## What is time?

So what's really going on?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Speakpigeon
Posts: 987
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 pm
Location: Paris, France, EU

### Re:

henry quirk wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:17 pm Livin' in reverse: temporal dyslexia. Maybe all schizophrenics have that...
Well, maybe we are the ones living in reverse.
And, it wouldn't make any difference.
EB
Belinda
Posts: 4575
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: What is time?

Scott Mayers wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:02 pm
Belinda wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:49 pm Time is sequential change.
But 'sequence' is just a linear set of things, as a line of points. "Change" may then be thought of as whatever one given point is with respect to another, like if we say started at point 0 on a number line, any other point NOT-"point 0" is a change of position. So time can be understood as just another dimension, like the relative comparison between two static pictures.
Time is a sequential dimension e.g. spoken language is sequential. Spatial dimensions are nonsequential e.g. a map is nonsequential.

Maps and language are means of asserting or measuring change. To mark change is to differentiate between things, events, phenomena, or concepts.
AlexW
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

### Re: What is time?

Speakpigeon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:12 am What is time?
The arising of a thought referring to a previous now - happening now.
No thought, no time.
Scott Mayers
Posts: 2059
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am

### Re: What is time?

Speakpigeon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:50 pm
Scott Mayers wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:40 pm If your reference to "blocks" is what is referred to as static, this is how Einstein pictured it and I agree with. Time acts as just another static dimension where each moment is frame of 3-dimensional space, like a movie frame. The movie frames collectively create the illusion of time as a whole strip or "motion picture". It can be further illustrated that for every optional perspective, we have different possible frame sets for each single image, making up an infinite set of times as another kind of dimension. Each picture/frame is like a word in language in which we can use them in an infinite different ways to create different story lines.
There's nonetheless a difficulty with this view. It doesn't chime with our subjective experience of time, namely that we experience one moment after another rather than the whole block of our life. Haven't found any solution to that.
But what does "after" mean without defining some "order in time"? You'd be forced to beg how "time" means "what comes after in something in time, without being circular.

But treating time as 'static', then you can use a similar kind of argument that set theory uses to defined 'ordered' things. [like that if you have {x, {x, y}} to represent the concept of order. Without getting into the details, the object x is singular where the collective set of objects x with y treats these distinct types of sets as ordered because where x can stand alone, where the second possible set exists as an option, y is dependent upon x....and thus we have some concept of 'order']

We are stuck with our particular existence as dependent upon time in a similar way. We are at least that which is dependent upon time to exist because time can exist with or without our own existence, and we don't sense reality -- and thus existence -- without time itself. All we can do is relate some relative static comparison of ourselves to some other set of realities in a similar way. "Time" then is a type of 'distance' where we treat it objectively, and requires comparison to other distinctly different distances.

For instance, a time can be defined as an interval of maximum exchange of some point, x, to some point, non-x. Obviously if we have one maximum 'speed' of everything, then a year, as one measure-type of time, is the maximum distance that anything from one point can communicate or translate any contextual meaning of it to another point, such that it is the same maximum distance traveled by the Earth
in a circle of equal circumference to that measured linear distance between two points.
Scott Mayers wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:40 pmWhat might be debatable is to whether it is discrete or continuous, similar to my point in the thread we are discussing on how we know when we begun existence. [When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...] I'm guessing that sparked your thinking on this thread too?
No. It was initially a post on another forum.
EB
I thought you were relating the concept of time to our concept of existence. It thus relates to that thread regardless. If anything has its own state of being, it is a relative, "I", and only exists where it has some distinctive different state of being some "non-I". If this were not true, we return to the concept of 'solipsism' because we could only interpret meaning to existence in contrast to something we are not.

Thus this means that we can treat "time" as any distinct difference between two sets of common things in different arrangements with respect to another. We are then bound to treat our experience of time as the capacity to measure some state x, as being contrast to some non-x state that also contains it, such as a state with some-x AND some-non-x. {x, {x, (some-non-x)}}, where y = 'some-non-x'.
Belinda
Posts: 4575
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: What is time?

As soon as I name space time coordinates time becomes thingified as does space.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re: What is time?

Scott Mayers wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:22 am We are then bound to treat our experience of time as the capacity to measure some state x, as being contrast to some non-x state.
X -> anticipated experience (expectation)
non-X -> actual experience (reality)

That's how prediction/falsification works.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re: What is time?

Belinda wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:33 am As soon as I name space time coordinates time becomes thingified as does space.
It depends HOW you name it. See you at the bakery at the corner of X and Y, Monday at 8am. is a point in spacetime.

Points don't exist because they are gone in an instant - we lack the precision/specificity. Monday between 7am and 7:05am. That's a "thing". It's why we are bounded rationalists.

All the silliness in philosophy stems from the approximate/precise distinction. Which boils down to sensitivity and specificity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensitivi ... pecificity
Belinda
Posts: 4575
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: What is time?

Logik wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:36 am
Belinda wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:33 am As soon as I name space time coordinates time becomes thingified as does space.
It depends HOW you name it. See you at the bakery at the corner of X and Y, Monday at 8am. is a point in spacetime.

Points don't exist because they are gone in an instant - we lack the precision/specificity. Monday between 7am and 7:05am. That's a "thing". It's why we are bounded rationalists.

All the silliness in philosophy stems from the approximate/precise distinction.

"Points don't exist" is a claim about reality whereas "we lack the precision " is a claim about how we can know reality.
My "As soon as I name space time coordinates time becomes thingified as does space" is a claim about how we can know reality or, as in so many cases, how we cannot know reality.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re: What is time?

Belinda wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:45 am "Points don't exist" is a claim about reality whereas "we lack the precision " is a claim about how we can know reality.
My "As soon as I name space time coordinates time becomes thingified as does space" is a claim about how we can know reality or, as in so many cases, how we cannot know reality.
When I speak of existence I strictly speak about my own map e.g my knowledge of reality, not reality itself.

My own mind prevents me from ever knowing "points" as per the limit imposed by Planck length.

We can't know reality. That's a fact as far as I am concerned. An axiomatic truth.

e.g To say X exists/does not exist is a claim about my own metaphysic. I am simply not allowed to know or say anything further.
Speakpigeon
Posts: 987
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 pm
Location: Paris, France, EU

### Re: What is time?

Belinda wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:37 pm Time is a sequential dimension e.g. spoken language is sequential. Spatial dimensions are nonsequential e.g. a map is nonsequential.
That's indeed how we think of them but that doesn't mean that's how they are. Space only makes sense in terms of us moving relative to other things. And I can't reach both the shop and my fridge at the same time. I have to go to the shop first and come back to my fridge to fill it with the stuff I bought. We can only travel along linear and sequential paths, either in time if we stand still, or in spacetime if we move. So, if time is sequential, it makes our movement in space sequential too.
Second, we can go back to the same shop again and again, and we usually do, but we can't go back to our childhood. However, that we can't do it doesn't prove nothing can. Perhaps the time of my childhood is still in existence. That we can't go back in time may be a limitation of our nature as human being or whatever rather than a limitation of nature itself. We are sequential perhaps because this is the only way that life can organise itself in this reality, even though time is not sequential. Special and General Relativity also suggests a more complicated picture than just a sequential time.
Still, if time is really merely the sequence of elementary events as I argue in the OP, then it is indeed sequential although in effect it's no longer time as we ordinarily think of it.
But if the universe is really just a growing block of reality as some argue, then the picture becomes a bit more complicated. The past doesn't disappear so time is not in fact sequential. Only our experience of time is sequential because we're physical structures at the surface of the growing face of the block universe. Although that in itself doesn't explain why we are only ever aware of the growing face, so to speak. Or rather, why we are the structures at the growing face rather than the structures which remain buried into the temporal depth of the block universe. Some explaining left to do for those who argue this perspective.
Still, in this perspective, there's no fundamental difference between time and space. All we have is a four-dimensional chunk of reality, with a three-dimensional "growing face". Something we can think of as five-dimensional unchanging block of reality, characterised by a slope along the dimension corresponding to time. No change in this picture. But again, it fails to explain our sense of change, precisely, unless to see ourselves as somehow "moving" through this five-dimensional block and then why bother with this blocky picture at all?
EB
Posts: 9225
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

### Re: What is time?

AlexW wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:55 am
Speakpigeon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:12 am What is time?
The arising of a thought referring to a previous now - happening now.
No thought, no time.
Very good!

Only the finite mind's I moves (''thought'') ...not the infinite I in which the finite mind's I (''thought'') is apparently appearing.

No I ever happened, no I ever moved.....''thought'' apparently happened within that which never happens, never moved. All movement is an appearance of the non-moving consciousness.. it being the non-moving mover. In which time is timeless.

You / I won't get a reply, they/us sometimes don't want to hear that information.

.
Speakpigeon
Posts: 987
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 pm
Location: Paris, France, EU

### Re: What is time?

AlexW wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:55 am
Speakpigeon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:12 am What is time?
The arising of a thought referring to a previous now - happening now.
No thought, no time.
You would need a little more than "now". If there's a previous now, how come there's any connection at all between the previous now and the current one?
I would call that an elementary event.
So, possibly our thoughts are just somehow a sequence of elementary events. So, in effect, thoughts but no time at all. Only events, some of them our own thoughts.
EB
Posts: 9225
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

### Re: What is time?

Speakpigeon wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm You would need a little more than "now". If there's a previous now, how come there's any connection at all between the previous now and the current one?
Memory recall appearing now.
Speakpigeon wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pmI would call that an elementary event.
Events never happen. That's just another memory recall appearing NOW that never happens.

.
Posts: 9225
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

### Re: What is time?

Speakpigeon wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm So, possibly our thoughts are just somehow a sequence of elementary events. So, in effect, thoughts but no time at all. Only events, some of them our own thoughts.
EB
The idea that our thoughts are ours is just another thought in the mind that no thought owns.

.
Belinda
Posts: 4575
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: What is time?

Speakpigeon wrote:
we can go back to the same shop again and again, and we usually do
, but we can't go back to our childhood.
It's never the same shop though, albeit the building's spatial coordinates are the same .The shopkeeper too is not the same person albeit his birth certificate, fingerprint, and DNA are the same.

Childhood usually has no coordinates however on some legal occasions childhood is demarcated by the age when you can fight as a soldier, or get married, or vote. Childhood has been approximately defined by developmental theories.

Childhood and Mrs. Mac's wee shop are events which are conceptualised by language.