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One way of looking at this is both ways.

Early in the history of thermodynamics, folks had a hard time with the idea that all of the laws of physics were reversible, but it time seemed to have a direction anyway, only the Second Law of Thermodynamics seemed to be directional, and it was not very specific, and seemed kind of arbitrary. This is Loschmidt's paradox.

In response, Botzmann, a major name in thermodynamics, proposed that time flows the direction it does only because we are falling away from a state of very high order (Later, we decided the reason for this state of very high order is the Big Bang, that all points in space were identical when they were all compressed into a single point, and time resulted when they began to differ.) So if we were in a more chaotic part of the universe, time would not flow one direction, but would flow the other way for a while, until things were too orderly, and then proceed as we are accustomed. If it oscillated often enough, we would not really get a direction to time at all. 

On the other hand "for a while" makes no sense where there is no direction to time. So there is some underlying aspect to time independent of how we might perceive it.

While our time is an artifact of the distribution of entropy, there is still some component of linear order somewhere behind it. That linear order might not sequence things as we see them, and if time were not directional, we might perceive it as a spatial dimension instead.

That is kind of Augustine's vision of divine time, that a divine being could get outside it and see all history laid out in one big tableau. Kant elaborated this better by saying time is just a form of our thinking, and that other beings might have ways of thinking that were not sequential. It also fits with certain ways of looking at relativity.

So if our time is accidental, what is its purpose? The purpose seems to be to facilitate a sense of learning and development, to simplify life so that it can address individual problems in a sequential way.

Hegel looked at this as the reason for physical existence. That some aspect of the bigger picture is assisted by this piecemeal, separated and sequential approach, instead of the more basic time-free reality, and we are charged with working out how this fits into the bigger picture.

So we might be just fine without time, but only, in some sense, if we weren't us.

One way of looking at this is both ways.

Early in the history of thermodynamics, folks had a hard time with the idea that all of the laws of physics were reversible, but it time seemed to have a direction anyway, only the Second Law of Thermodynamics seemed to be directional, and it was not very specific, and seemed kind of arbitrary. This is Loschmidt's paradox.

In response, Botzmann, a major name in thermodynamics, proposed that time flows the direction it does only because we are falling away from a state of very high order, and if we were in a more chaotic part of the universe, time would not flow one direction, but would flow the other way for a while, until things were too orderly, and then proceed as we are accustomed. If it oscillated often enough, we would not really get a direction to time at all.

On the other hand "for a while" makes no sense where there is no direction to time. So there is some underlying aspect to time independent of how we might perceive it.

While our time is an artifact of the distribution of entropy, there is still some component of linear order somewhere behind it. That linear order might not sequence things as we see them, and if time were not directional, we might perceive it as a spatial dimension instead.

That is kind of Augustine's vision of divine time, that a divine being could get outside it and see all history laid out in one big tableau. Kant elaborated this better by saying time is just a form of our thinking, and that other beings might have ways of thinking that were not sequential. It also fits with certain ways of looking at relativity.

So if our time is accidental, what is its purpose? The purpose seems to be to facilitate a sense of learning and development, to simplify life so that it can address individual problems in a sequential way.

Hegel looked at this as the reason for physical existence. That some aspect of the bigger picture is assisted by this piecemeal, separated and sequential approach, instead of the more basic time-free reality, and we are charged with working out how this fits into the bigger picture.

So we might be just fine without time, but only, in some sense, if we weren't us.

One way of looking at this is both ways.

Early in the history of thermodynamics, folks had a hard time with the idea that all of the laws of physics were reversible, but it time seemed to have a direction anyway, only the Second Law of Thermodynamics seemed to be directional, and it was not very specific, and seemed kind of arbitrary. This is Loschmidt's paradox.

In response, Botzmann, a major name in thermodynamics, proposed that time flows the direction it does only because we are falling away from a state of very high order (Later, we decided the reason for this state of very high order is the Big Bang, that all points in space were identical when they were all compressed into a single point, and time resulted when they began to differ.) So if we were in a more chaotic part of the universe, time would not flow one direction, but would flow the other way for a while, until things were too orderly, and then proceed as we are accustomed. If it oscillated often enough, we would not really get a direction to time at all. 

On the other hand "for a while" makes no sense where there is no direction to time. So there is some underlying aspect to time independent of how we might perceive it.

While our time is an artifact of the distribution of entropy, there is still some component of linear order somewhere behind it. That linear order might not sequence things as we see them, and if time were not directional, we might perceive it as a spatial dimension instead.

That is kind of Augustine's vision of divine time, that a divine being could get outside it and see all history laid out in one big tableau. Kant elaborated this better by saying time is just a form of our thinking, and that other beings might have ways of thinking that were not sequential. It also fits with certain ways of looking at relativity.

So if our time is accidental, what is its purpose? The purpose seems to be to facilitate a sense of learning and development, to simplify life so that it can address individual problems in a sequential way.

Hegel looked at this as the reason for physical existence. That some aspect of the bigger picture is assisted by this piecemeal, separated and sequential approach, instead of the more basic time-free reality, and we are charged with working out how this fits into the bigger picture.

So we might be just fine without time, but only, in some sense, if we weren't us.

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source | link

One way of looking at this is both ways.

Early in the history of thermodynamics, folks had a hard time with the idea that all of the laws of physics were reversible, but it time seemed to have a direction anyway, only the Second Law of Thermodynamics seemed to be directional, and it was not very specific, and seemed kind of arbitrary. This is Loschmidt's paradox.

In response, Botzmann, a major name in thermodynamics, proposed that time flows the direction it does only because we are falling away from a state of very high order, and if we were in a more chaotic part of the universe, time would not flow one direction, but would flow the other way for a while, until things were too orderly, and then proceed as we are accustomed. If it oscillated often enough, we would not really get a direction to time at all.

On the other hand "for a while" makes no sense where there is no direction to time. So there is some underlying aspect to time independent of how we might perceive it.

While our time is an artifact of the distribution of entropy, there is still some component of linear order somewhere behind it. That linear order might not sequence things as we see them, and if time were not directional, we might perceive it as a spatial dimension instead.

That is kind of Augustine's vision of divine time, that a divine being could get outside it and see all history laid out in one big tableau. Kant elaborated this better by saying time is just a form of our thinking, and that other beings might have ways of thinking that were not sequential. It also fits with certain ways of looking at relativity.

So if our time is accidental, what is its purpose? The purpose seems to be to facilitate a sense of learning and development, to simplify life so that it can address individual problems in a sequential way.

Hegel looked at this as the reason for physical existence. That some aspect of the bigger picture is assisted by this piecemeal, separated and sequential approach, instead of the more basic time-free reality, and we are charged with working out how this fits into the bigger picture.

So we might be just fine without time, but only, in some sense, if we weren't us.