Quantifying Time

I believe to have found a way of quantifying time in a (relatively) simple way (or at least in my own opinion). Time is an abstract concept in and of itself and even the greatest of time managers may still fail at understanding its major complexities.

A friend of mine asked me a seemingly simple question. If I could go back in time and change any event, what would it be? I promptly answered that I would not change any event. Why? If any person were to go back in time and change an event, he or she would never be able to return to his or her origin in space and time. This actually only applies if the person were traveling along the fourth dimension known as duration (or time). However, if the person were able to travel along the sixth dimensional plane, he or she would theoretically be able to move between separate instances of time, not only within his or her own starting parameters, but also along timelines with different starting parameters. This is beyond the scope of this blog post. Perhaps I will write a blog post on the concept of dimensional physics.

The reason why a person (mainly me) would not be able to return to his or her origin in time is due to the “flow” of time. The best way I can find to describe this flow is with numbers. Time flows forward in our universe, meaning it is always increasing. Let’s represent this with a number. This number shall be the beginning of time so we’ll say it is 0000. Now, time always increases in our universe, so as time goes on, the number shall increase. Let’s say you were born around the time of 2538. To represent the special moment when a new entity is introduced to time to be kept track of, the number will be increased by a number larger than 1 (it is increased by 1 every time to represent times passing). So when you’re born at 2538, it is increased by 15, making it 2553. From that moment forward time is unique to you. Your starting point is 2553 and nothing can change that because it is in the past. But let’s say you go back in time and change some big important event. Events also alter the flow of time. Let’s say you go back in time and stop your mother’s best friend in high school from breaking his leg. Let’s break down this sequence into numerical form. Since events other than the birth of a child effect time’s flow, when your mother’s friend broke his leg, it added 12 to time the current value of time at that moment. Since that time was never added, the value at which you were born (2538 in this case) would actually be 12 units lower (2526). This then means that the value at which you were born would no longer be 2553, but 2541. In short, you would never be able to return to a time period in which your birth value was 2553 and, therefore, you would not be able to return to your origin in time.

This doesn’t mean that the changes would be big. You may not even notice that anything has changed. It may even be that the only thing that changed was one person halfway across the world forgot his cell phone that particular day instead of remembering it (in the original time period). However, the idea that the world I return to will definitely be different than the one I left keeps me from having any ideas of going back in time and changing events.

Running a Business

Over the years (and this is a relatively small amount of time mind you) I’ve been attempting to start up and run my own business. It started as a small time computer consulting business that didn’t really go anywhere. I’m skilled in computers so I thought that would be the best way to go but it didn’t seem to work out. The next thing I tried was a web business presence. I could offer to troubleshoot and fix computers right from my own desk and the immediate second a customer needed help. That idea quickly fell through as well. I’m now sitting in the realm of online training through video tutorials and that seems to be working out for the time being but I’m not so sure it will really work out in the end.

The problem isn’t that I don’t have the managerial skills or that I don’t have the knowledge for this kind of work. I believe it to be an issue with not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life. I can run a business just fine; the concept of how a business should work and how to get it going and running smoothly is natural to me. I have many years of computer experience under my belt so there isn’t an issue with knowing what to do when the time comes. I just feel as though I’ve got a million and one ideas that I want to try but I really only get to choose one. I know that’s not entirely true, but for a long time I will only be able to choose one.

It’s entirely possible that I begin my business in one area and then expand it to other areas for which I have ideas, but I have so many of them I just want them to all happen right now. For one I’d like to get myself (and my family) out of debt. My parents tell me all the time it’s not my job to worry about things like that but the reality is I’m an adult and sooner or later debt is going to be a very important thing I have to worry about, especially because I just finished my first year of college and I’m already swimming in a lake of debt with more to come.

I just wish it was simpler to get your ideas out and working. I don’t mind having to do the work to get them going, but I just wish they would start up a bit faster so I could get another one going as well.

The Subjectivity of Words

Think about the words in your language, whether it be English, Spanish, or French. What are words exactly? Words, in terms of spoken language, are sounds we use to describe people, places, objects, ideas, actions, and everything else around us. In the written sense, words are strings of letters that represent our spoken language and therefor the objects represented in spoken language. If you really think about it however, you may notice that words are not a permanent label for things in the world.

Our perception of a language depends entirely on how things are described with words. For example, you have been taught all your life to believe that a ball was a spherical, sometimes bouncy, object that is used to play games. You have also been taught that a car is a large metallic machine with wheels and an engine that will take you from one place to another. These are two completely different things, correct? Now imagine that the meanings of the words were switched and a ball was a machine to take you from one place to another and a car was a sphere used for playing. You may think this sounds strange but if that was how someone was taught the words, that is all thy know. They would have no idea that it was once the other way without someone informing them.

Words are not solid barriers defining our world. They are loosely based on a “he-said-she-said” basis and are constantly changing in modern society.

Think About It.

The Social Network Gratification Theory

I know it’s been quite a while since my last post but I’ve been busy (and suffering from immense writer’s block when trying to think of things to write about). This idea came about while I was listening to my father rant about the mundane things some people post on Facebook. My theory is called The Social Network Gratification Theory, as the title suggests, and deals with the fact that people love to post random and seemingly meaningless things on Facebook and/or Twitter. Let’s begin.

The Social Network Gratification Theory is defined by the extreme want or need of a person or group of people to post a mundane or seemingly meaningless bit of information onto a social networking website. The information is purposefully left broad enough to elicit a curiosity in people to respond with questions such as “What’s wrong?” or “What do you mean?” The person who posted the information then begins a conversation with the person and gains a feeling of satisfaction from being able to start a conversation by bringing up a subject that means absolutely nothing. This causes the person to want or need to do this more often in order to bring up the same feelings.

At the peek of this condition, the user of the social networking site becomes addicted to the site, often logging in to the site between 10 and 25 times a day. The user is often not aware of the actions that coincide with the condition, such as constantly looking to see if someone has posted a comment to their status.

Another reason for this phenomenon is the user feels they may need public approval for their good work. Some people feel that if they don’t receive recognition for doing something that they think is significant to them then it wasn’t really worth the effort. They post their triumph onto a social networking site and await the satisfying praise of others.

Users may use the social network as a way of committing to something important that they otherwise may have given up on. For example, a person may post on Facebook that they have a new years resolution to quit drinking. Their peers will read the post and may keep it in the back of their minds so that when the person does drink, he or she will receive a form of reprimand that will cause them to stay on track with his or her commitment.

More information will be available as the theory evolves and grows. Check back later for updates.

The Upgrading Paradox

Well this subject seems very interesting to me. The idea here is that if you were to upgrade something enough times, you will eventually ruin it. Due to peoples sense of want over need, people tend to want things they don’t necessarily need and, unfortunately, tend to want things they want, instead of wanting things they need (wrap your head around that one). This view of wants over needs can cause the upgrading paradox.

Here is how the paradox happens. Let’s take for example the program Microsoft Word. Originally, this was a simple word processor built in DOS so that people could type formatted text documents on a computer. As computers evolved, so did the program. There was soon a user interface with buttons, toolbars, rulers, and other things. Then came the addition of supporting databases, emailing documents straight from Word, creating websites directly in Word, tracking the changes in documents when using a workspace system, and much, much more. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “all of these things are actually helpful. Why are they ruining the program?” Well lets say that you were to enabled everything that Word could possibly do all at once. You would have to open every toolbar, sidebar, tool window, and dialog window that Word has to offer. Now, after you do that, take a look at your screen. There is no more room left to work. This is how the program is ruined.

This concept also applies to anything that can upgrade or change for the better. Eventually, we exceed needs and move into wants, which is when it becomes a burden.

Time Travel

Let us first take into account the laws of physics and nature. The laws of physics say that the speed of light is roughly 186,282 miles per second (or 299,792,458 meters per second). The laws of physics also state that no object may equal or exceed the speed of light. These two fundamental laws give us the ability to imagine the concept of time travel.

Let us say that there is a train that has a track that wraps completely around the planet Earth. This train is going to be our time machine. The train travels around the planet over and over again on this straight track in order to increase its speed to that of 99.999% the speed of light. Traveling this close to the speed of light allows the passengers inside the train to travel forward in time.

You may now be wondering why traveling close to the speed of light allows people to move forward in time. This is because of nature’s ability to enforce the law that nothing may equal or exceed the speed of light. For example, let us say that a little girl, who is a passenger on the train, decides to get up and run forward in the train to her grandfather who is sitting three rows in front of her. The speed of her running in the train is added to the speed of the train itself, but the collective speed of the two may not equal or exceed the speed of light. Therefore, nature slows down time, and speed, within the train. This means that for every hour that passes within the train, roughly two hours pass outside the train, therefore, the passengers are moving forward in time.

Now, onto the concept of moving backwards in time. Although all of the ideas presented here are theoretical in nature, the concept of moving backwards in time requires the laws of physics and nature to be broken, making them, for the most part, illogical.

Time is relative to the perceiver. To prove this, look at any map with time zones labeled on the map. Three o’clock PM in London, England, is ten o’clock AM on the east coast of the United States. Light plays a large role in our perception of time. Time was originally determined by the position of the sun and the moon, but because the sun and moon are never seen in the same places in two different places of the world, we have time zones. The idea of traveling backwards in time comes from the idea that if you travel faster than the speed of light outward from the center of the earth, you will be able to witness events that have already happened.

You view things in the world because light from the sun is reflected off of objects and into your eye where it is turned into a picture that you “see” by your brain. But not all of the light reflected off of objects goes into your eye. Most of the light that shines onto the earth is reflected back into space and continues to move outward infinitely. If, by some chance, you could pass the speed of light, even if by 1 μm per second, you could theoretically have a telescope look back at our planet and you could watch the events of the past happen as the light reflected from the planet would pass by you.

There are, however, a few things wrong with this theory. One such problem is that if you would travel faster than the speed of light, you would be 186,282 miles away from our planet in only one second, and there has yet to be discovered a telescope that could see so far away. The other problem is that as light moves away from its source, it spreads out. By the time you got far enough away from the planet to view an event in time that would be of any significant length, the light particles would be so spread out, you would need a telescope the size of six Jupiter’s in order to capture all of the light to view the event.

The information in this article is partly credited to Stephen Hawking and The Science Channel. Other information not credited to them was thought up by me.