Talk:Time/Archive 5

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Concept cloud

See WP:CLOUD and WP:CONCEPT.

The concepts relevant to time are (off the top of my head):-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:47, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Cloud
(add/annotate at will)
  1. reality
  2. physical, physics
  3. transformation, change
  4. phenomenon
  5. continuum, continuity
  6. progression, procession
  7. dimension
  8. measurement
  9. scope, macroscopic, microscopic
  10. past, present, future
  11. day, month, year
  12. after 6) process
  13. after 7) function
Comments

1) Reality is essential to a colloquial definition and probably negates the need to indicate scope ("macroscopic"). 4) Phenomenon works with "reality." -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:47, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

RFC on "Time is a... process"

There is a dispute over how to begin the article. An editor has persistently added unsourced material of this sort to the very top of the article

Time is a physical process and non-spatial dimension in which reality is macroscopically transformed in continuity from the past through the present and on to the future.[1]

The cited source was appropriated from a citation that was previously further down in the lede. THe cited source does not contain words supporting "Time is a... process in which reality is transformed" or any such thing. Editor has repeatedly removed tags applied to the text - with edits marked as minor. Editor is altering pages linked to in his construction in a manner to bolster his argument, but it all appears to be the same original research kind of editing. Editor has attributed WP:OWN to me because I will not allow him to add this unsourced material. There are 4 Qs that could be addressed. 1> Is the sentence properly sourced? 2> Does it belong in the lede? 3>Is it good enough to be the first sentence of the lede? 4> In its present state, does it even belong in the article?

This is a recent previous edit from 2010-JUL-12 along the same lines, also marked minor:

Time is the concept of the underlying physical mechanisms that macroscopically transform reality —in accord with dimensional constraints and orthographies at the smallest scales —such that the state of the present is realized directly from past states, and the future can be pictured by projection.

--JimWae (talk) 02:24, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Note that per our discussions I changed "process" to "paradigm." I made this change to the article at 02:18, 1 August 2010. Your comment above was made (first saved version) at 02:24 1 August 2010 ([1]), minutes after I had made the above change. It may appear that you were beginning your comment here just as I was making the change.
It also may appear to be a red herring. Though it was difficult to separate your rants from your actual arguments, the issue of "process" is something I said above was "debatable." After my responding comment in the above section, I decided that though your other three points were lost, your first point about process was relevant. Note that if you had removed hyperbole from your argument and confined your approach to finding consensus between us (instead of being adversarial), you might have simply stated that "process" does not work to indicate "procession," the relevant concept, and that "process" has semantics which localize it to deliberate functions or applications. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 18:09, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
PS:Note also that you have yet to respond or else concede to my points at Talk:Time_in_physics. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 18:19, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I wrote the following in the section below, but somehow it got edited out: ----
In the first place, please do not label a section with my user name. It is inappropriate, and it can be construed as trolling. The statement I removed was not supported by references. The statement I replaced it with is supported by references. There is no requirement to "vet" a statement not supported by references, and hence is considered WP:OR. Furthermore, the WP:OR over - wrote the original sentence that was also supported references. References are required to say that time is a paradigm and the rest of the incomprehensible verbiage in that sentence. Also there was no discussion that was ongoing regarding this matter, just edit histories. Pardigm, and transformation, is not backed up by references, and therefore cannot be used. It is simply OR. My statement in its place, is supported by references already in the article. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 23:52, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate the commentary, but I think it is a matter of WP:OR vs. WP:VERIFY, WP:RS, and cited references. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 00:09, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
OK. Nevermind OR vs VERIFY. It appears the discussion in this section, and the discussion in the next section, may lead to consensus. I didn't see that before. So I am all for consensus, as well as balance. What's next? ----Steve Quinn (talk) 00:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I like the idea of using something like a WP:CLOUD, which is why I wrote that essay. We start with brainstorming a cloud of relevant concepts, put them in a order in terms of their relevance to the subject (time), and write them into phrases and passages that connect them. In this case we're already halfway done - JW, you, and I have all contributed whole versions and we've critiqued most of these independently. What we can do now is just list all of the relevant concepts. I'll try this out now. Note that Peter (1Z) below has confined his approach to just knocking out concepts which he believes don't work, and that approach I think works and keeps us focused on writing for consensus. Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:36, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Stevertigo, be careful here, not to go too far into unsourced material here. It is possible that this is overcomplicating a simple deal, here. I have done some further reading on the problem here, and I have to admit I jumped into the conversation too soon. One problem is placing unsourced material in the lead, having it challenged and removed, and still replacing it in the lead. The other solution I see is this entire article covers the aspects and views of time, very well. In fact it is a former WP:GA. Having said all that I am thinking that WP:OR is not well understood. Furthermore...
Previously, this article had its lead as follows (which is perfect):

Time is a one-dimensional quantity used to sequence events, to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (used together with space) to quantify and measure the motions of objects. Time is quantified in comparative terms (such as longer, shorter, faster, quicker, slower) or in numerical terms using units (such as seconds, minutes, hours, days). Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars.

This lead is clear, succinct, and broad all at the same time. It actually has said it all. I think the above should be the leading lede of this article. Especially, that it is a "one dimensional quantity" relfects the current physics. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 03:11, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

It makes no difference if it says "time is a physical process... in which reality is transformed" or "time is a physical paradigm... in which reality is transformed". Neither are supported by the ref cited and no amount of minor tinkering is going to change that. We do not need the first sentence at all. The 2nd sentence is well-sourced & covers aspects of numerous sources--JimWae (talk) 03:09, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Jim Wae makes a good point here, and I have to agree. Neither are supported by the references cited and should not be in the aritcle at this point. I prefer the lead I just posted above. However, the first sentence is not even needed. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 03:27, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
JimWae occasionally does make a good point, but he has also obstitudiously objected to any compromise on the matter of what he claims to be neutral writing. Still, in our discussions over the last week, I've been able to find fatal flaws in every single proposed writing he has submitted. When it gets down to finding any fatal errors in my writing, he changes tactics and tries a red-herring argument focusing on items that I've already agreed to compromise on.
Of course its a fair argument that I provide sources, but that's not been JimWae's argument, and he himself has not objected to using dicdefs as a source. In fact he "provides" us with an omnibus 10 dicdef reference. All this did was show that most dictionaries are written at a basic English level and that the AHD alone had the sense to provide a general statement of what time is.
Consider the argument for example, that though there is a source that says that "time is a one-dimensional quantity," we can ask "is that what time really is? A 'one-dimensional quantity?'" It is not. Time is 1) an English word, used a) to conceptualize a physical phenomenon of change b) to refer to that physical phenomenon, or c) refer to the concept of the phenomenon. Out of all of the dicdefs JimWae "provided," only one, the AHD had the temerity to offer a high-level overview.
Consider what 1Z says below, that of all of the writing I've "provided" the only things he found unlikeable are the concepts of "paradigm" and "macroscopic," neither of which are fatal, and both of which can be changed - to "physical phenomenon" and "universal" for example. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:04, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually I do think the article was generally better before you started "improving" it. 1Z (talk) 08:52, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

It makes no difference if it says "time is a physical process... in which reality is transformed" or "time is a physical paradigm... in which reality is transformed" or "time is a physical phenomenon... in which reality is transformed" NONE are supported by the ref cited and no amount of minor tinkering is going to change that.

Fatal flaws.... ???? Though you occasionally extend a compliment my way, they seem usually to be part of an effort to compliment yourself. We are not here to discuss whether you have explored fatal flaws in what I wrote, nor in what is presented in dictionaries... AND encyclopedias. You have not provided a source for your preferred "insight" into what time "really is". We are not even here to discuss what time "really is". We are here to present what the best reliable sources have to offer. We are not here to argue about your "insight" into what time "really is". You have not shown any effort to source your material. There's really nothing more that should need to be said. --JimWae (talk) 04:13, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I have to agree. Editors on Wikipedia are not tasked with getting into deep philosophical discussions regarding time, or any other subject. Anything produced from such a discussion is not material that could be placed in an article, besides the fact that we wouldn't get anything else accomplished. Material presented in articles has to be based on reliable sources. It is a really good system. In any case, I can provide a link for a wiki where articles comprised of POV and original works are allowed, if anyone is interested. It has editing tools just like Wikipedia and there is no stringent requirement for WP:RS and WP:VERIFY. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 04:28, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Does consensus matter here? Instead of agreeing to kill any wording I come up with, you two can instead suggest better alternatives - alternative which then have to stand up to my scrutiny. Calling for RS is only valid if you yourself provide such sources in your own proposals. Neither of you did this, and yet now you both (even newcomer Steve) are claiming that RS is now the relevant concept. Keep in mind that WP:CONsensus is far older than even RS, and is still just as relevant here. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 06:14, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Leave it as it is. You are never going to get this right for everyone. As the article says, defining the concept of time has eluded the greatest scholars. Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:00, 4 August 2010 (UTC) Forget that. The lead changed as I was writing this.

I think that editors here need to concentrate on writing something as non-contentions as possible so that the lead will be stable, maybe along the lines of, 'time is the concept that separates the past from the future' or whatever. Maybe even start with the fact that there is no definition, 'Time is a concept which all humans seem to understand but for which there is no adequate definition'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:07, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Continuum in which events occur

1. A great many of the defs that are referenced in the article do not use the term "continuum". The meaning of the "continuum", whether technically correct or not, is not transparent to the reader, and the function of definitions in general-use encyclopedias is to explain things in simpler terms, not in more complex terms. Does saying time IS a continuum say more about time or more about quantification in general? I'm not sure it has been determined yet that time IS a continuum, though we have determined that there is no reason yet that we cannot consider time as a continuous quantity.

2. Saying time is "something" "in which events occur" suggests that time has some sort of ontological precedence over events - that time is some kind of aether that events depend on for their existence. This tends to "reify" time in a way that is open to question. Another valid way of looking at it is that time depends on events. As it says later in the lede: Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence...

3. How do we decide what defs to use to say what time "is", and what defs to use to say how time "has been defined". Isn't it taking sides to choose some and not others for saying what time "is"?

4. Maybe I missed it - was there a discussion about why we need any part of this new first sentence? I am going to remove it and see if others agree it is not needed. I know Steve does not agree, but Steve has not concerned himself with sources so far, and wants to insert his own unsourced insights as what time IS, so there is not likely any way he will be satisfied with WP standards regarding verifiability, reliable sources, and original research.--JimWae (talk) 04:44, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I need to retire now, because its late here. But the short answer is that the scope of the first definition is broader and both definitions are true and compliment each other without any need for qualifications. The sourcing (see below) is impeccable too. Also, it doesn't matter semantically if time turns out to be a grainy continuum. Similarly, its not relevant whether only events define a continuum or whether the continuum actually has an independent existence. Same goes for spacetime and space. These are just different considerations that certainly have important implications as to how each continuum is viewed though. Here are the current cites with this term and very similar expressions of the concept highlighted in bold, I did this quickly so take note of, or highlight any omissions I might of missed:
References presently cited

"The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language". 2010. http://www.yourdictionary.com/time. "1a. A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.

1b. An interval separating two points on this continuum; a duration: a long time since the last war; passed the time reading. 1c. A number, as of years, days, or minutes, representing such an interval: ran the course in a time just under four minutes. 1d. A similar number representing a specific point on this continuum, reckoned in hours and minutes: checked her watch and recorded the time, 6:17 A.M. 1e. A system by which such intervals are measured or such numbers are reckoned: solar time.... 11. The rate of speed of a measured activity: marching in double time." ).

"Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". 2010. http://www.iep.utm.edu/time/. "Time is what clocks measure. We use time to place events in sequence one after the other, and we use time to compare how long events last.... Among philosophers of physics, the most popular short answer to the question "What is physical time?" is that it is not a substance or object but rather a special system of relations among instantaneous events. This working definition is offered by Adolf Grünbaum who applies the contemporary mathematical theory of continuity to physical processes, and he says time is a linear continuum of instants and is a distinguished one-dimensional sub-space of four-dimensional spacetime."

"MacMillan Dictionary". 2010. http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/time. "the quantity that you measure using a clock"

"The American Heritage® Science Dictionary @dictionary.com". 2002. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/time?r=66. "1. A continuous, measurable quantity in which events occur in a sequence proceeding from the past through the present to the future. 2a. An interval separating two points of this quantity; a duration. 2b. A system or reference frame in which such intervals are measured or such quantities are calculated."

"Collins English Dictionary". HarperCollins. 2003. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/time. "2. (Physics) a quantity measuring duration, usually with reference to a periodic process such as the rotation of the earth or the vibration of electromagnetic radiation emitted from certain atoms.... In classical mechanics, time is absolute in the sense that the time of an event is independent of the observer. According to the theory of relativity it depends on the observer's frame of reference. Time is considered as a fourth coordinate required, along with three spatial coordinates, to specify an event. See space-time continuum."

"Eric Weisstein's World of Science". 2007. http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/Time.html. "A quantity used to specify the order in which events occurred and measure the amount by which one even preceded or followed another. In special relativity, ct (where c is the speed of light and t is time), plays the role of a fourth dimension."

"Glossary for Extragalactic Astronomy". CalTech. 2005. http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Glossary/Glossary_T.html. "A dimension distinguishing past, present, and future. In relativity, time is portrayed as a geometrical dimension, analogous to the dimensions of space."

"Merriam Webster Online Dictionary". 2010. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time. "1a: the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration; 1b: a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future; 2: the point or period when something occurs : occasion"

"Encarta Online Dictionary". 2010. http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861720331. "1. system of distinguishing events: a dimension that enables two identical events occurring at the same point in space to be distinguished, measured by the interval between the events."

"Webster's New World College Dictionary". 2010. http://www.yourdictionary.com/time. "1.indefinite, unlimited duration in which things are considered as happening in the past, present, or future; every moment there has ever been or ever will be... a system of measuring duration 2.the period between two events or during which something exists, happens, or acts; measured or measurable interval"

"Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on Random House Dictionary". 2010. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/time?r=66. "1. the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.... 3. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) a system or method of measuring or reckoning the passage of time: mean time; apparent time; Greenwich Time. 4. a limited period or interval, as between two successive events: a long time.... 14. a particular or definite point in time, as indicated by a clock: What time is it? ... 18. an indefinite, frequently prolonged period or duration in the future: Time will tell if what we have done here today was right."

"The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary @dictionary.com". 2002. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/time?r=66. "A duration or relation of events expressed in terms of past, present, and future, and measured in units such as minutes, hours, days, months, or years."

"Collins Language.com". HarperCollins. 2010. http://www.collinslanguage.com/results.aspx?context=3&reversed=False&action=define&homonym=-1&text=time. "1. the past, present, and future regarded as a continuous whole,... 2. (Physics) a quantity measuring duration, measured with reference to the rotation of the earth or from the vibrations of certain atoms"

"Britannica Concise Encyclopedia". 2010. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/596034/time. "Measured or measurable period. More broadly, it is a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions."

"The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language". 2010. http://www.yourdictionary.com/time. "1a. A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. 1b. An interval separating two points on this continuum; a duration: a long time since the last war; passed the time reading. 1c. A number, as of years, days, or minutes, representing such an interval: ran the course in a time just under four minutes. 1d. A similar number representing a specific point on this continuum, reckoned in hours and minutes: checked her watch and recorded the time, 6:17 A.M. 1e. A system by which such intervals are measured or such numbers are reckoned: solar time.... 11. The rate of speed of a measured activity: marching in double time."

One huge benefit of the new addition is that we now have tangible links to the notable and highly relevant articles on the past, present and future in our first sentence, which certainly helps with asserting the topic's notability as required. I need to take a wikibreak, and I'm not sure for how long, but I'll try to respond further sometime tomorrow if necessary. --Modocc (talk) 07:23, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
You've come a bit late to this discussion, Modocc, so you might not be aware that every one of those refs was added by me (hence I am already pretty well aware they are there), that AHD is now cited twice in there, and that it was mostly myself who composed one of the sentences. Only 3 of the 13 sources define time with "continuum" (one more presents it as somebody's view) and only one says "continuum in which...". We could say it is a "continuum", a "linear continuum", a "one-dimensional continuous quantity", or we could say it is a "quantity" - THe last is more general than "continuum". I think we can find other ways to include links to past, present, and future than taking sides in a great philosophical debate (of realism v idealism v nominalism). --JimWae (talk) 11:40, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I have said above that the objective of the opening sentence should be to be as non-controversial as possible, mainly in the interests of stability. To achieve this aim it is likely to be a bit bland, saying little about time except that it separates the past, present, and future. We should not try to explain what time is any further that most people intuitively know, simply because there is no scholarly agreement on the issue.
On the above basis, the current sentence looks good to me, except, as JimWae's comments, for the word 'continuum'. The more general and uninformative we can make that word the better in my opinion. Martin Hogbin (talk) 13:49, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Just a thought. How about having no word at all and replacing 'the continuum' with 'that'? Martin Hogbin (talk)
"in which events occur" is also a matter of some controversy. I will think about a way to work in past present & future. But it gets a bit long for one sentence.
Time has been defined as a one-dimensional quantity[2] used to sequence events (separating events in the past, present, and future), to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (used together with other quantities such as space) to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes.[3] --JimWae (talk) 14:02, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

That's leaning towards non-realism again 1Z (talk) 14:13, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

The realist version is controversial. Non-realist accounts are minimalist - just what we need to avoid controversy. Realist accounts could maybe come afterwards. Anyway, perhaps this will work better (it certainly is better syntax):

Time has been defined as a one-dimensional quantity[1] used to sequence events and position them in the past, the present, and the future. It is also used to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (together with other quantities such as space) to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes.[2] Time has also been defined as a continuum in which events occur in an apparently irreversible succession.[3]--JimWae (talk) 14:46, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I would say that 'one-dimensional' is too technical for an opening sentence and therefore possibly controversial. Martin Hogbin (talk) 15:12, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Controversies and technicalities can be confronted with sources though. The sources indicate that the quantity definition is more specific to physics, but the concept of a continuum is germane to both physics and general usages. Quantity is a more generic and minimalist approach yes, but there is the downside of what it does not say given these sources. We can certainly avoid the "something" "in which events occur" construction and perhaps avoid too the minimalist approach. Perhaps:
Time is the continuum of events which occur in succession from the past, to the present and on to the future. Time is also a one-dimensional quantity used to sequence events, to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (used together with other quantities such as [[space]) to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes.
Given the listed sources, I don't quite see a need to qualify either of these two definitions with the verbose "has been defined"... if we can get this right. --Modocc (talk) 18:56, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
There isn't a single controversial realist definition of time, there are muliple controversial realistic definitions. Leaving them all out leans toward the antirealist position which is controversial as well. 1Z (talk) 19:24, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Therefore, for the opening sentence, give a simple, maybe even naive, but indisputable description of what time is so that nobody can disagree with it. Sources are of no use here. You can probably find a source to say anything you like about time.Martin Hogbin (talk) 19:52, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Martin, "simple" + "maybe even naive" = simplistic. This is not the simplistic.wikipedia, and even simple.wikipedia uses used (until JimWae messed with it) a general, non-simplistic definition for time (simple:Time).
Note, I think JimWae is being unncessarily argumentative here. The lede as it is is quite simple and to the point. The issue which JimWae centers in on here is the word "continuum," which is a point I raised near the end of the previous section. Instead of arguing here between using "continnum" and "something simple", we could be working to bring the continuum / continuum (theory) articles up to par. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 21:36, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. We are talking about the first sentence of the lead only here. There is simply no way you will ever get agreement on anything other than a simple, non-contentious description. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:45, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
It is simple and it is where it should be at. We are not the simplistic.wikipedia. If you and JimWae are thinking of alternatives, propose them, but don't make an argument against "continnum" by saying that 'all the other dicdefs were written by third graders, and therefore our lede should be written similarly.' -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 21:50, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────JimWae did propose an alternative, this. But only four of the thirteen sources state that time is a quantity. And of those, two place it under "(physics)", and another is a physics reference. The forth also happens to say its a continuous quantity. Thus defining time simply as a quantity has limited usage, so must it really be at the top? Regarding Jim's initial concern about not saying time is continuous, six sources explicitly give this general understanding. In addition, another source gives a view that it is continuous. Several of the sources only define time with a period or duration which for all practical purposes, given that events are random, is a continuous quantity. In short, the notion that time IS, in a general sense, "something" that is continuous is easy to verify. That something is called a continuum and in physics its an integral part of the spacetime continuum. Thus there is no need to obscure the fact that time is considered a continuum too (last I read, there was some agreement on calling the theory of relativity a fact, but that's getting into wp:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS territory). I've suggested changing the "the continuum in which events occur" to "the continuum of events which occur" so as to make it more explicit that the continuum is a relation regarding events. Saying something IS defined a certain way in the top of the lede favors it of course, but not to the exclusion of other definitions. For example, Blue is one of the three primary colors. It is also a perception of the visual senses. Hence, this "has been defined" is unnecessary verbiage as long as we assure that these definitions convey, in a respectable manner, the essential topic here which is time. --Modocc (talk) 02:14, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I prefer stating that "time Is a continuum", rather than what is presently in the first sentence "Time has been defined as the continuum in which...". I don't see this as overly controversial. Especially when many sources also describe time as such. Also, continuum is easy to understand - in that it is describing a "continous succession", rather than a succession that is comprised of discrete parts, or that is comprised of partitioned increments. The partitioned increments, or discrete parts, are more likely related to seperate events, which occur inside the continous succession of time (inside the continuum).
At the same time, it may appear there is a continuum of events, but this is probably not the case. It seems that each event is described in discrete terms. For example: On any given day "Event A" precedes "Event B", which precedes "Event C" and so on. In fact it could be that events do not really exist, because events only exist in our languaging, or descriptions. Events do not actually exist in physical reality the way the moon, trees, or a pond exisist in physical reality. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 04:09, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Nor does time "exist" the same way trees do. I would prefer saying "time is" too - if it were possible for humans to agree on what time is - but that is a goal, not an achievement. I have more concerns with saying "time is a continuum in which events occur" (like time is an "aether"), than I am with saying "time is a continuous quantity" (vs. discrete). There are, however, some few who maintain time could be discrete. Though I do not agree with them, I do NOT think it has been determined that time is continuous, just that WE regard it as continuous, and no reason has yet been found to stop us from regarding it as continuous. Perhaps it was a mistake to change from a treatment similar to that in 2007 - though now modified somewhat. One distinct view of time is that it is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension *in which* events occur.... --JimWae (talk) 04:30, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Jim, looking at this 2007 introduction (all four paragraphs) I am wondering why anyone changed it. It is well written and seems to cover most of the bases, if not all of the bases. I wish we could put a lock on some articles, or some parts of articles, when a certain degree of clarity and a proficiency of wording has been attained. Not to detract from our energetic efforts here, but we are becoming the architects of an introduction that was already written in 2007, more or less. In fact the lede paragraph that you wrote just recently was, as I said, a perfect lede for this article. But instead of just keeping that we are here, again working on - once again - the perfect lede. I would not have a problem with going back to the 2007 lead.
To discover what time is I am attempting to peruse this book online at the moment: Physics and the ultimate significance of time... by David Ray Griffin. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 05:38, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
You will not find the answer there. Physicists do not purport to be able to answer questions of philosophy. Martin Hogbin (talk) 08:44, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Its probably not a bad idea to look at what physicists actually do think about time. Physicists tend to regard time as just an extension of the dimensions required to define a space, but implicit in that definition is of course the agnosticism that Martin refers to in which physicist deny making qualitative judgments about anything. But that's not to say that some physicists haven't looked at time itself and what it actually is. Itzhak Bars, for example, conjectures "time" to be best represented as two distinct dimensions (2T), not just one. In any case, the idea of a unified spacetime seems to answer the question well enough.
JimWae wrote: "Nor does time "exist" the same way trees do." - One could say that 'light does not "exist" in the same way trees do' and I wonder if JimWae would argue so forcefully against a "real" notion of light in the way he argues for an "unreal" notion of time. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 21:01, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Time is change.

     Linear time is accelerated by motivation. This manifests itself as change of velocity of the flow of time resulting from change of magnitude of the unit of measurement. The observer of the change is only conscious of that change if the change is the difference between observations of the contents of two units 'now' or of the comparable magnitude of two units 'now'. The observer is then in the boundary between the two moments 'now'. Change of a static unit 'now' cannot be observed because the change is within the static unit. The unit 'now' is an interval of time of magnitude which is specific for the particular oberver and is a cycle contained between two limits of the 'beginning', symbolised by '0', and the 'end' symbolised by '1'. Seen as one, the duality of (0<1), is a static interval of time, containing observer's consciousness of the external world. It also contains consciousness of the 'self' and of the memory. Since 'now' is static it can change for the next 'now' only quantitatively and outside of the observer's consciousness, in which case the boundary is too small to accommodate the unit 'now' containing consciousness. There is no observable transformation from one magnitude of the 'now' to a different magnitude or transformation in the difference between parts within the 'now' itself. When the variable boundary is at its maximum the 'now', contained between the 'beginning' and the dynamic 'end', is contradiction of Nothingness and it is of unlimited magnitude. Change is then perfectly continuous and unlimited, so that the medium of the largest 'now' is the Nothingness of unlimited plurality of the 'units' of Nothingness

     To change from one 'now' to the next 'now', whether continuously, using the smallest 'now, or quantitatively, in the case of the largest 'now', or by a combination of the two, there must be motivation for the change. The units of Nothingness change continuously, making the medium of unlimited plurality of identical units of Nothingness, dynamic. The medium of Nothingness is unlimited, static and therefore eternal but it contains all the possible units of limited plurality and of variable organisations. This is possible only if there is a conscious observer motivating and organising the medium. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.29.36.126 (talk) 14:41, 6 January 2010 (UTC) Apology, I forgot to sign the above contribution. I want to add that time has no spatial magnitude because it is rotation of the point. But the point can rotate with vartiable velocity thus creating organisations outside of space. Points of variable velocity of rotation can interact but only points with identical velocity of rotation unite and double the velocity. Manifestation of time is 'energy' or 'motivation'. We experience it as the material or immaterial space times. KK (213.158.199.139 (talk) 08:43, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Off topic

Time is the fourth dimension.Think about it for a minute when someone gives you a date or an appointment there are three things to consider length,breadth,and altitude but even with these coordinates there is one last thing to consider and that is of course time.Where would you be knowing where to go but not knowing when to arrive somewhere?~~lightbeamrider

But keep in mind special and general relativity - someone may be late to the luncheon, and still be on time to the funeral. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:33, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Yoctosecond

Just for the record, yoctosecond, is correct and yactosecond is incorrect. However, I don't understand the editing of the word "common" for the table. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 03:18, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I hit undo instead of rollback. It was my intention to delete the 2 entries that are finer than any measurable time, which are not COMMON units of time. It was not my intention to change the spelling. This article is not the article to provide ALL the prefixes that can be put in front of second. Such is perhaps even of limited use in the second article. I cannot see any point to including yottasecond either.--JimWae (talk) 03:57, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I had never seen these units before, so I went looking for them in the literature, and thus their presence was useful to me. I think that is a point for having them in the table, and surely I'm not the only one to frown upon them. Is that sufficient as as point? I think so, but if others don't, I will not lose any sleep over it. DVdm (talk) 06:49, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Jim, maybe you would be interested in a poem where the topical coverage is the yoctosecond.
In other words, it is about the yoctosecond  ; > ) BTW, does this demonstrate notability? ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:44, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

In Our Time

The BBC programme In Our Time presented by Melvyn Bragg has an episode which may be about this subject (if not moving this note to the appropriate talk page earns cookies). You can add it to "External links" by pasting * {{In Our Time|Time|p005465z}}. Rich Farmbrough, 03:23, 16 September 2010 (UTC).

Revert report

I'm experimenting with a certain tit-for-tat/adversarial way of dealing with Jim, who mistakenly regards himself as an WP:OWNer of this article. Comments welcome.

  • 4 (cur | prev) 19:25, 12 July 2010 Stevertigo (talk | contribs) m (75,622 bytes) (Your text is less than adequate - it is unsourceable philobabble without the merit of even an intuitive insight, let alone a source. "Time is a one-dimensional quantity..." Ha.) (undo)
  • 3 (cur | prev) 18:40, 12 July 2010 JimWae (talk | contribs) (75,269 bytes) (your text is more than debatable - it is unsourced jargon that sheds no light on the topic in a general- purpose encyclopedia. It is also POV) **
  • 2 (cur | prev) 15:56, 12 July 2010 Stevertigo (talk | contribs) m (75,609 bytes) (Undid revert based on asshat ownership of article) (undo)
  • 1 (cur | prev) 04:42, 12 July 2010 JimWae (talk | contribs) (75,063 bytes) (rv polysyllabic uninformative POV jargonese) (undo)

-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 16:01, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

** THIS (#3 above) WAS NOT A REVERT - (JimWae) re-signed JimWae (talk) 08:11, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
  • That was the wrong link. Fixed. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:44, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Is announcing that one is "experimenting" with other editors assuming good faith? How are announcing such experiments and claiming that I am guilty of "asshat ownership of article" helping to improve the article? Is anyone who prevents you from conducting and publishing original research guilty of "asshat ownership", or is it just me? --JimWae (talk) 04:40, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The issue was is that you don't seem to be acting in good faith yourself in this context. I think you are intelligent and reasonable, but have to some degree exercised a concept of ownership over this topic - to the disregard of any improvement which might come from someone such as me. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 21:11, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Time and troubles

I think indeed that the main problem should be: split the contribution.

The time, time inversion and relationships of time with modern theories is not that clear yet to even the top guy in physics. I would create a further, Time (disambiguation): Time (history of the term) Time (Measures) Time (in physics) Time (in IT: Time zones to start with)

How to get back them together? no clue.. just time.

But definitely, if classical time apply: I revert you to a baby! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.75.172.104 (talk) 20:58, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Time in IT as a variable

I would propose such a section. Because most of our perception of time depend on a computer giving us the time. The computer being a phone, the desktop or a complex alarm-clock.

But in particular because I need to sort time events and I want to use the unix sort -n facility. I can do it if time is given as: YYYY.MM.DD.HH.mm.ss.Decimals Or in numbers: 20101011212200.milliseconds this format has the precision of milliseconds (at least) on a 32 bit machine.

Because this number is not a problem for modern machines, I would propose this format for time events. This will cover any Y2K troubles until year 9999. Scientific experiment with sub-time measures can be connect to this time scale (They typically will use their own time scale anyway).

Of course the time shift is still in place: but it is typically on the hours with a precision of a second.

This is the simplest, organic, number ordered unit of time with the precision of milliseconds on a modern computer. It can be used for any life time event.

Beside the proposition of the time variable: I strongly recommend a section about IT time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.75.172.104 (talk) 20:29, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

BTW: the Y2K problem should be mentioned. Why we had a "time" problem? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.75.172.104 (talk) 20:38, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Time

Steve Quinn came by and offered us the above writing:

Time is a continuum that runs from the past, through the present, and into the future. Within this continuum events occur one after the other and these events cannot be reversed. In light of this, time is an expression of an interval between two points, each marked by an event which lasts a duration (of time). Hence time is measured, as with years, days, minutes, seconds, or fractions of a second. Furthermore, time can be viewed as system containing measured intervals. [1]

There is much to like about it, but nevertheless just like anything it must go through a vetting process here on talk. I will make some specific plaudits and critiques shortly. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:41, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Plaudits
  • SQ's intro is high-level, that is to say it takes a step back and looks at a large field of relevant concepts to "time" including ways by which time is objectively conceptualized as days, months, and years. JimWae's version, which is very usable as a secondary sentence, already did the second part, as seen in the second paragraph of SQ's version. The first goal - a broad view - has been the entire focus of my writing, and has been something that JW has rejected. SQ appears to understand the necessity of a high-level overview, and as such I think we can find a good balance between the three of us.
  • Time has a continuum aspect. This is a concept provided by the source, and one which I used. But there are problems, per below.
  • Time does "run" from "the past through the present and into the future." Again this is wording found in the AHD source which I wrote into my version.
  • The idea of no T-symmetry is of course relevant, and I don't have much of an issue in treating it objectively as Steve has done here.
  • "Time can be viewed as a system.." - ie. time can be viewed in different ways..
Criticisms
  • Time is not an "expression of an interval" as much as it is a physical process or paradigm. Even saying time is a continuum has problems in that time is more than just that. The idea of a continuum also has subjective semantics which parsing presents us with the problem that its usage infers a subjective viewpoint. JimWae has issues with the concept that time is a process, and so simply saying it is a "paradigm," seems necessary.
  • Stating what time is is the essential essence here, and getting into colloquial measurements seems necessary, but I dislike writing in which the colloquialisms have undue weight relative to more formalistic concepts such that come from physics. In essence the ideal lead will be something along SQ's direction, but IMHO it needs trimming to avoid redundancy with JW's extant text involving objectified concepts such as measurement, sequencing etc.
  • SQ does not mention either "change" or "transformation." He only says time "runs from the past through present, etc.
  • Time from a certain picture is a "system," but it does not "contain" measured intervals, except in the conceptual sense. From a physical perspective, it is that which "provides" or "generates" measured intervals, perhaps, from another particular picture.

-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:53, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I am all for balance. Stevertigo, appears to have a good view of what's intended and what is needed. The first sentence, as it stands, is really not understandable, and needs to be simplified. I reccomend breaking it down into several sentences, similar to what I had. Also, what I wrote is not to be taken as "written in stone. " It was a first draft which was summarily "thrown out". In any case, compare reference number 1 to what I wrote and you will see these are very similar. This is not my original writing, but a reflection of reference number 1. Also, I have verified this reference because the link provided goes right to it.
One more thing. It appears the original first sentence that was there two or three weeks ago was also supported by the first reference, but has now been changed to something unrecognizable. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 00:26, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you referring to this version:
"Time is the concept of the underlying physical mechanisms that macroscopically transform reality —in accord with dimensional constraints and orthographies correspondences at the smallest scales —such that the state of the present is realized directly from past states, and the future can be pictured by projection."
.. which I wrote previously? JW disliked that version as well, just as I found fatal errors in his proposed versions, and that's how we came to the current version. We here run into the editorial problem that saying "time is a concept," is just as true as saying "time is a physical phenomenon" or "time is a physical process." Please see Time in physics and offer a physicist-oriented critique of my writing there. JW has had issues with that overview as well. Regards, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:31, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't like "paradigm" and I don't like "macroscopically". 1Z (talk) 00:44, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

  • The interesting thing about "macroscopically" (ie. time's "macroscopic" aspect) is that while time has a linear function at the particulate level, its generalization to fields and even entire reference frames is constant, mod the influence of mass vis-a-vis relativity. So while its true that time has a "microscopic" aspect, its "macroscopic" effects cannot be dismissed. In fact time has universal aspects (cosmology) albeit modified vis-a-vis some geometry governing how reference frames relate.
  • The issues with "paradigm" I agree with —its main meaning is conceptual and this does not translate to real phenomena. What about simply "physical phenomenon?" Regards, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:29, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I have a degree in physics yet I couldn't understand your first comment. 1Z (talk) 08:47, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
So if I say for example, that 'time acts like a force upon a particle,' this would not evoke a concept that we were confining our thoughts to the "microscopic?" If I then say time acts upon all of the universe, would this not evoke the idea that the scope of the concept is "macroscopic?"
To make this simple, would you prefer, instead of "paradigm" and "macroscopic," we simply use "physical phenomenon" and "universal?" Or just the earlier version minus "macroscopic," hence:
"Time is the concept of the underlying physical mechanisms that transform reality —in accord with dimensional constraints and correspondences at the smallest scales —such that the state of the present is realized directly from past states, and the future can be pictured by projection."
-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:05, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


Time is the (non-spacial) distance between two events. (Jijil Ramakrishnan) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 180.215.52.74 (talk) 03:48, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Lead in of article

Some days ago I placed the {{Lead too long}} template on Time/Archive 5. I would have edited the lead myself, but my current internet connection has considerable problems to load the article. In the meantime Steve Quinn did some work there. He also asked for my opinion. Now, here it comes, applying to the current version:

The third paragraph referring to Ray Cummings should be moved to a new art-about-time section. It is a nice illustration of the sequencing concept, but it definitly does not belong in the lead. Also there is a lot of redundancy and undue elaboration within the other two paragraphs.

Generally the lead section should introduce and summarise the article using introduction style of language. That means for example: being short, having short sentences, no explanation, no history (if not being about history), naming the most important concepts, thereby possibly referring major point of views. Also the lead should start with some kind of definition, due to the article being an encyclopaedic one.

I already have some ideas for a rewrite. Here a first structured list of concepts:

paragraph 1
  • sequence of events
  • distance between events, duration
paragraph 2
  • speed, rate, more general: derivation in time
  • measurement (eventcounting = equal-distance-counting), natural "instruments" (moon), clocks
  • codependence of time and space dimensions (sequence is different for each position [more precise: phase position=position now-before-after])
paragraph 3
  • medium conception, flow
  • dimension conception, independence of dimension, perambulatability
paragraph 4
  • from-birth-to-death impression
  • circle idea
  • idea of opportune moment
  • unreal-idea

Lastly I would like to state that there is no need to rush: The lead has issues, but it is not wrong. -- Tomdo08 (talk) 17:36, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

This sounds reasonable, but it would help if someone placed a new version of introduction here for discussion. I also see a couple of minor obvious issues that can be easily fixed right now (see my comments below).Biophys (talk) 16:51, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I responded to your comments and edits in the section below. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 18:32, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Religious issues

1. The quote from Ecclesiastes is not about time, but about timing and therefore does not belong here.Biophys (talk) 20:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

2. Second coming does not mean end of time because God is eternal according to Christian beliefs. This should be fixed.Biophys (talk) 20:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Comments

It tells: "Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars". What? As long as time is defined by a measurement, it is indeed unequivocally defined for any practical or theoretical purposes. Yes, this applies everywhere. There are many questions about time, but they are not related to the physical definition. Right? Biophys (talk) 16:28, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Also, this: "so defining time in terms of such quantities [sch as velocity] would result in circularity of definition". Well, this is quite obvious and does not belong to Introduction.Biophys (talk) 16:33, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Another quick random comment: "Time travel at different rates into the future, known as time dilation". But time dilation is not a travel to the future.Biophys (talk) 16:40, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I will just make a quick comment here. What "was" in the lede is derived from sources. So, the statement "defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars " is accurate, and relevant. This has already been throughly discussed in some of the above sections. Since, this is an encyclopedia article, we must paint with a broad stroke. And this especially includes philiosphical views and conclusions. I don't know how "circularity of definition" appears obvious to you, but this is not an obvious circumstance of using language. So this will also have to be added back into the article. Sorry to say, it appears that your wording over-complicates descriptions that have been designed to be simple. Your efforts are appreciated. At the same, time all edits must be based in reliable sources, and it appears that yours may not be. Please don't take this personal, it just how Wikipedia is designed. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 18:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
All right, could you please direct me to the previous discussion? First of all, my changes just made is shorter for clarity [2] and I did not insert anything new (hence I am not making any OR). Second, what exactly source are you talking about (defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars)? The source is not there. Third, it's fine to mention that velocity (and a lot of other quantities) are defined by using time, but not vice versa. Would that be OK? Biophys (talk) 20:03, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify this a little. Please read the phrase: "Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars." Word "study" assume science rather than religion, and there is a clear scientific and widely accepted operational definition of time.Biophys (talk) 20:20, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
More about sources. Quote 4 in Intro is wrong. It tells [3] about measuring all physical quantities in "natural" or dimensionless units based on the three fundamental constants of Nature (c, gravitational constant and Plank constant). Yes, that's an important and correct concept, but it has little to do with "circular definition of time" as described in introduction.Biophys (talk) 21:09, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I am very busy, at the moment, so for now I direct you to this section Nonce_introduction above. Read from there, all the way down. This may answer at least some of you questions. Hopefully some other editors that have been working on this article will jump in here as well. Regards. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 02:11, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
First of all, let's dismiss completely all arguments by Stevertigo, just to save some time; no one takes them seriously. I made a few minor non-controversial changes, to simplify the introduction per reasons explained in this section. If you do not like them, that's fine, let's come up with something better.Biophys (talk) 05:12, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
This is essentially a consensus lede, structured by some knowledgeable people, hopefully you can respect that. I am waiting some of the other editors to become available. However, I don't expect to be available until next Monday. I would prefer some of us get together then. So, I hope you don't mind - you will have to be patient. In the meantime, I reccomend reading this - Time (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). I think you will find it illuminating. Also I reccomend reading the details in the subsections for which links are provided. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 22:51, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Pertaining to one of your comments above - it may be that the references and citations got a little jumbled with the recent back and forth this article had experienced. I appreciate this feedback. Hopefully, now that problem has been fixed, as I just did a major copy edit of the lede.
Also I understand skewing toward a scienctific definition, rather than a philosophical, or religious definition. I admit that I am biased toward this sort of thing. However, it is a bias. Since a definitive description of time has not been established, which can put to rest the differences between scientific, philosophical, and religious disciplines, it is not for me to decide. The proof would be in the pudding. In other words, if such a description existed, we would know of it. Furthermmore, based on the long history of attempting to define, or describe "Time", how can I possibly say that one description is valid, and others are not. I hope this makes sense to you. Regards - ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:05, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, some sections may still need references. I have been so focused on getting the lede to be correct these past months that I haven't scrutinized the whole article. I agree the blurb and section on time travel may not be needed in this article. At least not from the view of time travel. Time dialation might be worth mentioning if we steer away from any science fiction aspect. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:14, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
You said: "This is a consensus version of introduction. Let's keep it". Yes, I agree. But instead you unilaterally changed it completely by bringing some stuff from "Philosophy" section. Old version was much better, I only made a couple of cosmetic changes. It was not bad at all. You gave me the link here. That's fine. First phrase: "Time is what clocks measure." Right, exactly. I would not mind if this article started from such phrase. Besides, do you know enough about views of Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant to oppose them to views of Isaac Newton? Biophys (talk) 00:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
This is actually the old version, before all the turmoil of the recent past (with Stevertigo) [4]. You might have to scroll down a bit, to see it. We could shift things around like this, if you want, and then get feedback from the other editors. You can see I have pretty much the same information, just in a different order. Why is the order, which this is placed important to you? And what is this anathema toward philosphy? ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 09:10, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Anathema toward philosphy? What are you talking about? I even respect religion [5]. I only fixed wrong statement that Lebniz did not know how to measure time [6]. Biophys (talk) 15:23, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Also, you are the one complaining, so I fixed it. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 09:14, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I am not complaining but suggest improvements. I made a new subsection below to make this discussion more constructive.Biophys (talk) 12:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Introduction, take 2

We first must provide definition of the term per WP:MOS. Here we must give priority to the only scientific/physical definition of time: Time is what clocks measure.[7]. Why? Because this is "majority view". If there are any other philosophical or religious definitions (rather than interpretations or discussions) of time, for example, by Leibniz or Kant, let's provide them too per sources. This is first problem that needs to be resolved. Let's do one thing at a time. Any comments? Biophys (talk) 12:45, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Just to clarify, there are many problems in the current version of the introduction, including WP:SYN about Newton and Lebniz. However main problem is this: "Many fields avoid the problem of defining time itself by using operational definitions that specify the units of measurement that quantify time". Wrong. "Time is what clocks measure." This is the only definition of time, one that was used by Newton, Lebniz and everyone else since the invention of clocks. Only interpretations differ. They may be included in the introduction, but only after providing the definition.Biophys (talk) 14:17, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I am so meticulous because such things really matter when it comes to special relativity. What changes depending on the frame of reference is not the absolute "time", but only something that clocks show. Biophys (talk) 15:05, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

First let me say, about what you are doing in this section, good job!

Second, how do you know that the "scientific" definition of time is the majority view? Are there sources that say this is so? I think philosophical inquires, and the definitions derived from these are probably just as valid. Just look at the list of unresolved issues in the first paragraph here [8]. And looking at the second paragraph "Some of these issues will be resolved by scientific advances alone, but others require philosophical analysis." I could possibly say that both philosophical and scientific have equal weight.

What do you mean WP:SYN about Newton and Lebniz, regarding this article?

Also simply stating "time is what clocks measure" may be problematic. There was a time when clocks, as we know them today, did not exist.

I think you are misunderstanding this statement "Many fields avoid the problem of defining time itself by using operational definitions that specify the units of measurement that quantify time." This means rather than define time by some abstract theory or argument, it is defined by some measurable, and repeatable phenonemna, such as counting something, or units of something. It is very scientific (that's my POV talking). Hence, "regularly recurring events and objects with apparent periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples are the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, and the swing of a pendulum."

Hopefully other editors will weigh in. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 00:24, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

The definition of time is now removed from the introduction (Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in the International System of Units. An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is used in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life). If you think there are any alternative definitions (rather than interpretations) what time is, let's provide them per sources. So far, I do not see them.Biophys (talk) 01:34, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
It was kind of an oversight, because I was focusing on what is in the lede now. OK sorry about that, and I am glad you saw it. I lost track of what the goal of the lede is supposed to be. One of the things is to clearly define and-/-or describe the topic. So, due very much to your entreaties and concerns, i moved paragraphs around, and created a clear, more conscise (hopefully), and comprehensive (hopefully) lede. I created a new first section - hopefully this makes sense. And the second section, which was the first (after the lede) yesterday, also seems to be on topic with its section title. Feed back please? Also if you can, please answer my questions above. Also, now maybe it is your turn to move stuff around, (or not). ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:18, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Also, the lede is supposed to summarize the article. So, we may have to bring some of the removed items back in, later. I messaged others who have edited here before, on their talk pages. I think their view will help in this matter.
Furthermore, there is no need for rhetoric such as "interpretations", "this is the only definition of time [that was used by anybody]". "majority view" and even WP:SYN. I doubt there is any WP:SYN in the content of lede that has been in this article for years, in one order or another. Rather than answer my questions, the fact that a certain paragraph was no longer in the lede was brought up. There are some very high quality editors who have worked on this aritcle, and sorry to say, but cheap shots are not constructive. Assertions have been made that have not been backed up. And some of my first response pertained to unsourced OR, which you denied. However, the track record of these unsuppoted assertions in this very conversation says something different.
I suppose one more thing needs to be mentioned. There is a lack of knowledge pertaining to this topic, which is shown, when saying this is wrong ----> "Many fields avoid the problem of defining time itself by using operational definitions that specify the units of measurement that quantify time". In addition, there was an edit corrected by Jim Wade recently that also demonstrates a lack of knowledge. Good ideas, and original thoughts will not work here. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 06:01, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
? Yes, this (Many fields avoid...) is wrong and shows lack of understanding. Most definitions in physics are operational definitions. To define what time or distance means is to define the method of their measurement. Yes, it is fine to provide definitions from physics, as long as we are talking about physical parameters, and time is one of them. If you know any other definitions of time, please tell what they are. Biophys (talk) 17:53, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

One thing at a time, please.

1. An article should start from definition of the term per WP:MOS. Do you agree?Biophys (talk)

2 There is a widely accepted and scientific definition of the term. Do you agree?Biophys (talk) 13:43, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

3 Please place here any other alternative definitions of the term per sources. If no one does, we do not include alternative definitions. Do you agree?Biophys (talk) 13:43, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

  • There is no single definition of time that is accepted in all fields. Thus the lede needs to contain the various reliably sourced defs, of which there are 2 distinct ones. This does not violate WP:LEDE.
Various defs? Which alternative defs from other fields? No one provided them here.Biophys (talk) 19:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • That is incorrect, and probably a misapprehension of the sources provided. The combined sources clearly show that there is no single definition of time. This is a point that I brought up earlier. I reccomend either reading or re-reading the sources. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It is not clear that the operational def accepted in physics is a definition of time rather than a def of the base unit of time, leaving aside any def of what time itself "is" --JimWae (talk) 18:50, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
No, the "operational definition" of time is the only definition of time in physics. How else are you going to define time or length except by measuring them with instruments? Any suggestions? Besides, when you are moving closer to special relativity, it is precisely the point that time and length change because clocks and rulers show something different.Biophys (talk) 19:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • How can this be the only definition of time in physics when the pace of clocks change and the demarcations on rulers are expanding or contracting. Also, I explained the purpose of an operational defintion above. In any case it is not clearly the definition of time that satisfies all disciplines (as I stated earlier). ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:56, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Clocks do not "measure time" like tape measures measure bathtubs. Clocks are instruments used to measure the temporal duration & temporal intervals of events. Clocks measure events.
Clocks show time exactly as ruler shows the distance. Sure, this is based on events like ticks of the clocks.Biophys (talk) 19:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Long before there were clocks, there were notions of before and after. Time had meaning before there were clocks to "measure" it, and that meaning is still part of the present meaning. Saying "time is what clocks measure" is derivative, figurative language that does not define time anymore than saying "physical objects are what rulers measure" or "events are what clocks measure". --JimWae (talk) 18:59, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
It is fine to describe the meaning of time (like it actually was in the now reverted version), in addition to the definition. We already have almost this definition, but only in a wrong place. It tells: "Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in the International System of Units. An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is used in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life".Biophys (talk) 19:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
One general comment. This discussion is already very long. Would you allow me to edit introduction without reverting? Then we could gradually move somewhere.Biophys (talk) 19:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

This is a general-purpose, comprehensive, encyclopedia, not a physics encyclopedia. The 2 distinct defs are repeatedly referenced & discussed as distinct in the Stanford & IEP refs. Submit your proposed text here & let's examine it beforehand - so that reversion is not the only way to deal with changes--JimWae (talk) 19:37, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

This is the conclusion I was coming to. The best approach would have been to discuss proposed ledes here.---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Rulers show the length of objects (like bathtubs), they do not measure length itself--JimWae (talk) 19:40, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

There has been extensive discussion here about how to define time, especially for the last 3 months. If anyone thinks they have arrived at a single definition that will satisfy WP:NPOV, they probably have not been following along. WP:LEDE guides us to present significant controversies in the lede.--JimWae (talk) 20:05, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Jim, thank you for suggestion to submit a proposed text here. I thought my edits were very minor and noncontroversial. But looking at this discussion, and especially comments by Steve [9], I would rather not insert myself in a dispute like this, especially being a subject to Arbcom sanctions. Sorry.Biophys (talk) 20:27, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Biophys, please keep in mind that you have been disputing without sources, references, or proposals in black and white. Also my above questions were never answered, and it appears to me that these have been sidestepped, just prior to this discussion. My questions regarding assertions here -> [10], [11], The reply to my questions here -> [12], which appears to be no reply at all. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Restoration of the lede

  • Based on Jim's deft presentation, and that it was the conclusion I was coming to, I reccomend restoring the previous lede (see first diff, next paragraph). The current lede does not fufill WP:LEDE. It especially does not provide a summary for the article. The previous lede did that, and covered all the main issues that Jim Wade presented above. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Here are two proposals: [13], [14]. Personally, I think the coverage is sufficient, and the lede well written by knowledgeable people. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 23:46, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Second version (last edit by Jim) seems better, although I would strongly suggest keeping the latest version, just before my edits in introduction [15] and improving it.Biophys (talk) 00:38, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Lede sentence

We are making progress. I restored an older version of the lede that I wrote:

Time is the concept of the underlying physical mechanisms that transform reality in a continuum from the past to the present and on to the future.[ref=AHD]

Modocc (following me here across topics from Talk:Universal reconciliation, and without commenting here on talk) changed the wording to:

Time is the continuum in which events occur in apparent succession from the past to the present and on to the future.[ref=AHD]
"Apparent" could do with some qualification: otherwise that is an improvment. There is no notable opinion to the effect that time is a force or mechanism or anything that makes something happen. 1Z (talk) 20:49, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

The main thing that stands out with Modocc's rewrite is the language "in apparent succession." If time has illusory qualities which make it substantially different from its "apparent" forward direction, these should be stated. The language gets to the topic of the perception of time (redirects to sense of time - should be "perception" as time is not "sensed"), which is probably relevant, and perhaps should be linked. But the language "apparently" is based in an idea that time's perception could be fundamental to time itself, and while this idea is an advanced one, its best formulations get into Orch-OR territory and other quasi-scientific conjectures about how the mind works at perceiving nature. But even these generally don't negate the idea that time is a continuum, and that its continuous - ie. its forward moving (or in physics terms, its non-symmetric). So, theres little doubt that time moves forward in a procession or succession, and thus the caveat hinted at with the word "apparent" seems unnecessary. Regards, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:01, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

I removed apparent because none of the sources but the first one cited used it. I had included it as part of the paraphrase of the cited definition, for generality sake,but its too inclusive per NPOV. --Modocc (talk) 19:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Fine. I want you to note also that though the AHD dicdef says 'time is a continuum', we can do the same only if "continuum" itself actually means something. In our case continuum is a disambiguation page, and continuum (theory) is a stub, and a theoretical one at that. Still Im not unhappy that, after pages of talk, we've arrived at the amazing conclusion that vast concepts like this one might best be introduced in general terms, and that time itself is not merely what clocks report. Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:52, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I removed the link to the disambiguation page. I didn't realize it would be pointless goose-chase. But a temporal continuum, especially the spacetime continuum does have meaning, as do all the sourced definitions, including the fact that clocks report a continuum and are designed to do so with regularity. I'd also like to point out that time is not a concept either, anymore than I am. Its this reality of events we experience that defines time. Time is not just a continuum or any continuum, its the continuum of events. As long as the lede remains focused on the occurrence and measurement of events its fine. --Modocc (talk) 20:21, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
(cutting in) Fair point. But the "as long as the lede remains focused on" appears superfluous. We shouldn't tie ourselves down just because the current lede has a particular slant toward time's mechanical/measurements dimensions. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:39, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, there is a very simple definition that works for everyone, and that is used in physics (see article Time in physics): Time is what we read on a clock, and an ideal clock is a counter of certain atomic events. This is how every physicist, every engineer, and every man in the street defines time. It can also be sourced. It works perfectly, it is unambiguous and it is operational. Actually, present day physics, engineering and life in general would hardly be possible without this definition. Only philosophers seem to have a problem with this. Perhaps it's a remnant from the pre-relativity "absolute-time" days. So perhaps we should have yet another article (say, like Time in philosophy) to accomodate for all the ideas going beyond science, technology and our wristwatches. Just a thought. - DVdm (talk) 20:35, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Interestingly, that "very simple definition" might belong at simple:Time. I have not checked that wiki in years, but you can take a look if you like. The target audience are people under 10 and ESL students, (though they both are moreoften encouraged to tackle more advanced material to grow their vocabulary). -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:42, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I completely agree with DVdm. Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to tell below.Biophys (talk) 17:59, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Editing issues

I thought you stated "I would rather not insert myself in a dispute like this." What happened? Also, I don't know what you mean by "...a dispute like this". What dispute? ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 03:33, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I mean I would rather not edit this article or at least introduction for a while, because the discussion with you and others became too long and heated [16]. I would like to avoid any confrontations. This suppose to be fun, after all.Biophys (talk) 04:04, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I notice that avoiding issues are not helpful. Also, when I make a mistake, or if I am wrong here at Wikipedia I acknowledge it. It's not easy, but it clears the air. I notice that this is a difference between my editing style and yours. There were assertions made (above), which I doubted could be backed up, at some point. I expected, in the interest of fairness, that you would admit you made a mistake, or made statements too hastily. Sources did not have to be provided, just acknowledge an error. When this did not happen, then I had to doubt that your editing style includes editing based on sources or references. From your view it would seem to be enough to make changes, regardless of what the sources say. Or perhaps inadvertantly misconstrue what the sources say. Do you think this is an accurate assessment? ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 06:10, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I forgot to mention - I don't know what ArbCom sanctions you are subject to. But if you are on the road of contrition, rhetoric such as in the above section are not the words of someone mending their ways. I don't know if you can see that? Maybe it is a case of old habits die hard. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 06:25, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry for the question posted at your talk page and removed it. As about my comments at this page, if you do not find them helpful, please ignore. Biophys (talk) 12:57, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, I am sure that you have your own reasons for striking the comments from my talk page, and that is not a problem. Apology accepted.
I know it is not allowed to remove content from another's talk page, so would you like me to remove the comment altogether? Or are you satisified as it is. Of course if you want your comment removed, then I will probably have to remove my comment, or else it will probably come across as odd. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 22:44, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
That's up to you. I would remove them altogether. It looks like the most important thing in this project is to have good relations with all other people, something that I did not care. Big mistake.Biophys (talk) 01:42, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
It looks like there was an edit conflict - I had removed the comment just above yours, and replaced it with this:
OK. Well thanks for removing that, and it was totally appropriate if that is what you wanted to do. I did not previously see what you were talking about. Now I do. And apology accepted. And I apologize for misunderstanding what you were talking about in the first place. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 01:54, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
So I misunderstood what you were talking about, and replied in that manner. Sorry. I know I was tired at the time. And you chose to handlle it a certain way and I am not knocking it. Now that you have replied to the comment I intended to remove - I may have created a mEsS. I am not trying to press you into making any decisions, you don't want to make regarding this matter. So I am going to simply drop it for now. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 01:54, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

¿↔~

"time is the totally loss of life in any course". its a one dimensional quantity through which events paas or flow in a sequence from past to present and to the future it is not revirsible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Raza536 (talkcontribs) 09:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Time Travel

Nothing in the Time Travel section is referenced to an outside source. If it is just someone's personal thoughts on the subject, shouldn't it be removed? It would be much better just to include the link to the Time Travel article. 75.43.89.194 (talk) 18:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Events in the lead

I don't agree with JimWae's edit and edit summary, so I undid it:

  1. Since we are leaning toward the scientific viewpoint here, and since in physics events are defined as having no duration, I had replaced events with processes.
  2. I don't agree with the objection that some processes would have no beginning or end: that would mean that the process would just have an unknown, or even infinite, duration.
  3. I don't see what would be problematic about processes.
  4. The addition of the phrase ""and other changes.<!-- such as radioactive decay-->" seems problematic:
    1. radioactive decay is already included in "intervals between events",
    2. the reader just sees the phrase "... and to quantify the motions of objects and other changes," and will likely frown, wondering either "huh, motions of changes?", or "witch other changes?"

We could take the view that many people look at events as having duration, and find that not everything that has a duration should be called a process, and decide to restore that part, but I definitely think we should leave out that phrase ""and other changes.<!-- such as radioactive decay-->"

Any seconds? Thirds? Other thoughts? DVdm (talk) 10:09, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Many processes are ongoing - they endure, but have no duration. What is the duration of processes such as deforestation, evaporation, erosion, melting? Events have starts and ends, thus have durations that we can time. Many processes are not timed - though they may be interrupted. As for the other, the simple fix is to reverse the order (see article). 2>I do not recall any consensus to "lean toward the scientific viewpoint" as opposed to having a general-use encyclopedic definition--JimWae (talk) 08:34, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict with Jim) Generally speaking if Jim Wae is the author of such statements, then these are derived from the sources, and he didn't make them up. I really don't see the phrase, "... and to quantify the motions of objects and other changes," as confusing. It makes sense to me. Also, because this is (or was) in the lede, then its intent is general coverage, or a general overview. Hopefully, the article will get more specific about this in some other section.
Also, although I tend to lean toward the scientific viewpoint myself, this article is meant to be broader than just that viewpoint. I have not seen a consensus that says we (the editors) are leaning toward the scientific viewpoint. That is why editors such as Jim Wae are very important in this instance. He has deep knowledge of the philosophical view point. Let me share an personal anecdote, which is only indirectly related. I use to think Aristotle was irrelevant for anything related to the physical sciences. Then I read some of his stuff that surprised me. He did have some ideas that are still relevant today. I don't know if this helps, but there it is.
Apparently I was writing this while Jim was writing his response above. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 08:41, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Also, I think most all of us in the physics community are familiar with the insightful work of Democritus (an atomic theory). So let's not dismiss the philosophers who have contributed much throughout our history. --- Steve Quinn (talk) 09:02, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Remarks:

  • As I already said, the duration of processes such as deforestation, evaporation, erosion, melting is unknown. That does not mean that it is non-existent. We can always say that, for instance, this deforestation, evaporation, erosion, melting has been going on since many years. So we are talking about the duration of these processes. So in my opinion, this is not a valid objection against using the process concept in the lead.
  • Jim says that events have starts and ends. I say that events mark the starts and ends of processes. That's how these concepts are defined in physics and I think that the scientific viewpoint of the lead is obvious from the current wording of the lead: "Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the Interval (time)|intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects.<!-- and, also, changes such as radioactive decay-->)". I think this is even heavily "leaning toward the scientific viewpoint", so I really think we should have it right.
  • Furthermore, having it "right" in this sense does (I.M.O.) no harm to our intent of providing general coverage, or a general overview.
  • We also cannot buy these two arguments from authority ("Generally speaking if Jim Wae is the author of such statements, then these are derived from the sources, and he didn't make them up" and "That is why editors such as Jim Wae are very important in this instance. He has deep knowledge of the philosophical view point.") Really, Steve, I'm surprised (if not shocked) that you bring these up.
  • The current wording also says: "... to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects." This sounds a bit awkward. I propose we change that to "..to quantify rates of change to describe phenomena such as motions of objects." Again, we really should leave the HTML-comment about radioactive decay out, since radioactive decay is characterised by the average time interval between individual discrete decay events.

So I think a good and balanced opening statement would be:

It certainly is correct from the physics/scientitic point of view, and I really don't see what would be wrong, unclear or ambiguous about it from the general or philosophical point of view. Perhaps there's some kind of compromise I didn't think of? DVdm (talk) 10:21, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

  • DVdm - as I review my statements, and your comments, I don't know what I was thinking, when I wrote that. I wasn't intending to assert arguments from authority. Apparently, somehow, I was trying to impose my point of view. And it was unintentional. I will have to look at this some more, and I will get back to you on this other stuff, hopefully soon. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 19:50, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, no problem, don't lose too much sleep over it :-) (This is also an opportunity to correct a little typo in my comment) - DVdm (talk) 20:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Processes have no location in time (except that processes invented by humans have a start year). Processes are descriptions of the dynamics of events. The ordinary meaning of "event" includes things like concerts, foot-races, eclipses, airplane flights, earthquakes, blackouts, meals, hang-time. These are the kinds of events to which we assign numerical durations. You say "events mark the starts and ends of processes". I say events are what we choose to pay attention to and how we choose to describe them. Events can be used as markers for the start and end to processes BECAUSE events can be assigned a temporal location - whereas processes do not. Perhaps it would help if you could provide a few examples of processes you would say have a duration -- and events without duration--JimWae (talk) 20:19, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Every example of a process you have provided has a possible start and a possible ending event, and thus a duration. Take your examples like deforestation, evaporation, erosion, melting. Instances of such processes have a clearly definable starting event and ending event. The difference between the times of these events defines the duration of the process.

Anyway, you just wrote: "Events can be used as markers for the start and end to processes BECAUSE events can be assigned a temporal location - whereas processes do not.". There you confirm exactly my point. If indeed, like you say, "events can be assigned a temporal location whereas processes do not," and "''events can be used as markers for the start and end to processes," then I think we are on the same line. What you say here seems to me to be 100% compatible with my proposed opening sentence. The only point of discussion that remains between us is that you also use the word event for things that have a duration. You call an earthquake an event, I call it a process - ok, I have a math/phys background and I assume you have a philosophy background. No problem. Surely there must be a non-confusing way to combine us in the wording of the lead? DVdm (talk) 22:54, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

How does one "compare the durations of evaporation"? When does evaporation start? When does it end? A towel drying up (after a rainstorm, say) is an event. It is not itself a process (distinct from the same towel drying up the next day). The process of evaporation happens to the towel, but the process we know as evaporation continues throughout the world even after the towel is "dry". Otherwise we would end up identifying the process of evaporation from a towel as a distinct process from the evaporation that happens to a sponge, or the same towel the next day. Just because we can identify the start of an event does not mean that there is something odd about speaking of the duration of an event. Perhaps someone speaks of events as it they were dimensionless instants, but even the start of what are ordinarily called "events" also have durations. The start of a movie includes the time it takes for the projectionist to flip the switch, for the projector to light up and the time for the light to reach the screen. The sources:[2] (which need to be re-inserted into the article) speak about the duration of events AND refer to processes (n.b. periodic processes) when discussing the development of the units of temporal measurement. Some processes, such as electrolysis, can be stopped and started in a designated spatio-temporal location, but this does not give a duration to the process of electrolysis itself - it gives duration to the event of, say, electroplating a spoon in preparation for sale. This round of edits started because you considered it wrong to speak of events having duration. I see no source for such an assertion - and several sources that do support events having duration. --JimWae (talk) 01:11, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b *"The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language" (4th ed.). 2010. 1a. A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. 1b. An interval separating two points on this continuum; a duration: a long time since the last war; passed the time reading. 1c. A number, as of years, days, or minutes, representing such an interval: ran the course in a time just under four minutes. 1d. A similar number representing a specific point on this continuum, reckoned in hours and minutes: checked her watch and recorded the time, 6:17 A.M. 1e. A system by which such intervals are measured or such numbers are reckoned: solar time.... 11. The rate of speed of a measured activity: marching in double time.  line feed character in |quote= at position 137 (help)). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AHD" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^
    • "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". 2010. Time is what clocks measure. We use time to place events in sequence one after the other, and we use time to compare how long events last.... Among philosophers of physics, the most popular short answer to the question "What is physical time?" is that it is not a substance or object but rather a special system of relations among instantaneous events. This working definition is offered by Adolf Grünbaum who applies the contemporary mathematical theory of continuity to physical processes, and he says time is a linear continuum of instants and is a distinguished one-dimensional sub-space of four-dimensional spacetime. 
    • "Collins English Dictionary". HarperCollins. 2003. 2. (Physics) a quantity measuring duration, usually with reference to a periodic process such as the rotation of the earth or the vibration of electromagnetic radiation emitted from certain atoms.... In classical mechanics, time is absolute in the sense that the time of an event is independent of the observer. According to the theory of relativity it depends on the observer's frame of reference. Time is considered as a fourth coordinate required, along with three spatial coordinates, to specify an event. See space-time continuum. 
    • "Glossary for Extragalactic Astronomy". CalTech. 2005. A dimension distinguishing past, present, and future. In relativity, time is portrayed as a geometrical dimension, analogous to the dimensions of space. 
    • "Webster's New World College Dictionary". 2010. 1.indefinite, unlimited duration in which things are considered as happening in the past, present, or future; every moment there has ever been or ever will be... a system of measuring duration 2.the period between two events or during which something exists, happens, or acts; measured or measurable interval 
    • "Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on Random House Dictionary". 2010. 1. the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.... 3. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) a system or method of measuring or reckoning the passage of time: mean time; apparent time; Greenwich Time. 4. a limited period or interval, as between two successive events: a long time.... 14. a particular or definite point in time, as indicated by a clock: What time is it? ... 18. an indefinite, frequently prolonged period or duration in the future: Time will tell if what we have done here today was right. 
    • "The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary @dictionary.com". 2002. A duration or relation of events expressed in terms of past, present, and future, and measured in units such as minutes, hours, days, months, or years. 
    • "Collins Language.com". HarperCollins. 2010. 1. the past, present, and future regarded as a continuous whole,... 2. (Physics) a quantity measuring duration, measured with reference to the rotation of the earth or from the vibrations of certain atoms 
    • "The American Heritage® Science Dictionary @dictionary.com". 2002. 1. A continuous, measurable quantity in which events occur in a sequence proceeding from the past through the present to the future. 2a. An interval separating two points of this quantity; a duration. 2b. A system or reference frame in which such intervals are measured or such quantities are calculated. 
    • "Eric Weisstein's World of Science". 2007. A quantity used to specify the order in which events occurred and measure the amount by which one event preceded or followed another. In special relativity, ct (where c is the speed of light and t is time), plays the role of a fourth dimension. 
  • OK, yes, these are the sources I was thinking of pertaining to my last reponse. The sources support events, durations of events, and intervals between them. I see processes as cyclical. Geological processes are a succession of events, but do appear to be cyclical. There is no real beginning or end. There is perhaps a beginning with the formation of the Earth, but after that geological processes come into play, and these are cylical. [1]
  • Textiles are made from the " basic processes of spinning and weaving, [which] have not changed "...[2]
  • I don't know if this helps with "processes", but what about Process philosophy to express a cyclical series of changes. I am not saying that there is anything more real than the physical universe. I merely present this reference to depict "processes". [3]
  • DVdm, I will email you as before. I am unable to provide a password, and I will explain it in the email. I have tried to solve this so that you may also have a password, but I am unable to come up with a solution. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:26, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
  1. ^
    • "Geology". Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online. December 16, 2010. Separate sections [of this article] also review basic geological processes and their actions in shaping the earth... major areas of geological study [in this encyclopedia]...include Geochronology, Geophysics, Mineralogy, Paleontology, and, under Rocks, —petrology. Articles on large-scale processes and structures of the earth include Continent, Earth, Earthquake, Fault, Glacier, Mountain, and Volcano, and there are numerous separate articles on the earth's rocks and minerals. The history of the earth is discussed in separate entries on geological eras, periods, epochs, and rock series, and in articles such as Continent, Earth, Ice Ages, and Paleography. Consult the Index under Geology and Geography for some of the many other entries on geological processes and structures. 
    • "Geology". Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online. Pliny's Natural History was the greatest collection of information on natural history, minerals, rocks, earthquakes, and other geological processes and manifestations. Pliny, in fact, lost his life while attempting to examine the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. at very close hand...(James Hutton) concerned himself with the earth's present state and with the processes that had formed the rocks, their structures, and surface forms...Hutton believed that sediments were formed by long-continued weathering and erosion of continents and that the sediments were carried by streams, deposited in seas, and later consolidated into sedimentary rocks and lifted above sea level. There they were eroded, and the cycle began again. Thus surface landforms were not original, but were the remains of erosional processes 
  2. ^ "Textile". Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online. December 17, 2010. Textile, a fabric made by weaving, knitting, netting, or braiding. The term is also applied to the component fibers, such as silk, wool, cotton, linen, rayon, and nylon, of such fabrics. Beautiful fabrics have been made in many lands since antiquity. Equipment and methods have altered, but the basic processes of spinning and weaving have not changed since the 14th century. Spinning and Weaving are related topics. 
  3. ^ "Process philosophy". Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online. Process Philosophy, the doctrinal tendency of philosophical thought, going back to Heraclitus in the 6th century B.C., holding that reality is best understood in terms of ephemeral processes rather than stable substances. Becoming and change - the origination, flourishing, and passing of the old and the innovative emergence of ever-new instances, and kinds of existence - [these] constitute the central themes of process metaphysics... A process philosopher, then, is someone for whom such processes are metaphysically fundamental and for whom temporality, activity, and change—of alteration, striving, passage, and novelty-emergence—are the ontologically, or at least hermeneutically most pivotal features of the real 

Just two remarks:

  • To Jimwae: "How does one "compare the durations of evaporation"? When does evaporation start? When does it end?" You have a liquid in a sealed jar. Evaporation starts when you open the jar. Evaporation ends when all the liquid is gone (or when you close the lid). Write down the times of these two events, calculate the differerence, call that the "duration of the evaporation process" and write it down. Repeat the experiment on top of a mountain. Compare the two durations. That is how one compares the durations of evaporation processes. The fact that I have to explain this, tells me that there is some kind of obstacle preventing us to meaningfully communicate. I don't know what it is, but it might be related to something (iirc) Feynman once said about the difference between physical and metaphysical thinking. So I won't comment any further, since doing so seems to be a waste of both our "times". No offence, and I hope that is mutual. Anyway, as far as I am concerned, if indeed many standard dictionaries and some academic sources talk about durations of events, then so be it. I find it very silly, but that shouldn't matter here, so I'll leave it at this.
  • To Steve: Thanks for having taken the trouble to send me the emails. I'll have a look at them later, although I'm pretty pretty sure I will not bother with the process philosophy stuff — for obvious reasons ;-)

Cheers - DVdm (talk) 11:28, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

The Lead, yet again

I realize we've been around the houses on this one, but the lead to this article is focused too strongly on time as a concept in the natural sciences, and in particular on the idea of quantification (the words "quantity" and "quantify" appear rather clumsily three times in the first sentence). This is not in itself wrong, but the article needs a more general working definition before it focuses on how time has been quantified/measured. After all, human beings have traditionally had concepts of time that are not quantifiable.

Contrast the French version of this page (which is much more philosophy-based, incidentally), where the first sentence is: "Le temps est un concept développé par l'être humain pour appréhender le changement dans le monde" ("Time is a concept developped by human beings in order to apprehend change in the world"). While I might argue with aspects of that (for example, "duration" and "repetition" seem at least as important as change in basic human conceptions of time) at least the French sentence is much more readily comprehensible to someone who wants a quick check on the concept than the current "Time is a one-dimensional quantity used to sequence events, to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (used together with space) to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes" (2010-11-16). The existing sentence could be the second sentence of the article, perhaps prefaced with "As a system of measurement, ". And why introduce the idea of "one-dimensional" so early on? The idea of time as a dimension pertains rather specifically to physics (and to science fiction). IMOHOO, it would make more sense to mention everyday measurement of time (e.g., in terms of natural cycles/rotation of the earth/moon and mechanical equivalent in clocks) *before* introducing the idea of time as a dimension in physics. In other words, the lead should work from the general and the everyday to the specific and specialized. --GKantaris (talk) 17:56, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

When one says "time is a one dimensional quantity", one is not taking a viewpoint that is best described as specifically scientific or "physicsistic". If we say "X is bigger than Y", we could mean at least 5 different things - its length, width, depth, area, or volume. If we say "X took more time than Y", we need not be concerned with which dimension we are talking about - there is only one dimension we would be discussing --JimWae (talk) 08:55, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
We can also quantify non-numerically - with terms such as bigger, longer, faster. But the present text uses "compare" -- which also works, and reduces repetitiveness.--JimWae (talk) 09:18, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Entry removed by user - semi-restored so what follows makes some sense
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

the present text is"to create a relation" as we can not campare all intervals and their duration with each other?(Raza536 (talk) 12:28, 20 March 2011 (UTC))

What are you talking about??!!?? --JimWae (talk) 21:09, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Whatever it is seems to be unsourced, original research --JimWae (talk) 21:19, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
  1. There are scholars who say that time BEGAN with the big bang. Nobody disputes that we can never know anything about anything that might have happened "before" (if that has any meaning here) the big bang. IF we provisionally accept that it makes sense to talk about "before the big bang", we certainly cannot say there were NO events then.
  2. Sequence is not always apparent. Some events seem to occur simultaneously and do not. Some event-orders need to be reversed from our perception of them (if, for example, they happen light-years apart). In that case, we USE time to sequence them - we assign a sequence different from the apparent one, we insert an event into our sequence of past events
  3. whether we "create the relation" or the relation exists apart from us is a matter of contention that we cannot take sides on in the article
  4. as already stated, the article does not attempt to define "time" in terms of other "simpler" things, it defines time according to the most basic ways we use the term - and has sources to back it up
  5. we can speak of time without bringing in "quantity" - when we speak of "before" and "after", which are clearly temporal concepts --JimWae (talk) 21:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Sir don't mind that I'm talking two way but what my concept is that time is neither a part of any system nor it is quantifiable and as you said events are not always apparent they may occur simultaneously will you please explain this with example and as said events may b simultaneously then there might be a universal time all over the entire universe??? will you tell me what is universal time and its relation with events???

and talking about the article I myself m trying to improve the article as ir is very important topic (Raza536 (talk) 11:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)).

  1. @Raza536: Per WP:NOR, encyclopedia articles are not the place to try to present your own ideas about time or any other topic. Encyclopedia articles focus on information that has already been published in sources that meet the guidelines given in WP:RS. Additionally, your entries have not been good English & do not make sense to other readers. Find reliable sources for anything you want to add to the article, post it here on the talk page first, then wait for feedback here from other English speakers.--JimWae (talk) 18:08, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  2. Btw, if you read carefully, you will notice I did not say (nor imply) events actually DO occur simultaneously.--JimWae (talk) 18:08, 21 March 2011 (UTC)


well sir if something published should be written here then what's the reason of wasting time here its not my personal thought or any personal observation its a research apart from english is good or not

now talking about the topic you talked about simultaneous events what's the concept here will you elaborate??? and since time is one dimensional quantity and cannot be plotted on graph so how could you compare the time as in your definition you have used the word "compare" (Raza536 (talk) 07:32, 22 March 2011 (UTC)) well I have a better definition if you allow to write in the article???Raza536 (talk) 12:43, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Better to write it here on talk first -- include your reliable sources also--JimWae (talk) 03:35, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

see definition on my topic in this talk page What is Time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Time#What_Is_.27TIME.27.3F Raza536 (talk) 06:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Impossible?

I do not know if this has been touched on, but wouldnt supertasks negate the possibility of time existing in a linear fasion that makes any sense in any scenario beyond subjective view? The idea is that there is basically an infinite amount of potential time units between any two other time units, such that to reach any other point in time would be logically impossible.

But then Im terrible at math and actual numbers. Chardansearavitriol (talk) 22:40, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think Wikipedia could touch on these. No original research. 92.7.169.0 (talk) 23:27, 13 March 2011 (UTC)


well guys no original rsrch can be made on the unrecognizeable behaviour of time since time "flows" & is one dimensional quantity nothing accurately can be said or written on time(Raza536 (talk) 12:18, 20 March 2011 (UTC))

Delete Philosophy subsection Time as "unreal"

I propose deleting the subsection Time as "unreal". I would propose a copy edit, but both the title and contents are worthless.

My paraphrases from the subsection are in both quotes and italics "like this".

The title says "Time is unreal", but the content says "Time is real". The title Real and unreal might work, but the title Reality might better provide a single, balanced section.

Antiphon the Sophist. The direct link to sophistry confuses the issue. The paraphrase with the link to Sophism reads "The book On Truth, whose main theme was that time is unreal was written by a "sophist who used a specious argument to deceive its readers." — CpiralCpiral 03:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Balance paradox. "Time as illusion/unreality leads to a paradox". Yes. But so does time as reality :-) — CpiralCpiral 03:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Balance the view of physicists. "Modern physicists generally consider time is as real as space." Yes. But space is not very real to physicists either :-). In a related article Block universe, a citation there reminds us, concerning the presentation of the reality of time, "Even though equations of physics do not imply that time lapses, they also do not imply that time does not lapse." — CpiralCpiral 03:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Philosophy. The subsection is supposed contain philosophy, but the contents of that subsection are, rather, 1)history of philosophy 2)references, and 3) an ambiguous suggestion about scientists' "scientific" opinions of time.— CpiralCpiral 03:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Represent the reference. 1)The reference 35, by Foundalis properly as saying "Time is real, but [...] the flow of time is a cognitive illusion." Yet it is supposed to support "If time is held to be an illusion, then this belief will lead to a paradox." The cite does not say "illusion leads to paradox", but only that claims were made that time is an illusion. Here's the quote from foundalis:

2)"Time as unreal is a common theme in Buddhism." Yes and No. A "theme" is a unifying subject or idea of a story, but the philosophy of Buddhism's common theme is not unreality of time. Rather say: A minor aspect of Buddhism is the unreality of all existence, and a common aspect of Buddhism is the reality of existence. 3)Antiphon the Sophist's book On Truth, according to my research on its description is mostly about politics and law. — CpiralCpiral 03:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

With the understanding that moving rather than deleting, is preferred, I submit that that subsection should be carefully deleted for the above reasoning. Can someone point out some worth in that subsection? — CpiralCpiral 03:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

"Time as Unreal" is a perennial topic in philosophy. An encyclopedia does not need to present the details of everyone's arguments for this view, but, btw, the links will help one to find these. Deleting the section is not an option, but it does need some rewriting.--JimWae (talk) 23:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
"Time as unreal" turns up many times. Thank you. The section Philosophy needs to be called Time as unreal or Metaphysics because a philosopher would expect to find the logic and ethics of time, and the aesthetic aspects of these, and the epistemology of those. As other readers have complained on these talk pages, there is no philosophy in the philosophy section. I note there is a simple list of names and books, many of which are of relevance only to the history of philosophy. — CpiralCpiral 07:33, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
It needs to be re-written. I'll add templates with the understanding the rewriting is preferred, philosophy is preferred, and that there is bias:"Sophistry", "story", and "leads to paradox". — CpiralCpiral 07:33, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I advocate for a more structured content of the philosophy section. I advocate for content, not the feigning deference of mere lists of books, and the starting each "philosophical knowledge" statement with the name of a human personality; rather the rewrite should make statements of truths that represent the metaphysical assumptions that time is real, and make other statements of truths that represent the metaphysical assumptions that time is unreal. The personalities are irrelevant except as notable references. Each explanation is a separate metaphysical personality, each with it's own hairstyle. The Buddha, and Antiphon and Perimides did not have the tools of today's scientific discoveries that must be expected by modern convention of the meaning of the word philosophy, or any other informed worldview outside of history.— CpiralCpiral 07:33, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Because the common theme of Barbour's book is "time as unreal", it is a rigorous tome. The entire field of popular, modern physics' search for the TOE, is available to "time as unreal", although perhaps more focused on subjects revolving around the reality of time. Deutch, Wolf, Einstein, Greene, Davies, and so on, might, in worse case, all have their own metaphysics.— CpiralCpiral 07:33, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The section is NOT called "Time is unreal"; it IS called "Time as "unreal"" - with scare quotes. You deleted the search for The many who've discussed this subsection before - presumably because you realized that talking about it does not always mean a complaint. Yet you bring it up again above ("As other readers have complained on these talk pages") calling them complaints. I do still agree the "Time as "unreal"" section needs work, however.
  • I have difficulty seeing how the section will be balanced if we try to do "the rewrite should make statements of truths that represent the metaphysical assumptions that time is real, and make other statements of truths that represent the metaphysical assumptions that time is unreal" as you suggest. The authors (let's use that term rather than "personalities") are needed to give context & prevent WP:OR. I do still agree the "Time as "unreal"" section needs work, however. --JimWae (talk) 08:07, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, you are scaring me, sir. Please forgive me for whatever. Whatever! — CpiralCpiral
Truths that are social realities, wikibro, are objective realities that remain only if and because they are, in Searle's terms "institutional facts" that only persist because we repeat them. Let's repeat them. But lets try to look at it objectively, understanding (finally) that WP is not able to be objective in presentation of truth statements. It is only able to be neutral. Each truth statement is a presentation of a bias. Therefore, any analysis into parts shows bias, and bias. We are both passionately holding the "truth" that we are constructing reality 2.0. In order to succeed, we need to understand both our differences and the construction of a harmonious presentation as seen from an objective view of the whole read of the article.
I deleted The many who've discussed this subsection before because, after perusing it myself, not only did I find it to be placing a difficulty readers to follow the links intention, but I found no link supported my presupposition. I therefore called it an error in the edit summary. I do feel free to express my mistaken bias, although it hurts when others do the same as I do and fail to assume good faith. Forgive me. I will not remove or change content that has been discussed on a talk page. But I may do so if and until I get a discussion to start.— CpiralCpiral 23:23, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Now that we're on the same page, the reason I, as you say "brought it up again above ('As other readers have complained on these talk pages') calling them complaints" was, as it turns out not valid for complaints about "time as unreal". But that simple, well-intentioned mistake uncovered for me a useful tool for my general attack on the section as it is currently written, namely therein it's lack of philosophy.— CpiralCpiral 23:23, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Haste makes as much waste as procrastination, so by moving forward carefully, in good faith, overcoming our difficulties and the friction that must slow things but imperil said things to the undoing of beautiful stories by the brute fact of the drive of time's progressive trait—its demand that threatens difficult final endings and leaves them imperfect—we can avoid the following need that now hovers above us: .

We share at least one thing - esteem for John Searle, whom I have met & engaged in philo talk. I am sure, however, he still gives sources for when he writes about what others have written. more later --JimWae (talk) 01:19, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Awesome!

Sorry, but your source fails verification - a source that does not even mention TIME cannot become the source for text of one of 2 MAIN positions on time--JimWae (talk) 05:01, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about the failure please? — CpiralCpiral 07:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

You were complaining that there was no philosophy in some section or other, yet the very first thing you changed was the part that was one of the most expansive in terms of philosophy. What's up with that?--JimWae (talk) 05:03, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I sense a general unhappiness and a willingness to engage in the irrelevant. What specifically might I have I written, or not written? (Time slows down when your not having love of wisdom and love of sharing specific objective knowledge.) My subjective feelings may be irrelevant, but honestly, your Way is scaring me, Jim Hoppe, AKA cpiral, Hoping there is a Wae to discuss specific article improvements. — CpiralCpiral 07:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • It's really quite simple: a source for an article (e.g. Time) needs to be discussing the topic of the article, viz. time.
  • I thought you said above you had ideas for the "Time as "unreal"" section.
  • As others have suggested elsewhere to you, it could be a very good idea to present your proposed changes on the talk page here first--JimWae (talk) 07:10, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • You just reverted to what is in many ways just unsourced WP:OR, (the rest is just gibberish) and said see talk page. There's nothing here to see. Please consult WP:BRD. It is up to you to make the case for your changes, especially when you have NO sources. You are not working co-operatively, and I doubt you will ever be happy at wikipedia if you proceed as you have been--JimWae (talk) 07:49, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Commenting on the recent reverts... Main point of contention: is time "an intellectual concept" or this is something very much real? The scientific answer is unequivocal: yes, time and space are very much real, and not just a "concept". Hodja Nasreddin (talk) 13:44, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
      • Whether time is real or not is something each editor may wish to decide for themselves, but cannot decide for wikipedia. However, the question at issue on 3rd party is whether the proposed change (see next section too, especially) is original research or is it true to the source. --JimWae (talk) 02:31, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
        • I believe your change (the diff) was improvement. Intro is definitely better than it was a few moths ago.Hodja Nasreddin (talk) 04:01, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Event VS Phenomenon

A footnote and some minor rewording made, but JimWae removed them saying there was no source, but there were sources. 1) The definitions were interwikied to Wiktionary, a reliable source. The word wikt:event was "temporal" as required, and the word wikt:phenomenon was absent of the concept of time, as required by the context of that paragraph. 2) The changes from "intellectual concept" to "brain workings" were linked to the Edge.org article of a neuroscientist explaining the same thing that was already there in the article, but with an extra component called "symbol manipulation". (Edge.org is an esteemed forum for the highest intellects on the WWW.) There was also a link directly to the author of the cited article on our Wiki. I undid the revision because I think the reason in the edit summary was invalid. I am willing, however, to consider specific facts proving that I am clueless and out of line as to my understanding of the context of the paragraph we're working on here. But certainly there were the proper cites. If there is anyone of this articles several hundred watchers, please weigh in. Thank you. — CpiralCpiral 07:57, 2 April 2011 (UTC)


  • The word "time" does not appear in the edge article, nor is time discussed. It cannot be a source for any article on time. The paragraph (in our article) presents the view as in the tradition of Leibniz & Kant. They did not use language anything like that for ANY topic, much less time. Please see WP:BRD and revert yourself until you have made a case that supports your changes--JimWae (talk) 08:01, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • It is more courteous to have already made comments on talk when you say "see talk" - especially since I had already given my reasons for removing your edit. Please see WP:BRD --JimWae (talk) 08:07, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Here is what you attribute to your source:
    "time is... the way the brain works its intuition of space and number sense together with a symbol-manipulation subsystem that allows us to sequence and compare phenomena
  • Here is what your supposed source actually says:
    "Our mathematics, for instance, is founded on a small set of basic objects: a number sense, an intuition of space, a simple symbol-manipulation system..." [ellipsis is in source]
  • ....nothing about time, nothing about phenomena, nothing about sequence, nothing about compare - none of these words even appear on the page. And do note the 3 dots. The source is not presenting a complete exposition --- AND the topic is mathematics not time. Plus: Not even any mention of brain in that sentence. --JimWae (talk) 08:32, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a blog where one gets to muse online about one's own theories--JimWae (talk) 08:38, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Now that you have put a POV tag on a section, please indicate what sentences present what POV, else the tag needs to go--JimWae (talk) 08:34, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Another constructive way to handle it would be to use the { {NPOV-inline|date=April 2011|reason=this sentence says position X is the truth} } template --JimWae (talk) 20:14, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

What Is 'TIME'?

TIME:-

"The Time is one dimentional quantity,it is used to determine the period or duration of the events and periods or duration of interval of periods or duration of events or between events"

NOTE: Time is the basic and different physical quantity which is not comparable with other physical quantity but it is used to determine the other physical quantity by which these quantity are defined Such as Velocity"distance covered in unit TIME". It is just a relation between space and numerics to measure the rate of flow of any event and the interval between these events and their duration

Raza536 (talk) 06:36, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

There are considerable problems with your English syntax in the above, but besides that it says some of the same as the present 1st paragraph. It differs by 1> leaving out sequencing (before and after), which certainly involves time (I have already mentioned this before) 2> leaving out change & motion - also concepts which are temporal at a basic level 3>Durations are not just "determined", they are sometimes simply compared - without assigning determined numbers (times) to them. (One event takes [an undetermined amount] more time than another) 4> it adds "one-dimensional quantity" . We have already discussed how "quantity" is somewhat inadequate, for quantities such as mass, space are not assigned positions on a scale. When we say event A will happen at 4:30, we are not assigning it quantitative value, we are putting that event in an ordered set of events - a sequence. The usage of time for quantifying is already in the 1st paragraph, explicitly with respect to motion and change, and implicitly with respect to "comparing". I have considered beginning with "Time is one dimension of a measuring system...", but that makes the sentence more complicated to parse & makes discussion of the other dimensions of the measuring system (AND any other other components) more urgent, which would remove the focus from time. If others think that is a better 1st sentence, we can all discuss it more.
Besides not citing any sources, you have not shown how what you want to put in the article is any improvement to the article or to the 1st paragraph. You have not provided any reason to change the existing lede. --JimWae (talk) 04:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Whatever is done, it should be - and especially the lede and perhaps the opening paragraphs should be - in as clear English as it is possible to achieve without being greatly inaccurate. (This is a general encyclopedia, and time is a subject of subject of general interest. Some more esoteric subjects - let's say Vanna Volga pricing for a random example - are mainly of interest to specialists and may be expected to jump into some fairly difficult terms and concepts right off. But time is not a subject like that). I'd be willing to offer some give in terms of absolute accuracy (probably not totally attainable anyway) in exchange for some in gain in comprehensibility, at least in the opening parts.
This got me wondering, What does Britannica say? which is sometimes a useful question. It's here, and it is pretty heavy stuff, but maybe there's a bit or two that could demonstrate some useful ways of approaching the subject. Herostratus (talk) 06:05, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/596034/time has Britannica concise too. Britannica differs from wikipedia in that it does not have a set guideline of always beginning with a sentence of definition. Often it gives a kind of dictionary definition in the form of an incomplete sentence, then goes on from there - sometimes never giving a "final" or "conclusive" definition at all.
The Britannica article says "One of the features of time that puzzled the Platonist Augustine, in the 5th century ad, was the difficulty of defining it. In contemporary philosophy of language, however (influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein, a Cambridge philosopher), no mystery is seen in this task. Learning to handle the word time involves a multiplicity of verbal skills, including the ability to handle such connected words as earlier, later, now, second, and hour. These verbal skills have to be picked up in very complex ways (partly by ostension), and it is not surprising that the meaning of the word time cannot be distilled into a neat verbal definition. (It is not, for example, an abbreviating word like bachelor.)" [emphasis mine, italics in original]
The full EB article gets right into whether time flows or not, then into process philosophy (even after casting doubt on "flow"), then fatalism. It is a quite a long read before it deals with sequences (earlier, later) or gets back to "period" (durations & intervals) or deals with motion & change & temporal units (seconds)--JimWae (talk) 08:21, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
SimpleWiki covers much of the same ground as this article: "We use time to sequence events, to compare their durations and the intervals between them, and to quantify the speed at which objects move and things change" -- but that has taken Wittgenstein to heart & abandoned "defining time".--JimWae (talk) 08:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

well there is no english language problem in my definition and as you said that the article support to define time in easier and basic way and my definition is much simpler

OBJECTIONS ON YOUR DEFINITION:-

1>you worte in your definition that we compare events then on what scale is used to compare event??? 2>to sequence events(before and after)well time starts with the starting point of universe and ends with the end point of universe that's why we draw straight line with arrow there is nothing to before the universe as time started with bigbang 3)according to you time is a part of measuring system on what basis time is being measured? if time is a part of measuring system what is that system and then it has no link with other systems? 4>your definition provides no information about time machine! and it talks about only one frame of refrence it doesn't supports any external frame whereas my definition can talk on many frame of refrence at a time Raza536 (talk) 10:10, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. One way we compare the duration of events is when 2 start at roughly the same time & one finishes much before the other. We do not need a scale to do that
  2. we do not need to know anything about when time may have started or will end to sequence 2 events as one came before the other
  3. I have recently outlined above - and moreso in the next section -- several of the other components of the measuring system we use. The system is very much linked with other measurements
  4. time machines are not part of any reliably sourced definition of time--JimWae (talk) 02:38, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

1)why should event start rougly at the same time? there should be a scale to in which these events which are campared should be measured 2)we certainly do need to know that"what was before time"? or "when there was no time what was there" such question also need to be sequenced 3)ok systems might be linked with each other but what about the frame of reference ? your definition talks about only one frame of reference whereas according to theory realtivity there are many frame of reference of time. 4)since time machine is linked with past and future and they act as a film strip there might be a possible way to approach into future and to go back into past??? so its also a part of time Raza536 (talk) 05:35, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. One way we compare the duration of events is when 2 events just happen to start at roughly the same time & one finishes much before the other. We do not need a scale to tell which one finished first or took less time, just as we do not need a scale to tell which of 2 pretty identical glasses has more water when one is full & the other only half full
  2. If all we are interested in is how to sequence 2 events as "event A came before event B", we do not need to know anything about when time may have begun (with the Big Bang) or may end. The "beginning and end of all time" may be important/interesting, but we do not need to know it in order to know, for example, which of my children were born first.
  3. I have recently outlined above - and moreso in the next section -- several of the other components of the measuring system we use. The system is very much linked with other measurements
  4. time machines are not part of any reliably sourced definition of time. There are not any time machines. It is very dubious there ever will be any way to "visit the past". Time as a film strip is just one (somewhat presumptuous) way of thinking about time. Definitions of time cannot presume that time travel is a reality.--JimWae (talk) 08:15, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

CONCENTRATE ON TIME ONLY 1)let suppose two events start or begun at roughly the same time one is raining and other is thunderstorm and as coincidence both stops or end also at the same time now how could we campar both the events??? 2)we certainly do need to know the origin,nature and its reality you may do not need to know which of your children born first because you know which one was born first but you also want to know that which one is male and female same implies with time?what was there before time if time started with bigbang how?and why? 3)if system are are very much linked with each other then why there is change of time in one frame of reference and another time in other frame of reference??? 4)car,aeroplane,rocket etc are all time machine in a sense they are time saving let suppose a person on foot takes 1hr to cover 1km by car it would take 5min only in this way he has saved his time 55min are extra for him as campare to the pedistrain. another esxampl;e could be of twin paradox that if person travels with speed of light he just lives 10min while other lives 100yrs why there is such great change of time??? there might be a possible gate to enter in future or past???(apart from its not reality)Raza536 (talk) 11:20, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

1> We do not need to be able to compare ALL events to be able to compare (some) events. However, in the example you give, we could easily say they both lasted about the same length of time
2> Whether time begins with the Big Bang or not is an interesting question. That Q is dealt with later in the article, and there does not appear to be agreement on an answer. However, we do not need to know what the answer is to be able to say intelligible things about time in the lede - such as that events can be sequenced (such as which of 2 people were born first, or finished a race first)
3a> Having something be part of a system does not mean EVERYTHING is directly linked to it - nor that nothing can be distinct from it. 3b> People travelling in different reference frames may never agree on the simultaneity of events, but they can still agree that some events came before other events
4> Time machines that can travel into the past do not exist. We do not need to discuss time dilation to say some intelligible things about time. Time dilation is covered later in the article.
We began by discussing what to put in the introduction to the article. Not everything can be fully explained in the introduction - that is what the body of the article is for--JimWae (talk) 23:05, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

1)we certainly do need to for how long both of they lasted 2)nobody is interested in knowing which of his child was born first as everybody already know that who was born first 3)But it do mean that they are linked somehow???they do agree but time is all different for them 4)ok then leave this topic

and than tell me what's problem in my deinition as your definition talks on the intervel between events and their duration as events do not have any duration and stationary things also feel time??? Raza536 (talk) 09:04, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Being and Time

The blurb pertaining to the book Being and Time by Martin Heidegger is not really clear. Furthermore, since the source is the actual book itself this paragraph may be an original interpretation. Therefore it may contradict WP:NOR. A source that directly supports the material as presented may be needed. Moreover, Jim Wae has tagged this paragraph for further clarification, and I agree. So, I am moving this paragraph with the clarification request to this section for more discussion.

  • In his main work Being and Time, the phenomenologist Martin Heidegger introduced three-dimensional, ecstatic time, thus breaking both with what he terms the "vulgar conception of time" descended from Aristotle's Physics, according to which time is a continuous flow of 'now-instants' passing through presence, and with the modern mathematical conception of time as a one-dimensional, continuous, real variable, t, derived from time conceived as consisting of 'now-instants'.[1]
    • clarify|date=April 2011|reason=so, it seems this describes (vaguely & awkwardly, it seems) time in 2 ways (unless they are not really 2 *different* ways) Heidegger disagrees with, but says nothing about what he considers "time" to be. Without some clarification of what "ecstatic" time is supposed to be, how does this paragraph do anything more than drop a name? Perhaps it would help to give some explication of how time could "be" 3-dimensional.
---- Steve Quinn (talk) 04:17, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    • It seems Steve Quinn has problems with an alternative conception of time as ecstatic time, as laid out in copious, detailed analyses in Heidegger's Being and Time. The reference I made to ecstatic time is brief, i.e. the Wikipedia user has to follow the ref. to Being and Time for more detail. An "explication of how time could be 3-dimensional" would burst the framework of an encyclopaedic entry, but I can provide further references if asked to do so. The scepticism of a physicist unacquainted with phenomenology is more than apparent in Steve Quinn's remark. Michael Eldred 16 April 2011 I don't know how to use talk pages properly or sign them. Please excuse.Artefactme (talk) 11:46, 16 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Artefactme (talkcontribs) 09:53, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • There is nothing at Being and Time that discussed time as three dimensional & there is no explanation of ECSTATIC time there (though the word is used twice within a single quote). Neither is it clear what the 2 views the edit claims he opposes means. Readers should not have to read a reference to make any sense of what is in the article. Right now it is just a string of English words strung together, reminiscent of the Sokal affair --JimWae (talk) 19:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Other apparently original research says the 3 dimensions are past, present, and future. If that is what is intended, then 1>say so 2>give specific source with page number in Heidegger 3a>give an example of using 3 dimensions to locate an event in time - OR 3b>explain how the term "dimension" is being used COMPLETELY differently -such that a different [translated] word would convey a different meaning. Otherwise, it is misleading to use the word dimension here, as if it has its ordinary meaning.--JimWae (talk) 20:15, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • There's still the lack of context for any plausible meaning to be attached to "ecstatic"--JimWae (talk) 20:15, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Still other "sources" say MH saw time as 4-dimensional--JimWae (talk) 20:17, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Section 82 of Being and Time is about Hegel's view of [t]ime. The word "dimension" appears once, and does relate to past & future, but does not support 3-dimensionality in the way space is 3D. The word "ecstatic" does not appear - at least not in the pages viewable. This encyclopedia is not the place to advance original research that one has presented on one's own website. The paragraph is also just too obscure and jargony as it stands. I am re-removing the paragraph until issues are resolved here on the talk page. --JimWae (talk) 00:56, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree that this paragraph is at best dense and not easily comprehended, especially for the general reader. The general reader is part of the target audience for Wikipedia articles. In addition, according to my own preliminary research on this topic it appears that Three-dimensional time and ecstatic time are simply related to past, present, and future. Therefore, I agree that this use of the word dimension is misleading (as if it has its ordinary meaning). Also, I have come across mention of 4 dimensions - but have not delved into this. But, this still seems to point toward a misinterpretation of Heidegger's work. Especially since he is credited with being influential across disciplines in philosophy as well as beyond philosophy ; theology, the humanities, literature, psychology, and artificial intelligence (modern science). Overall, there does not seem to be contradiction between his leading edge philosophy and modern thought in many areas. I don't see evidence that Heidegger eschews the concept that time is one dimensional. Finally, I don't think this paragraph gives an accurate summation of Aristotle's work pertaining to this topic. I agree with the removal of this paragraph from the article until issues are resolved. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 01:35, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  • To claim "Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time.", as the article does -- given that Heidegger is a prominent philosophy, Being and Time is one of the major books of Western philosophy, and that even its title shows it deals with time -- shows bias and ignorance of Heidegger's shake-up of the Western conception of time, especially in its mathematized guise. The use of the jargon "presentist" is dense and unhelpful, and plays only within a certain camp of philosophy that knows nothing of Heidegger's thinking. In other words, it represents an "original interpretation" purportedly not allowed at Wikipedia. The reference to Heidegger's dimensions of time should include also his late 1962 paper 'Time and Being' in which the three (and also a fourth) dimensions and ecstacies of time already explicitly analyzed in Being and Time are also approached from another perspective. A superficial skim of Being and Time at Google books is hardly adequate to decide these questions. I gave a reference to Section 82 only as a starting-point (the preceding Sections 78-81 are just as important), and this is now being used as an excuse against my addition. The elimination of three-dimensional ecstatic time and its replacement by "presentism", a term not to be found in Heidegger at all, amounts to a suppression of a major position in the philosophy of time that has been largely ignored in Anglo-American philosophy. Nevertheless, the texts by Heidegger are there and should be brought to the attention of Wikipedia users, to provide a signpost beyond provincialism. The entry on Time is no place to explicate and debate the issues as the objectors seem to want to do, as if they themselves needed convincing and were the 'experts' and 'umpires' to decide what is comprehensible (to themselves). If I provided an explication of 3-D ecstatic time in extenso, I would be accused of presenting self-promoting 'original research' -- and, of course, of employing jargon. At least I know what I am talking about, and am an expert that could add something essential to a woefully inadequate article on Time, whose inadequacies I would not want even to begin to make an attempt at improving. E.g. the account of Aristotle, who is the starting-point for ALL Western thinking on Time, is worse than kindergarten style, and shows one more major gap in the knowledge of this article's surveilling authors. Michael Eldred Artefactme (talk) 10:09, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
The 2 views are 2 contrasting views. The paragraph does not say there are ONLY 2 views on time. The contrast is between those who say time is an entity-in-itself and those who say it is not an entity. Since MH was also into ontology, on which side does he fall? Your text is still impenetrable for general readers -- & even for those with graduate degrees in philosophy. This is not an encyclopedia for those familiar with the translated vocabulary of Sein und Zeit. There are plenty of other views on time - another being that it is an illusion. We can easily revise the wording on "2 views" to emphasize that it is the contrast that is being covered - not the men. As your text stands there is no apparent distinctness presented. It just says it is not like the others, but does not say HOW it is unlike--JimWae (talk) 22:09, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  • It appears the latest addition by User:Artefactme is not a unique "third view". This is another expression of the first view of time in this article. "Four dimensions", "counted time", "one-dimensional", "continuous real time", place this paragraph with the first view. I moved the paragraph down in this section.
Also, the first sentence is full of technical terms, raises the question - derivative of what?, and is essentially misleading and incompressible. Three dimensions means past, present, and future. "Original time" originates from when or where?
This paragraph appears to be an amalgam of disparate thoughts strung together. It makes more sense, right now, without the first sentence (which I altered to meld into the second sentence). However the last sentence once again forays into an unintelligible jargon. It reads as follows: From "time as it is usually imagined in the sense of the succession of a calculable sequence of nows", Heidegger distinguishes "time proper" which is ultimately "four-dimensional". It seems that User:Artefactme wrote that the "sequence of nows" is not calculable back in September 6, 2010 [17].
In any case I am trying to determine if this paragraph contradicts WP:SYN. It appears to be compiled from three different sources. If none of these sources reflect the synthesis of this paragraph, then the paragraph is original synthesis. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 03:36, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Regarding: This "vulgar conception of time", descended from Aristotle's conception of counted time, became mathematized in the Modern Age with Newton, Leibniz and others as one-dimensional, continuous, real time.

Time was already considered one-dimensional and continuous before Aristotle. Look at Zeno's arrow paradox and you will see a pre-Socratic already presenting arguments which challenge continuity, but accept one-dimensionality. As for "real", well, does anyone know what it's supposed to mean there? Additionally, if I say my daughter is 25 years old, have I "mathematized" her life more than I would have if I had said she was younger than I, and by so doing have I vulgarly deprived her of something? Maybe MH said something like this, maybe not. If MH attacks people for whom only the present "now-instants" are real, why cannot his admirers of a certain philosophical bent communicate with linguistic labels (e.g. Presentism, [I acknowledge that term would never have been used by MH, but introduced it in an attempt to spark some attempt at clarity, meaningfulness, & cross-communication - and explained its meaning immediately ]) that are used by philosophers of a different philosophical bent. Why cannot we try to compare "a continuous flow of 'now-instants' passing through presence" with McTaggart's A-series? Is it because MH thought philosophy could only be done in German & Greek?[18][19] --JimWae (talk) 07:38, 18 April 2011 (UTC)


  • My second sentence, "From "time as it is usually imagined in the sense of the succession of a calculable sequence of nows", Heidegger distinguishes "time proper" which is ultimately "four-dimensional"" is straight-talk from a single source in Heidegger's original, primary text (namely: pp.12, 15f of 'Zeit und Sein'), not any fanciful synthesis on my own part. There is an egregious bias in this article on Time toward the the measurable, real time of modern mathematical physics. To claim that MH "argued against presentism", as Jim Wae formulated it, is untenable. One has to be prepared to see something new in MH's thinking on time, and not slap the label of 'incomprehensible jargon' on thoughts with which one is unfamiliar and which are systematically suppressed in the hegemonic Anglo-American philosophy. The temporal ecstasies laid out in detail in Being and Time have a close relationship with MH's recasting of human being itself as "Existenz". Both "Ekstase" and "Existenz" say in their Latin etymology 'standing-out', and in the context of Being and Time this means specifically 'standing-out-temporally-in-the-world'. This structure gives the "original time" of B&T, as developed slowly and in detail in that book. If one proceeds from the subject/object split of modern philosophy, this is incomprehensible. B&T represents inter alia precisely a critique and deconstruction of modern subject/object ways of thinking that have today become habitual and regarded dogmatically as self-evident. Parmenides' denial of the possibility of movement altogether, and the 'frozen arrow' paradox of his disciple, Zeno, both went into the mix in Aristotle's thinking on time and movement, along with Plato's attempt to think movement in The Sophist through a critique of Parmenides. Hence, to regard Aristotle's thinking on time and movement in Physics and in Book Theta of his Metaphysics as the culmination of Greek thinking on time and movement is not amiss. The very term 'energy' is Aristotle's neologism, coined to come to terms with the phenomenon of movement. Modern mathematical physics no longer knows this, and is entirely arrogant in its ignorance. Newton, however, forged his fundamental concepts of force, energy and work from Aristotle Met. Theta and Physics. Today, the term 'energy' is unthinkingly accepted as self-understood, as plain as day, whereas a term such as 'ecstatic time', which demands thinking, and rethinking, is rejected as incomprehensible jargon. That's a cheap excuse. I don't agree with MH's predilection for German and Greek, and think and practise philosophizing in English, which has many possibilities for thinking. At the same time, one could regard MH as a Greek philosopher, since his very German is often forged from the Greek. Since philosophers these days rarely know their Greek, modern philosophy is cut off from its roots and adrift. This loss is turned on its head as the 'success' of clear, logical ways of thinking that serve as a handmaiden to -- likewise successful -- modern mathematical science, occasionally providing also a little ethical supplement. One has to return to the Greek to gain even an inkling of what λόγος is and to re-question it. Michael Eldred Artefactme (talk) 11:24, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

  • But what is "time proper"? And how is a calculable sequence different from a sequence? And how is time multi-dimensional? The 3D of space have names - what are the names of the supposed 3Ds or 4Ds of time AND how do we use these "dimensions" AND are they "dimensions" in the same way space has 3 dimensions? And does MH use "now-instants" or is that a new "translation"?
  • When we say time is one-dimensional all we mean is that if someone tells us "it's been a long time since I saw you", there is no question about which dimension of time they mean (is it time-height or time-width or time-length).
  • This article begins, very intentionally, talking about time in terms of non-mathematical "measurements" that are "used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them..." Times and rates of change can be quantified non-mathematically in comparative terms (such as longer, shorter, faster, quicker, slower) or in numerical, mathematical terms using units (such as seconds, minutes, hours, days). The non-mathematical comparisons may be more "primitive", but that does not mean that there's something wrong with the mathematiccal expressions
  • MH seems to do a lot of compaining about math, but the math has been there pre-Socrates. He complains, but so far, our readers have no idea what's wrong with their vulgar notions other than that they are modern & mathematical. Nor has there been any clear exposition of what he would put in its place - not even in the article on Being and Time.--JimWae (talk) 04:47, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
    It appears "original time" is simply the original measure of time, as in dark = night, and light = day. Then the demarcation of light into sunrise, midday, and sunset is a furtherance of the original measure of time. One occurance of light & dark = one unit called "day". So why not say it in plain english like that, or say the original measure of time (which is such & such).
It appears that there is still no explanation for temporal ecstasies (in this discussion} other than this is still related to "being" or "existing" in past, present, and future. So, all this seems simple. There is probably no mystiscm involved where jargon is the only acceptable form of presentation in this article. In addition, the "throwness" seems to simply mean we wake up into our existence with no plausible explanation. The first awareness of our existence as a person, or as a species, is the progression of days and nights. This then means that awareness of our existence is intimately enveloped in a temporal awareness or, in other words, enveloped in temporarilty. This seems to be what MH is getting at. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:57, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree that there is no bias toward a mathematical explanation of time in this article. The opening of this article - the way it is written - is evidence of this. The opening succintly describe two ways that time is commonly expressed, i.e, in ordinary terms. Also it seems that there is no way to get around the fact that four dimensions sooner or later means 3 dimensions of space and one dimenstion of time. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:57, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

  • "now-instants"? That would be "Jetzt-Augenblicke". I don't find this term in the article. Heidegger speaks of a "Jetzt-Folge" which I rendered appropriately as "sequence of nows" For you to find out what "time proper" is and what MH means by the temporal dimensions, and how he thinks the fourth dimension of time, you would have to do a lot of work. MH's ideas are simple, but it takes a lot of time to work one's way out of the theoretical constructions we have boxed ourselves into, especially since the 17th century. Without launching into lengthy exegesis, I can say here only negatively, that temporal dimensionality cannot be thought like 3D Euclidian spatial dimensionality nor like 3D Cartesian co-ordinates. The clue is to reflect on what dimension means in Latin and the original Greek: 'to measure through' e.g. by pacing through a room. How many paces? But this 'how many' presupposes that you pass through the space. With regard to time, MH thinks of time being "reached" out to human being in three distinct dimensions, one of which is the granting of presence (the present), the second of which is the withholding of presence (the future) and the third of which is the refusal of presence (the past). The unity of these three dimensions is then the reaching-out of the unity, which is the fourth dimension. I refer you to 'Time and Being' and to my Time of History Section 9.2 http://www.arte-fact.org/untpltcl/tmhstry1.html#9.2
  • "how is a calculable sequence different from a sequence?" The calculability of the sequence of nows comes in when we start reckoning with time by planning occurrences in relation to it. This is dealt with in B&T as "world-time" (Section 80) and counted "clock-time" (Section 81). Ultimately, this reckoning becomes mathematized when equations of motion can be written. It's all laid out in those Sections 72-82 for those willing to slowly work through it.
  • Your example, "it's been a long time since I saw you", would fall under what MH treats in B&T Section 79 as "dateability" and the "stretchedness" of time. For a recap of how "originary time" progressively becomes a mere sequence of nows, as developed in B&T Sections 72-82, see my Time of History Section 6 http://www.arte-fact.org/untpltcl/tmhstry1.html#6.0. Already with innocuous dateability, the ek-static temporal standing-out in the world has been lost sight of.
  • The article on Time very well may start by "talking about time in terms of non-mathematical "measurements", but that presupposes that time is measurable and does not say AT ALL what time is in itself, nor why it is measurable, nor what its measure is. B&T, however, does do this in a painstaking step-by-step phenomenological derivation. Without taking pains, no insight. The phenomenon of time itself is not originarily something quantitaive at all, which is presupposed when talking of shorter and longer durations, etc. So the article fails to say what time itself is; it skips over the phenomenon of time itself. The best the article does is say that time is "a dimension in which events occur in sequence." According to this definition, time is one-dimensional, i.e. a "time-line", as the article says. That is already a levelling of the ecstatic three-dimensionality of time-space as unfolded systematically in B&T. Therein lies also the kernel of a critique of Kant's subjectivist conception of time, for a subject does not stand-out in the world, but rather, is confronted with objects. Aristotle's counted time according to his famous formula is also merely one-dimensional.
  • MH himself says that the various vulgar conceptions of time have their justification, especially for everyday living. It's just that these notions cover up what originary, ecstatic time is as a 3D time-space (that should not be confused with mathematical physics' space-time). Furthermore, the mathematization of time in modern physics (the final step in the vulgarization of the conception of time) serves the modern will to power over movements of all kinds that got well under way with Newton. Mathematical calculability of movement and change becomes the ideal of so-called 'objective' truth, i.e. the 'gold standard' of rigorous, precise truth aspired to by all the sciences.
  • I'm sure the Wikipedia article on Being and Time is inadequate. I'd hate to look.
  • "original time" is not "simply the original measure of time, as in dark = night, and light = day". That is "world-time" (B&T Section 79).
  • "the math has been there pre-Socrates" Yes. Therefore the issue at stake is an ancient one that is still with us in another guise today. The Pythagoreans influenced Plato's thinking on the ideas in proximity to mathematical number -- which are time-less. Aristotle succeeded in giving a better account of movement than Plato with his conception of en-ergy, but stuffed it up again by thinking time as a counting number lifted off movement. Time as counted provides the germ for Newton's mathematization of motion in equations. And today, one believes absolutely in access to the 'objective truth' of the world through the mathematical models of scientific method.
  • "awareness of our existence is intimately enveloped in a temporal awareness or, in other words, enveloped in temporarilty. This seems to be what MH is getting at." This is quite a good formulation as long as one takes care to think of awareness not as 'a subject's consciousness', i.e. as being located 'in our heads'. The world can only become present to us in three distinct modes (two of which are modes of absence), because we are always already out there -- hence ek-sistence and ek-stasy, which, of course, are nothing mystical, just unfamiliar. The envelope is 3-D, i.e. ek-static temporality. MH's thinking is largely a matter of clearing away the rubble of layers of notions that obscure the view and have collected over millennia. It's not his fault the rubble is so thick. What we finally get to see, after the hard work of clearing, is something simple, but decisive.
  • The article lacks any account of Aristotle's thinking on time. You threw out my summary of that last September (cf. Section 2.9 'Time and movement in Aristotle's thinking' of my Digital Cast of Being http://www.arte-fact.org/dgtlon_e.html#2.9. ). Instead you showcase a mathematical physicist like J. Barbour. Barbour is a neo-Parmenidean who misconceives himself as a neo-Platonist. Plato never denied time and movement; Parmenides did. Likewise, the Further Reading list showcases a whole series of mathematical physicists and philosophers of science beholden to them, as if they held the holy grail of truth regarding time.

Michael Eldred Artefactme (talk) 14:39, 19 April 2011 (UTC)


Arbitrary break

  • You introduced now-instants with your first recent edit
  • If I have to do a lot of work to find out what "time proper" is, how does it help the ordinary reader to even mention it? An ordinary reader would not be unjustified in saying its some mystical jargon & end up dismissing the whole article & philosophy itself.
  • If we are going to briefly use "dimension" in a different way from the ordinary way, we owe it to the reader to say so. Pointing to its etymological roots is fine, but committing the Etymological fallacy by giving precedence of meaning to the "old ways" is not. Nor are editors entitled to tell readers that their ordinary concepts are inadequate & not provide a clear alternative
  • To introduce MH into this article, I think the "less is more" adage applies - Introduce as little special vocabulary as possible. Consider what you would write if you were writing for 14 year-olds & people who are just learning English - (tho more than is there today)
  • We do not need to "calculate a sequence" of events to make an appointment for next week. We can even go to sleep during the interval. We do not need to inventory & track all the events that will come before the appointment. All we need is a way to co-ordinate time with others.
  • There's nothing wrong with math. It's not all there is, but that's no reason to be knocking it all the time.
  • Regarding "dateability": A & B race, & A finishes before B. We do not need a calendar or a clock to say A ran the distance in less time than B. We do not even need to count our heartbeats or see how far through a song we get. That is a very primitive example of temporality - and the only involvement of a "sequence of nows" is that you have to stay conscious through the whole race to be sure B didn't lap A - and consciousness is no doubt important in phenomenology too.
  • The article carefully does NOT say that time is measurable. We do not measure time, much like we do not measure a metre. Time is part of a system we have to compare & measure events
  • Nobody has defined time in simpler terms. Primitive concepts have no more primitive terms in which they can be defined. Using multisyllabic words like "the polymolecular topographic concoction that fractionally facilitates respiratory functionality" is not a helpful definition of "air" even if technically correct. But, at least it uses words with their ordinary meaning, without stipulative definitions or appeals to etymology.
  • I have had nothing to do with Barbour being in this article
  • Your September edit was rightly removed under WP:PROMO by someone else. It included your name & links to your website. It began by briefly discussing Aristotle, Husserl, & MH, but more than half of the almost 3,000 characters was a quotation of your arguments, mostly against Barbour
  • Writing for the WP encyclopedia is not the same as writing essays & articles for journals. Per WP:NPOV, the editor's voice should not be apparent in the text, AND WP does not take positions on where modern science has "gone wrong", nor on any issue on which reliable sources disagree. --JimWae (talk) 06:19, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

  • 'now-instants' was not a quote from MH at all and was in single scare quotes, not in genuine double quotation marks. This is usual convention. I speak of 'now-instants' in preference to speaking of 'nows'. MH speaks often of "Jetzt" in the plural, i.e. "nows".
  • If the reader wants not just to find out about philosophy in a superficial way but to find a way into it, then s/he has to (learn to) think. Otherwise, the precious reader can forget philosophy, and most readers do. Philosophy is only ever for the few, as all the great philosophers knew. Nevertheless, philosophical ideas, including on time, shape the world -- behind people's back, whether they know it and like it or not.
  • If you or the imagined reader wants to find out an alternative understanding of 'dimension' then they have to do some learning. If I give some exegesis, then you tell me I'm presenting 'original research'. What's in the article on Leibniz and Kant, for instance, is only the barest indication, and the reader has to follow up with further reading of primary texts, whose references should be provided. In general I regard it as healthy to be confronted with something you don't understand. That is a challenge. And most of the time, what we think we understand, we don't properly. The phenomenon of time is a prime example, as the famous quote from Augustinus says. Nobody complains about the use of the word 'energy', and it is understood in a way sufficient for everyday living. Ditto for time. But if you really want to know, do some work.
  • As soon as a sequence of planned events becomes complicated, we start calculating, e.g. when we have a complicated travel itinerary where, say, train and plane timetables have to be co-ordinated. Then you start calculating, 'Do I have time to get that train?', etc. And as soon as there are many people involved, such as planning timetables in schools, then the calculations get very complicated. Not to mention the logistics of supermarket chains.
  • Of course there's nothing wrong with maths. I spent years studying maths, loved it and have two science degrees with a maths focus. For seeing the phenomenon of time, however, mathematics is a blinkered point of view. Mathematical physics, which is given the prominent position in the article, must work with a one-dimensional conception of time, for otherwise it would lose its equations of motion.
  • The very first sentence of the article reads: "Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events,...". You assert, "We do not measure time, much like we do not measure a metre." But we certainly do measure time, say, in minutes, hours and days. If you say, time itself is the measure, that still does not say what time is.
  • You write, "Nobody has defined time in simpler terms." It's not merely a matter of primitive definitions, but of learning to see one of the simplest of phenomena that eludes us precisely because it is so fundamental and simple.
  • The article continues to lack any account of Aristotle's germinal thinking on time. All the worse for Wikipedia.
  • MH's thinking on time cannot be assimilated to the two positions you present, both of which 'imagine' a one-dimensional time. MH inverts the whole of Western thinking on being and time. Hitherto, time has been thought from being: the 'now' is said to be the only part of time that properly exists; past and future are merely negations of now with respect to earlier and later, as the article itself propagates by speaking of the "time line". Heidegger unearthed that being itself was tacitly understood already by the ancient Greeks as presence, which is a temporal determination. So instead of time being truncated, or rather squashed, to one-dimensional, sequential presence, being itself is thought as three-dimensional temporal presencing.
  • Barbour is showcased in the article with his 'original research', and I provided a counter-view to it. Why should his work be showcased, and my published work not even mentioned?
  • Wikipedia's policy on not presenting 'original research' is a sham in practice, and tacitly supports an orthodoxy of currently accepted notions. E.g there is a long article on string theory, even though not even one per cent of Wikipedia readers could even start to follow the mathematics that underlies it. Of course, 'explaining' things popularly in terms of usual everyday notions, that amount to prejudices in thinking, is relatively easy. So readers will prefer to swallow Stephen Hawking rather than really learn something from Martin Heidegger.

Michael Eldred Artefactme (talk) 11:59, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Jim makes a good point that we need only stay conscious to ensure that "B" did not lap "A" during the race, which A won. No clock or measure of time is required. We do not need to calculate a sequence of events to know that "A" deservedly won, nor go get to our next appointment. Reliable sources are needed to say "calculate a sequence of events." The point is we don't measure time all the time to achieve the desired results. It would have to be shown that in every case we measure time to see that "A" wins, that we have to chronicle and time every event as the pot of water boils, and that we have to be awake through the night (measuring time) to make it to that appointment on time tomorrow.
This is also related to the argument against specialized language. That argument is valid, in that this is an encyclopedia article, not a philosophy course. The intent is to communicate to the reader what is available pertaining to the topic of time. And that availability is based on what has been reported on reliable sources. "Communication" is discouraged with the use of mystical language that is specialized or technical. Communicating to the reader is actually part of the guidelines and polices.
Furthermore giving precedence to etymological roots over the words' modern meaning is inappropriate. Doing so may be viewed as pedantic, and even perhaps as a kind of intellectual snobbery. Editors for Wikipedia are not in the business of impressing people by showing off their depth and grasp of technical terms within a given field. According to the five pillars:
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. It incorporates elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. It is not a dictionary, newspaper, or a collection of source documents; that kind of content should be contributed instead to the Wikimedia sister projects.
Please note Wikipedia is not a philosophy textbook, and not a philosophy lecture. Readers are not required to to find a way into it, and thereby she or he learns to think. Wikipedia is not in the business of training people to think. Wikipedia disseminates information in a manner similar to Encyclopedia Britannica, or Encyclopedia Americana, or other encyclopedias. In this venues if specialized terms are used then they are explained.
So far I don't see any feedback from Jim being taken onboard. Mostly what I see is defense of point of view, which includes presenting material in this article that is not acceptable. Is there any consideration of writing so that a 14 year old may understand? Or writing in a way that would be acceptable for Simple Wikipedia? No matter the opinion, original research, and original interpretations are not aceptable for Wikipedia.
The comment below continues in the fight for a just cause, rather than agreeing to tone down the jargon in the article. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 15:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

  • With Wikipedia's guardians of comprehensibility for users' minds, one doesn't need any thought police, does one? Never forget that 'they' executed philosophy's most famous philosopher. Today such executions of thinking assume a new, 'democratic' quise different from Athenian democracy's.

Michael Eldred 84.63.117.97 (talk) 08:18, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Nagarjuna

Re calling Nagarjuna's argument logical. Let's take it step by step

  1. If the present and the future Depend on the past, Then the present and the future Would have existed in the past.
    if a future (or present) table depends on a past tree, then does the table exist in the past? Saying it does or must have is metaphysics, not science & not logic.
  2. If the present and the future Did not exist there, How could the present and the future Be dependent upon it?
    if the future (or present) table did not exist in the past, how could the future (or present) table depend on the past tree? An obvious reply is "by being made of the same material"
  3. If they are not dependent upon the past, Neither of the two would be established. Therefore neither the present Nor the future would exist.
    if future (or present) tables are not dependent on past trees....? Well, it has not been shown that they are not!

I have demonstrated that the premises of the argument are false - or at least not generally accepted as true. I have demonstrated that the argument is not sound. It is generally agreed that the following arguments are "logical" - though not "sound".

All monkeys are fish. All fish are ants. Thus all monkeys are ants.
All monkeys are fish. All fish are mammals. Thus all monkeys are mammals.

The argument is in the form of a syllogism,(All X are Y; all Y are Z; thus all X are Z) but it would be misleading & unfair to say it was a "logical" argument (even though it is). Logic does not decide whether an argument is correct; it only "decides" if an argument is incorrect. The premises must also be true for an argument to be sound. Even illogical arguments can have true conclusions: All monkeys are mammals; All monkeys have vertebrae; All mammals have vertebrae.

That Nagarjuna's argument resembles a syllogism & resembles a reductio ad absurdum does not make his argument any more "logical" than any another unsound argument. The dependency of the present upon past events is not an argument from logic, it is an argument about causality. Arguments about causality are either scientific arguments or metaphysical arguments. There is no indication that N's argument is meant as a scientific argument. Arguments that attempt to deduce a "new insight" into "the nature of reality" from causality or other metaphysical principles, using only a priori methods, are metaphysical arguments.

My prior presentation of Nagarjuna's argument is the clearer and better supported version --JimWae (talk) 02:02, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

An additional problem with Nagarjuna's argument is his using the vocabulary of reification for past, present, & future - and for time itself. When we say the present depends on the past, we are using a kind of shorthand idiom that means that past events have consequences on present and future events. We do not MEAN that "the past" is itself an entity that has agency.

Furthermore, he *gives* an argument against the existence of the present & the future. He does not *give* any argument against (the existence of the) past, though he waves a few words in that direction. Let's just leave the text as "he gives an argument against the existence of the present and the future, and of time itself".--JimWae (talk) 04:05, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Well done, Jim. I agree. Furthermore, the concept presented by the previous edit appears to be unclear. In contrast, Jim's edit is simple, clear, and to the point. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 04:34, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


You're arguments are right, the three stanzas I quoted from the text aren't a coherent argumentation. Apart from that, in the chapter about time there are three more stanzas which I want to mention for completion:

4.

By the same method,
The other two divisions—past and future,
Upper, lower, middle, etc.,
Unity, etc., should be understood.

5.

A nonstatic time is not grasped.
Nothing one could grasp as
Stationary time exists.
If time is not grasped, how is it known?

6.

If time depends on an entity,
Then without an entity how could time exist?
There is no existent entity.
So how can time exist?

The argument in stanza 6, that there is no existent entity is explained in the text earlier. That is not a metaphysical supposition, but also a conclusion by a logical refutation of the assertion, that entities have an inherent existence. By taking this chapter out of it's context, it becomes incoherent. But what becomes clear is, that Nagarjuna refutes the assertion that time has an inherent existence no matter if you reificate it or say that it depends on entities and events as you described.

The notion of causality must rather be understood as "dependent arising", since Nagarjuna also refutes the assertion of inherent causality. See here: Dependent_arising#Madhyamaka_and_Pratityasamutpada

Finally, Nagarjuna actually doesn't assert any standpoint, but only refutes assertions about the nature of reality that were present during his time. So instead of giving a wrong impression about Nagarjuna or the Madhyamaka in general, I took the passage out of the article. • Madden (talk) 15:32, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


A comment on the measurement of time in the lede.

The lede begins presently as:

Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects.

Lets suppose a measuring system, say the use of my watch and a wall calendar. Now according to the definition given, time is some part of this system, but what or which part of the system it is left undefined. For instance, conventionally, "the clock" is "...a part of the measuring system used to sequence events...". Even my left thumb can be a part of such a system. Furthermore, time existed before we evolved and started measuring it, hence existing independently of any measuring systems. Even more revealing is what we would have if we defined space similarly, such as: "Space is a part of the measuring system used to map the relative positions of objects in three-dimensions." Although not incorrect in anyway, its way off the mark, lacking in definition; the essential information of "what part" and clarity (see the space article for a better description that does not invoke measurement). I know getting consensus wording has been difficult, but I'd surely like to see something else written. Perhaps we can work on something like this:

Time is a one-dimensional succession of events or instants that occur in the universe's past, present and future. Time is recorded and quantified with clocks, which are used to measure the relative duration of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as velocity, power and frequencies.

Note: With only instants existing, current events have no duration, so durations are an illusion (events with duration don't exist). To deny both instants and events, though would either venture into old fallibilistic speculation or unfruitful research that involves some form of substitution (such as substituting space and space-time concepts for those of time, thus "denying" time exists), but since a succession of instants is the same as a succession of events with no duration we could drop "instants" although I think the concept of instants may be important enough to include. Thoughts. --Modocc (talk) 03:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, it's just a lede. "Time is a part of the measuring system..." is only a problem if the rest of the article doesn't then go on to later describe in more detail how "time" is different from "a clock" etc, and how and it what ways time is independent of its measurement (if it even is) and so forth, which it does do. Thus I don't personally have a problem with that lede. Your suggested lede is also good, though. I'd still leave it as is. I'm not an expert on time and not a regular editor of this article, though. Herostratus (talk) 04:35, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
1> I do not see how that proposed lede is really better as a definition (nor do I see it reflected in any of the sources, though I do see "system" repeatedly in sources). You have identified time with the succession of events. But to say events are successive, one must already have a notion of a temporal order. (A succession of events is a succession of events, it is not "time itself". We also reorder the apparent succession based on our knowledge of the time it takes for us to perceive events - we have control over which event we designate to be successive to another.) 2> To be clear, I think it impossible to give a single definition of the sort like "a rectangle is a quadrilateral with 4 right angles". Defining time in simpler, non-temporal terms is elusive because it is fundamental to our understanding of all our experiences. On a Kantian view, time is not something we can passively observe, it is the framework we involuntarily give to all our experiences - even our notions about the pre-human past. I won't deny that "time existed before we evolved", but whenever we think about the pre-human universe, we bring to it our own mental framework. 3> Time is also quantified without clocks, we quantify it when 2 events start at roughly the same time & one completes before the other 4> Other dimensions of the measuring system are the 3 dimensions of space. Other (non-dimensional) components of the measuring system are a>our system of numbers, b>the units we use to quantify time (seconds, days, years,...), and c>the devices we build to indicate time (clocks, calendars) and measure space (rulers) d> our own sense of rhythm & regularity (such as beats - musical & biological). e>Identifying all these sources goes beyond the focus of a lede, but, sourced, would help the article 5> My goal in the lede has been to give as comprehensive as possible exposition of the fundamentsl ways that the word time is used, bearing in mind that"Learning to handle the word time involves a multiplicity of verbal skills, including the ability to handle such connected words as earlier, later, now, second, and hour" and "the meaning of a word is how it is used" not how it can be narrowly defined. I do not mean to say nothing could improve the lede, but I think it important to lay aside any attempt to give the necessary & sufficient conditions for the use of the word "time". We will never get a definition that is simpler & non-circular. Proposed definitions that treat time as if it were something independent of "the way our brains are wired" will never comprehensively cover the usage of the word--JimWae (talk) 22:55, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I do agree that descriptions of time are inherently circular, but I have not attempted nor do I believe I suggested unraveling that paradox. The scope of my suggested introductory sentence was deficient though. For instance, "Event B occurred during the clock event C, and at time C the event C occurred." Since self-referencing is not a succession of two independent events, it was not included in my description. I am tempted to suggest a better description, however I will refrain until I can return to discuss it at a latter date when I have more time. --Modocc (talk) 21:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the lede should be prefixed with "Measurements of ..". 1Z (talk) 14:54, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
    • ^ Heidegger, Martin Sein und Zeit. Tuebingen: Niemeyer 1927, Section 82.