The Effect of Time

Our modern lives (in the West) are ontologically organized around time as a fundamental piece of whatever makes up existence and life.  "Time is money," "On time is late," "Be In The Present," "Live like this is the last day of your life," "Time changes everything." Are just a handful of the slogans we tell each other about time's primacy.

It is an illusion.

 what is time?

what is time?

Perhaps this an old (time again) forgotten hypothesis I'm proposing here.  Good old Plato or Zeno or Buddha and countless religious ideas and a few mathematicians and scientists touched on such a notion.   The hypothesis is simply that time and change are not primary.  They are partial phenomena.   That is, they are little things built up from a static, omnipresent everything.  

What we notice as time is simply a shift in perspective.  We connect differently to network of existence.   We are ourselves a network of connections and connected to the wider network.  Our perspectives (perceptions) are the effects of this network.   As we "age" - grow, consume, create, learn, procreate, etc - we are simply connecting differently.  the US that makes up the network we call OURSELVES is a different network.  Nothing in the structure of everything has changed.   

Why bother with this meta-physical hocus pocus?   On one hand, because that's what I'm doing.  There's no bigger cause.  It's just where I am in my perspective.   What are the connections I'm bringing to bear on this conception?  Beyond my own "point in life" I've researched and experienced a wide variety of scientific, mathematical, philosophical and artistic theories of time and they all dance around with more or less some shred of believability depending on the context.   The illusion of time in my own common sense is also very stubborn.   So this has all led me, whatever I am, to reconceive of time (and space) not as primal.  

The seeming single directional arrow of time (but only a Newtonian scales), spacetime curvature by mass/gravity, psychological relativity of time, the concept of "time" to an abstract Turing Machine, the notion of space as a network, all suggest that time itself is not. And if time is not then space is not.  And thus motion is not.

And by not, I don't mean these concepts and their "observed" existence is not.  Most certainly this concepts exist within what I call "localities of everything".   That is, in the sub network of existence where persons and animals and plants and von Neumann computers connect we have these phenomena/properties of existence that we label as time, space and motion.   As we look forever beyond/outside of/below/inside of the infinity of everything we find these notions breakdown rather quickly.

Consider virtual reality.   What is the notion of space and time in virtual reality?   What is the notion of circles and spheres and persons?   What are those "realities"?  

One cannot easily dismiss virtual reality as some toy, not quite real version of existence.   There is nothing logically nor experimentally that will allow one to simply throw away virtual reality as a genuine universe to observe.  Virtual reality is not a simulation of "our reality."  It is a unique, universal reality all unto itself.   Perhaps you can argue it is limited by the computational power of the computers/network it runs on.   But that argument doesn't hold up because we know that even objects as simple as a universal Turing Machine can compute anything that can be computed... Our own reality seems constrained by the total atomic matter available... but even that makes no sense as an invalidation of our reality as not being a reality.   Besides as soon as we think we've reached the end of slicing or expanding reality to its fundamentals we find other bosons, spins, fluids, ethers, dimensions, traces, branches we had yet to notice.

And so my hypothesis is only provable by what means?  a mathematical proof?  thousands of experiments?  

It is unprovable in the sense of absolute proof.   

The value here of stating such a claim isn't in its absolute proof.  It's value is in furthering connections.   Does it open me and others to more sub-networks of existence?  does it help previously disconnected theories?  Do we care about those connections? 

In a sense it doesn't matter.   In another sense, where I personally wish to have more coherence in my own experience of existence, it matters to me.   I wish not to give away everything to a relentless, unchanging clock forever ticking away.  It's too reductive of a concept and doesn't even hold up well within science and math.   Computational sciences operate slightly differently.  Instead of time like ticks of an atom or pendulum swings or moves of a clock hand around a circle, computational time is simply measured in "operations" or "elementary steps" in a computation.

I reinterpret that notion of "operations" to "connections".   When we compute (algorithms doing stuff... input, transform, output.... algorithms interacting) we connect.  We take one thing to another thing.   And time is measured not by some elementary particle of time, but simply as a "step" or a "configuration" or a "connection change." (I borrow heavily from ideas from Wolfram and others.)

It is hard to take these ideas seriously in experiments as our tools and perceptions are way too limited.  It is only possible via philosophical wandering and by computing.  Playing around with enough programmatic complexity to see if more and more of what we experience as the effects of time (and space and motion) show up.

That's probably not very convincing as theory of time's existence... but ask yourself how convinced your watch (iwatch), desktop, wall clock, the sun, NSIT, etc are all in agreement on time's nature or are simply connecting more and more of your experience to their semi-synchronous connection to each other.

The effect of time is simply our limited view of everything.