Does the Past Exist and if not, what follows?
Has anyone seen a good explanation or even just a decent discussion about "time?"
I have read that the current popular scientific view of time is that the past has no more "existence" than the future. Is time like the pages of a book, that we could potentially re-read, as in "time travel?" Are there some huge number of quantized pasts? Or is it something altogether different in kind?
I've read or heard about as much on this foundational subject as I have on the explanation for why there is a radical difference in spinning vs non-spinning frames of reference. I brought this up in undergrad physics and got a lot of uncomfortable looks from my profs, this being a subject that had no known answer, altho, decades later I read that Dirac postulated that the entire mass of the universe somehow was responsible for the inertial field that differentiated an object spinning vs. the universe spinning around some such object. Motion and the physics thereof is supposed to be relative, providing no favorite frames of reference, right?
Let's try to come up with some truly off-the-wall explanations of time, before it's too late and the infoverse eats our brains.
E.gl, if every time I asked "am I conscious" I got the preprogrammed result of "yes," then would I ever conclude that it was a false answer? Could our ideas of time have a similar character? As Orwell exposed, there could well be a different position, encapsulated as a meme, to the effect that the past, since it doesn't actually exist, is or can be whatever we agree to, freely or coerced. Allegedly, this was the position of the NAZIs, and they held that they could rewrite history and science, specifically for the purpose of creating a different reality, one in which they were triumphantly right.
Of course, to the rest of us, that sounds like voluntary lunacy, but suppose that we are actually party to a simulation, and what we experience as reality is an elaborate MUDD. After all, wouldn't a game that you really believed to be reality be much more involving than any mere gamespace? So, we install the YES-meme, that reliably detects when we are losing that credulity and steers us or the game away from such an uncomfortable realization.
I wasn't able to save my comments, so I'll stick them here:
Nice intro into the basics, but didn't really answer the big questions. Thanks. I'm going to explore Dirac's work on time, since he was the only reference on the spinning frames of reference that I've come across so far. My main problem will likely be the math. I used to do differential equations in college, but now my limit is more like algebra 1. Surprising how little need there is for higher math in most occupations. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. difs are still handy as thought objects.
Thinking about your comment. On the surface, like when you use the term "flow" it seems like you may be assuming your conclusion - using "time" in the description of time... Grok?
Thanks for bringing that up. If we are in a gamespace, then of course time travel is possible, as is rebooting or rewriting the past, or branching into variations of the gameverse. We already do this with our primitive computers. They won't be so primitive in a few decades, and then true gameverses will become possible, in which the participants really think that they are real-real.