My friend, Bob Paddock sent this to me. He said “I was at the movie Arrival as it was about to start. If you've not seen it, I recommended it. Ponder this, as it is related.”
Prepared for the Rhine Education Center class “Presentiment: Exploring the Nature and Theories of Time” 2015.
“Discuss the nature of time and how our perception of time is affected by the presentiment experiments.” What is Time? Is there a definition of Time that is not self-referential? Defining Time by order or events or of change therein does not provide a satisfactory definition of Time.
The base unit of time, the second, can be 1/86,400 of the mean solar day or the oscillation of Cesium 133 9,192,631,770 Hz in a long beam atomic clock. However, both of those are on the verge of once again being changed via new technology such as Optical Lattice Clocks and re-definition by political entities such as 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-2015) arguing over the Leap Second at this moment (March 23rd 2015)1 .
Both frequency, such as Cesium resonant frequency and the mean solar day are once again self-referential ways of defining Time. Perhaps Time is impossible to define because it does not really exist? Which leads to the question what is 'real'. However, we must not fall into the ego trap that Einstein asked of Abraham Pais: “Do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it?”
“The physical sciences support the idea that our intuitions based on conscious waking experiences of events do not give us accurate information about how events unfold in time. For example, Einstein' special theory of relativity illustrates that there can be no privileged “now” – an idea that, among other consequences, makes “past” and “future” observer – dependent so there is no absolute order of events when it comes to the physical world (Einstein, 1920). As a result, all events must coexist in the physical world, and our conscious experience of traveling through time and discovering events one by one appears to be simply the most common way to experience them.” 2,3
If events are simply ordering by Human perception consciousness or not then there is no reason why Time cannot be experienced in ways such as effect happening before causes. Bem et.al. seem to be unaware of other area of physics, specifically Optical Phase Conjugation, that require the use of negative time. 3
In a Phase Conjugate mirror a time-reverse image of the incident beam is produced. “If it were possible to take a moving picture of the incident way the complete behavior of the conjugate wave would be portrayed by running the film backwards.”4 The analogy is, however less than ideal, that it is only the sign of time that becomes negative.
Alternate Presentiment model
In the standard Presentiment model of Bem et.al. the view is that the brain is showing a reaction to an event that has not yet occurred in linear time. An alternative view to Presentiment can be taken from Everett-Wheeler Many Worlds.
Let’s call the present moment 'Now' and the next moment 'Now+1' for lack of proper language to deal with proper time tenses and call these frames that can be placed in a linear sequence; however, each (all) frame(s) may actually be simultaneous. There has been some speculation that each frame is separated by linear time of the Kolmogorov scale of 10-58 . Boyd et.al
In this view of Presentiment the neural 'noise' of the brain actually represents Chaotic (Strange) Attractors. These Attractors cause human perception to jump from Now to Now+1, become the new 'Now' in the different frame where the presentiment event has now happened. So rather than effect happening before causation, something as yet unknown, is attracting that particular frame of 'reality' from the Multiverse5-9 , Singer3 supports the concept of the brain being non-linear dynamics, self-organizing, and coding in high-dimensional-state space.
Each individual creates their own 'Reality'. However, a large Consensus Reality has us all going in the same general direction, which is why we agree the grass is green and the sky is blue, yet because each Reality is unique we don't agree on the shades of green or blue.
Perhaps 'Reality' is a Hologram or actually an Information Universe, both of which can lead to non-conventional views of Time10-14
A Hologram still requires a medium in which to exist, such as a photographic film. Perhaps professor Dimitri Mendeleev the 'father' of the Periodic Table of the Atomic Elements, composed in 1869, holds one possible answer for such a Holographic Medium:
“In this first publication, Mendeleev placed a special 'Zero Group' of atomic elements, which preceded the Noble gases. The quality of chemical inertness was assigned to the Zero Group gases to explain their 'non-reactive' character and the difficulty of discovering the Zero Group gases chemically. The lightest of the Zero Group gases, the first in the Periodic Table, was assigned a theoretical atomic weight 100,000,000 times lighter than hydrogen.
Mendeleev later published a theoretical expression of the aether, which satisfied many of the contradictions which existed in physics at that time, in a small booklet entitled, 'A Chemical Conception of the Ether', in 1904.” Boyd et.al
All of the following Internet references were retrieved on March 23, 2017.
1 International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telegraph Union. 150 years of the International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telegraph Union. Related to Leap Seconds in the context of this paper.
2 Time and the Unconscious Mind by Julia Mossbridge.
3 The Ongoing Search for the Neuronal Correlate of Consciousness by Wolf Singer.
4 Concetto R. Giuliano, Applications of optical phase conjugation, Physics Today, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 27-35, Apr. 1981.
14 Holographic Model of The Universe by Talbot.
15 The Reality of Quantum Weirdness by Edward Frenkel in New York Times Sunday Review.
16 Measurements on the reality of the wavefunction by Martin Ringbauer, Ben Duffus, Cyril Branciard, Eric G. Cavalcanti, Andrew G. White, Alessandro Fedrizzi.