• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
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OP-ED: The impossibility of time

  • Published at 02:15 am October 12th, 2021
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Why do we allow time to dominate us so completely?

How does one measure? How does one control?

I don’t have the time! What does that really mean?

The definition of time. Juxtapose this against a workable explanation of what time could possibly mean practically and feasibly. Why the fascination with time? Is it an example of the workings of an idle and intelligent mind?

Are we the only species concerned with the passage of time? And why have we programmed/conditioned ourselves to permit this most intangible of notions to so completely dominate who we are? Why must it be allowed to dominate so completely? Why is it so important to be controlled and to control?

What is the body clock? Is that evolution’s way of telling time? Are these then the basic milestones of our life and existence as it inexorably “ticks by?”

Is the obsession with chronological devices a near-exclusive male preserve? What is the psychology which drives the urge? Is it a visceral recognition of the futility in measuring and attempting to control the passage of time?

Time means money, time governs profession. But why does it not dictate the doings of the rest of one’s identity? Why don’t we eat on time? Why don’t we sleep on time? Why don’t we devote time to happy recreation? Why is it so difficult to take time out to speak to an old parent?

The application of this synthetic concept of time is woefully selective.

Changes with nature and revolution of the day. Sun and moon.

This is an inherent property of the earth. Base of approximately 360 days.

Each season is approximately sixty days.

Sixty seconds, sixty minutes.

Moon = 24 hours (human)

Sun to sun = 24 hours (human)

Moon = Thirty days one circumnavigation of the earth.

Time is an essence that is basically a property of the earth. Many scientists tried to make it decimal-based, but this approach was not accepted because it went against the cadence and motion of the world.

Time and year (duration) for each planet in the universe is unique to that planet.

Our measurement of time is earth-bound. All planets are different and unique.

We want to use the duration in a particular fashion. That is why it is divided into smaller units.

El pal -- the time it takes a human being to flutter his eyelids. This is not visible but an acceptable node of measurement. We ourselves cannot see, but it can nevertheless be observed by another person.

We measure everything according to how long it takes us to revolve around the sun.

Distance is also measured in time -- one light year.

E=mc2 -- mass travels at the speed of light, it changes into energy.

Mass is nothing but a concentration of energy at a certain point.

Electrons, neutrons, protons are all packages of energy.

Everything is subject to constant change, which is why the concept of time has been derived.

Science -- time is important because it is important to know when an event occurred and when it will again occur.

Predictability, forecasting, analysis of time -- for all this, and all natural happenings, the linear scale of time is crucial.

All species have a concept of time. The pet dog knows when it is lunch time. All species know the cycle of seasons.

Mass migration of birds. They know how long it will take to fly.

Plants know when to flower.

Sumit Basu is a corporate lawyer based in India and is a freelance contributor.

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