Okay, I am going to have to ‘science the shit’ out of this article! (with apologies to #AndyWier)
As part of an upgrade of High Space for @StoryweaverRPG I’ve been honing up on my physics. That led to me this interesting article in @QuantaMagazine (formerly Simons Science News), about the research to understand time and it’s relationship to quantum physics and entanglement theory.
I suggest you read the article if you are interested, because I am NOT going to do a full review of it, but it revitalized several ideas I recently had and I want to touch on those.
In my own words, the upshot of the article is that the ‘effects’ of ‘quantum entanglement’ can be used to observe the ‘arrow’ of time. I think the article is correct, but that it also highlights how limited our notion of time remains.
Linguistically, for people to still be talking about the ‘arrow’ of time suggests that time is still seen as the time that moves. I know it could mean and arrow indicating ‘direction’ but the meaning is ambiguous as best. After all, everyone knows it is the ‘arrow’ that moves and not the ‘bow’.
Philosophically, you should ask yourself what is ‘now’? Using the arrow of time as your reference then time is a path and ‘now’ exist at every point on that path, and reality is simply how quantum mechanics collapses down to the observable level.
To me this raises the question of why do I perceive this now as the Now? I will live for <redacted> years but this moment, with each thought, is my Now.
The idea that my human senses can only perceive one Now is self evident. I can perceive two light sources at the same time, so why not two Nows? The result of perceiving too many sources of anything is confusion, so if anything my senses are proof that there is only one true Now.
But how can the one true Now come to exist in a timeline of infinite (small n) nows?
The only model I can think of, and this fits well with multi-dimension theory, is that Now is the result of an interference pattern caused by more than one source. And if I understand it correctly this appears to also fit well with entanglement theory now that I think of it (no pun intended.)
Here are a couple of interference models that might work.
A) Two ‘very long’ standing waves that only bisect once at any point in their respective dimensions (Although to use my sense to test for multiple interference waves would require senses that persist much longer than mine, so it appears.) I think of this as the ‘Alpha and the Omega’ model.
B) A simplification of A in which there is only one source, and one termination point, and the interference occurs where the ‘ray’ from the source reaches termination. I kinda like this idea because it means that it is impossible (relativistic-ally speaking) to see into the future. This is a somewhat ‘Nihilistic’ model.
C) That both the end of time and the start of time are points, and the interference occurs because they overlap (and most physicists will know that the answer is always ‘C’ ; ) I like this idea because it turns the current thinking on it’s head, because it suggests that Now is the one true fixed point in our universe and all other dimensions move though it (rather than all dimensions following the arrow of time). This is what my yoga teacher try to explain when she said ‘Live in the now’ 🙂
That’s enough science. Enough to build temporal models for RPG characters that will give them different motivations – Alpha-Omega, Nihilistic, and Enlightened ; )
So peace out suckaz, and think on that shit!