Tuesday, October 12

Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice.
But for those who love — time is eternity.

~ Henry Van Dyke ~


Raelha said...

How very true. We like to measure time with watches and clocks, but really it's much more malleable. Like the endless summers you spent as a child, school a long-forgotten memory, golden days stretching ahead to the horizon.

Metamatician said...

Precisely. It's relative, in a perceived way and as Einstein showed, in a very real, objective way as well. Time is as alterable as space since they are part of the same cloth, and it's not some illusion that makes the math work, it's real. Atomic clocks on board the space station really do get out of sync (very slightly, but consistently and predictably) with those on the ground. The sun create a big 'depression' in the three dimensional space around it, which is why the planets orbit it - like a leaf caught in a stream vortex, swirling round. There's no magical force called gravity that acts at a distance in some mystical way to cause things to attract one another. It's geometric distortion of space - the planets are just following what to them is a straight path, but it's a path that makes a circuit around the sun because of the topology of spacetime in that area. Gravity is just something we made up to make the concept easier to visualize and calculate, but it's not the true picture, really.

And actually, at the subatomic level, special and general relativity aren't "true" either - they're incomplete and inconsistent with a seething randomness that pervades all things at the smallest scales of size and duration. But that's very hard to explain, because it's completely counterintuitive to what our experiences here in the macro-world have put into our heads.

I'll try to explain quantum theory to you at some point if you're interested, but be prepared - you won't like it and you may even consider it nonsense. Most people do before they finally do enough experiments (or read about them) to realize that it IS true; it's our minds (which developed to find fruit and shit, not think about quarks) which can't comprehend it conceptually.

Raelha said...

OK, I think I followed that first bit. You can try on the Quantum Theory, I'd be willing to listen. Whether I can understand it is another matter, though if anyone's going to be able to explain it to me in a way I can understand, it's you.

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