Thinking ahead

We naturally tend to think ahead, so is our psychology mapped to the future? How would you respond to the following question:

When do you feel happier – 3 pm on a Friday, or 9 pm on a Sunday?

Many would say the former, as the weekend is approaching when we’re not shackled up with employment. The irony is that at 3 pm on a Friday afternoon we’re still at work when we’d rather be at home…like at 9 pm on a Sunday evening.

(This is of course forgetting that time is greater than money!)

Maybe our minds live further along the time axis than the rest of us!

Paul

Time is money? No…it's greater!

“Pay me peanuts and I’ll work like a monkey.”

I recently started a new job; they pay me peanuts, but it’s worth it. Why? Because it’s research in a fascinating subject and not an unchallenging position where I’m reduced to clock watching. (Please note I’d like to think that I’m capable enough to perform this work with a greater statistical likelihood than an infinite number of monkeys producing the works of Shakespeare 😉

My previous job was a bore. I’d sit in the office staring at my watch just waiting for the tedious hours to pass. Waiting to spend my time in the way I want it, where I wanted it.

Was spending 8 hours a day like this worth the money?

At the time I thought it was, but from my new present position I must say that I have really learnt that time spent wisely is worth so much more then money. Money can be hard to come by, but it’s even harder (for now) to get more time.

For now, I love what I do…but I still wish someone would hurry up and invent that time machine!

Paul

Time in an Instant

There is nothing instant about “instant”.

Not in coffee, not in two shakes of a lambs tail (or a coffee spoon) and not in love at first sight.

I’ve harped on before about the importance of the speed of light, and how nothing can go faster than it.

In the latter article I gave the example of the Earth rotating around a non existent sun after for some reason the sun ceased to be; the transmission of information that the sun ceased to be (one parameter being the existence of gravity) would take some 8 minutes to reach the Earth. The Earth would therefore remain in orbit around a non existent sun for those transitional 8 minutes.

Archimedes had his brainwave whilst he was taking a bath. I had mine during a shower, watching the waste water spiral down through the plug hole. In true Archimedian style I thought to myself “Screw it.”

Why? Surely there must be something out there that can exceed the speed of light.

And I might have found it.

Let’s return to our orbiting Earth (or at least, remain firmly affixed to it’s surface, thanks to our gravitational friend).

As far as we are concerned, sitting (or showering) on the Earth, everything is hunky dory until the Sun disappears, the light goes out and we are flung into space obeying Newton’s second law of motion (i.e. that we travel in a straight line at constant speed unless an external force [in this case, the Sun’s gravity] is applied.

We know that the sun must have vanished 8 minutes ago, so let’s call that moment t = 0 and the present t = 8.

So from the perspective of the Earth at t = 8 we know that the sun vanished at t = 0.

And on the sun, the sun vanished at t = 0. At the same time, i.e. at t = 0. The event of our hindsight knowledge and the event itself was simultaneous.

Is hindsight instantaneous?

I think the example shows that the progression of time across space is instantaneous, although I do concede that it’s a bit strange to give time a speed when it is itself a term in the equation! (speed = distance divided by time!

I’ll conclude with a quote from Bill Nye (more time and time travel quotes here):

“When we see the shadow on our images, are we seeing the time 11 minutes ago on Mars? Or are we seeing the time on Mars as observed from Earth now? It’s like time travel problems in science fiction. When is now; when was then?” – Bill Nye.

Paul

Time for a time change

The clocks go back an hour tonight. The addition or subtraction of an hour twice a year in an effort to optimise daylight hours has been going on for years, and yet still causes countless people to get confused, turning up too late or too early to various appointments.

It might seem like some sort of pseudo time travel when people turn up at different places at times they thought were different, but it’s just time (or it’s representation) moving onwards (or backwards as is the case now) and not taking us along with it on it’s hourly journey.

Spring forward, fall back.

Now it’s Autumn. We ‘gain’ an hour, but lose the sunlight. I for one am happy as I can stay in bed longer tomorrow morning. In theory anyway – I have two young children that haven’t mastered the concept and will still wake 3 hours before I’m ready to get up.

For the rest of you…enjoy the pseudo time travel! Your time is precious – use your hour wisely! 🙂