Time is not an independent variable

My brilliant friend Mihai Nadin asked me a question the other day: TIME IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT VARIABLE—what does it mean? It is a new
topic, and I am deeply interested in what it might mean.

Here is my reply:

I think it may be an elegant way of saying that time is not Newton’s
absolute neutral untouchable Euclidean space-like medium, but is to an
extent a property of objects and actions. Time is generated
(presumably in different ways) by quantum events, atoms, molecules,
living organisms, and mental entities. Time so generated in turn
constitutes a medium constraining events and objects in it, but it is
itself malleable by the emergent properties and self-organizing
affordances provided by the evolutionary process (for instance,
emergent qualities such as wetness, trophic biological regimes, and
the human capacity for performative utterances that make themselves
true by the statement of them). In other words, time evolves in
tandem with the evolution of of its contents. Or possibly, the form
of time is its contents, or, to be more precise, is the most
parsimonious running compromise of all the temporal umwelts that make
up its contents. This all comes out of J. T. Fraser’s work.

By Frederick Turner

Professor, poet, lecturer, black belt, and more.

3 replies on “Time is not an independent variable”

Time is not an independent variable because it is an inseparable part of spacetime, out of which everything emerges in the form of interactive energy waves. That, at least, is my argument (more or less) in Diaphysics.

I think that this is right–ie, time can’t be detached from spacetime–on the integrative level of physics. But I think time in the same way can’t be detached from the cyclic catalytic chemistry that generates it and that it is measured by; or from the bioclocks that provide time with a present moment, or from the human tenses that enable us to understand all simpler temporal relations.

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