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Re: [existlist] Time and space

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  • nosnibor
    All, Happy New Year! There s a reason to keep our resolutions and make this one better than the last illusion! If we are resigned to living our lives over and
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 2, 2004
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      All,

      Happy New Year! There's a reason to keep our resolutions and make this one
      better than the last illusion! If we are resigned to living our lives over
      and over an infinite number of times, it makes each moment of fantastic
      importance. As Bill Murray decided to do in "Ground Hog Day", practice "Amor
      Fati" and make that existence infinitely better. Challenge yourself to
      answer the question of your existence. Can you say, "Yes, I would happily
      live the same life again, an infiite number of times!"

      Please enjoy my essay. It's aboiut five pages long.

      "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

      "Mankind's greatest invention is compound interest."

      - A. Einstein -



      Money Is Time

      The purpose this essay is to think about time in a simple, poetic, way; and,
      by inverting a colloquial statement, enable us to think about time as a
      medium of exchange, and maybe not real at all. Just as all poetry ultimately
      suggests either how to live or to avoid living, one's life, my insight into
      the nature of Time will not have any intrinsic value. Just take it for what
      it is, a prose poem, if such a thing is not a contradiction in terms.

      Let's begin with "Time Is Money". Allow it to play around in your
      imagination. Although it's probably not precise enough to be used by
      mathematicians, generally speaking, when lay people say that one thing "is"
      another, it is possible to imagine an equal ( = ) symbol between the two, or
      more, things being compared. Thus, if we reverse "Time Is Money", and state,
      "Money Is Time", it would not be inconsistent to reason that if we
      understand how money functions, we also have a useful mechanism for
      understanding time.

      The definition of money is well known. Money is a medium of exchange and
      value. Well, as a practical matter, what does that mean? It means that,
      before the invention of money, it was necessary for individuals to meet
      face-to-face to conduct transactions for goods and services. If person A had
      a camel, but needed a tent, person B had a tent, but needed goats, and
      person C had goats but needed a camel, they all had to get together at an
      agreed upon place and make the exchange.

      This requirement of a face-to-face meeting for transactions led to the rise
      of the bazaar, where all the items, either necessary or discretionary, for
      day-to-day living could be exchanged. A common meeting area is usually, but
      not always, functional, and often inconvenient. What if you didn't want to
      go? If all you need is a tent, why should you have to put up with stepping
      in camel dung, or being butted by goats? Or, what if no one at the bazaar
      had what you needed in exchange for what you had to offer?

      These problems were solved when someone of sufficient authority, influence,
      and power, created a medium of exchange. What ever the form of money,
      authority, influence and power are key. Whether it was brass, gold, paper,
      or shell, two individuals, confident in the authority of the issuer, could
      conduct transactions without the necessity of a third party. Voila! Everyone
      within the influence, power, and under the authority of the issuer now
      enjoys a type of freedom, provided they possess sufficient quantities of the
      medium of exchange.

      The larger point is, of course, that the medium of exchange is conceptual,
      based on confidence. Money does not exist. Functionally, you'd be quite
      disappointed if you either tried to eat, wear, or use it as shelter. If the
      authority of the issuer is sufficiently challenged, money immediately loses
      value inversely proportional to the challenge, to the point of being
      worthless. In the same way, if you go beyond the boundary of the issuing
      authority, Money must be exchanged and will have either a higher or lower
      value relative to the local currency. Even though the rate of exchange might
      be close, even match from time to time, events, both those that are
      exclusive to the two issuers, and those that involve the entire world, can
      and will drive a wedge between currencies.

      As a general proposition, as the cultural and physical distance grows, the
      likelihood that sovereign authorities will entertain any thoughts of a
      unified medium of exchange diminishes. Consider two cases, one of culturally
      and physically close authorities, and one where the distance is literally
      and metaphorically vast. A majority of Canadians live within a two-hour
      drive of the United States. Canadians and Americans easily and naturally
      cross the border for basic goods and services. Be that as it may, if a
      Canadian visits the United States and purchases either a good or service,
      while the rules are close, dollars and fractions thereof are not exactly the
      same. The issuing authorities are significantly different. The difference
      keeps the rate of exchange in flux. Yet, it is a commodious difference.

      In the second case, as the cultural and physical distance grows, the two
      will likely never meet. China and the United States have, as a percent of
      their populations, minimal exchange. Obviously, the United States, wealthier
      by far and also allowing the free travel of its citizens and legal
      residents, will continue to have a great advantage in this regard for some
      time. However, that fact does not alleviate the feeling that the exchange of
      currency is, for both Americans going to China, and Chinese coming to the
      United States, very odd indeed.

      It is tempting to go for a simple solution. Since the value of money is
      found in the confidence of the issuing authority, why not have one authority
      issue for all, such as the European Union's (EU) "Euro"? The Euro experiment
      is relatively new and time will tell whether or not this solution takes
      institutional root. For the present, the most credible view appears to be
      that to allow a medium of exchange to be imposed is to give up a measure of
      power. The erstwhile issuer is now being issued to, a difficult posture to
      accept and comfortably maintain. While the fifteen nation EU has, arguably,
      the closest cultural and economic ties of any region on earth, it is still
      not a perfect union, by any measure. Political infighting and sniping
      between leaders of the EU betrays its foundation as tenuous. The sharing of
      authority, influence, and power was a daunting obstacle to, even
      momentarily, overcome, and remains the most dangerous threat for the long
      term.

      The above statements about the Euro, were based upon anecdotal information
      from German tourists, was recently confirmed by Sweden's rejection of the
      Euro. This rejection was in spite of an expected sympathy vote. One of the
      Euro's leading supporters had been murdered in Stockholm just before the
      referendum. Now, the likelihood of the Euro being adopted by two other
      notable holdouts, Denmark and Great Britain, is even more remote.













      II

      The easy, and immediate, distinction between Money and Time is that, while
      the world squabbles over a medium of exchange for financial transactions and
      occurrences, a medium of exchange for events and transactions between and
      among human beings is well established. The announcement is made every day
      that, "It's noon in New York and nine a.m. out west; or, it's noon in London
      and seven a.m. in New York." Surely Time must be more than a medium of
      exchange. For several reasons, the functional and psychological appeal of
      reasoning that proceeds as, "everyone agrees, so it must be real", fails.
      Time on earth is divided into 24 zones. This functions quite well. The earth
      is a sphere, 360 degrees around. If you divide 360 by 15, roughly the
      degrees in each time zone, the result is 24. Since first world individuals
      and nations are commercially interdependent, and the mathematics are simple,
      seconds, minutes, hours, and the fractions and multiples thereof, are
      regarded as real.

      Yet, for precisely the same reasons that the world can't agree on a medium
      of exchange for financial transactions and events, it is possible to agree
      about time.

      The root of the agreement lies in authority, influence, and power. Just as
      an individual or nation that must surrender some measure of authority,
      influence, and power, when a currency is imposed upon them, it is painless
      to adopt a universal standard for time because nothing is given up.
      Similarly, if someone from the first world tries to complete a transaction
      with an individual who is either not attached to the first world, or only
      marginally participates in it, it's difficult to complete the transaction,
      even when successful completion is beneficial to both sides. My experience
      as an Immigration Officer dealing with Native Americans confirms this.

      Native Americans who can establish 50% quantum blood are exempt immigration
      requirements established by the Congress of the United States government.
      Thus, Native Americans born in Canada have no limitations on taking up legal
      residence in the United States. As anyone who has ever tried to take up
      legal residency in a country other than their country or origin knows, it is
      a protracted and tedious process. Generally, regardless of enthusiasm,
      healthy, law-abiding individuals who want to immigrate to another country
      face quotas and other restrictions. Individuals who have been convicted of
      crimes, or who test positive for aids, face exclusion. Of course, it is
      always possible to assume the posture of "authorities be damned, I'm
      coming". However, that route precludes the possibility gaining proper
      documentation, and ultimately limits the very opportunity that was the
      original magnet. To be free from grounds of exclusion and quotas, as Native
      Americans are, is a huge advantage.

      Be that as it may, the devil is in the few details. Not only are Native
      Americans

      unfamiliar with using documents to establish eligibility and to meet
      requirements, but also, their concept of time, as a medium of exchange, for
      transactions, and probably events as well, is quite unique. When the
      documentation is lacking to establish their heritage, it's necessary to
      arrange an appointment to complete registration and process them for a
      permanent resident card, euphemistically known as the "green card". It didn'
      t take very long for me to realize that any appointment, as I understand the
      concept, is perilous. The Native American may come back to complete their
      registration at the agreed upon time. However, it is far more likely that
      they well disappear for weeks, months, even years, and then suddenly return.
      The most startling aspect of this is the genuine expectation that any moment
      they return fulfills their concept of an appointment!

      In my personal experience, the longest gap between the American Official
      making an appointment and the return of the Native American was five years,
      eight months! Clearly, it is just as difficult for some Native Americans to
      exchange time with someone outside their culture as it is for an American to
      exchange currency in China. Yet, I've never met an individual from the first
      world who, within the context of an immigration appointment for a benefit,
      fails to appear, without an explanation.

      The ultimate example of time as nothing more than an agreed upon medium of
      exchange comes in either, reflection upon an event, or the attempt to convey
      one's experience of the same event to another. In the case of personal
      reflection, all time can be compressed into an instant. Consider either your
      most embarrassing moment or proudest accomplishment. That moment, and all of
      the attendant circumstances, can be relived, completely and vividly, in our
      mind in an instant. There appears to be no limit to this capacity. It is
      well known that individuals who escaped from an event where they thought
      they were going to die often report having their whole lives pass before
      their eyes, . amazing.

      In the second case, take something that you've experienced, not simply
      witnessed, and try to convey that to another, completely. Although it may be
      possible to convey the experience sufficiently, it cannot be done
      completely. Take, for example, the running of a 10-kilometer foot race. Such
      a race typically takes a fit runner between 40 and 50 minutes. Yet, to
      describe the experience to another, even a close and patient friend, could
      take much, much longer. The runner is experiencing so much - how he/she was
      feeling before the race, the course, the weather, who else was running, the
      spectators, etc., that the experience can be stretched far beyond the
      capacity the most accommodating listener.

      Where does this reasoning lead? I'm not really sure, except that if you view
      both money and time as nothing more than mediums of exchange, it can be very
      exciting. Such excitement is sufficient for another essay, but more to the
      point, has already been discussed by virtually all of the Existentialist
      philosophers. Time primarily functions as a medium of exchange to record
      events, but also may involve a transaction in the form of an appointment to
      perform or receive either a good or a service. Money is used to primarily
      facilitate transactions, but also can be used to facilitate events, be they
      celebrations or memorial services.

      Time is the most useful medium of exchange available to examine the events
      of our universe because we, within accepting cultures, can all agree how it
      is to be measured. Yet, it is difficult to prove that it exists at all.
      There are plenty of cultures, the most obvious to me is the example of the
      Native American experience, as a member of that ethnic group to navigate
      event and transactions with the rest of the human race. Similarly, the
      Australian aborigines have two epochs - the "Dream Time" and the "Time
      Before Trousers". To say that their concept of time is not a valid medium is
      to deny their very humanity. The birth of the universe was an event. The
      birth and death of stars, plants, and galaxies are events. Time appears to
      have been invented to record those events - birth and death, for all
      eternity.























      Robin
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "bhvwd" <valleywestdental@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 10:09 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Time and space


      > Eduard, Time is mans measurement of change. Were there no sentients
      > to experience and calibrate change it is the same connundrum as the
      > sound of a tree falling in the forest. I think we agree the sound
      > waves exist but are not experienced if no one is there to hear and
      > experience those auditory waves. The changes we calibrate by
      > planetary orbits or more recently the atomic decay of cesium would
      > still happen without our note. Those changes would not be chronicled
      > without us and therefore time , in a technical sense, would not
      > exist.
      > The measurement of space at cosmic distances, includes a time
      > factor. The light year exposes a photon to the time factor of one
      > earth`s rotation about the sun. It is completely arbitrary as the
      > number could have been based on the rotational interval of Venus,
      > Mars ect. Again, the photon would still travel at the same velocity
      > without our measurement so the measurement of cosmic distances in
      > space is a man made calculation in both its time factoring and its
      > distance parameter.
      > The classical grid depection of space time under the influence of
      > great masses is a model. The distortion of the grid and the bending
      > of a photons path show the relativistic affects of great mass on the
      > path of light. There is no grid in space, there is no speaker on the
      > tree, there is no clock on the sun. We use these instruments and
      > parameters to inform our neurons of the changes about us. Those
      > changes help get me up in the morning. Bill
      >
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