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Describing Time to a Philsopher

  1. Jul 11, 2011 #1
    I am talking with a philosopher about time, he wanted to know how physicists describe time, I tried to describe it as best I could (without using mathematics) and he posted the following in response; I am sort of a diehard when it comes to explaining things.

    "I think fractals are representations of and actual occurrences of that which is infinite in its ability to repeat itself as they say history does but repeating itself on a larger or smaller scale in reference to mans evolutionary advances if any, we will be able to overcome those repeated mistakes and by so doing change time in the present so actually we are in the past in a way now changing it to meet our needs in the future. Our bodies are like time machines for without them we could not proceed to fix things in the present. So we are time travelers in that sense. Everything you see in creation is in the process of change which in itself indicates a certain amount of time(that used by man) to determine its rate of change. For example a flower blooming takes so much time however the time it takes depends on what part of the flowers development you are measuring I think.Everything takes time. Time is the universal energy in which all things happen.Without that which we call TIME nothing would happen and even that indicates an action.We should call it somthing else as their are different levels and calibrations in regards to the infinite amount of space to do things in.Lets call it WOOO as possibly an alien would."

    I am having great difficulty understanding what he is trying to say.
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  3. Jul 11, 2011 #2


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    He's trying to say never discuss actual physics with a philosopher.

    I'm pretty sure he just started having various random words come to him and he decided to jot them down and sell them as a coherent thought.
  4. Jul 12, 2011 #3


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Jul 12, 2011 #4
    If I may

    Einstein took the speed of light as a reference point when producing his theory that led to the possibility of time-travel, however I would like to introduce another constant, the beating of a mammals heart, each heart on average only has so many beats, the smaller the mammal, the quicker its heart beats, the shorter it lives.

    No matter how quickly one travels through space, ones heart would beat at the same rate as someone who is stationary or travelling at a slower pace.
  6. Jul 12, 2011 #5
    A great mind once said ... Philosophically, time is that which allows one to imagine that nothing exists, including time. Scientifically, time is that which allows you to imagine, and can be verified by experiment.

    GrayGhost :)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  7. Jul 12, 2011 #6


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    There are ten typos in this quote. Four of them are sentences beginning with no space after the period of the preceeding sentence. Can you find the other six? Whenever I read something from someone claiming to be an authority or trying to teach something and they don't take their work seriously enough to eliminate obvious typos, it makes me wonder how many other typos there are that aren't obvious. I don't think he ever read what he wrote, so why should anyone else?
  8. Jul 12, 2011 #7


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    Re your quote IMO your philosopher might have done well to take to heart the words of another philosopher "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Of course the fact that one cannot speak of something doesn't mean that another, who has for example some real knowledge or thoughts, can't.
  9. Jul 12, 2011 #8

    I think he's trying to say that the purpose of philosophy is sit around and think of profound things to say.

    "love and emotion is the fifth dimension."

    That's a pretty profound statement if I do say so myself. I thought of another!

    "The purpose of life is to be without purpose."

    Then once I have enough of these profound statements I will string them together and make an argument.
  10. Jul 12, 2011 #9
    Try drinking some bong water, and then you'll understand.
  11. Jul 12, 2011 #10
    how much?
  12. Jul 12, 2011 #11


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    Quote Einstein's operational definition at him:
    Time is what we measure with clocks.
  13. Jul 12, 2011 #12
    That is almost exactly what I said to him.

    here was my exact quote.

  14. Jul 12, 2011 #13
    Looks like confusing a conscious mind, with time.

    A rock still "experiences" time the same as biological things.

    I have not even the slightest clue what his/her last point was, seems like recanting.

    From the perspective I think he/she is coming from, a ferrari would be a time machine compared to my Grand am.
  15. Jul 12, 2011 #14
    lol, the explination gives the comment great validity, & humor!

    But, what about If Im jogging and my heart speeds up, am I just using up my time that much faster? lol Must be
  16. Jul 12, 2011 #15
    I certainly do not wish to be responsible for stopping people exercising...

    And so without using up too many heart beats on the problem, I am sure if you exercise one or two hours a day, your heart will have to work less in your 'resting state' plus 'exercise state', than it would if you were unfit and lounging about all the time, due to numerous issues such as high colesterol and clogged arteries.
  17. Jul 12, 2011 #16
    I completely disagree with this statement. If I was travelling in space, at any speed, my heart would be racing.
  18. Jul 12, 2011 #17
    I completely disagree with this statement. If I was travelling in space, at any speed, my heart would be racing.


    Maybe if you travel near to the speed of light and make your heart beat as slowly as possible, you might just travel back in time... haa haa
  19. Jul 13, 2011 #18


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    One doesn't even need to be that regular. You can still give a "good" definition of time in terms of "bad" clocks. As long as each "tick" causally precedes the next tick. We then compare clocks and each one defines a different unit of time.

    This is allowed and accounted for in GR as we allow arbitrary (sometimes limited to monotone) reparametrization t' = f(t), or f(t,x,y,z).

    One can start with ordinal time as a relationship between events without any metric information such as units. Event A precedes event B in "time" = Event A has some causal effect on B. (Note that this is a partial order on events, i.e. it is transitive but not every pair of events are causally related.)

    But ultimately, (based on what you posted from your "Philosopher") I think you're going to find any definition lost on him.
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