only exists because we say it does, it only matters because we say it does. It is not a cosmic, universal constant. It is really impossible to talk about the passage of time without defining what time is, and it is impossible to define time without talking about its passing--circular logic at its best.

    Time can't be defined properly because it doesn't exist, except within our minds. It is born of the human brain's need to organize and segment and compartmentalize everything it comes across. And the decision about how to name and measure this process was an arbitrary decision.

    Had the course of human evolution gone in a different direction, our conception of time could very easily be quite different than it is now, or even non-existent (there have been cultures that have no concept of time as we imagine it). We can only say that "the ancients kept time reasonably well" because we are still working within the parameters that they set, and using the same methods of keeping time that they did--only they have been refined and "perfected." Just because time has been measured for thousands of years doesn't mean that it's a real thing.
     
  11. WolvesInTheThroneRoom

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    My eyes, like an animals, would see in the dark to
  12. Phil Ayesho

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    ...Does anybody really care?

    -Chicago
     
  13. B_dumbcow

    B_dumbcow New Member

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    Time to get a watch :tongue:
     
  14. Catchoftheday

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    I think I'll stick to my old wrist-sundial if it's alright with you :rolleyes:
     
  15. Deno

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    If I could save time in a bottle,
    The first thing that I'd like to do
    Is to save every day till eternity passes away,
    Just to spend them with you


    If I could make days last forever,
    If words could make wishes come true
    I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
    Again, I would spend them with you


    But there never seems to be enough time,
    To do the things you want to do
    Once you find them
    I've looked around enough to know,
    You're the one I want to go
    Through time with



     
  16. NCbear

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    Marley,

    I understand the sun-dial and the virgin sacrifice, but what's with the Cheetos?

    NCbear (who really liked Cheetos when he was younger, but who can't eat more than a handful at a time now before the taste gets odd)
     
  17. dannymawg

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  18. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    HAHAHAHAHA....OH THAT CHEERED ME UP!!! LOL
     
  19. JustAsking

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    marley, when was the last time I told you I loved you?

    King,
    Thanks for this. I needed a good bit of new "woo" tonite. This is a woo-y as they come.

    You beat me to it.

    "Wow, no thanks, man, I'm not into time."
    "I can see you're not into time, man! Cuz this is nighttime and nighttime ain't no time to be in this neighborhood!"

    - Cheech and Chong.


    Also, Einstein told us that time varies with respect to our speed in relation to something else. This means that the time for every moving object is different. Interestingly, Einstein developed his theories of relativity while working for the Swiss Patent Office. At the time, he was evaluating lots of patents for mechanical and electrical means for synchronizing clocks in different cities for the Swiss railway system.

    Talk about moonlighting. Jeeeze. And my employees just play video games when they are goofing off.
     
  20. earllogjam

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