Time is a funky thing. It’s a measurement, it’s an event, and it’s also a mysterious force that flows through us, unexplainable with words at times (pun intended).
From a mathematical perspective, time serves the fundamental baseline for many realistic problems. Filling a gas tank takes time. Running from point A to point B takes time. Growing watermelons takes time. Typing words per minute... well, I think you get the point.
However, I enjoy the great pain that racks my brain every time I dive into more obscure ideas. For example, no human being alive remembers what occurred before birth. Thus, time beforehand seemed meaningless. Humans couldn’t perceive time’s flow before their minds mature, thus resulting in nothing within our memory bank. Similarly, memory is our method of viewing lengths of time. Due to the flexibility of how fast we perceive time in the present based on activity, memories help indicate an estimate of the current time. An example would be playing basketball: NBA players often have a constant 24 second timer to match the shot clock in their minds at all times due to exposure, creating a personal timer within their minds.
Whenever humanity faced a mystery, there were those who sought to find a solution. Religion, science, whatever cult that involves cannibalism, all those ideologies embrace the search for answers to the universe’s unknown. Since the beginning, time itself remained a mystery and its perception bamboozling. A well-known perception is the quickening of time as a person ages. An infant will see each year as an entire new half of his life, but an eighty year old man will perceive a year around a percent of what he’s experienced. The fluidity of time is captured in literature as something that runs away like a cat or dog that needs to be restrained. The term I wish to use is “understand”, as it would be rather useful to understand time than to be wishful and capture it.
A step towards uncovering this untimely mystery is measuring it. Humanity bases the measurements of time off of the sun. It is a logical, stable, and convenient method of organization. But the universe does not follow such simple ways. We split time into hours, minutes, seconds and so forth, but the universe just moves forward without regards to petty measurements. Much like how humanity created the metric system to quantify the physical world, we used physical measurements to quantify the passing of time. Ancient calendars revolved around suns and moons, associating their positions and appearances with moments of a year. Obviously, physical objects are subjects of time’s power; thus, marking time with tangible things will not be very accurate in a long term. Recently, a second was redefined as the time it takes for an atom to oscillate an estimate nine billion times between two energy levels in Cesium 133; however, even atoms have their variation (Cesium’s oscillations varying by twenty or so).
Time is unquantifiable, at least completely accurate. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that no matter how thin you slice a piece of cheese that you can always slice thinner? Time is similar: no matter how precise you cut time, you can always go a fraction of an atto- or zepto- or yocto-second shorter.
I recall a few years ago, the movie Lucy starring Scarlette Johansson and Morgan Freeman explained time to be the only true measure. I agree with that. Under normal circumstances, we create feet and meters to help us understand a vast universe, placing abstract numbers and labels on a blank ruler. We do the same with time, but unlike any physical objects, time marches on everywhere without change.
While thinking of all this, I found myself consistently pondering how small I am in the grand scheme of things. But then again, even galaxies are small compared to the universe. Now there are two ways of approaching this fact. Either believe that no matter what you do, nothing will change, or live to be as big as you can. Life is short, time guarantees that, and if death is anything like the experience before birth, I will enjoy every moment that passes.
(Super Smash Bros. by Nintendo 07/04/2019)
(Men in Black on Christmas Day 12/25/2011)
(Wii by Nintendo 06/09/2007)
(BBQ on Independence Day 07/04/2019)
(Spit-roast of Sockeye Salmon, Tiger Shrimps, Scallops, Steak 07/04/2019)