On Change and Time

In order for for me to develop a proper cosmology that you or anyone can understand, it is very important that I define my terms. Over the years, and after uncountable conversations with all kinds of people, I have come to the conclusion that most of the problems in the world are caused by language. The problem is with the language. Words are ambiguous and imperfect and are more often than not the cause of unnecessary confusion and grief.

So I am going to start by defining my terms and I am going to start from the beginning with the most important yet misunderstood concept of all, the concept of time. I define time and an emergent property of change. Time cannot exist if change did not exist. For a thorough treatment of my concept of time, you can watch this video. {Please forgive the “robot” voice. I made this video a long time ago when I was afraid to use my actual voice.}

Long story short, time is a SENSATION of change. Yes, I am relegating concept of “time” to a SENSATION and not a physical (quantifiable) thing in of itself. As heat and cold are sensations of (quantifiable) temperature, time is a sensation of (quantifiable) change. As you saw in the above video, change can come in many forms and all of which result in the sensation of time. Time is illusive. Change is not. There is an old saying, “change is the only constant in nature”, and I agree. Without change, the sensation of time could not exist. Without change, the UNIVERSE could not come into being, evolve and persist in the form it does today. So it makes sense to define all of the important terms in science in terms of the concept of CHANGE. And that is exactly what I plan on doing in the “new language” that I am developing for my fractal cosmology.

If time is merely merely a sensation, then how can we define “time” in science? How can we do experiments without quantifiable time? Sensations can’t be quantified.

Well, that is where computer science comes in. I am a computer scientist and as such, I like to visualize of the Universe as a kind-of computer. The most important part of the computer is the central processing unit or CPU and the most important part of the CPU is the clock. The clock is that which drives the computing and the speed of the clock determines how fast the computer runs. One clock cycle can process one unit of information. In reality, science needs clocks, not time. Clocks can be quantified. Time as a sensation of change cannot. So my starting point for my cosmology is going to be “the clock”.

On the Atomic Clock

In the scientific community, the standard unit of “time” is the second, where the second is an arbitrary unit of “time” chosen for convenience at the human scale. The second is very close to the time between consecutive heart beats for example. I can count seconds very accurately without even having a clock (one steamboat, two steamboat). I have become quite good at this. In the scientific community, the second is calibrated using the cesium atom. The radiation produced by the transition between two ground states of the cesium atom produces am extremely fast and very accurate clock. When the cesium atom oscillates 9,192,631,770 times, we call this 1 second. In other words, the unit of time in the scientific community is based clocks. Without clocks, “time” could not be quantified. The cesium atom is a VERY fast clock. The clock speed of the average computer in this day and age is around 3,200,000,000 cycles per second, also a very fast clock. Without a thermometer, heat and cold (temperature) could not be quantified. In a similar manner, without clocks, time could not be quantified.

On Relativity

In relativity, there is a term called “time dilation”. This term is very illusive leading to many misunderstandings and misinterpretations. What is time dilation? The pupils of our eyes dilate when we enter a dark room. Dilation means “getting bigger”. Our pupils expand. So how does time “get bigger”? How does time EXPAND? When you think of time in terms of clocks, then we can begin to make sense of the language of relativity. Time dilation is an obscure way of saying that clocks are slowing down. When clocks slow down, the “time” between clock ticks gets longer. Clock retardation is the technical term for clocks slowing down. Clocks, like the cesium atom, slow down when you accelerate them in particle accelerators. The faster the velocity, the more the atomic clock slows down. Clocks slow down when you put them into a gravitational field. The stronger the field, the slower the clocks. Simple as that. Clock retardation is a better term than “time dilation” in terms of clarity and understanding. Because of its ambiguity, the term “time dilation” should NEVER BE USED in a scientific context. If science is to be UNDERSTOOD, all the terms in science need to be defined in a clear and non-ambiguous manner. The problem is with the language.

On Fractals

How does the concept of “time” fit into the fractal paradigm?

I have thought long and hard about this question and spent many years studying and reading books like “Time Reborn” by Lee Smolin before coming to my conclusions about time. Smolin’s book actually helped me come to the realization time is a sensation of change, even though he didn’t specifically say that himself. Technically, I can replace the word time with the word change, without changing the meaning. Some people say, it feels like a long time since I saw you last, and some people say, a lot has changed since I last saw you. Or one might say, it seems like no time has passed since I saw you last, or they might say, not much has changed since I saw you last. If you ask me what time is it, I will point to the ever changing clock on the wall (assuming it is working of course). The concepts of time and change cannot be decoupled.

On Change

So what is the root cause of change? In the fractal cosmology that I am proposing, ITERATION is the agent of change. Iteration GENERATES change and change is built into the system. In a fractal universe, the iteration process is responsible for the generation of continuous change. Each iteration generates something new. That is what iteration does. It generates novelty. Each iteration generates something new and the output of each iteration is always a surprise. Surprises makes life interesting. The emergence of novelty in the universe makes the future unpredictable. This is a good thing. Continuous novelty is guaranteed in a fractal universe. Continuous novelty (change) is what we call evolution. Continuous change (in our bodies) is what we call aging. Without continuous novel change, the sensation that we experience as time, could not exist. Without the the concept of fractal, continuous novel change (time) could not exist.

So that is my concept of time in a nutshell. This is an important concept as it forms the foundation for the fractal cosmology I am proposing. As a computer scientist, I tend see the universe as a kind-of computer, running a kind-of program, GENERATING a beautiful Fractal Buddhaverse, as we speak. In a Fractal Buddhaverse, we are separate AND we are connected. We are big AND we are small. We are one AND we are many.

Embrace the Fractal Paradigm


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