Want to have your mind blown about the concept of time?

disappoint

Lifer
Dec 7, 2009
10,137
382
126
Well possibly. Depends if you already knew this concept or not. It blew mine because I hadn't heard of it before so it was new to me.

Watch this video about the B-Theory of time:
https://youtu.be/H1WfFkp4puw

The video is 33 minutes long and the beginning might be tedious for someone well versed in physics. If you are such a person you can skip ahead to 17:40 where he gets to the meat of the sandwich if you will, about the B-Theory of time.

It's a video where physicist Brian Greene talks about how time isn't quite what it appears to be to us.

He talks about how the past, present and future all exist. That is to say that the past is not gone, and the future isn't non-existant yet. (I know double negative, sorry). The past present and future may exist throughout all time.

According to the B-Theory of time all events exist and can be experienced by someone traveling through space at different rates of speed.

So the question then becomes is this "theory" much like String or M-Theory not really science or only hypothetical if it can't be tested?

But the relativity of time has been tested and empirical evidence exists that proves it so. Given that, does this B-Theory of time stand on more solid ground than M-Theory seemingly can ever hope to if M-Theory remains untestable?
 
Last edited:

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,943
541
126
Well possibly. Depends if you already knew this concept or not. It blew mine because I hadn't heard of it before so it was new to me.

Watch this video about the B-Theory of time:
https://youtu.be/H1WfFkp4puw

It's a video where physicist Brian Greene talks about how time isn't quite what it appears to be to us.

He talks about how the past, present and future all exist. That is to say that the past is not gone, and the future isn't non-existant yet. (I know double negative, sorry). The past present and future may exist throughout all time.

According to the B-Theory of time all events exist and can be experienced by someone traveling through space at different rates of speed.

So the question then becomes is this "theory" much like String or M-Theory not really science or only hypothetical if it can't be tested?

But the relativity of time has been tested and empirical evidence exists that proves it so. Given that, does this B-Theory of time stand on more solid ground than M-Theory seemingly can ever hope to if M-Theory remains untestable?

I didn't watch your video, but the way I've tried to explain it is that the past and future exist simultaneously the same way that Los Angeles and Miami exist simultaneously.

Relativity taught us that there isn't space and there isn't time; there is only spacetime. Two cities are separated by a spacetime interval, and past and present are separated by a spacetime interval. If you can say that the two cities are simultaneous, you can say the same for two times.

It's the physical apparatus of our senses that we have "tuned" to look along one axis of the spacetime manifold while seeing the others orthogonally. The prejudice in our perception is "built in," as it were.
 

disappoint

Lifer
Dec 7, 2009
10,137
382
126
I didn't watch your video, but the way I've tried to explain it is that the past and future exist simultaneously the same way that Los Angeles and Miami exist simultaneously.

But LA and Miami are two places in space that can exist at the same time, which is very different than two different times existing simultaneously.

Relativity taught us that there isn't space and there isn't time; there is only spacetime. Two cities are separated by a spacetime interval, and past and present are separated by a spacetime interval. If you can say that the two cities are simultaneous, you can say the same for two times.

Relativity does not claim that space and time don't exist. Only that they are related. They exist as separate dimensions of spacetime.

It's the physical apparatus of our senses that we have "tuned" to look along one axis of the spacetime manifold while seeing the others orthogonally. The prejudice in our perception is "built in," as it were.

We have not tuned our senses. We were born with them as they are. They are as they are because of the laws of physics and evolution that have caused us to be as we are today.
 

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,943
541
126
But LA and Miami are two places in space that can exist at the same time, which is very different than two different times existing simultaneously.
No, it isn't. Spacetime intervals are spacetime intervals.



Relativity does not claim that space and time don't exist. Only that they are related. They exist as separate dimensions of spacetime.
Wrong. They are not separate. They are inseparable.



We have not tuned our senses.
Yes, indeed we have over millions of years of continuous synchronization with the variety of organisms with which we interact and upon which we depend for our continued existence.

We were born with them as they are.
I'm unsure whether you're being deliberately obtuse or you just simply misunderstand me because you haven't thought carefully about what I have said.

They are as they are because of the laws of physics and evolution that have caused us to be as we are today.

The laws of physics and evolution are not causative.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
14,201
4,395
136
But LA and Miami are two places in space that can exist at the same time, which is very different than two different times existing simultaneously.

Space and time are actually the same thing viewed differently. When you consider that both LA and Miami are both moving (as is everything in the entire universe) you will see that they could both be in the same space at different times. It only matters on which way you look at it. That is what relativity is really telling us. Whether you see something moving in space or in time depends on your viewpoint, and can be interchanged, because they are the same thing.
 

agent00f

Lifer
Jun 9, 2016
12,203
1,242
86
Well possibly. Depends if you already knew this concept or not. It blew mine because I hadn't heard of it before so it was new to me.

Watch this video about the B-Theory of time:
https://youtu.be/H1WfFkp4puw

The video is 33 minutes long and the beginning might be tedious for someone well versed in physics. If you are such a person you can skip ahead to 17:40 where he gets to the meat of the sandwich if you will, about the B-Theory of time.

It's a video where physicist Brian Greene talks about how time isn't quite what it appears to be to us.

He talks about how the past, present and future all exist. That is to say that the past is not gone, and the future isn't non-existant yet. (I know double negative, sorry). The past present and future may exist throughout all time.

According to the B-Theory of time all events exist and can be experienced by someone traveling through space at different rates of speed.

So the question then becomes is this "theory" much like String or M-Theory not really science or only hypothetical if it can't be tested?
"B-theory" looks to be philosophy, which you shouldn't need others to tell you isn't science.

But the relativity of time has been tested and empirical evidence exists that proves it so. Given that, does this B-Theory of time stand on more solid ground than M-Theory seemingly can ever hope to if M-Theory remains untestable?

Yes.

Since you seem to be into watching internet videos, I'd suggest searching for ones explaining special relativity. It will take some time to grasp.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,118
5,980
126
Someone got paid to dream this up?

Does that notion stress you. Here is one I dreamed and for which I've never been paid. Light curves due to gravity. When the Big Bang happened space expanded and will curve around and crash unto itself creating the Big Bang. Depending on where you are on that trip well tell you your local time. It's that the symbol of infinity written vertically is an hour glass. Sand falls through the bottle neck creating the Big Bang and reappears at the edges of the other half of the glass. Everything is happening at once, continuously. The hourglass is simply folded on itself because the sand is running in both directions, forward here and backward there. Have fun on tour trip.
 

ringtail

Golden Member
Mar 10, 2012
1,030
34
91
I didn't watch your video, but the way I've tried to explain it is that the past and future exist simultaneously the same way that Los Angeles and Miami exist simultaneously.

Relativity taught us that there isn't space and there isn't time; there is only spacetime. Two cities are separated by a spacetime interval, and past and present are separated by a spacetime interval. If you can say that the two cities are simultaneous, you can say the same for two times.

It's the physical apparatus of our senses that we have "tuned" to look along one axis of the spacetime manifold while seeing the others orthogonally. The prejudice in our perception is "built in," as it were.

Cerpin Taxt,

Absolutely brilliant! Your post completes for me several threads in decades of my own thinking that I almost but never quite finished.
 

Bart*Simpson

Senior member
Jul 21, 2015
604
4
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www.canadaka.net
He talks about how the past, present and future all exist. That is to say that the past is not gone, and the future isn't non-existant yet. (I know double negative, sorry). The past present and future may exist throughout all time.

If so...then if we can see the future we'd necessarily be unable to change it because we're actually living in someone else's past therefore time itself would be immutable and our choices a mere illusion carried out by the puppet master of the universe.

Or is time then in a constant state of flux? Maybe Jimmy Carter was re-elected in 1980 and someone did something to time that caused Reagan to win? And we all just go along with it because it's what we've always known.

Clearly, I need a drink now.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
102,410
8,338
126
did someone check to see if brian greene is 2 feet high, shaped like a plunger, and has only one eye?
 

disappoint

Lifer
Dec 7, 2009
10,137
382
126
If so...then if we can see the future we'd necessarily be unable to change it because we're actually living in someone else's past therefore time itself would be immutable and our choices a mere illusion carried out by the puppet master of the universe.

Or is time then in a constant state of flux? Maybe Jimmy Carter was re-elected in 1980 and someone did something to time that caused Reagan to win? And we all just go along with it because it's what we've always known.

Clearly, I need a drink now.

One might be led to wonder if our choices are mere illusion given B-Theory to be the real nature of the universe.

The way I would answer that is that for us, it is not an illusion because we are unable to do what was shown in the video. For some being who could, if there were one, then yes our limited experience of time, our choices and our free will would appear to that being as mere illusion.
 
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flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
155
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I was re-thinking this concept a little....even if "the future" "already exists", this does not necessarily exclude free will. Think about it.
Let's say I have a choice "now", whether to pick my nose or scratch my back, whatever.

Obviously, this event "does already exist" in this illusionary "future", since the action, no matter what I choose to do is, well, "in the future"...because this is how we define "the future".

Spoken differently: Even if we're "able to change the future", this future exists of course "already in the future", but because "it already exists" doesn't necessarily mutually exclude that we can't change it "in the now"

The disconnect here is really that we're STILL using concepts like "past", "future", "time" etc. and apply them to QM concepts where they (by definition) don't make much sense.

It is, in a certain sense possibly also irrelevant whether our free will "is an illusion".

Simple example...say (see my other thread) we'd be able to build a time machine and "events" would INDEED already be "imprinted" in the world. I go back to a date where I made a choice, say in an ice cream shop where I choose three flavours of ice cream from many. Even if with a time machine this event would indefinitely simply "re-play", and each and every time the same event and the EXACT same choice being repeated (I'd choose Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate) each and every time when I visit this date....DOES IT REALLY MATTER? Because with each repeat, even if the event is "fixed" "in the universe", wouldn't I still make a genuine "free will decision" every time, REGARDLESS? (Whether the decisions vary from each other doesn't matter). I'd still each and every time choose the same flavours, but each time I do it "from free will", a sort-of illusion, yes, but it's not relevant in the grand scheme of things)
 
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disappoint

Lifer
Dec 7, 2009
10,137
382
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Simple example...say (see my other thread) we'd be able to build a time machine and "events" would INDEED already be "imprinted" in the world. I go back to a date where I made a choice, say in an ice cream shop where I choose three flavours of ice cream from many. Even if with a time machine this event would indefinitely simply "re-play", and each and every time the same event and the EXACT same choice being repeated (I'd choose Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate) each and every time when I visit this date....DOES IT REALLY MATTER? Because with each repeat, even if the event is "fixed" "in the universe", wouldn't I still make a genuine "free will decision" every time, REGARDLESS? (Whether the decisions vary from each other doesn't matter). I'd still each and every time choose the same flavours, but each time I do it "from free will", a sort-of illusion, yes, but it's not relevant in the grand scheme of things)

If you make the same choice each and every time you go back in time to that date, then are you saying you can't change your mind and make a different choice? Then how is it free will if you must make the same choice every time? Why can't you go back in time and choose Pistachio, Rocky Road, Mint Chocolate Chip, or any other flavor? Or decide not to even get ice cream at all?

Keep in mind that according to the video all times exist all at once.
 

Dr. Zaus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2008
11,770
347
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Free will is a bounded phenomenon.

Over a long enough space and a long enough time there is no free will; the galaxy will evaporate, and nothing you do will affect any part of Alpha Centauri. But why would you want it to?

Over a short enough space and a short enough time there is no free will; from one pico-second to the next you have no ability to change anything; for spaces as small as a quark you have ability ability to change anything. But why would you want to?

We are attuned to making decisions in a very small part of space and time. What we perceive as physical reality is only that which helps perpetuate a very specific set of protean curdling acids. Our freedom of will is bound to competing with other curdling acids over the ability to keep curdling proteans.

That we see time as a forward movement, and that we perceive ourselves to have some free will, is both real, and based on arbitrary boundaries that could have just as easily been drawn in some other way.
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
155
106
Then how is it free will if you must make the same choice every time? Why can't you go back in time and choose Pistachio, Rocky Road, Mint Chocolate Chip, or any other flavor? Or decide not to even get ice cream at all?

Keep in mind that according to the video all times exist all at once.

The simple answer would be because I don't like Pistachio, Rocky Road or Mint Chocolate Chip? :)

Even if this event would repeat 1000x exactly the same way, assuming it would indeed be "imprinted" in the universe somehow, just pointing out that this doesn't NECESSARILY mean that "free will" doesn't apply - and here it comes, BUT FOR AN OUTSIDE OBSERVER.

The outside observer who sees me doing the exact same thing over and over, he sees me sort-of like a robot "without free will" - but is it not really so that each and every time, even if the event merely"replays", I do this decision from free will?

The conclusion it is not from free will can only be made from the outside and then comparing the events and see they're all the same. But is this relevant for me?

I mean I entirely understand why someone would argue it cannot be free will since it is "replayed" like a scene in a movie..but ultimately I conclude it is really not relevant.
 

John Connor

Lifer
Nov 30, 2012
22,840
617
121
I once met a troll that told me I could not go past. But I told him that if I can't go past then there is no present. Blowing his mind in contemplation he let me threw and thus I created the future.

ROFL!
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
33,247
7,302
136
If you move out ahead of it, the light from 200 years ago can show you a reflection of events from 200 years in the past.
But that's just an observation of what light reflects. That past is not present... merely the observation of it is present.
As evidenced by having no observation of future events. They are not observed at present as no light has reflected upon those events yet. This video presented in the OP did not touch upon breaking cause and effect.
 

agent00f

Lifer
Jun 9, 2016
12,203
1,242
86
If you move out ahead of it, the light from 200 years ago can show you a reflection of events from 200 years in the past.
But that's just an observation of what light reflects. That past is not present... merely the observation of it is present.
As evidenced by having no observation of future events. They are not observed at present as no light has reflected upon those events yet. This video presented in the OP did not touch upon breaking cause and effect.

In relativistic spacetime, cause-effect is just a human interpretation of a greater system. Same as a flatland creature has to interpret 3-space in a way that makes sense to its perception.
 

Dr. Zaus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2008
11,770
347
126
Well possibly. Depends if you already knew this concept or not. It blew mine because I hadn't heard of it before so it was new to me.

Watch this video about the B-Theory of time:

The video is 33 minutes long and the beginning might be tedious for someone well versed in physics. If you are such a person you can skip ahead to 17:40 where he gets to the meat of the sandwich if you will, about the B-Theory of time.

It's a video where physicist Brian Greene talks about how time isn't quite what it appears to be to us.

He talks about how the past, present and future all exist. That is to say that the past is not gone, and the future isn't non-existant yet. (I know double negative, sorry). The past present and future may exist throughout all time.

According to the B-Theory of time all events exist and can be experienced by someone traveling through space at different rates of speed.

So the question then becomes is this "theory" much like String or M-Theory not really science or only hypothetical if it can't be tested?

But the relativity of time has been tested and empirical evidence exists that proves it so. Given that, does this B-Theory of time stand on more solid ground than M-Theory seemingly can ever hope to if M-Theory remains untestable?
OK I watched it where you suggested....

The idea that a tiny amount of movement creates a huge difference in what is 'now' a far distance away is quite interesting, but wouldn't that mean we should be able to get a 'temporal-parallax' view of a distant galaxy: Intentionally moving an observation point a relative speed toward, and another a relative speed away?
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
155
106
Ah, yes of course! (Correct me if wrong!)

We don't even need "fancy" QT for this, isn't this a fundamental of relativity? Your perceived now, your time depends on your speed relative to c and some other factors, gravity. So yes, for one observer moving fast towards a galaxy he should see the galaxy in another time as an observer moving away. Is this what you mean?

(And ABSOLUTELY awesome how the new forum keeps posts buffered even if I wrote this two days ago and shut down my comp a few times in the mean-time. This is REALLY helpful).
 

KillerBee

Golden Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,753
82
91
(And ABSOLUTELY awesome how the new forum keeps posts buffered even if I wrote this two days ago and shut down my comp a few times in the mean-time. This is REALLY helpful).

Thought it was just me - the old way you just needed to leave page and the unsent replies disappeared.

Xenforo apparently saves drafts
so you need to click on the little floppy icon above 'third from end' and select delete draft.