#Idea – 10.06.16 / “I’ll make them love me for what I do”

There’s a mentality shared by a lot of people in this world
“If they don’t love me for who I am
I’ll make them love me
For what I do
Maybe we just need a reminder…
Though it’s OK (and often noble) to strive for more
(depending on what you strive for, I suppose…)
It’s still placing the need for validation outside of you
Onto other people
And that is a power that you should not take away from yourself

Photo by aaron_anderer

#Poem – New Frontiers

Time to leave
The bottom fell out
I got the severance package
And my running mouth
A golden parachute
And a crocodile smile
I’ll tell you I’m sorry
But get no trial.

The global crisis
The existential slump
Roll over Wall Street and Canary Wharf
Into a fucking slum
All the out of work MBAs,
And the markets melting
Whilst the world decays

Now to call it quits
Just end this shit
And send me away,
Forget my name
I’ll stop selling derivatives,
I swear
And sleep for days

Little I gave
In our great exchange
And now my name is mud
My bed is made
I guess I’ll be gone
We all had to do business
And was I so wrong?

Perhaps a return to home again
Given a few years in the free and clear
And find myself a new frontier…

black and white canary wharf photo
Photo by Hernan Piñera

#ThoughtExperiment – Time’s Arrow

“This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel,
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down…”

– J.R.R Tolkien – The Hobbit

Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord Of The Rings
It is good to start any thought experiment with pictures of Hobbits smoking pipes.







Forget that you know about physics for a while and lets try to think about time objectively (which is probably a bit hard – but bear with me).

Where is the empirical proof of time?

It is true, that we feel something pass every day. Or at least we see evidence something passing; stuff getting on, stuff falling apart. Progress..

But is time change? (Put another way, is the motion of time’s arrow evidence enough for time?)

Crux of the argument:

How can we empirically observe time if we are forever trapped within it?

What can we measure time against? entropy; is that the corollary value?

Can we have entropy without time? It seems not…

When we ‘do science’ our method often is to look empirically at something from a detached position, that we may learn about it.

Except, you can’t look at time from a distance, because you are always ‘inside’ it. Relativistically speaking you are trapped in the reference frame.

Within time where are our reference points? We use times and dates, right? But they are all relative to each other, not measured against some universal standard.

There is not a detached position to calibrate all of time’s progress to.

If someone moves one goalpost, you’ll notice. If someone moves both goal posts, you’ll probably notice. If someone moves the entire field and you with it, would you notice?

football pitch photo
Photo by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML


How would we know if time’s progress rate has changed, if all the clocks had calibrated to keep to this new rate of passage?

It’d be like travelling in a car that accelerates, yet with the dial remaining constant despite of speed changes. In this car you can’t see properly out the windows because it is terribly dark. How would you know that the car were speeding up, slowing down or even moving at all, if your senses and your instruments were deceiving you?

You couldn’t get out and verify if the car was moving, relative to the ground. You can’t get ‘out’ of time to see what it is moving relative to. So, similarly, how would we know that time were changing? How would we even know that it ‘was’?

Is there a spoon?

Consider the importance of relativity…what is relative to time? Everything?

What would a being outside of time experience?

Perhaps considering what it would be like to exist without time will help us better think about its ubiquitous nature.

If time where plotted as a fourth dimension, what would a being that where outside of time perceive, if it could observe time discretely?

The First idea is that it’d see everything will have happened all at once, the Second idea is it will have seen that nothing will have happened at all.

If the first case, how would it differentiate discrete events? It’d just be like a long exposure photograph that’d merged into a mass of undifferentiated information. If it were able to interact with the universe, maybe it’d be stuck in the mass!

long exposure people photo
Photo by sa0irse

If the second case, surely the being couldn’t exist without time. Because in this instance time is only present when things happen, and therefore since nothing could have happened there could have been no time and no being.

If you took time away as a value (as in you removed the fourth dimension), what would happen? Would the nature of everything fall apart? Can time stop?

Why does anyone care anyway?

Because every scientific measurement we take, or observation we make happens within time. It constrains everything.

Everything we do in our lives happens within the boundaries of time. We only exist within a certain set of temporal and spatial co ordinates. Put another way, you cannot be located at any point without a time and a place to find you.

We take time for granted as we have always experienced it, yet what we really know (in the personal sense) of time is felt subjectively.

We put faith in the existence of time. An eternity for the fruit fly is a day in the human life. There’s the relativity again, except it is more perceptive.

I quote Alan Watts; who I believe is possibly the wisest person I have ever heard – “I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”

So are the timepieces in a way, reinforcing an illusion? A clock just measures time; it is not proof of time, just as a ruler does not prove that an inch exists.

But; Space: Evidence for time?

Evidence for time seems to come from the idea that you and I can occupy the same space because time exists. For example (disregarding the motion of the earth through the solar system, the solar system through the galaxy, and the galaxy through the universe), if you have been to the foot of the Eiffel Tower, you have occupied the same space I have at some point. It therefore follows that, obviously, time can put a distance between things happening at a single point in space. If it didn’t I might walk into a dinosaur or a Cro-Magnon villager in Croydon, which is where I live and where they will have once lived.

croydon photo
No dinosaurs, just concrete. Photo by Michael K Donnelly

So, I suppose, it follows that for things to change, time must pass.

But is this evidence enough for you? I’m not sure we’re seeing the whole picture on time, or we are using it as a conceptual placeholder for something much more complicated. Maybe time is an illusion or a simplification.

I wish my brain had more computing power.

#Idea – Hipster Philosophy / The Use And Abuse Of Irony

You can do anything you want
Be anything you want
As long as whatever it is that you do
Is done ironically
The problem, however
Is that once this is done
So often and so strongly
You eventually end up unaware
Of when you are being ironic
And when you are not

Or, put another way
Where the irony stops
And where you begin

But, is this really a problem?
And who are ‘you’ anyway?

Maybe irony is just a way to break the third wall of your personality
And the persona you have trapped yourself in
Maybe irony is a means to do things you wouldn’t normally allow yourself do
One of a number of ways to escape from ‘psychosclerosis’
A reminder that the person you think you are
This ‘normal’ you
With all your preferences and aversions,
Is a persona
Nothing different from extended method acting
Or a rut that you got caught in
And that you could be any number of people
(and all of that consequences this might entail…)
Maybe irony can get you there…

Photo by Luis Alvarez Marra