Time

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_tallbig, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. B_tallbig

    B_tallbig New Member

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    Time really exists or is a man made concept? I discuss that with a friend. He think that time is a man made concept . I think it exist but the way to measure it is of course invented by humans. What do you guys think about time ? real ? only a human concept?
     
  2. dong20

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    I think it's both. The way we define it is clearly a 'man made' concept. As a phenonemon I think it's real - or at least real in our frame of reference. As for what 'real' really is...

    But, we're not alone in having this discussion...:smile:

    Is time a man made concept?
     
  3. ClaireTalon

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    It is a man-made concept. Notice that the measurement of time is based on an arbitrary scale, and you could just as likely use other things to clock your time (such as your heartbeat, the heartbeat of your wife, periods etc) and define as a second. From a scientific point of view, the course of time can even be reversed in certain processes (think of a chemical reaction that can run two ways, or a harmonic oscillator in physics). Other processes can not be reversed and only run in one way, timewise. So, obviously there are two ways for time to pass, but to make things easier, and since this is the relevant way for human affairs, the reverse way has been excluded from a timespan.
     
  4. tripod

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    God Damn your SMART Claire! WOW!!!! :biggrin1:
     
  5. B_tallbig

    B_tallbig New Member

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    I agree, you are very smart , great explanation .
     
  6. southwest

    southwest New Member

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    Time is a mathematical comparison model used to compare the rate of change of one phenomenon with the rate of change of another phenomenon.
    We observe accumulated change. It is impossible to observe 'unchange'
    When using a time model, given it's abstract nature i.e. a thought experiment, one can get confused and be deceived into thinking there is forward and reverse time travel.
    Changes are permanent, one cannot universally undo what has changed(travel back in time) neither can one universally accelerate changes(travel into the future).
    Time travel is for users of bad logic.
     
  7. D_Geffarde Phartsmeller

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    Human creation designed for our primitive, monkey brains to keep the actions of life organized.

    Quantum mechanics > classical physics (but I'm a rebel like that :wink:)
     
  8. the_reverend

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    in the sense of hours, minutes, seconds and such...it's man made. we measure the passage of something infinite. it's also relative, as Einstein proved. but as for how we experience time, in a linear fashion? that's how we as creatures are built to perceive it with our conscious minds. because we're linear temporal beings, who begin, grow, change and die. from a perspective outside of our own conscious being, all time would exist at once and our bodies would like giant worms, weaving our way through moments. or if you could view all quantum realities at once, every human life would be a series of branching moments, intersecting with one another, forming an intricate lattice work of possibility and interaction.

    or consider the theoretical tachyons, particles that are believed to move so quickly that they travel BACKWARDS through linear time. clearly, they wouldn't have any sense of perception or awareness, but if they did...what would their perspective be like? experiencing the universe from the end to the beginning, witnessing the cause before the effect. what would that be like? would you even be aware that you were moving backwards or would you simply think every effect was a cause and every cause was an effect? like, we view a gunshot as a bullet leaving a gun and entering a person or an object. from their point of view, it would seem like bullets randomly flew out of people and objects and were retrieved by nearby guns, like magnets. there's an awesome bit in Slaughterhouse Five where Billy Pilgrim is watching a war film and because he's come unstuck in time experiences the film backwards. the description is both clever and kind of beautiful.

    i think time is fascinating to think about because there are so many inherent paradoxes, the most fundamental to my mind being that it's this infinite thing that we get only a very little of. to think about time is almost like scientific philosophy, because you're essentially exploring one of the foundational forces in our very existence. i like that. :)
     
  9. dong20

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    I entirely agree the measurement of time is man-made but one could argue that because we're measuring it - 'it' exists even if only in the same way a shadow 'exists'...

    I see what you mean in the chemical example (I think) - However, as we see them events still move forward from a starting point to a finishng point, regardless of where that starting point is. States of matter may change (or even reverse) - but from our perspective the second state always occurs in the future relative to the first.

    For example water; solid to liquid to vapour then back to liquid and thus to solid again is a 'reversal of a previous state' but one change of state always occurs after the other. In other words, when ice melts it becomes liquid in it's future - from the perspective of when it was frozen, and vice versa. If that same water then freezes again it still occurs in the 'water's' future. But that's only in a purely 'human' sense, i.e. that time (as we perceive it) time runs one way.

    Of course (as I assume you mean) if we consider things another way, one could argue that time is no more than the sequence of events - in which case the changing state of the water (or the cycle of a waveform) could be considered independently of any 'flow' of time.

    Of course, as you say a sequence of events isn't necessarily reversable, one cannot recreate the ingredients of a cake from the cake for example, although they are still there in altered states. Who is to say that one day that may not be possible? We cannot ever become children again, at least as far as our current understanding of the universe leads us to believe.

    Perhaps time could be considered merely a human construct that we as finite beings in an (as we currently understand it) infinite universe need in order to bring some sense to our existence.

    Or is time is merely a matter of measuring change, or relative motion. Were the universe to be unchanging would there be any need for time and thus if time didn't exist would or could we exist? Does our existence require time or does time give us existence or neither, or both?

    You should read Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Continuity by Peter Lynds.

    Also, cast an eye over this:

    Time [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
     
  10. B_tallbig

    B_tallbig New Member

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    [

    You should read Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Continuity by Peter Lynds.

    Also, cast an eye over this:

    Time [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy][/quote]

    Thanks for the info.
     
  11. the_reverend

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    oh, and it's also a kick ass Tom Waits song. :cool:
     
  12. dong20

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    And in 'part', one of my favourite of his albums. :smile:
     
  13. Revanchist

    Revanchist New Member

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    Yes, time exists. Its the 4th Dimension after all, and gravity has been proven to affect its flow.
     
  14. the_reverend

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    oh, now we're believing gravity's real, are we? lol! :wink:
     
  15. ClaireTalon

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    My physics textbook in college (Halliday, Resnick: Fundamentals of physics) introduces the time in two ways: As a basic physical dimension right at the beginning, treating the units, definition of units and measuring ways, and later the passage of time in the chapter for entropy, stating reversible and irreversible processes. I won't go into every single detail, just let's say that the ideal reversible process is a phenomenon which hardly occurrs in the real world, especially on macroscopic scales. Chemical oscillations are an example for reversible processes since they are passing on a microscopic scale and can be considered as void of damping.

    However, if you want to discuss the concept of time, you should first of all abandon our set concept of it and the way it defines the passage of things. Two events happening, one after the other, are two marks on our one-way time scale, which is in the end influenced by our macroscopic experience of things. Of course we can say what event was first and what second, but this classification is again based on one concept of time. Quoting your example, of course the phase passage solid -> fluid -> solid, measured on our scale, gives us a stringent order of what was first, second and third. But if you only consider the results and leave the time scale away, the solid phases are indistinguishable. You can melt the ice and then freeze it again, and claim nothing has happened - in an ideal world, of course.


    This is philosophy, not my cup of tea, really :wink:. An interesting subject nonetheless, but you see the implications of it. One is too used to the time scale we use to really grip in full what other time scales could mean; the results seem so confusing and are against every experience one could make.
     
  16. dong20

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    It's been a loooong time since I studied physics in depth and I learned in much the same way as you, I suspect.:smile:

    Agreed, my example was really only intended to illustrate the way time is perceived in a conventional sense. That's why I went on to say that if change doesn't occur, time has no meaning. The state changes or rather their reversals would arguably render time irrelevant in the context of change. In, as you say, an ideal world!


    Perhaps, perhaps not. It wasn't really written from a philosophical angle, or at least not consciously. I was re-reading some stuff and the ethos of time in one was based around a (theoretical) pre-big bang state of unchanging 'emptiness' where time wasn't necessary, thus it didn't exist...I just followed on from there into the current state. It goes back to your reference to my ice example, time is irrelevant if no change occurs. Change requires time to give it meaning, and vice versa. OK, enough!!

    It is interesting, and frustrating. It's something to consider, or would be if I had the time!!:wink:
     
  17. HazelGod

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    Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction...but I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm.
     
  18. dong20

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    Prince of Persia?
     
  19. HazelGod

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    :wink:
     
  20. the_reverend

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    "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff."
     
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