Friday, January 7, 2011

Time's Illusions

Here's two new videos for you to look at today, both of them are quite short:

A direct link to the above video is at

The above new video accompanies Alexander's Time Illusion Game, a blog entry from last August. I also published "Flow and the Now" in August, here's the video version for that one which I've posted to YouTube just a few days ago.

A direct link to the above video is at

These two videos tie together into a larger discussion of just what we mean when we say now. Here's a mental puzzle for you to consider: I am suggesting that there are really two "now"s that are at right angles to each other, but most of us tend to blur these two opposing concepts together in our minds.

Our reality is not continuous, and the seamless reality we believe we are observing is really a discrete series of "now"s that are each one planck frame apart from the next. That is the "illusion of time". Which of these two versions of "now" would you say are more correct?

  1. "Now" is what I see at this instant. This includes what I see when I look up at the stars: even though I know it took years for their light to reach me, their light is reaching me right "now".
  2. "Now" is what's entangled with this very instant, and that's how the quantum world's instantaneous "spooky action at a distance" effects occur. "Now" is not what I see when I look at a star that's ten light years away, because the time it takes light to travel means that I won't be seeing what that star looks like "now" until ten years in the future.
Which version of the word applies more for you? I've started a poll question here that lets you provide your answer. We're going to talk more about this question in the next few entries, as we get to my soon-to-be-released video that accompanies my blog entry "Light Has No Speed".

Are you enjoying the journey right "now"?

Rob Bryanton

Next: At Right Angles to Spacetime


TheRealJeffHall said...

In my view, "now" has to be considered as a subjective experience rather than something that can be defined objectively. Our awareness of our own actions in what we believe to be "the present moment" was shown by Benjamin Libet as being up to 500 milliseconds AFTER the moment when we actually execute an action.

I work with this idea in my teaching of the Alexander Technique, when I show my pupils how to inhibit knee-jerk, habitual responses to stimuli. I blogged about this subject in some detail recently -

I would claim that time itself is a conscious construct. The past does not exist until a conscious memory compares it to the current moment. Time only exists when one moment is compared to another. A single Planck frame of reality would therefore not have a time dimension.

I'm enjoying my journey :)

Pete said...

1. "Now" is what I see at this instant, including starlight which is the imprint emitted from years ago.

2. "Now" is what's entangled with this very instant, the quantum world's instantaneous "spooky action at a distance" space-time including the starlight that won't reach our eyes until years later but it occurring "now" if we could witness it instantly?

I may be confused. Would you say "Now #1" is a 5th dimensional moment and "Now #2" is a 4th dimensional moment, and that we experience "Now #1" because reality is created in the 5th dimension? Or is something off about this? Thanks for clearing this up!

Rob Bryanton said...

Thanks for your comment, Jeff, very insightful. And the question you ask is a good one Pete, because that's what I discuss in the next couple of entries immediately following this one:

In a nutshell, I think the two "now"s are equally valid, because our "now" is actually in the fifth dimension, not the fourth. So saying that one version of "now" is in the fourth is like arguing whether "forward" rather than "up" is in the third dimension: both are valid, depending upon your frame of reference as you define the preceding dimensions.

Thanks for writing!

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist