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<Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 07:16:57 -0800
From: "Grant Callaghan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: necessity of mental memes
Maybe my perceptions here are wrong, but I thought time was a
change, not the change itself, just like length, width and height are
measurements of what it that is changing, not the thing itself. How we
experience time is a perception that has nothing to do with the
but is a reaction to our experience. It's not just the brain that
and reacts to our experience, it's the entire body -- a body that
chemical reactions of its own to create the perception of time speeding
or slowing down.
But spacetime does nothing. It is a meme. A set of measurements
the motion of one thing with the motion of something else, most often
rotation of the earth around its axis and subdivisons thereof -- i.e.
minutes, seconds, nanoseconds, hertz, megahertz, etc. All of these are
comparisons of the earth's motion with what we are measuring. The
measurement itself only exists as an abstraction in our minds. Light
doesn't care how fast it travels compared to how fast the earth rotates.
The feet and miles we compare it to are comparisons with some English
So when you say time does this or time does that, you're confusing
subjective reality, which we create inside our heads, with the objects
are thinking about. Galaxies, stars, light waves, etc., have nothing to
with the earth's rotation or the king's feet. Or even the rods we
to define a meter because it was "more precise" and fit more easily into
base ten counting system.
This personification of time based on our experience leads to such
as "going back in time," as if yesterday were a place and tomorrow
more than just a prediction. If you could jump to where the earth,
traveling around the sun, which is traveling around a galaxy, which is
traveling with a group of galaxies toward some unknown destination, will
after one more rotations of the planet, it won't be there. You would
yourself standing in airless space. It would be the same if you jumpped
backwards to where earth was yesterday. You wouldn't find it. Time is
function of how we perceive the universe, not the universe itself.
Anyway, there's two cents worth of my perspective on the subject. I
it will cause Mr. Hawking to start changing his book. ;-)>
Spacetime is a function of the universe. I agree that our measuring systems
are abitrary, and always will be, but so what. Secondly, as you say time
appears to vary according to our social circumstances, and again so what,
why does that have anything to do with the physical universe. When we are
measuring time in the ordinary sense here on Earth, we do percieve it as a
funtion of how we see the earth. But comparing spacetime frames is not the
same as comparing say length with length. Were i travelling at light speed
and you were here on the Earth, we would both have the perception that a
metre was a metre etc. When we sit down and compare our watches my watch
will be slow compared to yours. therefore whatever our perceptions of how we
think the universe is, something measurable will have occurred.
With regards time travel and the earth moving and landing in empty space, i
think this is wrong, as you are separating time and space, and as i
understand it they are indivisible. One does not exist without the other.
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