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Posted by Harvey on April 9, 2002 19:15:44 UTC

Aurino,

***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.***

In physics a time interval is pretty much defined as the difference between two synchronous clocks. How is that non-measurable?

***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.***

Clocks don't measure time? Then what do they measure, the temperature? Come on, let's keep up to a certain level, clocks measure time.

***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.***

Clock meausuring is consistent with physics. There is no problem to solve.

***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.***

"Water runs downhill" is not true by definition, it is true by ostentation. If we lived on a space station where there was no gravity, a test of water going downhill would be shown to be false. Something that is true by definition cannot be false.

Here, this is important: Things that are true by definition (axioms) are limited to human language and human formal systems. Things in the world aren't true by definition (at least as far as we know). They either are that way because that's what they are, or they are that way because we do not really know why they are (emphasis on the word 'know').

I sure wish we could get past these simple naive views. No insult intended, but how can we discuss the real subtleties of the world if taken in by these blatant ones?

Warm regards, Harv

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