# Time in Equations

1. Philosophy Forum
2. » Metaphysics
3. » Time in Equations

Sun 2 Nov, 2008 01:00 pm
Many people believe that time is an illusion. I am unsure what my opinion is. I don't really understand what it means to have time in an equation. Why does it so happen that time can be put into equations with other quantities to help find other quantities?

Take for example, v=d/t
v= velocity , d= distance , t= time

How much of an illusion can we call time?

validity

Sun 2 Nov, 2008 02:13 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Time is used to standardise change in the system. In your example, if time was not standardised the velocity of the object would be continually changing, because the definition of velocity keeps changing. For the same reason distance is standardised, time is standardised so we can describe and predict the behviour of physical systems.

May I ask, if you are unsure if time is an illusion, why is it that you do not question whether distance is an illusion?

Holiday20310401

Sun 2 Nov, 2008 03:04 pm
@validity,
I guess distance seems identifiable, but now I realize its all about proportion. But if there is proportion does that imply the need for quanta or a lattice to any dimension?

jgweed

Sun 2 Nov, 2008 05:10 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Are you discussing scientific time, or lived time? And WHY do some people think whatever you mean by time is an illusion?

Holiday20310401

Sun 2 Nov, 2008 10:29 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:
Are you discussing scientific time, or lived time? And WHY do some people think whatever you mean by time is an illusion?

Scientific time, but I get it now. It's kinda silly I should have thought about it. In equations, it is metres/seconds, because those are the proportions that advocate rational ends. However, now I want to know if we work in proportions to give meaning to the equation then where can the proportions come from? Time must be pixelated at some level.

jgweed

Mon 3 Nov, 2008 07:00 am
@Holiday20310401,
"In equations, it is metres/seconds, because those are the proportions that advocate rational ends."

How can "proportions" by which I take it to mean your example, "advocate" anything, let alone "rational ends?" Rational ends, it seems to me, are those decided or chosen by the individual mind considering some human project. Equations simply allow us to manipulate relations, whether physical or logical.

Holiday20310401

Mon 3 Nov, 2008 05:28 pm
@jgweed,
Rational in the ability to "patternize" a logical system I guess?

xris

Tue 4 Nov, 2008 05:32 am
@Holiday20310401,
our experience of time is probably an illusion...we actuallyexperience this moment but the moment has gone and we constantly live in a moment that has gone and use these fleeting moments to arrange our movement through time....certain methods slow down our fleeting moments relative to our normal experiences of time...I feel like on a river that can only be slowed down by me looking at the horizon...Is memory of past time or imagining the future actually time? i dont think.. so thats the illusion..so time is one instant nothing more nothing less..Im only musing dont mind me..

invulnerable23

Sat 22 Nov, 2008 02:20 am
@Holiday20310401,
Ah, Time, a fun one...

Time is a means of organizing empirical knowledge of the Universe. It's easier to say, "Time's moving forward" than "all things are moving simultaneously in their set directions and velocities". Time is relative, set to a specific observable movement or change. The vibration of Quartz, the (relative) movement of the Sun, the phases of the Moon, etc. are all used as standards by which we measure other movement.

We say "The car is traveling 30 miles per hour," but what we mean is, "Compared to 1/24th the movement of the sun's cycle, we will be 30 miles from our current position, along a set course." Time is relative, just as movement and distance is relative. It is not special in that regard.

If by "Illusion", you mean "only in the mind", then I can wholly agree with you. There is not a thing called Time that exists apart from the mind, since it is unobservable in reality apart from the mind.

Holiday20310401

Tue 25 Nov, 2008 09:33 pm
@invulnerable23,
invulnerable23 wrote:
Ah, Time, a fun one...

Time is a means of organizing empirical knowledge of the Universe.

So when we mean organized does that imply the universe is contextually interconnected, every single piece of data in displayed as information via time?

Yet I'm getting the idea that time we cannot come to a consensus here on the actual existence of time here. Are we in agreement its all in the mind, and then what of the external universe? What of actuality?

If time was all in the mind then how is it possible for the universe to be deterministic.

paulhanke

Tue 25 Nov, 2008 11:06 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Yet I'm getting the idea that time we cannot come to a consensus here on the actual existence of time here. Are we in agreement its all in the mind, and then what of the external universe? What of actuality?

Quote:
For process theorists, becoming is no less important than being - but rather the reverse. How eventuations transpire is seen as no less significant than what sorts of things are involved. The phenomenology of change is stressed by processists precisely because the difference between a static museum and the real world of vibrant activity is emblematic of our understanding of reality. Process philosophers accordingly reject the stance of an exaggeratedly idealistic theory of temporality that takes time and its works to lie wholly in the eyes of the beholder. (Indeed, they take the very dynamism of changing beholdings to betoken an indispensible role for time that precludes its exile from the explanatory order.)
(Nicholas Rescher in "Process Metaphysics")

validity

Tue 25 Nov, 2008 11:37 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Yet I'm getting the idea that time we cannot come to a consensus here on the actual existence of time here. Are we in agreement its all in the mind, and then what of the external universe? What of actuality?

If time was all in the mind then how is it possible for the universe to be deterministic.

I think that it best to think of time as being defined as a measure of change. Before the mind existed the universe changed, with a mind to measure that change, time was "created".

physeter

Tue 28 Aug, 2012 06:44 pm
"Going back in time" requires rebuilding a universe to an exact replica of a desired state. Who has the energy, knowledge, or "time" to do that? Humans possess the (undeniably) god-like ability to imagine a system, and to assemble the materials necessary to realize a system. Get over the shame of "past" mistakes and if you think you know the "right path" then by all means follow it, but stop whining about failure to control every cosmic atom.

1. Philosophy Forum
2. » Metaphysics
3. » Time in Equations