Wednesday, May 28, 2008

LT93: Time Is An Illusion

DOUGLAS ADAMS

Adams wrote something along the lines of "Time is an illusion, lunchtime, doubly so." That got me to thinking...why does the work day drag so slow and the weekends fly by? That led to further questions like:

Is time a perception?

And of course, what is time? We can't see it, touch it, but we see its effects on buildings that crumble and people who age.

This then lead to a couple of my evenings lost completely to researching time.

RESEARCH

It seems as if Albert's theory of special relativity is what got this whole time thing started. He concluded that the faster a person came to the speed of light, the slower time moved. Moved? Eh?

We have proven this on a small scale where astronauts travelling much faster than the Earth-bound humans will return with a 5 o'clock shadow while the person on Earth have full beards. Strange, but true. The theory continues by saying if we reach the speed of light, time stops. Would this mean that motion/movement stops too? Would we become a statue of sorts?

This research suggests that travelling FORWARD in time is possible but only from the vantage point of the observer. If we were the watchers, then yes it appears we age and the time traveller doesn't. Then when we "wake him up" he perceives to have time travelled, but really was just sleeping for an extended period of time. Nothing here suggests that we can travel BACK in time.

TWINS

This whole time travelling things has one major obstacle known as the twin paradox. Yeah, Bad Twins - the LOST book, came to my mind, too! This paradox goes like this: if we could travel back in time and found our grandfather and killed him, could we exist in the future?

The answer most commonly provided to this twin paradox is: yes, if we had multiple universes. The concept is that if I changed history by shooting my grandfather, then instantly a new universe would spring into existence to play out that scenario (in which I wouldn't be born) while my current and known universe I just came from would continue to play out. That means the "historical me" is no longer the "2008 me" and that "historical me" has split off and is travelling a new path. Of course, that path I don't exist in, so not sure why the "historical me" wouldn't die on the spot too. Wait, not DIE, but just vanish, right? Of course that breaks some laws on thermodynamics or something like that, but hey...we are just brainstorming here!

TIME TEASERS

If we then could find a way to speed up the planet's rotation to twice as fast as we spin now, would we double our average lifespan?

Or would we still live the average of 75 years but the days would just last 48 hours? Would we then expect to see two sunrises every "day"?

LOOKING BACK

I'm going on the record to say that we can't really even time travel. We can suspend time and wake a person up 100 of years later without running into that nasty twin paradox obstacle, but that isn't quite what I had in mind.

When science lets us down, what can we do? Turn to religion, of course! The Bible has a few interesting refences to time:

* God says that to Him (not humans) that a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day

* God has no time boundary, which allows Him to always have been here and always to be here - no beginning and no end

* The sun stood still for one day

* The day is defined as "one morning and one evening"

* Now is the time

Alrighty then, how does this help us? Well, God is given many names in the Bible, but the one that catches my eye is "I am Light". If God is Light and time stops at the speed of light, then this would help explain how God has no time boundary. It provides an explanation to how He can have no beginning and no end since those terms are time-related only.

So let's imagine we are God...or light if you prefer. If time stops instead of "freezing in place" maybe instead we are hyperactive in place. Imagine if we were one of those paddles with a ball tied to an elastic string. The length of the string is time...it grows longer and longer as time tick along for humans who are bound in time. The ball is God/light which is rapidly moving along the length of time so fast that in essence it is in all places at one time, and in all points of time at one time.

That fact that God "stops" along the string of time and creates a universe or talks with Moses as a burning bush seems time-oriented, but keep in mind that while these events are happening years apart for humans, they are happening at the same time for God. This sort of explains how God knows everyone's future and how He knows about us before we are born (paraphrasing a couple of passages).

So, going back (or foward) in time is nothing to God...in fact, it is the standard of everyday existence for Him. Ben and Widmore want to be like gods. A very common theme in the Bible from the first chapters of Genesis until the last chapter in Revelations.

TO BE LIKE GODS

Throughout my research I stumbled on an interesting concept. It seems as if the universe has these threads running through it. Let's compare this to the beams and studs in a building...the framework of the universe. These threads are connected by means of a series of atoms that are somehow bound together.

My research suggested that atoms spin in all directions at once until measured, where it then picks a single direction. Yeah, atoms spin in all possible directions. Let your mind ponder that for a minute. After you grab some aspirin, do take comfort that when we measure them (take a snapshot in time) that they assume but one direction.

What was also discovered is that when the atom at the end of these cosmic strings is measured the atom on the opposite end of the strand also picks but one direction to spin. That's convenient. And that direction on the opposite end is always the mirror image of the other end's atom. Woah.

This means predictability. That's step one in controlling what then happens at the end of the cosmic strand possibly millions of miles distant. This feeds nicely into teleportation which has already been accomplished in the labs.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

If we were to become like gods and have no time barrier then we too could drop out of light-speed anywhere along the timeline of existence! We could then travel back in time. If we can grasp the idea that Noah's flood, King David's rule, Christ's death and Jason winning American Idol are all happening right now...then we can begin to see that time traveling is really "time selection".

In the end, it means the same thing...sort of.

Using our paddle and ball example, while the ball is travelling at the speed of light along the string of time, the ball does not follow the exact same path each time it leaves the paddle's surface and extends out into space. (Wouldn't it be funny if this simple child's toy was the key to unlocking the mystery of time?)

This 'different path' the ball takes away from and back to the paddle is a lot like alternative universes. But you don't need multiple universes, just one...one that constantly changes as God streaks up and down history's timeline at the speed of light. Or in the words of Mrs. Hawkings, this is just time course correcting itself.

In a very real sense then we are all repeating history constantly. How often? That answer is 186,000 miles per second. Every time the ball snaps out and back is a "time loop". And in a real sense we are playing this out over and over and over again...with slight adjustments each time.

LOST YET?

Using the concept of gods where time has no impact, then time travel backwards becomes possible. As I tried to explain above, yesterday and tomorrow are today. Imagine then that Ben's mother was a Dharma scientist. She worked on the island but came to hate the ethics of the Dharma Initiative. For revenge she used the time machine and went back to when she is young enough to marry and have Ben in Portland.

But she took something back in time with her...the curse on pregnant woman from being on this island. So she dies.

Here is the important piece: Ben is his mother.

What Dharma and perhaps the viewers have overlooked is that history can't be changed, only adjusted. Here's a time line:

1960: Ben's mother travels back in time.

1970: Has a child named Ben in Portland and she dies

1980: Arrives on the island to work for Dharma Initiative

To keep Einstein happy we can't have matter or energy created or destroyed, so Ben is the new form of mass made from his mother's "energy" and "mass". He takes his mother's place because history has already been written for 1980. The slight adjustment is that instead of Mrs. Ben taking Dharma down, Ben does it in her place. This is our course correction, if you will.

This is supported by LOST showing us Ben interacting with his mother at the sonar fence. Why bring her into the story line other than to die along the side of the road. And it isn't coincidence that she was assited in child birth by Horace Godspeed - Locke's dream angel. Why not? Because in the eyes of gods, this is all happening at the same time. To word it another way: history is already written. This is likely why we have the cliche, "History is bound to repeat itself." See, we have noticed this phenom, but haven't quite grasped its meaning!

HOW CAN BEN SEE HIS MOTHER?

Because in the first ball bounce from the paddle surface, she was alive in 1980 (that year is just a reference point). So when Ben is a young teen, he can "see" her since she is/was there. This explains a lot of things like the dead people who are alive and the Whispers of those dead. And how Miles can see things. And how Daniel knows things and Desmond can dream the future.

RICHARD IS A GOD

Richard is the god we all wish we could be. He is the "time traveller" at the speed of light where all points in history and the future are now. This is why he tells Ben "now is not the time" and how he determines "John isn't ready" when he tests him with the objects that "belong to him already".

How did Richard become a god? He used the time machine in the Orchid.

SIDENOTE: Remember the guy in the Orientation films? Two of three he had one arm missing. In all three he had a different name. It is the same guy, only different. I guess I'm suggesting reincarnation with a twist.

Richard goes back in time to a point after the time machine was first built in his 30-something aged body. He will not age until he catches back up with his time jump. Perhaps the body does show some wear and tear since Juliet noticed that one 20-something woman had a 70-year old womb.

Could Richard then have a child? No. If we wish to uphold the laws of science, then matter can't be created. Since this is "re-visit", no one is able to produce, remove or alter matter, energy or anything else that would upset that balance in the future.

If Richard jumped back three days and re-lived that time, when he woke up in the fourth day, would there be two of him? No. Again, we can't instantly have double the mass of Richard. Although, some days I swear my mass has doubled, but that's another topic! Richards clone would vanish at the instance he time jumped. Where does that mass go then? No where, it's lying in bed across town stepping into a time machine. This is how Ben is a continuation of Ben's mother - it is required in fact because in one time loop she was alive in 1980.

CHARLIE and CLAIRE

Hurley is now and sees Charlie.

Desmond has a flashBACK and saw Charlie but Charlie didn't recognize Dez.

Now consider Claire. Desmond sees here in a FUTURE vision getting on the helicopter for rescue. We now can safely assume she is dead and won't be boarding any helicopter anytime soon. What happened?

Desmond was being a god. He moved along the timeline of the universe and dropped out of hyperspace (light speed) and observed Claire getting on board. But when she dies in 2004 if Desmond were to revisit that future, he wouldn't see Claire any longer. Course corrections. In other words time travel to the future can only happen within your own lifetime forward.

Imagine the Ben's mom quit Dharma but didn't travel back in time. (If you follow this post at least 10% you should understand that Ben's mom did not travel back while she did travel back!) She didn't marry, no children and died at the age of 85. In a time loop she died giving birth in 1980. Her spirit then can exist until her 85th birthday in the first time loop. Now consider that time loops are happening at the speed of light and we have lots of chances.

If course corrections are possible, then we no longer can use the excuse "what's the use" or "I'm destined to fail". Just the opposite is true. Oh, we can't go back and win a lottery ticket knowing the numbers, but we can improve our standing in life. Maybe we should live like we are in a loop, whether extremely fast like light or even the slower concept of re-incarmation. Wouldn't we like to give our next version a head start? So live for that reason alone and life will improve. Or did it improve already and we are just acting out our roles? Hmmm...

By the way, you can't go back and bet on a Boston Red Sox game you know the outcome of. Fate, science, God won't let you. There are constraints which might also mean the gun you used to go back in time and kill your grandfather might jam! Ah....now you get it?

Enjoy,
KC






1 comment:

MDJ said...

Great post KC! One of my favorites to date.

Great finale last night! Reading your post here makes me wonder just how many times I've seem it before.