Notices
Results 1 to 33 of 33

Thread: Past, Present and Future?!

  1. #1 Past, Present and Future?! 
    Forum Senior Double Helix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    396
    Most of us believe we are living in the "present". And that there is a past, which we can never visit, and a future which has not yet occurred, and also cannot visit. Does this mean that such a future does not yet exist, just because we cannot "see" it?

    We can be certain of a past, by at least two separate means. Recorded history of the past on earth, with all the relics. And telescopes, the only thing close to a time machine. Both tell us there are real past "time frames". But there is nothing to tell us if there is a future time frame already existing, perhaps with others living in it, like we live in our "present".

    It's possible there is already an existing future which we cannot visit, or even comprehend. It seems that to disprove this concept, we would need a functional time machine which tells us that we cannot go forward because we live in the true present, and that the future does not yet exist, even for a time machine. But there are no real time machines. There is only our apparent reality of a "present" time frame, which we believe places us at the leading edge of "time" within the universe, or so it would seem. And a future which has yet to occur.

    How could we ever know for sure that this is true? And that there is only the present in which we exist, and a past which is out of our frame, and a future which supposedly has not yet occurred.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    I am not sure we can say we live in the present (models are one thing but to describe what we actually experience that sequence of words may not be enough)

    Actually words ,and our use of them can also be described as a model
    We have the words corresponding to objects and the syntax which we agree binds them together

    So long as the structure works we keep moving forward

    So ,as to whether or can say we "live in the present" I am not convinced how true that is.

    I suppose a possible way to show whether it is true could be to take that definition and apply it to another person or animal (or even a thing?)

    Certainly not to our own lived experience since I know how flawed my own judgement is.

    So ,with this other person as our Guinea pig we could present them with experiences and attempt to ascertain whether,for example they experience them in the same order as they were presented.

    Let's say we present lights that flash in a coloured sequence and we ask the subject to name the colour at each occasion.

    If he answers correctly he is living in the present according to our criteria.

    If he does not what I wonder does that show?

    His attention has gone elsewhere?He is living in a different "present"?

    Maybe that is gibberish but my main point is that I think that perhaps "the present" is an artefact of our mind rather than anything that can actually be pinned down


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    "... if there is a future time frame already existing..."

    If it is already existing, it is not a future by definition.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    "... if there is a future time frame already existing..."

    If it is already existing, it is not a future by definition.
    Don't know
    The common refrain seems to be that one frame's present is another frame's future or past

    Does that have any bearing?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Senior Double Helix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    396
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    The common refrain seems to be that one frame's present is another frame's future or past
    That is the rational refrain!


    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    "... if there is a future time frame already existing..."

    If it is already existing, it is not a future by definition.
    One's "inherent" time frame fixes the "points" of past, present, and future.

    Even if a "future time frame" is already existing, that time frame remains forever in the future, by definition, and inaccessible to those living in the past, or the present.

    It is not called the "future" for inexplicable reasons.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Each event in spacetime has its future, its past, and the rest. Its future consists of all events that the given event can in principle affect. Its past consists of all events that could in principle affect the given event. The rest is neither of the above.
    These relations are frame invariant.
    For example, if event A has event B in its past, then event B has event A in its future.
    Last edited by tsfgenady; December 29th, 2021 at 05:22 AM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,879
    Nothing ever happens the way you think so it's all in the mind.
    History is based on events which never happened.
    In our own lifetimes we only come across moments in time which then fade from the memory.

    "Events do not happen. We merely come across them." (Weyl)
    The Universe is nothing but particles and waves which are constantly rearranging within empty curved space.
    There is no past, present or future.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    The common refrain seems to be that one frame's present is another frame's future or past
    That is the rational refrain!


    .
    Not what I meant to imply
    It is an accurate model and "refrain" was a bad description
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Senior Double Helix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    396
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Nothing ever happens the way you think so it's all in the mind.
    Sounds rather philosophical, which is why this crazy concept was posted in this category.

    It is all neurological constructs.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    The Universe is nothing but particles and waves which are constantly rearranging within empty curved space.
    There is no past, present or future.
    Yes, there are past, present, and future. The process of rearrangement has direction. Heat flows from hot to cold. Heavy particles decay. Etc. This defines the direction from past to future.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    The Universe is nothing but particles and waves which are constantly rearranging within empty curved space.
    There is no past, present or future.
    Yes, there are past, present, and future. The process of rearrangement has direction. Heat flows from hot to cold. Heavy particles decay. Etc. This defines the direction from past to future.
    Are we into subjective time versus objective time?

    If so are the two concepts mutually exclusive or could there be there a meeting place or even an interface between the two?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Are we into subjective time versus objective time?

    If so are the two concepts mutually exclusive or could there be there a meeting place or even an interface between the two?
    It appears so.
    Objective time is open to investigation by physics. Subjective time is a result of biological and social evolution. I don't see a meeting place.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Are we into subjective time versus objective time?

    If so are the two concepts mutually exclusive or could there be there a meeting place or even an interface between the two?
    It appears so.
    Objective time is open to investigation by physics. Subjective time is a result of biological and social evolution. I don't see a meeting place.
    Ever or just at the stage we are at?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Sorry, I'm not sure I understand the last question.
    I just don't see it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    The concept of time in physics is already so removed from an intuitive /subjective image, that most folks don't grasp it at all. I can see the two getting further apart, but I don't see them becoming closer.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    The concept of time in physics is already so removed from an intuitive /subjective image, that most folks don't grasp it at all. I can see the two getting further apart, but I don't see them becoming closer.
    Well they are both objective features of our universe (or our understanding of it)

    Everything in the universe is connected to everything else (correct?) and so presumably these two concepts are related in some way (apart from the fact that they both describe time in different ways)

    Is it likely (or impossible) that ,at some stage in the future we will work out the link(or links)?

    I am not talking about folks who "don't get it " but folks who, scientists or laymen or whoever do "get it" by dint of hard work and eventual understanding
    Last edited by geordief; December 29th, 2021 at 04:05 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    An intuitive concept of time reflects our personal experiences of interacting with the universe. These experiences do not include interactions with a speed close to the speed of light, interactions with a superdense matter or black holes, or interactions on scales of elementary particles. A scientific concept of time includes all those. Thus I see the intuitive concept as a coarse approximation to an objective feature of our universe.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    An intuitive concept of time reflects our personal experiences of interacting with the universe. These experiences do not include interactions with a speed close to the speed of light, interactions with a superdense matter or black holes, or interactions on scales of elementary particles. A scientific concept of time includes all those. Thus I see the intuitive concept as a coarse approximation to an objective feature of our universe.
    I am trying to talk about a scientifically objective study of the phenomena of mental processes including that of the subjective understanding of time.

    An extremely tall order but perhaps a worthy ambition at some stage in the (distant?) future.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    One approach to such study would be a neuropsychology, disorders of the time concept in mind as result of trauma, disease, or age.
    Also, comparing differences of this concept in different cultures could be illuminating. For example, in the cultures we are most familiar with, a reference to past is commonly gestured to behind and future - to front. However, in some "exotic" cultures it is just opposite, future is behind and past is ahead.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    One approach to such study would be a neuropsychology, disorders of the time concept in mind as result of trauma, disease, or age.
    Also, comparing differences of this concept in different cultures could be illuminating. For example, in the cultures we are most familiar with, a reference to past is commonly gestured to behind and future - to front. However, in some "exotic" cultures it is just opposite, future is behind and past is ahead.
    Yes perhaps the study of subjective understandings of time might be a proxy for a more general understanding of the inner workings of the mind.

    It is baby steps now and quite possibly will always remain ...baby steps

    . They say that the mind is the universe looking at itself, well it is perhaps harder for that/those minds to look at or study themselves.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,879
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    Yes, there are past, present, and future.
    Do photons have a past, present and future?

    The process of rearrangement has direction. Heat flows from hot to cold. Heavy particles decay. Etc. This defines the direction from past to future.
    Only at the local level. What about the only closed system we know - the Universe.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Do photons have a past, present and future?

    Only at the local level. What about the only closed system we know - the Universe.
    Yes, photons are first created, and later absorbed. That is the past and the future.
    Universe evolves. Thus, it has a past and a future.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,879
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    Yes, photons are first created, and later absorbed. That is the past and the future.
    Universe evolves. Thus, it has a past and a future.
    If photons are subjected to time, how old are they?
    How old is the universe when not measured in our solar years?
    Can you prove that time exists?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    Can only prove a negative.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,879
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Senior Double Helix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    396
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Can you prove that time exists?
    Well this is a rather contentious thread.

    It would seem that there is a difference of opinions on the very nature of time.

    Not too surprising. It was the whole concept of the thread. How to define the nature of time in various reference frames.

    Does not appear we will reach consensus. It would be rather disappointing if we did!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,793
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Can you prove that time exists?
    Well this is a rather contentious thread.

    It would seem that there is a difference of opinions on the very nature of time.

    Not too surprising. It was the whole concept of the thread. How to define the nature of time in various reference frames.

    Does not appear we will reach consensus. It would be rather disappointing if we did!
    Agree.

    Was wondering how time works if we’re in or are a simulation. I would think that the future is attainable but totally unknown other than it will may no longer exist at some point. The universe would begin from nowhere I suspect or something like my tv when I turn it on/off.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    If photons are subjected to time, how old are they?
    How old is the universe when not measured in our solar years?
    Can you prove that time exists?
    - Different photons have different age. A photon that just left my screen and hit my eye was very short lived. Photons of the Cosmic Microwave Background are about 380 000 years younger than the Universe.
    - Using different measuring units only changes a numeric representation of the answer. The age of the Universe in solar years is about 13.73 x 10^9. The same age in Plank time units is about 8 x 10^51.
    - No, I cannot prove that time exists. So what? I also cannot prove the Riemann conjecture. It does not mean that it is wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Can only prove a negative.
    This is incorrect. I can prove, for example, that for each prime number there exists a greater prime number. This is positive.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,986
    I shouldn't have spoken whereof I have no expertise
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,879
    Quote Originally Posted by tsfgenady View Post
    - Different photons have different age. A photon that just left my screen and hit my eye was very short lived. Photons of the Cosmic Microwave Background are about 380 000 years younger than the Universe.
    How do you know that the photon from your screen was not long lived?
    Photons from CMB do appear there.

    https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/s...-the-big-bang/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Freshman tsfgenady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    How do you know that the photon from your screen was not long lived?
    A photon that was emitted by my screen has reached my eye after travelling about two feet. This takes about two nanoseconds.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,793
    When I look at a still photograph, film or video, were all of the photons involved in making the image(s) from the same time? For the actual photo image itself, is that a present moment?? From background to foreground, were all the photons involved from different times in the past? Am I looking at an image containing both past and present moments in time?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: June 7th, 2014, 11:22 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: December 12th, 2013, 08:53 AM
  3. is the future always better than the past
    By babinki in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 25th, 2012, 12:44 PM
  4. Future AI and present day biological systems.
    By lethierbelight in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: September 30th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •