April 16, 2003

Time theories and information gathering

Ftrain's accordian time I found to be enjoyable. I enjoy time theories and find this to be close to my own personal favorite as accordian time accounts for the percieved difference in time. Some folks have a, so called, strong inner clock that is in step with metered time.

Chronological time is problematic for many as their lives feel wholly out of step with the beating minutes regulated to 60 seconds. Time seems to move in spurts and is quasi-random. My personal time theory to account for the difference in perceived time is that everybody is on a different time pace and some folks do have time moving faster for them, while others have time moving far more slowly. These differences are synched at night so that we all can work and play together. This is just an unsubstantiated theory on my part, but I am happy to find others thinking of other time measurements that can account for perceived differences in time.

Alan Lightman has a collection of time scenarios in his Einstein's Dreams. I found ED a wonderful quick read that added a wonderful collection of time theories to my existing stack. It has been a few years since I read ED, but it seems about right to pull it off the shelf and have another go.

Time, or perceived time, is important to understand when developing applications and information structures. Different individuals will become frustrated if they can not find the information they seek when they desire that information. This is partially dependant on the persons perception of the passage of time or their relation to metered time. A person who normally has time passing slowly may find most information is easily found, but if they are trying to trackdown the address for a date or interview in a relatively short time before the event the persons perception of time may increase. This impacts the perceived ease of finding information or re-retrieving that information. The frustration for this person may increase as they can feel the minutes or seconds slipping away. This cognative element is helpful to understand as we test and build interfaces.

Posted Comments

Time is a rather interesting thing isn't it, but time is nothing but abstract and does not exist, now never existed and never will because there can never be one set time frame.The time created, using the 60 seconds, 24 hours, so on and so forth, was made for the sole purpose of, basicaly, controling our lives, otherwise, we wouldn't need time to make arrangements, and we could float through time freely, we could turn one second into and hour, or vice-versan, but we are taught as young children that time HAS to be, but, time doens't have to be, and as long as humans have that boundry in their minds, along with so many other so called "walls" created by knowledge, our race can never ascend higher than what we know today. Time does not exist, it is only humans need for time that makes it a factor in our lives.

What about the idea that time does exist, but only as now. One single moment. Past, present, future? Arbitrary concepts, meaningless. We can only relate time to our experience of it, which basically means it's a perception, which basically means it doesn't exist in the sense that there's any amout of tangibility.

I agree with your views on time 100%

My theories are inane and not based on any information, but, i think time is like a lake, because, you decide how you spend your time, so if you were just sitting in the middle of the lake, you would decide which way you go by deciding how to spend your time. It's all happening at the same time, you just experience it differently. But, as i said before, my theories are inane and not based on any evidence or information, so, if you find them stupid, i would quickly disregard them so my craziness does not rub off on you.

Today me and a friend had a one hour conversation on whether time existed or not. We came to the conclusion (with a lot of doubt still attatched to it) that time only exists to humans or anything that is aware of it or has some sort of knowledge of it. We thought that if you take a newly born child and put it in a blank room with no sound or movement (and obviously fed it) until it grew old and died time would not exist for it. As the baby has no memories because for its whole life it was stuck in one moment time does not exist for it, it has no knowledge of time. So time is a human invention that doesn't really work because what came before time? And when did time start? And when will it end? All these questions are impossible to answer which makes me think that time is quite ilogical and doesn't make much sense.

It seems that time is endless. There was a moment before now, and one beore that in an endless series. Logically TODAY can not happen because if one travels forward from an infinite point in the past the present day can not be reached. A reasonable conclusion is that we live in an endless series of universes that have a start and an end, then another one begins. We just happen to be in one now.

Time is of the essence

I find there is always time for one more...

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