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The present

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1
    when did it become the past? when does it become the future? finally, how long does it last?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2008 #2


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    The present became the past now. It doesn't become the future. How long it lasts depends on context (cf. "when I say now, now is not now anymore", "presently, it's my birthday" and "present day politics")
  4. Jun 12, 2008 #3
    Well, of course, there is the past which we are aware of, but our opinions and memories of the past change over time, they are modified through new information or just fade as our brains age. The future, undoubtedly, is a question mark - all we have is our best guess.

    So I would conclude from such evidence that all we truly and absolutely have is the "now" - however if that too is often later refuted, how reliable can it be? As the old saying goes "if only I'd known then what I know now". The "then" is the problem. The erronous component. But of course this "now" I'm literally experiencing will soon be a "then" and no doubt I'll find some way to lament what I, in the most direct sense possible at this time, have written, regardless of how certain I feel of it.
  5. Jun 16, 2008 #4
    The "Present" is quite simply an instantaneous quantity. It ends the instant that it begins.
  6. Jun 17, 2008 #5
    is there any way to measure how long that moment lasts?
  7. Jun 17, 2008 #6


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    Physical question: What moment?
    Philosophical question: Define "moment" (isn't that by definition something without length / duration?)!
  8. Jun 17, 2008 #7
    The Einsteinian view is that there is no such thing as the present - all moments in time simply exist. I think our perception of a "present" may be to do with our own consciousness and how we percieve reality.
  9. Jun 17, 2008 #8
    The "present" is not the name of anything, don't reify it.
  10. Jun 17, 2008 #9
    The present is what I get at christmas
  11. Jun 17, 2008 #10
    .. and to expand on what Maverick said....
    it becomes that past when you have moved on to another present to open, leaving the initial present under the tree. {or whatever}
    if its a toy/gift that you will one day give to a little brother {like a bike} its the future for him..
    depending on the size of the gift.. but my boy usually unwraps his stuff in seconds.. :rofl:
  12. Jun 17, 2008 #11
    by moment is meant the point in time that is now.
  13. Jun 17, 2008 #12
    like a future present? :wink:
  14. Jun 18, 2008 #13
    exactly... like buying something and wrapping it, but if you haven't presented it to the person yet, its a "future gift" ... lol

    ok, way off topic.
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