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What's the time ?

  • Sep 19, 2013 · 6:00 PM
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So, let's discuss the nature or the concept of TIME ! Many philosophers and physicists have done so and not really come to a definite conclusion.

Wikipedia says: Time is a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.

I like the quote by Ray Cummings:“Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” 

While gathering information about the subject I realized that it's a challenging one, a difficult one and a fascinating one, too !

Once again I'd like to suggest the book "War of the Worldviews" by D. Chopra and L. Mlodinow and the chapter on 'The Nature of time' in it, looking at time from a scientist's side and from the side of spirituality. Very interesting indeed.

See you soon with your thoughts on time.


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  • Virginia M.

    Really enjoyed others' explanations. Urge you all watch the great "Bohemian Gravity" clip Monique has posted

    September 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    ... doh, posted to early. In a nutshell it says that when you use a special mathematical structure the calculations in particle physics become significantly easier. One of the implications of using this structure is that space and time just an illusion, possibly from a higher dimensional structure that we cannot observe. It is well worth a read.

    September 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here is a very interesting read, albeit heavy, about the latest developments in physics:

    September 19, 2013

  • Engy

    So sorry I had to cancel so late! Had to stay late at uni today! Hope someone else sees this in time. Sorry again!

    September 19, 2013

  • Monique le R.

    I have no idea what he is singing about but thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. I'm sure that the physicists amongst us will enjoy even more. Isn't science fun!!

    1 · September 19, 2013

  • Jeff B.

    In my view, time has movement and direction. Observable concepts such as cause and effect, age and depreciation cannot be reversed to effect then cause, things don't get newer and I ain't getting any younger. Entropy of all closed systems is unavoidable. I don't get the theory that past present and future exist at the same time when matter changes between these three concepts. A baby, teenager and old man are observed along the vector of time, so to me, time has direction and velocity. Time can travel at different speeds and light can bend, so one day we may be able to manipulate time and travel in the reverse direction. Not in my life time though as if it did I probably would have come back in time and said g'day.

    September 18, 2013

  • Carol S.

    Fascinating article Simon. I think there's definitely a speeding up of time as we move from childhood through the stages of life.

    September 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here is an interesting article about research completed in August about the perception of time in animals (which includes us humans):

    And the original paper:

    It's not directly related to this philosophical topic, but interesting none the less.

    September 18, 2013

  • Virginia M.

    Ho ho, interesting comments...I like them all, but no time to write a comment as cat has appointment at vet in 15 minutes!!

    September 17, 2013

  • Sameer

    Time, in my opinion is defined by 'change'. If matter and energy (and thus everything) remain static time cannot even exist. For example we are not the same as we were yesterday and this makes us ponder how time has passed.
    There are certain things though that 'never change' and are literally 'timeless'.
    So isn't time just a perception? it is not matter, nor energy.....and then there is Einstein's theory of special relativity which ultimately proves time travel is possible......
    Looking forward to the meet. Should be interesting!

    September 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Interesting point. But Einstein's theory of Special Relativity only talks about time dilation, not time travel (i.e being able to teleport back 100 years). Time dilation is where time speeds up or slows down relative to an other moving object, or object in a gravitational field. Both special and general relativity talks about time be an integral component of space, Einstein called this the space-time-continuum.

      September 16, 2013

  • Ziggy

    The German version of 'The Times' (how fitting...) had a good article about time (and other philosophical questions) in it recently and I translated it into English. (I edited it a little too to shorten it a bit) If you are interested in reading it I can forward you a copy via email. Just send me a message to my email: [masked] and I'll reply with a copy of the article.

    September 12, 2013

  • Monique le R.

    Time is just another futile method that we use to try to control and categorise things. The 'past', 'present' and 'future' all exist at once but we set our watches/devices to feed the illusion as believing/behaving otherwise is far too much for our insecure egos to contend with. Just as well we exist outside of our egos day we will acknowledge that and will throw away the crutches. Right's lunch time and suddenly I'm hungry ! (:

    1 · September 12, 2013

  • Peter

    I'll try to refrain from a 1.5 hour lecture on this one, but if you want a 10 minute summary I'd be happy to give it

    September 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    “‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day.’‘It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,”’ Alice objected.
    ‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.’
    ‘I don’t understand you,’ said Alice. ‘It’s dreadfully confusing!’
    ‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ the Queen said kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first--’
    ‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonishment. ‘I never heard of such a thing!’
    ‘--but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s memory works both ways.’
    ‘I’m sure MINE only works one way,’ Alice remarked. ‘I can’t remember things before they happen.’
    ‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ the Queen remarked.”

    2 · September 12, 2013

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