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Posted by Aurino Souza on April 9, 2002 16:58:02 UTC

Hi Dick,

Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I understand what you said above, when I said you have not solved the problem I was thinking about your definition of time. Now please be careful as you read the following:

I have no complaints about your definition of time, except with the fact that it can't be measured. Of course any other definition of time has exactly the same problem so the issue is not that simple. But there's a subtle problem here which I'm sure you understand: even though clocks can't measure time, it's quite likely that our subjective experience of time is controlled by a clock. And the problem here becomes one of finding a definition of time which is consistent with our knowledge of physics as well as our subjective experiences. That is the problem no one has solved, in my opinion.

I have raised a similar issue before, regarding the "water goes downhill" thing. While you're right that downhill is the direction water runs by definition, it's a known fact that there are places where people's subjective sense of their position in space conflicts with the direction water runs. Since our vestibular system is based on fluids in the brain, we can say for sure that the discrepancy is due to an optical illusion (we can also say for sure that it's not a vestibular illusion). For time, however, we don't have such a simple explanation, not as far as I know anyway.

Hope this makes some sense.

Welcome back!


(PS: since you're back, can you reply to my technical question to Richard above?)

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