The loss of one real time

1.) Understood as a dimension time is spatial and so exists at once. This is an insight about time but it needs to be balanced against the way in which distinct times can’t exist at once.

2.) Let event space be the futurity that a present state needs to play out (timelines visualize this space as a line). Raskalnikov’s story takes the time that ranges over 400 pages, a pop song about 3 minutes, and the chasing and death of a sheep is harder to determine outside the particular case.

3.) Event space exists prior to a clock, since “clock” is just the name for seeing event space X relative to event space Y when Y involves presumptively uniform, repeated events like earth-rotations, pendulums, or jiggling cesium atoms.  Event  space : clocks :: absolute entity : relative entity.

4.) Relativity shows that Absolute time (where time is defined by a clock) is impossible, or is nothing but the equation that relates any two possible event spaces, i.e. how to predict the units of any clock. Where light speed is infinite, any event space uniformly measures any other (and vice versa).

5.) Modernity seems to arise where we assume that any event space can measure any other. This is Benedict Anderson’s claim about “The News”: for us, finding out what is happening in the world means to throw all that is happening on the same front page, news report, web aggregator, etc. We assume some space where all events are commensurate and able to be tied together. In the ancient world, this commensuration was seen as a construction (co-ordinating events with each other was very hard work) while we tend to see it as just how time is.

6.) Between the ancients and us, of course, is Christianity, specifically its attempts to construct a worldwide calendar of all events around the AD/BC axis of the Incarnation. So we went from no real time for all, to one time for the world through Christ, to one real time for all without Christ.

7.) This last time proves illusory though we don’t know what sort of world it leaves us with, or even if it leaves us with something deserving the name of “a world”.

 

 

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