Time and Space are of the Same Stuff
|Title||Time and Space are of the Same Stuff|
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|No. of pages||23|
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We propose to consider the concepts of time and space together. Both of these involve the same degrees of freedom of worldly elements and always work in tandem. In discussing their fundamental points, we need to use relation-based thinking, where each is defined in contrast to the other, instead of substance-based thinking, where each is defined by its own set of characteristics. We contrast spatial relations with temporal relations, or relative mobility with relative immobility. The boundary between the two is decided arbitrarily (there is a great deal of flexibility in definitions of associated time and space parameters), but such a decision runs into logical and conceptual obstacles similar to those encountered in quantum mechanics. Given this prospect, we need to revise the concepts of both time and space. Time does not flow, it is change in relation, it is movement; space is abstracted from constant relations or constant slices of movement. The relative movements that express these relations (changing or unchanging) always take both a spatial and a temporal aspect, like two sides of the same reality. More generally, we suggest seeing a spatial aspect (the distance separating the two terms of the relation) and a temporal aspect (travel along the path linking them) in every relation. On this basis, we propose a research program to examine a number of fundamental problems of contemporary physics and avenues for rethinking how we express time and space in the behavioral and social sciences, in culture, and even in everyday life.