jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (6 posts)

In terms of Time - How long is the present before it becomes the past, can it be

  1. singleaple profile image71
    singleapleposted 3 years ago

    In terms of Time - How long is the present before it becomes the past, can it be measured.

    Maybe there is no such thing  as the present. Before you have had time to finish pronouncing the word it becomes the past. Maybe there is only the future and the past. Can the present be measured in terms of time, if so, how long is that measurement.

  2. Sri T profile image80
    Sri Tposted 3 years ago

    There actually is no time in reality. Time is man-made. Have you ever seen any of the animals with watches on? So humans came up with the concept. And it is totally false. If they can move time in the spring and the fall, how can it be true? Things do change, but there is no time.

  3. chef-de-jour profile image96
    chef-de-jourposted 3 years ago

    Perhaps you can't measure the present. You can define it as neither the future nor the past, a tiny tiny spot that only calculus or philosophy can deal with! Oh no! Your question is already too difficult to answer!

    Memory is the key I think and it's very difficult to measure memory! These concepts - measurement of space, of being - are inventions by humans, much like the grammar of language is an invention. We don't really need time (and grammar!) but they are crucial to our survival in our present situation.
    The present must be a timeless place, where the future is a seed and the past already grown and gone!
    If you for example shout your name into a canyon and listen to the echo you'll know that those echoes are from the past because the original shout has gone. Are the echoes still part of the present? No. They are sort of phantoms of the future.
    Your memory allows you to put things into perspective and if it's working properly gives us the ability to work with time.
    Very old people with severe dementia for example have no concept of time and can mistake the past for the present - my old mother does it. I think she exists in a continuous kind of present?
    If we spoke or thought very slowly perhaps the present would be stretchable? As things stand, I don't think the present can be measured but I'm certain some scientist out there has tried to do just that!

    1. singleaple profile image71
      singleapleposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Or could it be that there is no future or past,  only a continuing forever present ?
      The past doesn't exist - put quite simply, it has gone forever.
      Neither does the future exist because it hasn't happened yet and may never happen.

  4. cebutouristspot profile image76
    cebutouristspotposted 3 years ago

    hmmm interesting question.  Present is always moving ... the past is ever growing ... a person future is always shrinking ...

  5. TwerkZerker profile image89
    TwerkZerkerposted 3 years ago

    I tend to agree with Stephen Hawking--that time is more or less just a byproduct of motion/displacement of matter and energy. So if things are moving now, there should be time now--or rather, time should be passing through "now". It seems like measuring the duration of the present would be like measuring the width of a single point in space--it really doesn't have a dimension...just instantaneous.

    But whatever you view time as, it's actually impossible to perceive the true present. You see, for us to "perceive", light must travel from a source to the thing being observed, and then bounce back to the observer's eye.

    So really, even when we look around us we're not really seeing the present; we're seeing the world as it was a very, very, very small fraction of a second ago. And when we look into a mirror, we're actually seeing our past selves (our very, very, very recent past selves!).

    Interesting question, thanks!