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Does the Past Exist and if not, what follows?
Published on July 23, 2015 By Phil Osborn In Everything Else

Has anyone seen a good explanation or even just a decent discussion about "time?"

I have read that the current popular scientific view of time is that the past has no more "existence" than the future.  Is time like the pages of a book, that we could potentially re-read, as in "time travel?"  Are there some huge number of quantized pasts?   Or is it something altogether different in kind? 

I've read or heard about as much on this foundational subject as I have on the explanation for why there is a radical difference in spinning vs non-spinning frames of reference.  I brought this up in undergrad physics and got a lot of uncomfortable looks from my profs, this being a subject that had no known answer, altho, decades later I read that Dirac postulated that the entire mass of the universe somehow was responsible for the inertial field that differentiated an object spinning vs. the universe spinning around some such object.  Motion and the physics thereof is supposed to be relative, providing no favorite frames of reference, right?

Let's try to come up with some truly off-the-wall explanations of time, before it's too late and the infoverse eats our brains.

E.gl, if every time I asked "am I conscious" I got the preprogrammed result of "yes," then would I ever conclude that it was a false answer?  Could our ideas of time have a similar character?  As Orwell exposed, there could well be a different position, encapsulated as a meme, to the effect that the past, since it doesn't actually exist, is or can be whatever we agree to, freely or coerced.  Allegedly, this was the position of the NAZIs, and they held that they could rewrite history and science, specifically for the purpose of creating a different reality, one in which they were triumphantly right. 

Of course, to the rest of us, that sounds like voluntary lunacy, but suppose that we are actually party to a simulation, and what we experience as reality is an elaborate MUDD.  After all, wouldn't a game that you really believed to be reality be much more involving than any mere gamespace?  So, we install the YES-meme, that reliably detects when we are losing that credulity and steers us or the game away from such an uncomfortable realization. 

I wasn't able to save my comments, so I'll stick them here:

AceMatrix  Nice intro into the basics, but didn't really answer the big questions.  Thanks.   I'm going to explore Dirac's work on time, since he was the only reference on the spinning frames of reference that I've come across so far.  My main problem will likely be the math.  I used to do differential equations in college, but now my limit is more like algebra 1.  Surprising how little need there is for higher math in most occupations.  1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. difs are still handy as thought objects.

Uvah  Thinking about your comment.  On the surface, like when you use the term "flow" it seems like you may be assuming your conclusion - using "time" in the description of time...  Grok?

ElanaAhova  Thanks for bringing that up.  If we are in a gamespace, then of course time travel is possible, as is rebooting or rewriting the past, or branching into variations of the gameverse.  We already do this with our primitive computers.   They won't be so primitive in a few decades, and then true gameverses will become possible, in which the participants really think that they are real-real.

on Jul 23, 2015

I was going to reply........but I ran out of time.

on Jul 24, 2015

Don't look now (at this time) Wiz, but it appears to me that you DID reply. Just in time too.              

on Jul 24, 2015

That's 30 seconds of my life I'll never get back (without a time machine).


on Jul 24, 2015

Here is an excellent National Geographic Video that will answer all your questions concerning the subject of "Time", as in, does it even exist ?


on Jul 24, 2015

Past, present, future are simultaneous in the multiverse...and not necessarily in that order.

on Jul 24, 2015

Thought about "Time" as a phenomenon very....too much........

And as you all know by now I went utterly insane 

on Jul 24, 2015

I for one don't want to spend my lasts remaining days being concerned whether I had misused the time that was available to me.  Time unlike money should never be wasted or misused.  

on Jul 24, 2015

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day....

Anything anybody needs to know about time.... it's in the clip.

on Jul 24, 2015

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day....

You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way...


The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older...

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death...


[always liked those two bits together]...

on Jul 24, 2015

Brilliant lyrics, brilliant group.


on Jul 25, 2015

Time is a man made concept like measurement. Always from point A to B and what happens in between. Think of three waves. One coming at you from the left (past), another from the right (future) and you as a standing wave in between them (present). Both travel equal distances at equal velocities only to collapse once they reach you. The past is the fixed one you, as the present, are in constant flux, forever changing. The future wave is determined by all the variables, changes made by you every moment and every moment changes what the future wave will be. The future is infinite in scope as to allow for all the infinite changes. Moment by moment. What you do now has a direct influence on what you'll do later on.

I read that somewhere. Lol

on Aug 04, 2015

Does anyone really know what time it is?      (Great song)  Seriously, some current theorists are actually seriously contemplating that our shared existence is in someone Else's 'main frame.' (ala Matrix).  If this is so, than time is a programmed variable, yes?

on Aug 05, 2015

Time was invented so that people knew how long it took to get from here to there

Yeah, and my grandfather used to go there and back to see how far it was