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Time for Confusion
By Patrick A Granfors   

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Its about time

Time confuses the heck out of me. It’s bad enough that I’ve got to deal with Daylight Savings Time and Pacific Standard Time but I get hung up on what time really is.


I mean, when you say “once upon a time” does that imply a single point in time or a series of events way back when? Nobody ever says “twice upon a time” so I guess the single point theory gets the nod.  “Once upon a time” I got my butt paddled for talking back to my dad. That was a one time event, no “twice upon a time” there for sure, lesson learned. Still how many books and movies start with “once upon a time?”  Not one of them is an instantaneous event.


“There was a time” sounds a lot like “Once upon a time” but not quite as numerically bossy. They both have “a time” in common though and perhaps there lies a clue. Just what is the difference between “a time” and “time?”


You can measure “time” in microseconds if you so choose but how do you measure “a time?” It makes no sense.


I suppose you could throw an adjective into the mix such as, I had “a good time” or I had “a bad time” to provide some sort of perspective but that really doesn’t address the chronology of the time element itself, meaning that “a time,” is in fact an event which can carry an infinite number of finite measurable durations. So “a time” and “time” is really the same thing just said differently, sort of.


Of course in human terms time typically gets expressed as a function of the event. I had a great time at the concert last night or, I had a miserable time at the dentist’s office.


And here is where it gets really complicated. Keep an eye on your watch for an hour while you’re getting a lap dance. Now keep an eye on your watch for an hour while you’re getting a root canal. Care to postulate which hour is longer?


We all know of course that 60 minutes is 60 minutes. Yet this example offers clear evidence that time is a rubber band, that is, rather the perception of time. You know, time flies when you’re having fun. Einstein proved that time is relative but his world of light speed time distortion isn’t relevant here.


“There will be a time” speaks to a future event or maybe point in time, I don’t know and it depends on how much time it takes to get there.


But who owns time? I can say I have some time to do something but I get the sneaking suspicion that I’m just borrowing time. I can’t really pay it back. I could say that I’m giving you an hour of my time but in reality aren’t we then just sharing the same time? You don’t get twice as much time. If you think time belongs to you, then you obviously don’t punch a time clock. There it is again, time measurement vs. events.


Just think. In the amount of time you’ve taken to read this, and I’ll assume two minutes, according to planetary statistics, 500 people will have been born, and 210 will have died. That is 500 lifetimes beginning and 210 lifetimes ending. Are these events, or measurements, or both, or neither?


I’m coming to the conclusion that time is a label. Lifetime, party time, work time, time for bed and that the amount of time in between is some sort of cosmic filler. In other words were all astrological twinkies living in our own little time warp.


It’s time for a beer, I’m so confused.





Copyright 2011 Patrick Granfors






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