"We think in generalities, we live in details"
Living on Oxford Time
« on: 2010-11-02 10:37:08 »
Living on Oxford Time
A couple years ago, the CBC produced a fun radio documentary about, mostly, the nature and history ofÖ time.
Yes, time. The thing that makes the now of just then, then. Or the now of just then, now, depending on which way you look at things. The thing that keeps on slippiní into the future.
Itís kind of surprisingly interesting, if you have an interest in science, history, math, or horology. Iíve uploaded a copy, if youíd like to listen to it: Just click here (23MB MP3 file).
Also, Iím not sure if Iíve ever mentioned this or not, but a while ago I put together a (probably incomplete) list of moderately eclectic radio downloads Iíve put online over the years, which you can see right here. Hundreds of megabytes of goodness from the BBC, CBC, and elsewhere, all available to download or, probably, stream.
[Blunderov] Well worth clicking on the link to get the podcast. Features both David Deutsch and Roger Penrose.
What I'm puzzling over is, given that there are all these various slices of time that exist independently, why is it that we always experience them in a strict sequence which corresponds exactly with our progressions towards the grave? Why do I never wake up in the morning 20 years old and tomorrow (say) 70 yrs old? Why do we experience time as this strict ordering, this flow?
The expansion of the universe seems* also to be locked in to this same strict progression. Could this be related to our experience of time? Perhaps it is this simple: every new bit of space time (arising from expansion) creates room for another a new state of "now" - and all the entropy that comes with increasing complexity. And if the universe were to cease expanding, we would cease to experience time. (If the universe were to contract I don't think we would go backwards. Going backwards would require just as many new "nows" as going forwards and there would be no new space available for the purpose. So, as before, time will stop.)
I'm thinking that time IS real. That it's a function of the expansion of the universe. I begin to doubt the multiverse...
* I do see the hole: what if my perception of the expansion of the universe is just as much an illusion as my notion of the orderly progression of my own mortality? But no. This way madness lies.
(The congregation will, I'm sure, be delighted to know that next week I intend to solve the problem of gravity which I suspect is also somehow connected to the expansion of the universe...)