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Barbour And The Unreality Of Time


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I recently started subscribing to Discover Magazine and there is an article in this month's issue that has me scratching my head a bit. Perhaps a discussion here might help?


The article is a cover peice on Dr. Barbour, who left the academic community to pursue his ambition to overturn Einstein's theories.


The biggest problem I have with the Machian model of the universe is how it seems to be an analogue for describing time.


The Discovery article led me to this Wiki: Link


"Barbour's theory goes further in scepticism than the block universe theory, since it denies not only the passage of time, but the existence of an external dimension of time."


And then I followed the link for "The Unreality of Time". Because..well...it sounds cool. ;)


Here's the wiki for that: Link


So, this McTaggart thought that time was an illusion. The wiki article linked above is a perfect example of failed logic. For example, "Attacking the A-series, McTaggart argues that any event in the A-series is past, present, and future, which is contradictory in that each of those properties excludes the other two. He further urges that describing an event as past, present or future at different times is circular because we would need to describe those "different times" again by past, present, or future, and then again describe that description by past, present, or future, and so on."


Eeek...terrible logic...terrible wording...


I hate seeing Einstein's theories slandered on the cover of Discover Magazine, but perhaps Barbour deserves some scrutiny?


Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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  • 1 month later...

I completely agree with the notion that time is a human interpretation, and doesn't exist as Past Present, and Future. Not only do I agree on that, but I have an alternative version of time to present...


If we suggest that there are two versions of time currently used as part of the English language, but combined in such a way as the meanings have been blurred together. The human version is the poetic use of Past, Present, Future, and clock face reading. Version 1, and it doesn't exist.


Version 2/ The real use of time. Time is an energy flow from the centre of holes in spacetime. The holes are the coordinate location system of photons. The holes can flow both IN, and OUT to give you hidden dimensions in our 3D universe. The dimensions are X/Y/Z/In/Out/-Z/-Y/-X. All of these dimensions are just alterations to 3D. So the whole thing can be built in 3D without the need for imaginary locations. The reason that 3D needs changing to 8D is because 3D is an average of 8D like 1ft is 12inches. You need the 8D model to add time, and Newtons 3rd Law. In, and Out are flow from holes, and they are scaler vortex holes. This means that they are like a whirlpool with a hole in the middle. The vortex of water in a whirlpool is a vortex of time in spacetime. When you see water moving down into a spin the energy would be that of an electron. But the scaler vortex of time actually scales particles down to negative mass.

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I found that magazine article in a grocery store and read it. I also read an interesting one in SciAm on working out a Quantum Gravity in 2-D as opposed to 3-D. I found both concepts as thought provoking. I am open to new ways at looking of things. There is a good analysis of Machian Physics as you call it in a book by Roger Penrose, "The Road to Reality". I am currently slightly skeptical of Barbour's concept.


The connundrum I have is how does gravity work on a quantum level. Why would removing time make that any better?


Like you, I just keep reading stuff that comes out to learn more.



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Time itself does seem like something you can manipulate, such as how slow or fast it goes by, but nothing more.


I bring elite athletes into the picture, lets start with baseball:


How many of you have tried to hit a pitched baseball @ 60 / 70 / 80 / 90+ mph? it gets pretty darn hard after 80mph, then add in the different pitches and their locations, such as an outside curve ball from a lefty as a right handed batter, and so on. Practice may help the average joe, but from 60.6 feet, the chances of any average joe even getting a foul ball off a 90+mph slider is slim to none. how many average joe's make it to the big's?


now lets look at another type of elite athlete, the humming bird: the reaction times of a humming bird is quite remarkable, this little bird seems to be on a completely different time scale than other animals its size or bigger.

From its rapid wing movement, to its rapid heart beat, to some species of humming birds ability to "seemingly" break the sound barrier with its courtship acrobatics.


and last but not least, the simple housefly: ever try catching one in mid flight with nothing but the palm of your hand? sure its not impossible, but chances are, you are too slow most of the time. its true that flys have many eyes and can see from many angles, but that does not explain how rapid they can make life saving decisions. you can throw your hand out in fractions of a second, yet the fly will not only see, predict where your hand is going, and then react by moving to a different, safer location during those fractions of a second. scale this up some and its almost like a car driving at you @ 60mph, from 500 feet away, giving you ample time to not only see the car, but to think about what to do and where to go to avoid it.


its these types of examples that leads me to believe time is only a perception, and some people are either gifted or have figured out how to manipulate it.

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