17 July 2011

Q: Is Time an Important Property for Social Life?

What is Time?
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects.[1] The temporal position of events with respect to the transitory present is continually changing; future events become present, then pass further and further into the past.(Wikipedia)
So if you read this carefully you will notice that Time is not really something you can depend on. It is there and a millisecond later it is gone. It is a construct to interpret changes in the real world over a given time span. (OK, this is one of the ways to interpret time.)





Is time happening at the same time all over the universe?


This is outside my scope but read the article Space - Time by Albert Einstein.
I experience the moment "now," or, expressed more accurately, the present sense-experience (Sinnen-Erlebnis) combined with the recollection of (earlier) sense-experiences. That is why the sense-experiences seem to form a series, namely the time-series indicated by "earlier" and "later." The experience-series is thought of as a one-dimensional continuum. Experience-series can repeat themselves and can then be recognised. They can also be repeated inexactly, wherein some events are replaced by others without the character of the repetition becoming lost for us. (Space - Time by Albert Einstein) 
So every object and every person has its own time its own time feeling: The way he observes himself and monitors his surroundings at his own space in his own time.



But what about these time machines like watches and clocks?

In the present state of time people with their own time are drifting like bubbles in their time machines - you could call that: asynchronous time capsules. Their time, even their time measurements are not linked. But there is a morning, noon, evening and a night. But watch out: Only on the same geographical location these time slices are synchronous. If you travel some kilometers west everything changes. And then there are night owls and early birds, dream dancers, ... they got their own time which must not correspond to the "real" time.

We needed a "real" time so they invented the Cathedrals with their clocks and the life of people was sort of synchronized. The night watchman turned circles (not in Google+) and called the time. Nobody had a chance to escape. Social life beyond the horizon could begin. You could make a rendez-vous: "We will meet after  the war at 6 o'clock at the ‚Kelch'!"



So time is dominating our working life  

That is right! The idea of splitting time and syncing it with the rhythm of our work was vastly adopted in the industry. Time was synchronized nationwide, we could hear and speak to other persons miles away. Still we lived in our time which ruled the life within a certain corridor. If you traveled farther you had to change the time on your watch. You could manage it, but when you wanted to talk to a friend over the pond, you had to count the hours. These were very polite times and social life took place still in the neighborhood.

So what about time in the age of the Internet?

Things have changed again. You write an email, you tap fingers and if your correspondent does not answer within the next two minutes - you will get nervous. Is you computer running? Is he connected? Is the mail program configured correctly? You can talk to people all over the world. They say they are your friends. You sync with them by email, chat, video-chat. It seems to be real life. Your working process is just-in-time all over the world. What do you gain by that timeless time? Real advantages or is someone gaining money?

Was sagt uns dies über uns Menschen?
Die Entwicklung der Menschheit 
Einst haben die Kerls auf den Bäumen gehockt, 
behaart und mit böser Visage.  
Dann hat man sie aus dem Urwald gelockt  
und die Welt asphaltiert und aufgestockt,  
bis zur dreißigsten Etage. 

Da saßen sie nun, den Flöhen entflohn,
in zentralgeheizten Räumen.
Da sitzt sie nun am Telefon.
Und es herrscht noch genau derselbe Ton
wie seinerzeit auf den Bäumen. 

Sie hören weit. Sie sehen fern.
Sie sind mit dem Weltall in Fühlung.
Sie putzen die Zähne.Sie atmen modern.
Die Erde ist ein gebildeter Stern
mit sehr viel Wasserspülung. 

Sie schießen die Briefschaften durch ein Rohr.
Sie jagen und züchten Mikroben.
Sie versehen die Natur mit allem Komfort.
Sie fliegen steil in den Himmel empor
und bleiben zwei Wochen oben. 

Was ihre Verdauung übrig läßt,
das verarbeiten sie zu Watte.
Sie spalten Atome. Sie heilen Inzest.
Sie stellen durch Stiluntersuchungen fest,
daß Cäsar Plattfüße hatte. 

So haben sie mit dem Kopf und dem Mund
den Fortschritt der Menschheit geschaffen.
Doch davon mal abgesehen und
bei Lichte betrachtet sind sie im Grund  
noch immer die alten Affen.  

Erich Kästner (1932)




And what has time to do with Music?




Silence, at last.

A: Yes it seems to be.

(This post was inspired by an article in the FAS by Frank Schirrmacher: "Die Revolution der Zeit")

Stay Tuned! and keep in sync!