Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Linear Time

Our common sense intuitions have long accustomed us to a linear (i.e. 1-dimensional) notion of time.

What is not however commonly appreciated is that accepted nature of time is itself but the direct reflection of the linear (1-dimensional) mode of understanding on which conventional scientific interpretation is based.

In yesterday's blog I defined the precise nature of 1-dimensional interpretation as that which is based on isolated polar frames of reference.

So once again with respect to the key polarity sets, conventional science is based on the notion that objective (external) reality can be viewed independent of its subjective (internal) means of interpretation. Essentially this thereby removes consideration of the dynamic relationship in the assumption of a direct fixed correspondence as between both polarities.

Likewise conventional science is based on the notion that the quantitative features of such reality can be viewed independent of corresponding qualitative considerations. So rather than a unique dynamic interaction as between both poles, once again qualitative notions are assumed to directly correspond with their quantitative counterparts.

Now of course in such science, ultimately the existence of an independent observer must be accepted.

So effectively this leads to an interpretation of the external observed world of space (with which objects are directly identified) in rigid terms as 3-dimensional.  The remaining dimension of time is is then isolated in 1-dimensional manner.

Thus right away the very mode of interpretation associated with conventional science leads to an asymmetrical treatment of space and time understood in a merely (1-dimensional) linear manner.

The rigid nature of objects in space corresponds to 3 (separate) linear dimensions of length, width and depth which can be directly quantified in tangible terms.
The nature of time then appears more intangible and mysterious directly relating to a qualitative identity. However indirectly it too can then become subject to precise quantitative measurement.

Though Einstein's Theory of Relativity leads to a much closer integration of space and time in a 4-dimensional spacetime, significantly the asymmetrical nature of space and time is still preserved (with 3 recognised space and 1 time dimension).
Indeed here time is considered as an imaginary space dimension. So the contrast of the "real" dimensions of space with the "imaginary" dimension of time once again highlights the somewhat mysterious nature of time

Likewise in String Theory though many more dimensions of space (with 11 now postulated in M-theory), in most approached just one dimension of time is still recognised.

Now time can equally be viewed in both a physical and psychological sense.

Thus from the conventional scientific perspective events move forward in time (and space).
Once again our common sense intuitions seem to be strongly identified with this solely positive movement of time.

One important example of this is in the manner in which we attempt to view the origin of the universe.
Present scientific wisdom tells us that our universe started with a Big Bang some 13.7 bl. years ago.

So this implies a strictly linear view of the nature of time (which is quite untenable). However, so strongly rooted is this conventional notion of time that few scientists seem to question the validity the Big Bang hypothesis. In other words if we truly accept relative notions of space and time with respect to the cosmos, then it makes no sense to apply a linear (absolute) notion of time to its origins and overall evolution.

We also tend to view the psychological movement of time in a similar manner.
Thus the life span of an human individual is commonly represented in a decidedly linear fashion.
So for one born today with an expected life-span of 80 years, time is set to move relentlessly forward in a linear manner (with each day bringing one inevitably closer to one's end).

This linear view of time however represents but one limited view of its nature.

Once again it is based on isolated frames of polar reference (which is not in keeping with the true interactive nature of experience). It is also of a merely conscious nature based on rational interpretation.

So we can already perhaps see a connection here with the nature of number.
The rational represent just one important component of the overall set of numbers.  And even with respect to the rational numbers we can have negative as well as positive members.

So the position with respect to the conventional understanding of time is akin to a number line in which solely rational members (that are positive) are recognised.

However as we shall see we have alternative notions of time corresponding to all numbers and number types.

So in the next blog entry we will look more closely at the important significance of the 2-dimensional (as opposed to the 1-dimensional) notion of time.

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