We spent a lot of time last week talking about time......How fast it moves, what makes it move, can it fly and how many songs are written about it.
Well, today I would like to take a little more time to finish up our fun little bit of "time traveling" by getting scientific.
I am privileged to live very close to Luke Air Force base so every morning I hear the playing of Reveille at exactly 7:00AM.
"Reveille" is a bugle call, trumpet call or pipes call most often associated with the military; it is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise.
The name comes from "réveillé" (or "réveil"), the French word for "wake up".
To me, this "wake up call" serves two purposes. First, it keeps me focused on the realization that we live in a world where our rights and freedom need to be protected. Not only our country's rights but our own personal rights. It is unfortunate but not everyone on this planet is "good" and you must remain guarded to that fact.
Second, it is another reminder of the ephemeral fiber of time. No matter how much I do, or how much I accomplish in a day, it seems like it is never enough once I hear Reveille blaring out of the speakers of the base.
In my article the other day I discussed the expert "time" rationale of Philip Yaffe.
He touched on some emotion and philosophical explanations for why time moves faster as you get older: watching your family grow up, religious beliefs about life and death and even the quantity of pleasure and fulfillment in your life.
Although Philip left me scratching my head for a concrete explanation on "Why Time Flies" he did touch on some interesting scientific aspects of time that I feel will get us closer to an answer.
First let's look as some truly specific scientific explanations of time and how if affects our lives.
Let's start our discussion with the truly basic facts from a comment in reply to an article I read on a scientific website..........
This gentleman writes:
"In my humble opinion, time go faster and faster the older we get. In my way to see things it’s really very obvious; First. take a given amount of time, let’s say one (1) year. Next, imagine how much one (1) year is in relation to a person at the age of five (5) years. So that year is in fact twenty percent (20%) of that persons life. Then calculate how much that one (1) year is to a person at the age of fifty(50) years. That will be just two percent (2%) of that persons life. So two percent (2%) will ALWAYS feel much shorter than twenty percent(20%). Kinda basic, if you ask me…"
I get what he is trying to say. This is kind of a "mental relativity". Everything occurs in a block of time. Writing this blog may take one hour. I am looking forward to a lunch engagement in three hours. My dentist appointment is in 3 weeks.
At the age of 5 or 10 or even 20 these "time blocks" are still relatively large (or significant) when divided into the amount of time one has been alive. But at 55 or 60 years old these become much smaller percentages of time and take on the appearance of shortness or advanced speed.
Does this make sense to you?
I think this gentleman is really on to something but I don't think he has discovered the complete explanation of why "Time Flies."
OK, let's jump to the other end of the scientific curve : the truly deductive and technological explanation of what time is to see if we can break down why it flys.
Try this definition on for size.....
"Space-time is curved in the presence of mass. So it is geometrically spherical near mass and close to flat in intergalactic space. Time travels at the speed of light. Conversely, a photon traveling at the speed of light (12 million miles a minute) does not move through time. As far as the photon is concerned, it has always been right now."
What in the hell does that mean?
Well, scientists debate this issue from many different directions and I have to believe that they know what they are talking about (since I am a Darwinian evolutionist and science believer as opposed to a theoretical, theological religionist).
Is it something as simple as The Theory of Relativity?
Although the concept of relativity was not introduced by Einstein, his major contribution was the recognition that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant and an absolute physical boundary for motion.
If time travels at the speed of light then time has actual physical boundaries.
This does not have a major impact on a person's day-to-day life (or does it?) since we (but what about our brain?) travel at speeds much slower than light speed.
For objects traveling near light speed, however, the theory of relativity states that objects will move slower and shorten in length from the point of view of an observer.
Is there a connection between the electro-chemical processes that occur in our brain at an earlier age (new and more in depth) and how we view time?
For instance, at an earlier age we process more information. Everything is new to us so we observe and process more information in total and since we have never used certain parts of our brain's physical make-up does time intrinsically appears to move slower?
When we are older, our processing systems are more experienced and work better( much further from the speed of light), we observe less, have more experiential knowledge stored already so there are less new experiences for the brain to have so intrinsically time appears to move quicker.
Whew, that's freaking deep.
But it's starting to make sense to me.
There appears to be an interactive process of both scientific (electro-chemical activity and speed of light relativity) and emotional (sentimental and philosophical impressions) aspects of time that may or may not physically change our perception of how fast time is moving especially at a later age.
Well, what do you think? Is all of this discussion about time just a waste of time?
This is all giving me a headache and I just checked the clock and another 2 hours have passed since I started this blog.
Where did the time go?
I really am hoping for your input on this subject.
Send me your comments or at the very least let me know if I am a total whack-job for trying to figure this question out.............