Fixing the time — 7 Comments

  1. I don’t know if the present moment was Einstein’s idea of time. He conceived of time as a dimension, implying continuity, and it certainly works as far as the mathematics is concerned, but I’ve never been entirely comfortable with the notion. If you ask the average person what time is, their definition will always be circular and tautological. They’ll inevitably use the concept of time to define it.

    The truth is, we have no idea what we mean by time, and we don’t even know if such a thing exists or if it’s just another anthropomorphism to limit our understanding of the universe (or Creation as you might describe it).

  2. My mathematics never extended beyond a Certificate of Secondary Education (the qualification below the old GCE Ordinary level) so I become completely last within seconds when trying to understand the sums. I like what I understand of the idea of spacetime being a single continuum because it helps me reconcile my belief in freewill with my church’s belief in predestination; admittedly, that is not a problem most people would contemplate.

    My chief disappointment with Einstein is the idea that we cannot travel faster than light which means homo sapiens will forever (definitely an anthropomorphic term) be trapped in a backyard corner of the universe. Even with time slowing down as one approaches the speed of light, no-one will be able to live long enough to reach anywhere significant, or, if they do, what they knew of the Earth will be ancient history when they return.

  3. Grandad,

    But what if I had delayed in the cloakroom to comb my hair and had consequently bumped into someone on the way out, who, as a consequence of which did not catch the eye of someone across a crowded bar, meaning they were never in a restaurant to speak with a person at the next table, so allowing that person to leave early and step off a crowded pavement into the path of a Number 47 bus and not reach the diplomatic meeting they were to attend, leaving the foreign affairs spokesman unbriefed and the history of Europe to unfold in an entirely different way?

    We never know what chaos we might cause by doing things differently!

  4. I try to imagine each of us as like a thread in spacetime. We start and we finish, and in between we entangle with so many other threads, for good or ill.

    My, what tangled webs we weave, to one outside who sees it all!

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