# Is Time real?

I'm concerned about the nature of time. We treat it as a separate dimension, yet it does not behave like the other 3. We don't go back and forth along it, yet we treat it as if we were moving forward. There is no real "forward" motion. My hair does not blow downwind in the time tunnel. Motion is the change of position relative to a non-moving object. But everyone is "moving" at the same speed, so we aren't really moving, are we?? We talk about the past, but we really mean past states. There is no "place" called the past. We think we can measure time, but we really only measure rhythm and consistent repeatable processes. The future is really just the outcome of a series of possibly predictable processes. So what the heck is time?

I'm not smart enough to ponder this question, but I do anyway. It's frustrating. I've learned that time behaves differently near the speed of light. Since the speed of light is constant, then mass and time have to adapt to that reality. At the speed of light, time stops, Mass is infinite. And what is mass? It is what resists force in a change of direction. Would infinite mass move if it met infinite force? Force is some sort of energy, but energy is a form of mass, but what does that mean? Energy has mass and weight. What's the difference between kinetic and potential though? Is mass just potential energy? So a large mass in motion is really partly energy? Or is mass just a measure of energy's weight and resistance to change? If so, then everything is just energy. Mass is compressed energy that is not in motion? Does mass convert to energy at the speed of light?

And why can't things go negative past the speed of light? Would that explain some things? For instance, quantum tunneling or entanglement. If a particle exceeded the the speed of light, it would really just be at a previous location, since time would have folded back, and it would have the foreknowledge of space before it. If time is not real, then aren't we really saying the process reversed? The particle gained energy as it "moves" back in time, perhaps?

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Comment by Alendar on October 18, 2009 at 8:01pm
We all die, and we generally fear death. But if the body didn't decay, then there would be no mortality, or at least not of the aging variety. Imagine if nothing decayed. Would we measure time? The earth would still go round the sun, but its orbit would not decay. We would count the seasons for a billion years and then lose interest. Mortality makes us watch decay in a paranoid fashion, I think. Without death, I'm not sure the concept of time would have near as much meaning or importance.

With disrespect to mortality..time is very annoying. We say time is passing, but I sense no movement. On a train, I can sense that I am passing relatively motionless things. Motion in 3 dimensions is measurable in relationships to other objects. But what is time? When I move, is it valid to say: "I was once there." Was I? Was and Will Be are fantastical illusions. Experience inflicts markings in neurons, triggers responses that continue past the original event (past!). Or better to say that neurons react and continue to react in a way we call memory. I observe my memory internally, or I observe another recording externally in some silver oxide that reacted and continues to decay. I am not witnessing the past, I am witnessing the decay of some other process, or the manipulation and obscuration of light. Motion is more real to me than time, for I can never witness the past. I can witness things that were created in the image of the past event by some device, or my own neurons replaying a recording of some event. There is no link between the past and my experiences now, though. Without memory, the past does not exist. I make predictions based on pattern recognition which is really just memory playbacks interacting amongst themselves. The better scenario becomes more attractive and new memories are created. But creation and destruction are arguable and often are argued. Death (mortality) is more seen as state change. The laws of conservation make it even harder to determine beginnings and endings since nothing really begins or ends. If energy converts to mass or vice versa, but nothing is lost, then what is being measured? What is change if there is no loss of one thing or another. Even heat may not really be lost. Quantum computing may imply that cause and effect are losing their order. I saw this :computer solves problem without running, which challenges my traditional thinking. The device is not scalable, but to scoff because of that would be like scoffing at the first transistor discovered in the 40s.

Forgive my blather, I'm really just exploring some ideas.
Comment by ZenDog on October 18, 2009 at 6:26am