• TheMadFool
    2.3k
    I don't know if movies represent the general conception of time correctly or not.

    If it does portray our understanding of time correctly then it seems that time is perceived through change.

    A good example of this media representation of time is the Matrix Trilogy. In that movie time slowing down is depicted as motion slowing down. Picking up the thread from there I'd say time ceasing/stopping would be a state where no change occurs i.e. no time = hitting the pause button on the remote control to your TV. No change=no time.

    If that's the case then I have a fun legit way of traveling backwards in time in a very restricted sense. Go to your bedroom one day (say Monday) and make note of the exact location of every single object on it. Let the days or weeks go by - things will be moved from their original location. Then, say on Sunday, restore every single object to their original locations in every minute detail.

    What would all this achieve?

    As far as your bedroom is concerned Monday = Sunday. You wouldn't be able to tell them apart because NO change has occured. If you can't tell the difference between your bedroom on Monday and your bedroom on Sunday then they, for all practical purposes, are IDENTICAL.

    Does the above ''experiment'' count as time travel? If movies represent human time perception accurately then you'll have to answer ''yes''.

    Is our understanding of time flawed?
  • InternetStranger
    155


    Of course. This reminds one of Tarkovsky and his "rituals". His book was called "Sculpting in Time". However, in the style of Michelangelo's saying, what is being disclosed to us through this ritual of chipping into the stone of time, through bringing back the room, in its perfect ordering? In truth, the rest of the world would become more timely, in contradistinction to the timeless ordering of the room. Just as Plato suggests, though the Plane tree remains the same, it is diminished in stature when set beside the jutting cliff, or, when the ant walks under it (it gains stature). What is it to remain the same then? If it changes according to this becoming of oppositions. Ergo, we move in the region of other forms of motion, than locomotion. The room, in truth, as you describe it, become less timely than itself, on that Sunday.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    I don't know if movies represent the general conception of time correctly or not.TheMadFool

    Oh my God. Are you seriously asking whether science fiction movies represent something correctly? It's fiction, fantasy. It's not meant to represent anything.
  • TheMadFool
    2.3k
    Oh my God. Are you seriously asking whether science fiction movies represent something correctly? It's fiction, fantasy. It's not meant to represent anything.Metaphysician Undercover

    But movies are made by people for people who need to relate to the story and everything in it, including representations of space and time. I just find it interesting that the concept of time that is most appealing is when it's expressed through change.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    I just find it interesting that the concept of time that is most appealing is when it's expressed through change.TheMadFool

    "Most appealing" in the sense of capable of creating very entertaining science fiction? Fiction is very appealing to most people. So when you inquire as to why a certain concept is appealing, you ought to keep that in mind.
  • TheMadFool
    2.3k
    What is the correct concept of time. I read the wikipedia article and I have the following:

    There are two concepts of time:

    1. Time is something real and flows - also known as Newtonian time.
    2. Time is just a conceptual framework - Leibniz and Kantian view.

    I guess meaning 1 implies time is discovered and has an independent existence apart from beings like us.

    Meaning 2 implies time is invented and has no existence independent of a being who constructs the concept.

    Science avoids the controversy and gives an operational definition which is: Time is the quantity measured by a clock.

    From these two options which do you think is the correct one?

    Speaking for myself, I think time is basically change - in matter (color, texture, etc.) and space (location, size). Without change time would be, to say the least, meaningless. Imagine a world in which nothing changes. We wouldn't be able to distinguish the state of such a universe on the framework of time. Day 1 would be exactly the same as day 20 or day n resulting in us being unable to recognize whether time has stopped or is moving forwards or backwards.

    So, change is a more fundamental concept to time. Change is the foundation of the idea of time. Since we can imagine a world without change (there is no contradiction) it implies that time is unique to world's like ours where change occurs.

    Does this mean time is invented?

    I find it difficult to say NO!
  • 3rdClassCitizen
    7
    Change requires time. Time does not require change.
  • Relativist
    218
    I
    Why think that time does not require change?

    I suggest that time is inherent in the objects that experience them, down to the qunantum level. If there were no "atomist" time inherent in the object, then time would not exist for that object. I read of this hypothesis in a speculative physics paper awhile ago. I'll hunt for it and post a link.

    The alternative is that time is transcendent: a river in which we ride and in which events occur. But why should we believe this?
  • EnPassant
    58
    Time is not simply change. Change is evidence of time but not a definition of it. Time is that order according to which change happens. In the physical universe that order is outlined in General Relativity. (Space)time is essentially a mathematical description of how change happens. That is not exactly the same as our pedestrian experience of change. As for your experiment; the earth, including your room, has moved between Sunday and Monday and this has to be taken into account. The room is not in the same place, therefore it is not in the same time.
  • 3rdClassCitizen
    7
    time is transcendent: a river in which we ride and in which events occur. But why should we believe this?
    Unless there is a valid scientific reason for the universe to profoundly change, like time stopping, one should default to the belief that time continues to progress whether or not the matter is in motion.
    Without some matter in motion, it becomes hard to track the progress of time. This does not demand that a dimension disappears, and time ceases to progress.
  • prothero
    136
    Speaking for myself, I think time is basically change - in matter (color, texture, etc.) and space (location, size). Without change time would be, to say the least, meaningless. Imagine a world in which nothing changes. We wouldn't be able to distinguish the state of such a universe on the framework of time. Day 1 would be exactly the same as day 20 or day n resulting in us being unable to recognize whether time has stopped or is moving forwards or backwards.

    So, change is a more fundamental concept to time. Change is the foundation of the idea of time. Since we can imagine a world without change (there is no contradiction) it implies that time is unique to world's like ours where change occurs.

    Does this mean time is invented?

    I find it difficult to say NO!
    TheMadFool

    Not that you are going to get any general agreement on this but I would say you are on the right track.
    Change, process or becoming is fundamental and time is a derivative abstracted conception from change.

    Newtonian time as a fixed, independent and absolute feature of reality is clearly wrong under relativity both general and special.

    Time is always measured by change, the ticking of a clock, cesium atom emissions or other physical or chemical change and the rate at which these changes occur is altered by acceleration or gravity.

    So two atomic clocks subjected to different gravitational or acceleration influences keep time differently and in the twin paradox all chemical and biologic process is altered by acceleration and so the twins age differently, so much for fixed, absolute, independent time.

    Time has no independent existence from change and is merely the relative rate of change.

    Spacetime is generated by the activity of the quantum foam of which space and time are both composed.
  • Jake
    88
    I found it very interesting to learn that time runs at different rates. I saw a documentary which explained this. Scientists set up two atomic clocks (accurate to a billionth of a second). They kept one in their lab, and took the other to the top of a mountain. When they brought the clocks back together they showed different times.

    Apparently large bodies such as the Earth effect the rate at which time unfolds. I can't remember whether they speed it up or slow it down, sorry.

    As example, GPS satellites have to take this time difference in to account and if they didn't GPS would be so inaccurate as to be largely useless.

    Time seems fixed to us because of our extremely limited perspective on the surface of the Earth. As example, the time rate difference between sea level and mountain top is real, but very small, measured in billionths of a second. So we don't perceive the difference.
  • wellwisher
    163
    Time always moves in one direction, which is to the future. Time may slow or speed up based on velocity and/or reference, but it always moves in one direction. Although this unidirectional nature of time is well known, we measure time using clocks which cycle. Clock better simulate the nature of energy waves, not the nature of time. Clocks trick the brain into thinking time is like energy.

    Clocks do not measure time the way time propagates. For example, my clock reaches 12 o'clock twice a day, everyday, yet time flows in a way that never repeats itself. Ancient theory from religions believe in concepts like reincarnation and rebirth in an afterlife, where souls act like modern clocks and repeat itself. Clocks may have a connection to ancient religious traditions but not modern science observations.

    A better tool to measure time, that acts like time, would be based on entropy. The entropy of the universe has to increase, which means, like time, entropy move in one direction. Entropy, like time, is also a measure of change of state.

    An example of an entropy clock would be the dead fish clock. We get a fresh dead fish at the market and leave in on the counter until it starts to stick. This will be one unit of time. We cannot un-stink the dead fish, so it behaves like time, always moving forward. Also, since no two fish are exactly the same, the dead fish clock operates like time, in the sense each instant is different. Like time the dead fish clock does not repeat, exactly or cycle.

    The dead fish clock can be made to speed up or slow down based on heating or refrigerating the room. With the dead fish clock, temperature works similar to the way Relativity works for the cyclic clock; slowing or speeding up time.

    Einstein's theory of relativity assumes the use of energy clocks, that cycle like waves, which do not simulate the unidirectional flow of time. Science may have a problem they do not wish to deal with. They are using a wrench to hammer nails. It may work, but it is not very efficient. Too many nails end up with bent and need to be straightened out later.
  • Pattern-chaser
    208
    Science avoids the controversy and gives an operational definition which is: Time is the quantity measured by a clock.TheMadFool

    It does? Where or when did this happen? Is there a written record I could peruse?
  • Damir Ibrisimovic
    66
    If that's the case then I have a fun legit way of traveling backwards in time in a very restricted sense.TheMadFool

    Time is not the only status of your room. You can restore it to (almost) all of the details - but the rest of the universe will not be restored. There is also a problem with how well you restored status of your room. You can never restore 100%... :)

    To travel back in time you would need to restore the whole universe to a previous state including yourself. But then you will not remember yourself from the new now...

    Hearty, :cool:
  • rachMiel
    40
    From our (humans) point of view, there is a huge difference between subjective/experienced time and objective/clock time. One 360-degree sweep of the minute hand of a clock might seem long, short, or even non-existent to Person X, depending on what X was doing/thinking/feeling.
  • Vince
    7

    That's the very reason why we have clocks.

    Back to the OP, I don't think it counts as time travel except into future. Putting your room back in order is still the effect that comes after a cause. The direction of causality is forward in time, unless information can be sent faster than the speed of light.
  • rachMiel
    40
    That's the very reason why we have clocks.Vince

    Imagine if the world ran on subjective/experienced time. Symphonies would fall apart halfway through. Email packets would arrive and assemble whenever they felt like it. Switzerland would go out of business.
  • Vince
    7


    By world you mean civilization I believe, because the world runs better than clockwork.
    I don't think humans can fully live on subjective time as we're reminded constantly of the regularity of time through the natural cycles that we can't help but witness, such as day and night, or the phases of the moon.

    Music already runs on subjective time though, at the speed of the conductor, and the speed of sound. Performances don't usually occur with a metronome.

    The funny thing to me, as a musician I feel like listening to music and playing it appears to slow down time.
  • rachMiel
    40
    By world you mean civilization I believe, because the world runs better than clockwork.Vince
    Yes, civilization, the world created by humans.

    Music already runs on subjective time though, at the speed of the conductor,
    Yes ... but I was imagining each musician playing subjectively with musical time. Crash and burn! ;-)

    The funny thing to me, as a musician I feel like listening to music and playing it appears to slow down time.
    Interesting. One of the things that fascinates me most about music is how time flows in/through it.
  • Vince
    7


    Unfortunately a lot of bad musicians play following their own subjective time rather than the collective one. This is the main problem when playing music as a group.
  • rachMiel
    40


    It's a really interesting challenge, right: Follow the conductor's pacing and phrasing while simultaneously following your own internal pacing and phrasing. In other words, invest what you play with your musical personality/feel while adhering sufficiently to the collective flow/shape (conductor) to not undermine it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    Imagine if the world ran on subjective/experienced time. Symphonies would fall apart halfway through.rachMiel

    The symphony stops when I fall asleep.
  • Vince
    7

    Yes, because if a guy falls asleep in a forest, the trees can still hear the symphony.
  • rachMiel
    40
    Thank God for God ... without whose Godly unbroken observation of ALL, things would keep popping in and out of existence!
  • Marchesk
    2k
    Thank God for God ... without whose Godly unbroken observation of ALL, things would keep popping in and out of existence!rachMiel

    Popping implies a process of going from being to non-being (which entails time) when God takes a break on the 7th day of the week. All that observing is tiresome. There can't be a popping if there is not a looking. Now maybe if God is turning her back on creation, the popping can happen at the corner of his eyes, since everyone knows God is a giant cosmic ape.
  • rachMiel
    40


    Um, well, uhhhhh ... now that you put it that way, how could anyone disagree?

    Just one question: Am I God? (Hence my avatar?) Because if I am, shame on me for doing such a mediocre job with das Universum!
  • Marchesk
    2k
    Just one question: Am I God? (Hence my avatar?) Because if I am, shame on me for doing such a mediocre job with das Universum!rachMiel

    Yeah, I have a few complaints. But it could be worse.
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