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Daniel Foreman

What is time? Does time even exist?

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What is motion? It's simply an object that's had enough force applied to it to overcome resistance, friction and surrounding mass. Eventually these factors on earth will strip an object of it's motion. Time itself has nothing to do with it as far as I can see. I repeat, time is a tool used to accurately described what has happened, and can be used to predict what might happen. We know that something has taken 20 minutes to move form A to B and that C is twice the distance of A and B therefore assuming it maintains the same speed it will take 40 minutes to arrive. Very useful, epically when gran asks you how long it will be until you arrive.

 

This however doesn't make a dimension, it makes a tool. A very useful tool, but just a tool. Because again, we can not go back in time, we can not go into the future, we can only exist in the present. This means time, at least to my mind, can not be described as a dimension, X Y and Z are not manipulable, we can't shrink space or expand space but we can freely move around in it, unless prevented by other lumps of matter or powerful forces strong enough to overcome our energy.If it doesn't carry the basic properties of a dimension we can test and experiment with, then how can we call it a dimension at all?

 

If you remove spatial dimensions, then matter can not exist at all. What you're describing there is the end of everything material we know.

 

I repeat, time does not separate space. Space is it's own separation. It's own dimension, Distance can actually be ignored. You have an object with momentum and energy overcoming all local resistances. In the moment you don't see distance, you see something with momentum. We can remember the past, where the car was at A instead of B, but that's simple data analysis, we constant compare the past to the present. But the past doesn't exist just because we have a memory of it. It just means that in the moment we experienced it, the process in our mind conveyed that information into pathways within our rather sophisticated minds.

 

In analysis, there is distance. In the moment, there is only motion. Distance is a conceptual idea, rather than a reality. Time is the same as far as I'm concerned, it is a conceptual idea about the past, and the future. But there is only the now.

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From any object's perspective, though, it never moves. It can accelerate, but when not accelerating, everything else is moving, not the object. Thus, in the moment, motion isn't real either except for other things.

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The word motion simply means the action or process of moving or being moved. If I nudge something with my finger I have achieved motion of that object. Hell I've achieved motion of my finger prior to even that. This is the problem with peoples thinking, they think in a very materialistic way. You hear a word like motion, and attach an extra complicated meaning to it, raising it from a simple process up to a physical entity in it's own right. It's what leads people to start thinking of simple concepts as complex entities themselves.

 

The same is true with time. Some artist sat down once and said "wouldn't it be nice if I could go into the past and future at will?". Then they coined the phrase "time travel" and now as a result we have multiple generations of people spouting metaphorical nonsense about time being some kind of physical entity that a human being can swim up and down like a river. When faced with paradoxes like killing your own grandfather, people complicate the matter even further, rather than accepting that if time travel can't work. At this point people get even more ridiculous by saying that every human decision somehow splits the universe into multiple different universes just to accommodate someone deciding to kill their grandfather. Which it turns out was never their grandfather at all.

 

This kind of stuff is a perfect example of human beings playing with stories, then starting to blur them with reality. Choosing belief over cold hard logical thought. Accepting what people tell them, over actually spending time thinking about things themselves.

 

Exactly. Since the invention of the first cameras by Daguerre in 1836, images could be recorded, and that had a big impact even among scienists. I am sure this was the beginning of the hunt for a new dimension. The first photos meant that, if we could watch preserved images from the past, it meant somehow that time existed, and it was even possible to catch a "glimpse" of it. Then the development of recorded sounds, videocameras etc, only corroborated this illusion that it was possible to "grasp" time, and people went berserk. In fact scientists started fabricating the weirdest theories, time was finally upgraded to a new status, it was a "new dimension". But made of what exactly? Made of gas? No. Made of liquid? No. Radio waves? No. Made of electrons? No. Spiritual? No. It just became a new err...dimension...

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From any object's perspective, though, it never moves. It can accelerate, but when not accelerating, everything else is moving, not the object. Thus, in the moment, motion isn't real either except for other things.

 

The object itself can not accelerate, an object is accelerated by something. For example, while a car can accelerate, it does so by converting fuel into kinetic energy by blowing it up with a spark. It relies upon gravity and pressure to pull fuel down, and a battery flowing electrons down a copper wire to produce that spark. Another way of moving that car of course is to get out and push. Even when we move it is the result of some very clever chemistry producing the energy needed from the food we eat so that we can contract and relax our muscle fibres.

 

The way I think of all this is as a set of properties applied to matter. The mass of an objects, the drag forced upon it, the resistance of air, the force propelling it forward, that angle at which it strikes the surface, it's shape, etc etc etc. In the moment matter has all of these properties acting upon it, if it's producing internal explosions, then the cylinder is pushing down, and that small amount of energy combined with the other cylinders provide it with the rotation needed to pull the car along. The grip of the tyre upon the road stops the wheel sniping freely and gravity drags the object down so that there is a grip.

 

None of this is "planned by time, nor controlled by time" it is all happening in the moment, it doesn't care about the future, nor does it worry about the past. Matter has job to do, and it just gets on with it. Only humans are able to turn conceptual idea's such as past and future into something they believe is real.

 

 

 

Exactly. Since the invention of the first cameras by Daguerre in 1836, images could be recorded, and that had a big impact even among scienists. I am sure this was the beginning of the hunt for a new dimension. The first photos meant that, if we could watch preserved images from the past, it meant somehow that time existed, and it was even possible to catch a "glimpse" of it. Then the development of recorded sounds, videocameras etc, only corroborated this illusion that it was possible to "grasp" time, and people went berserk. In fact scientists started fabricating the weirdest theories, time was finally upgraded to a new status, it was a "new dimension". But made of what exactly? Made of gas? No. Made of liquid? No. Radio waves? No. Made of electrons? No. Spiritual? No. It just became a new err...dimension...

 

Yes I agree 100%. At the end of the day, human imagination is a fantastic experience to the individual. It can allow the user of imagination to very nearly transport themselves into realms of magic, dragons, warriors, and in my case a time travelling pixie called Harry who goes back in time just to warn his grandfather that next time he comes back, he might be trying to kill him in order to avoid the potential paradox. Nice stories. I write them all the time.

 

The advantage writers have, is the ability to see imagination "from the other side". I know the stories I write are made up. But, does the reader know they are made up? In some cases, people get totally caught up with them, or simply take idea's they like and then quote them as fact. Then the person they've quoted it as fact too, who may not be aware that this reader has obtained it from a fictional source might take it at face value and repeat it themselves. Then before long we have a situation where someone believes a popular myth, it ends up on mythbusters and they are forced to bust it.

 

So in this age were anyone can spread an idea via facebook, it becomes even more important to sit down, think about what you hear and take it with a pinch of salt. It also means that just because a lot of people say time is a dimension, it doesn't make it necessarily true. In fact the more I personally think about it, and the origin and original purpose of time, the less I can see it as a real world function, and the more I see it as ye another story many people believe.

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Time is what makes you unique, Daniel.

 

You need time to go from one place to another. You cannot be at 2 places of space at the same time.

If you could, there would exist 2 Daniels at 2 different places and that would have the result for Daniel not to be one person anymore but 2 persons.

 

If you insert the possibility for a particle to "play with time" and be at many places simultaneously, or go back in time, then this particle would multiplicate itself.

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Time doesn't make me unique. What makes me unique, is the construction of atoms within my body. Are you giving time such power over matter that it is responsible for making everything in reality?

 

And no you don't need time to go from one place to another. Because matter is always where it is. You're basically trying to justify time by saying time is the same as distance. this is not true, That is a function of space. There can never be two of me, there can only ever be one of me. The closest you could get to duplicating me is forming an identical clone using a completely different set of matter. It might look and sound like me, but it won't be my unique configuration of matter.

 

This is the problem MyUncle highlighted so well. You appear to have this image in your head that because something was at point X in space, and is now at point Y in space, that the object must exist at both points at the same moment. You are claiming that the past remains real, that it is a tangible still frame like a photograph. This is in error, to accept what I'm saying you need to achieve two things.

 

1) Accept that there is no past.

2) Accept that there is only ever the moment.

 

Now if you only have the moment, that means that past is as much an illusion as your idea of the future. Therefore you don't need time to separate two positions, because there isn't two positions. There's just the 1 position. All you have is a prior memory of an object at a certain point, then when you compare an object at a new point you create the idea of distance. There is no distance outside mathematics, because mathematics job is to compare recorded history against other recorded history. It isn't a natural function of the universe any more than time is. What there is, is an object that has certain properties, a certain amount of momentum, a certain amount of energy, a certain angle within space. It's is constant, it is happening constantly in the moment.

 

So to take a zen approach to this, shed your past selves, live in the moment, stop comparing past memory to on-going experience and just look at what's in front of you. There is no time, there is simply the ever moving now. There is no distance, there is simply matter with properties.

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. There is no time, there is simply the ever moving now.

Eh?. Is this not time...an "ever moving now"? If you had no faculty to remember, time would effectively not exist for you but the fact that you can remember immediately-preceding events allows you to see the change in position or state ...this rate of change is part of the description of time. You seem to think humans invented time. No we didn't. Evolving various levels of memory systems allowed us to sense it and ultimately describe/exploit it. There must have been prior cause for us to evolve to sense it i.e. it was already there.

 

Did we invent time dilation or did we discover it? If you say we invented it why would we do that...what useful purpose would it serve us? If time dilation is a reality, as described by SR - which has been tested to death - it follows, quite simply, that time is a phenomenon extant to our own perception i.e it exists as a function of the universe. Time and space are components of the framework upon which everything exists...you can't talk about space without time and vice versa.

Edited by StringJunky

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Eh?. Is this not time...an "ever moving now"? If you had no faculty to remember, time would effectively not exist for you but the fact that you can remember immediately-preceding events allows you to see the change in position or state ...this rate of change is part of the description of time. You seem to think humans invented time. No we didn't. Evolving various levels of memory systems allowed us to sense it and ultimately describe/exploit it. There must have been prior cause for us to evolve to sense it i.e. it was already there.

 

Did we invent time dilation or did we discover it? If you say we invented it why would we do that...what useful purpose would it serve us? If time dilation is a reality, as described by SR - which has been tested to death - it follows, quite simply, that time is a phenomenon extant to our own perception i.e it exists as a function of the universe. Time and space are components of the framework upon which everything exists...you can't talk about space without time and vice versa.

 

No, its motion, as in, the universe in motion. Time is just an indexing system used to predict the future and reference past records. It's great because it's way more accurate than human memory when paired with devices such as camera's, electronic sensors, etc. It's also useful for keeping a date.

 

And of course we invented time. It's always been a measuring tool.

 

Time dilation isn't proof of time. It's just a mathematical expression designed to compensate for certain kinds of errors that accumulate with fast moving clocks.

 

If time is real, an actual physical dimension. Then how does it make sense? We know you can not create energy or matter, you can merely convert the two. But think about it, if all previous states of the universe are somehow "frozen" and "saved" and thus "accessible" by time then the universe is continuously doing just that. It's making endless copies of matter, much like a video stream. I mean that works great for videos, but for a whole universe? To top it off, if time works like this and "time dilation" exists, then bits of the universe are being copied faster than other bits of the universe, so as one bit of the universe has it's time flow slowly, another bit is copying a whole lot more matter unevenly. Why would this happen?

 

This is all getting needlessly complicated, this is the point where Occams razor comes in:

 

"Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily."

 

Well if time really is real, then it can only work in one of two ways as I see it. First, what I stated above, time is somehow "archeiving" the universe, making endless and rather lumpy copies of everything that exists... that's a hell of alot of effort. Secondly, it simply controls matter, that is somehow time will allow you to fast forward matter thus increasing the speed of all matter based interactions energy exchanges, collisions, etc. Or slowing down such interactions, or even worse allowing you to spontaneously reverse all interactions. Now if this second one is true, then we're not duplicating energy and matter, but instead we're saying time has the ability to control matter, slow it down, speed it up, perhaps even reverse it.

 

Now if the second one is the version of time you like then here's another question...

 

We know matter and slow down and speed up when under the influence of other forces, and in the presence of other matter. If we accept this, then what is the need for time? It doesn't even keep time. It allows bits of matter to progress at one rate and another bit of matter to progress at another rate. What is the point in it? Can we not express the same design on the basis that only matter slows down and speeds up due to the existing forces we can actually demonstrate?

 

Time is completely anti Occam as far as I can see, it's a very very complicated set of rules based on idea's we can't test and align with actual experiments. Where as my concept here can be summed up as:

 

"Stuff moves,"

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But motion is change of location over time. If there's no passage of time, there no change. Without time, stuff don't move.

 

So your basic statement on the universe implies the existence of time.

Edited by ACG52

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No, motion is the properties attached to an object. I discribe it as that not because there are actual properties attached to an object like limpets, but because when I program we define what an object does by assigning data to that object, speed, rotation, etc. In reality it's just part of what the object is, and an expression of what is driving that object onward. We only perceive motion because we record the past in our minds, and compare it to the moment we are in. This is a very human illusion.

Edited by Daniel Foreman

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So by assigning data to speed, you are assigning data to a non-existent property. After all, speed is the derivative of distance and time.

 

You seem to believe that the map is the territory, and that your computer model is reality.

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No, I mean I already explained that the properties attached was simply an expression. It's an expression of what we've seen it do, and what we expect it to do. It's the same as saying there are four marbles on the table. The number 4 doesn't affect the objects themselves, it's merely for our own understanding of how many marbles there are. The marbles themselves are not affected, if I say there are 5 marbles when there are only 4. The same way as an object is not affected simply because I chose certain termanology to express observed past behaviour and expected future behaviour. These are human tools, and perception. They affect only ourselves.

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So again, you simply say the map is the territory, and the only thing you're concerned with is how you express it. It's just a disconnect between your thinking and the physical reality of the universe. You assume what's inside your head is real, and what's outside in reality isn't.

Edited by ACG52

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OK, so the solution is simple. We must put aside "opinions" and develop an experiment that proves time exists. If you have any suggestions for this then I will be happy to discuss it. Having said that, I back up my opinion by saying the following.

 

I can demonstrate motion.

 

So, as I don't think time exists, the burden falls upon anyone who argues it does exist to demonstrate it with a repeatable experiment.

 

P.S.

 

YAY!!! Star Trek Into Darkness just got released, whooooooooooooo! I didn't get a chance to see it in the cinema and I've been desperately avoiding trailers, reviews and anything that might spoil it. It's downloading now ( thank you broadband I love you ) so I'm off to kick back with ice cream, and absolutely not look at this thread again until the movie is over just in case someone posts a spoiler.

 

*** Beams up to his sofa ***

Edited by Daniel Foreman

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I can demonstrate motion.

 

So, as I don't think time exists, the burden falls upon anyone who argues it does exist to demonstrate it with a repeatable experiment.

 

P.S.

 

YAY!!! Star Trek Into Darkness just got released, whooooooooooooo! I didn't get a chance to see it in the cinema and I've been desperately avoiding trailers, reviews and anything that might spoil it. It's downloading now ( thank you broadband I love you ) so I'm off to kick back with ice cream, and absolutely not look at this thread again until the movie is over just in case someone posts a spoiler.

 

*** Beams up to his sofa ***

However you demonstrate motion you will also be demonstrating time.because it will be moving at d/t. You can't describe motion without space or time....it is a function of .both together.

Edited by StringJunky

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No I didn't, you are talking about distance not motion. Bounce a ball, watch it. Forget where it was, dont guess where it will be, just let your eyes track it from moment to moment. As you watch the ball, try to see the past without referencing memory, try to see the future without guessing or analysing, impossible right? So if you can't see two of the three fundamental elements that make up time, I.e. the past and the future and the same moment you observe the motion of the ball, then how can you claim time exists?

 

The following would be relevant demonstrations of time.

 

1) take two identical balls, same material both with the same amount of down force applied at the same angle. Now if you can get them to bounce at different rates, the that is a valid test of time dilation. With different forces, and materials taken out of the equation, then time would become a controlling factor.

 

2) start demonstrating what will happen with perfect accuracy, on any given subject. Starting with this weeks lottery numbers.

 

3) demonstrate a way of revealing past, present and future all in the same moment.

 

If you can do any of these then you have proven time. But simply moving something doesn't demonstrate time, it just shows you can move crap. You only need two things to achieve movement, space and force applied to an object. Adding time in there only shows you can't break away from your own common perception.

Not without reference to time.

Sure I can, I can move an object without telling you the time at all.

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Sure I can, I can move an object without telling you the time at all.

There is no concept of motion without the concept of time. If you can't grasp that, then the basic laws and operations of physics are beyond you.

 

What you are doing is simply ignoring the idea of time and insisting because you don't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist. That may work inside your head, but it doesn't in the physical universe.

Edited by ACG52

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Consider a cube. Take a cross section of that cube and you have a square. Our 3D Universe is comparable that square.

 

What we term the Present is just one slice of Reality.

 

 

As for Relativity, you should really check out Muon formation in the upper atmosphere. More reach the ground than their decay rate should allow due to their time(relative to our own) being slowed down.

 

 

My own opinion is that it isn't possible to time travel for reasons relating to our own continued existence.

 

As for parallel Universes, it is more likely that our Universe's resets account for those. Different iterations of the "same" Universe, rather than some kind of multiverse construct.

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There is no concept of motion without the concept of time. If you can't grasp that, then the basic laws and operations of physics are beyond you.

 

What you are doing is simply ignoring the idea of time and insisting because you don't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist. That may work inside your head, but it doesn't in the physical universe.

 

There is no concept of time in the moment unless you introduce it. An object doesn't care where it was in history, and doesn't care where it will be in the future. These are human constructs, constructs you mix with reality.

 

I acknowledge time as a useful human tool in the same way I acknowledge my computer. On my computer I can construct a car, I can then simulate the world to see how that car will run. I might even be able to consider that car a real creation simpy because "I see it". But I would be wrong if I did. Until I build that car out of real world matter, it remains a very sophisticated concept. Time is no different, it's a simulation in our own minds, we look at the past, we look at the present and we hope to predict the future.

 

 

Consider a cube. Take a cross section of that cube and you have a square. Our 3D Universe is comparable that square.

 

What we term the Present is just one slice of Reality.

 

 

As for Relativity, you should really check out Muon formation in the upper atmosphere. More reach the ground than their decay rate should allow due to their time(relative to our own) being slowed down.

 

 

My own opinion is that it isn't possible to time travel for reasons relating to our own continued existence.

 

As for parallel Universes, it is more likely that our Universe's resets account for those. Different iterations of the "same" Universe, rather than some kind of multiverse construct.

 

Oh I love it when people start using the word Reality to justify there ideas lol. It's such a heavy, all encompassing word isn't it. Reality, the existence of everything without lies.

 

And yet, you're able to reduce the whole universe concept down to a simple cube. As if it were some kind of ever expanding scaffolding structure in the sky. Now it's not a bad concept if you really really have to compare everything to something physical. It's a nice image, something to get your mind around. However, that is not reality, that is not real, that is one of the many little ways human beings relate something that really isn't matter, to something we feel we could hold.

 

I never suggested multiverses, one of my potential "models of time" simply worked like a video stream. Images and images all attached to frames organised by a time index. It's a common delusion, because... heck who hasn't watched a movie? And who doesn't understand the basic principle of movies? The problem with movies, is that they get larger. You create data "out of nothing" almost. The empty space that is your hard drive stores image after image until there is no more space on that drive. But how can that work in a universe that doesn't allow us to create matter or energy, merely convert between the two? The very concept of taking snapshots of the universe then keeping them in nice neat frames means you have to duplicate the universe "data" aka it's very substance, and then create a new frame by which movement can occur breaks the very fundamental rule that you can't simply and convivially "copy the universe". Again, this isn't a multiuniverse idea. It's the same universe because if time works in that way because time is part of that universe structure, and thus this way of storing versions of itself is simply a function of that very same universe.

 

However, this model seems fundamentally flawed to me, and yet another example of human beings trying to understand their world by making up stories.

 

We have to start separating the stories from the reality gentleman, and produce some actual experimental evidence. So far the one consistant theme in recent conversion has been

 

No one has invented an experiment demonstrating time.

 

Until this is done, time remains theoretical, not a demonstrable function of the universe. And the next person who says "distance exists and therefore time must" might just get a nasty nose tweaking, and a lecture for lazy thinking.

The following is a visual log showing how my idea's about time have changed between 1999 and 2013.

 

Evolution_of_time_ideas.png

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The past is not a human illusion.

Everything you observe around you belong to the past.

In fact, you cannot observe the present.

And you cannot observe the future either.

 

The point on which I agree is that all that "exist" is that is (if that means anything).

There is no need for time to "exist" as if it was some kind of aether. Not more than space.

 

I also agree that "no copies are made" and somehow that "the same matter remains", with a little difference:

_the same matter "moves" through time exactly as the same matter moves through space.

 

To me space & time have exactly the same nature.

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Please clarify this statement

 

 

 

To me space & time have exactly the same nature.

 

Are you saying that time duplicates what space does exactly? Or are you saying there is no such thing as time, there is only space? Or are you saying something else entirely such as Time has the same dimensional properties as 1 dimension of space in that you can travel up and down it like for example the X axis?

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Ok let's pump it up a bit... I am going to assert that not only does time exist but it is the only thing that exists independent of everything else. If you were to cut your brains ties to the world, no sensory input at all you would still be aware of time, if you exist so does time because with out time nothing could exist...

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