the experimental evidence for 'now'

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xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:06 am
@pagan,
pagan;157909 wrote:
hi xris

yes i can appreciate that too. The curious thing is that beliefs in the now, and beliefs that the now does not exist, both yield useful but contradictory understanding of reality.
Strange.. for me that any one could consider, now, as actually existing, is weird even unbelievable. I would love to be able to even start to conceive of its possibility.
 
pagan
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:12 am
@xris,
Smile well yeh but you know lol

everybody believes in the now man. like now innit? like the past has gone man. Only keep memories that are useful Smile
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157913 wrote:
The really curious thing is that it is thought that the phrases, "belief in the now" and, "belief that the now does not exist" are thought to make sense. Sounds like Obama, "the fierce urgency of now". But we sort of know what he meant. Something like, "pull up your socks, and get going, for heaven's sake!". Only, of course, not so poetic.
The NOW in that context is a term used to define a specific period of time. In our times, here and now are concepts not definitions of our experiences of a now. That now, is a view of now, from a distant perspective, like a snap shot.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:22 am
@xris,
xris;157918 wrote:
The NOW in that context is a term used to define a specific period of time. In our times, here and now are concepts not definitions of our experiences of a now. That now, is a view of now, from a distant perspective, like a snap shot.


Bewildering. "Now" is an indexical term. Like, "tomorrow'. It always has the same meaning, but it referent shifts when it is used. Although, of course, it depend on the context how long the referent is. "Now" in some contexts may refer to 1,000 years. In others, to a split second. But it always, as I said, means the same thing. Of course, when "language goes on holiday" who knows what someone who is speaking "philosophese" means by it (or any other term)?
 
William
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:35 am
@pagan,
Let me offer this here now, ha, only to say the now is so fleeting it doesn't exist. To understand that perhaps one might grasp it and just "go with it's flow". When we regard the past it retards that flow. When we regard the future we create obstacles that do the same. If all were aboard that global ship we would never run into each other and all would enjoy the ride.

William
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:40 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157923 wrote:
Bewildering. "Now" is an indexical term. Like, "tomorrow'. It always has the same meaning, but it referent shifts when it is used. Although, of course, it depend on the context how long the referent is. "Now" in some contexts may refer to 1,000 years. In others, to a split second. But it always, as I said, means the same thing. Of course, when "language goes on holiday" who knows what someone who is speaking "philosophese" means by it (or any other term)?
So a, now, is always defined by the literal sense described by the observer? I could tell you tomorrow never comes and a moment away, is as far as eternity or when your dinners ready. You tell me when you can point to that, now, and say that was it. Your now is a described period of time perceived from now but not experiencing the now. We never have now we only have memories of now or expectations of a now. language can not describe now.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:43 am
@William,
William;157928 wrote:
Let me offer this here now, ha, only to say the now is so fleeting it doesn't exist.

William


"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated..." Abraham Lincoln. "Now" there refers to about two years, and that is not "fleeting". Now is "fleeting" and "does not exist" only when language is on holiday.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 11:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157931 wrote:
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated..." Abraham Lincoln. "Now" there refers to about two years, and that is not "fleeting". Now is "fleeting" and "does not exist" only when language is on holiday.
Now is the winter of our discontent, but now wont last forever. But how long does, now, last for? Measure your, now, and tell me its length? My now has no length only a concept, in real terms it does not exist.
 
lazymon
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 02:59 am
@xris,
This topic doesn't make sense to me because 'now' or time is just a measurement. It is like asking does an inch or a meter exist?

A now doesn't need to exist. It is just a tool for man to determine a period of time.

If you really want to prove that now really happened you can observe it with your naked eyes and ask your partner "did that just happen?". "dude, I saw it too".

Of course now exists.Laughing
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 03:37 am
@pagan,
pagan;102786 wrote:
....... there isn't any is there? Nor could there ever concievably be could there?

Suppose the present or 'now' were a delusion of consciousness. I can't see how science could ever prove this either way.

If 'now' is an experiential delusion (like say the universality of the rate of flow of time, which lets face it is very close to the concept of 'now'), then how could we concievably prove it? Any experiment would have to present data to us that showed the 'now' is delusional .... but would fail at the very moment of presentation! Space-time relativity can present data that enables us to believe that the rate of flow of 'now' is not universal. But what data could concievably show us that the 'now' does not exist at all?

On the other hand we could say that the relativity of the rate of flow of different 'now's as shown by einstein is proof of the existence of the 'now'. But that fails because if 'now' is a delusion then relativity simply correlates the delusion across different frames of reference. ie relativity works just as well without the concept of 'now' but as a mapping across different space-time frames within the universe. The subjective experience is absent from the equations. After all it notably puts forward for some major physicists the concept of the (space-time) block universe. It is odd that the 'now' is neither necessary nor a contradiction in relativity theory. The closest it gets in coming down one way or the other is with regard to the concept of simultaneity in that in relativity such a thing is generally impossible across different frames of reference. Since the 'now' is concieved of as a kind of frontier of simultaneous time then there appears a contradiction in the concept. But that is not a rejection of the concept of a frontier of time, its a rejection that such events would appear simultaneous generally. Its a rejection of a simplistic notion of the 'now' just as it rejects the simplistic notion of the rate of flow of time.

What about QM? Well one of the requirements of science is that its laws are universal in time. Prof Susskind for example clearly states that the QM equations are reversable in time (and incidentally that no information is lost). This is necessary for it to be scientific. In other words the collapse of the wave equation is not a 'now' dependent phenomenon. It happens and is not proposed to have been caused by the 'now'. It may happen in 'now' but it also may happen without 'now'. There is no link here to the proof of the existence or non existence of the 'now'. The equations work whether in delusion ....... or in touch with reality. Either way.

Even with the copenhagen interpretation where the act of measurement is posited as the cause of the collapse of the wave function, the 'now' is not necessary. One could concievably see in experimental history that a measurement caused a wave function collapse .... but that document would only confirm that the 'now' is not necessary!

And isn't this at the crux of the matter? Science is built upon the history (however short) of experimental data. Thus the 'now' is neither necessary, nor a pariah. It is scientifically irrelevant.

....... and yet we all believe in it. It is commonly the most potent aspect of our lives.



What you say here is wrong. The notion of "now" is dependent on the reference frame of different observers. This is just the consequence of special relativity. If not convince, i can mathematically show you why you are wrong.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 11:40 am
@lazymon,
lazymon;158312 wrote:
This topic doesn't make sense to me because 'now' or time is just a measurement. It is like asking does an inch or a meter exist?

A now doesn't need to exist. It is just a tool for man to determine a period of time.

If you really want to prove that now really happened you can observe it with your naked eyes and ask your partner "did that just happen?". "dude, I saw it too".

Of course now exists.Laughing
So how long is it?
 
I am question
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 09:32 pm
@xris,
Time is completely separate from distance. If your saying an inch or a meter does not exist then mathematics does not exist. You can do a lot with a ruler, you can do little with a clock. Take one apple and put another apple next to it. If you add them together you get two apples. If we argue that mathematics and distance is just numbers we created, then language does not exist. Lets be skeptical right? Solipsism never hurt nobody it just made everybody insane, I told pagan before we all live in the matrix. This is not my point of view, im just trying to make a point. But pagan your right in saying the past and future is an illusion. They say there is no objective ontological difference among the past, the present, and the future just as there is no ontological difference between here and there. But of course these differences are subjective, once again its more or less a point of view. Have you ever heard of presentism? If not read on it a little bit, it will help you draw a conclusion hopefully.
 
lazymon
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 12:48 am
@pagan,
Like others have said your getting into a semantics debate. Time is just a word we use to describe a tool that helps us understand and measure the behavior of atoms and other things. Recently I have been using time to measure how long it takes for my wife to come home, unwind, get undressed, and cozy up. In a way I can measure the length just as you can place two apples together and count them. We can argue the semantics all day but I think until you can find a better tool, a better word, or a better way to describe how long it takes for your wife to get pregnant and deliver a baby, then the argument isn't going to help anything.

Time is relative just like you don't use a hammer to screw two pieces of metal together. We use a hammer to nail two boards together. Now we have power tools that replaces the hammer. Now we just change the word to "nail gun". The nail gun is the more efficient tool to use for the job. Just as a second is the most efficient tool to use in measuring how many kilowatts of electric energy my house is pulling from the grid. The hammer is relative to the job being done. The time is relative to job needing measured. We never needed Einstein to figure that out, it's common sense!

What the question really is, is this: Can we fathom eternity, can we fathom finiteness or "nothingness"? If we can fully fathom these things then time would be completely irrelevant. Time would still exist, the word, the meaning(semantics), and the usage of the word would still be relevant; but we would need a new tool, a new word, and a new reason for understanding and measuring infinity. Until then, a wise person should keep measuring their time.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:39 am
@lazymon,
But how far is infinity away from you or me. Is It no more than a second away? If you cant measure it , infinity, then it has no value. Infinity does not exist ,it an enigma, an invention of man.
 
lazymon
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 12:43 pm
@pagan,
We can't measure infinity because man is finite. Time to us starts when we are born and ends when we die. So time makes more sense if we look at it as a uni directional dimension. We are traveling in the time dimension in a straight line, we can look back but we can't go back. We can't stop time, we have to travel the straight path at a constant rate.

To say that time doesn't exist is to say that the word time has no meaning. It is very useful and invented by man for a purpose. For example we can't study electrons without time, does that mean electrons don't exist? To say time doesn't exist would also mean that electrons and protons as we know them don't exist.
 
I am question
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 07:58 pm
@lazymon,
externally, it is not there, nowhere, subjectively yes. To argue it semantically or to argue anything semantically is to help define its purpose. Im not going to argue it with examples of other things like photons and electrons, they cause things to happen. Time physically does not. How else can we argue the subject of time, when we can barley define it. We cant even define duration without using time. Think, there is no clock, there is no clock, there is no clock, man I'm still alive and everything is still in motion. Think, there is no rain, there is no rain, there is no rain, man the grass is dying. I need a valid argument to prove me wrong, not a hypothesis, until then my view will not change. Thank you again all of you for giving me a challenge, you guys are very very smart. No sarcasm intended.
 
 

 
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