Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Our notion of Time (2)

Since the end of March, many countries apply summertime, a human invention. Some countries do not apply summertime (eg, Kenya). Our notion of time is directly related to the period that planet Earth needs for orbiting the Sun (ie, 365,256 days). Hence, any other planet must have a different notion of Time.

Recently, I noticed an intriguing statement in a Nautilus article, What is Time? :

“I think the flow of time is not part of the fundamental structure of reality.”

Carlo Rovelli, theoretical physicist

Time is a human concept, based on astronomical observations. It is assumed that the Sumerian civilisation invented time, if only following its Base-60 elements (eg, 60 seconds/minutes). Hence, our notion of time is artificial (eg, calendar year 2022 instead of 4.54 billion) rather than something real.

I’m not sure that I understand the ‘flow‘ part in the quote above. The arrow of Time seems to have only one (1) direction: all life grows older (ie, the ageing process). There is one anomaly though: speed of travelling.

As noted in part 1 of this blog, the 2014 film Interstellar shows a father meeting his daughter again after travelling with immense speed through the Universe. She is a grandmother now. Albert Einstein predicted this anomaly, which is called time dilation.

The night before writing this, I had a weird thought: there might be lifeforms living simultaneously in the Universe that will (probably) have a fundamental different notion of time than us, although they might still use stardates.

There might be another anomaly in the arrow of Time: rejuvenation. Also see my 2016 blog. Rejuvenation is the Holy Grail of Silicon Valley (eg, BBC, MIT Technology Review, Evening Standard, Smithsonian).

Last but not least, there’s my concept of humanoid sapiens, the transhuman successor of homo sapiens. If ageing is no longer an ”issue” for us, our notion of time would (probably) fundamentally change.

I noticed many quotes on the arrow of Time but these can be summarized by my diagram (left).

I did not include a feedback loop as time travel is imaginary thus far, although some quantum physicists claim having achieved it – for much less than a second (eg, NYT-2019).

The most important part of my diagram is, however, its interconnectedness. More and more, I think, feel and believe that everything is connected.

Probably, time is the flow of Life. For everything else, time is irrelevant.

In the words of Carlo Rovelli: “I think the flow of time is not part of the fundamental structure of reality.”

This Is The Last Time (2004) by Keane
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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