Time, speed and the speed of time

By definition, speed is the rate of change of a variable in the unit of time. Even though this seems to work well mathematically, it might occasionally defy our intuition. Think of situations in which we perceive time as changing speed or getting distorted. The easiest example might be sleeping. Despite all the scientific advancements, we have very limited understanding of the state of sleeping. I know that when I wake up, I have almost no internal reference as to what time it is except for how rested and refreshed I feel. Near death experiences provide another class of examples. The last moment before an accident tends to get stretched beyond its linear length. Meditation is a fulfilling and rewarding practice that helps slow down the time whereas aimless browsing around the web reduces the depth of time and lets it slip away a lot easier. I let you think of your own examples to convince yourselves that dt/dt doesn’t have to be equal to one.

Eckhart Tolle explains in his book The New Earth that time in the conventional sense is an illusory concept. The adjective ‘illusory’ might be redundant here. Aren’t all concepts superglued onto reality anyways? He argues that there is no time. Your past is a story and your future is only a nonexistent promise. You could argue that a persons history is just his story which is subject all sorts of erorrrs. Did I exclude girls? Well, I don’t even know why there’s gender distinctions in languages in the first place. Why not randomly flatten gender in our languages? That’s one thing to like about Persian. It comes almost genderless right out of the box.

I know from my own life experiences that being aware of the passing of time is not going to change anything. Remember all the Summer seasons that passed by in no time. The only time that’s real is the present time. Wait, real??

I forget where I heard about this but apparently in Chinese languages, there’s only one tense. I like to think that it’s true because I’ve seen many times that new Chinese students use the present tense to talk about the past until the concept of time is pushed into their grammar.

Back to math, the most important property of derivation is the Leibniz property: D(fg)=D(f)g+fD(g). This work if we let D be identically zero. Intuitively, this is to say that nothing changes. Everything is what it is whenever you catch it. This is be at peace with what is. I could live with this even as a mathematician but what confuses me is the subtle difference between between being at peace and being passive. I don’t think I proved anything here. My only point was to raise some questions. I also wanted to suggest that we might need to upgrade time to a more intrinsic unit of measurement to fix these issue. Maybe something that would take into account parameters such as consciousness and energy.

To be continued.


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