Time Thoughts

March 2, 2014

Surreal-Artworks-Made-by-Xetobyte-1Low-overcast, damp and gloomy this early Sunday on California’s north coast — time cracks quickly into a new month, and asshole Santa Claus is fading further back yonder.

As I sit here in relative comfort, down south LA-way, there’s mudslides off some way-heavy rains, while out in Chicago, after another six inches of snow has fallen the last couple of days, ‘winter is beginning to resemble a guest that doesn’t know when to leave.’
And time shortens the odds for a sweet spring.

Life’s postcard-continuum gone absurd.

(Illustration: ‘A Break in Reality,’ by Xetobyte found here).

Really, really hard to believe we’re already into March. Even beyond being the shortest month, February seemingly always existed only in memory — days flown like fluttering pages of a book, rifled through by an overly-active crack head.
Time is an odd commodity, especially as you get older — not only in the illusion of time quickening as one ages — but also in how all kinds of shit is way-relative, and most-importantly, proves truth that hindsight is indeed 20/20.
If you can recognize your personal reality, that is — time won’t help if you blamed others, or acted like an asshole. History is just right now yesterday — or maybe tomorrow right this minute.
Time itself however, is what? Beyond our clocks and schedules/calendars of living, these numbers mean what?
In the beginning, time became. Life is carried along by sequences bundled together, and tailor-made for our own personal history. Soon, though, all of us will feel the same time together. The current state of right-now affairs looks grim, and approaching real-quick.

A brainiac explanation of time and its essentials from Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, via Wired:

It’s like the universe is a wind-up toy that has been sort of puttering along for the last 13.7 billion years and will eventually wind down to nothing.

Pure supposition ends with a practical conclusion, however:

The arrow of time doesn’t move forward forever.
There’s a phase in the history of the universe where you go from low entropy to high entropy.
But then once you reach the locally maximum entropy you can get to, there’s no more arrow of time.
It’s just like this room.
If you take all the air in this room and put it in the corner, that’s low entropy.
And then you let it go and it eventually fills the room and then it stops.
And then the air’s not doing anything.
In that time when it’s changing, there’s an arrow of time, but once you reach equilibrium, then the arrow ceases to exist.
And then, in theory, new universes pop off.

Unfortunately, time is cruising for a bruising — the real popping off erupts from this particular earth.

Amongst a long list of “Truisms” by Bob Lefsetz, and found yesterday at The Big Picture, was this view of time: Here today, gone tomorrow, welcome to the twenty first century. You can only combat this by constantly producing. U2 released a single during the Super Bowl, it’s already been forgotten, assuming you knew its name to begin with.
Time’s brisk movement in tandem with technology.
Next Sunday (March 9), we Americans will bend time — start of Daylight Savings Time.
And we all know about the added day to February every “leap year,” but there’s also a “leap second,” which brings time down to the nitty-gritty, as life itself is truly nitty-gritty, down to the second.
Demetrios Matsakis, chief scientist for time services at the US Naval Observatory (from The Atlantic):

“Until 1971, our standard of time was the rotation of the Earth,” Matsakis says.
“One turn of the Earth was one day, divided into hours, minutes, and seconds.”
This version of time, variability included, has a name: Universal Time 1, or UT1. So, 86,400 seconds in a day (24*60*60).
Simple.
But scientists who had been working with atomic clocks already knew that the length of a day, as measured by the Earth’s rotation, was variable.
In any given rotation, the sun may be off from our perfect temporal abstraction by a tenth of a millisecond.
A day, as measured by a rotation, might be 86,400.0001 seconds or 86,399.9999 seconds.
Scientists also realized that the Earth’s rotation is not only variable but slowing a teensy tiny bit.
Something like a couple milliseconds per day per century, although the rate changes.

To Matsakis, a second is not a division of a day, but “9,192,631,770 periods of oscillation in a undisturbed cesium atom.”

Leaping beyond a full second. A lot of crazy shit attempts to explain something that just might be unexplainable — a lot of theories, science-math and way-too-deep thinking.
In the lives of ordinary humans, time is sometimes like a dream.
And in timely fashion, the death Saturday of French film director Alain Resnais, one of the most-creative people ever invoking dreams and personal history.
I saw Resnais’ “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” and, “Last Year at Marienbad,” for the first time in a film class at the University of Florida in the early 1970s. In a way I wasn’t familiar with then, the two films blew my movie-going shit away. A similar sense came from my first viewing of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow Up” a few years earlier. A take-away from these films was a wonderment of confusion and intrigue, and how reality can be filtered through a lens spun from how time in life can be way-mysterious.
In 1977, Resnais created one of my most-favorite movies, “Providence,” where this aging, maybe-dying writer laments on his life in flashes of memory twisted/framed by dream-like episodes colored by his own life.
Via Resnais’ obit in the Guardian: His films, which explored the themes of time and memory, death and love, are sometimes complex but never dull.

And massive food for thought — time-cracking, way-crazy thoughts, arced through the complicated simplicity of being alive as the clock chimes…

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