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April 12, 2018carrierweb.png

Time is a construct

Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

I don’t believe in time: A personal anecdote and an enticing one-liner for first dates or job interviews. 

To be fair, I’m not denying time’s existence. We all twist to fit the mold it provides our daily, weekly, and yearly schedules. In practice, time is very alive. 

However, many philosophers and scientists alike are begging the following question: where does time come from? While scientifically, it is supported by the earth’s position to the sun in rotation and orbit. But in reality, society assigned and accepted set numbers to our position in space. 

As singer and self-proclaimed space enthusiast, Liz Phair says “It’s just human coordination.” We all agree that 20 rotations around the sun is our age or that class starts at one particular moment. The values and names to units of time could have been anything; two days could be a week, and 12:00 a.m. could be the Earth’s position at 8:00 p.m. anwhere in the world. Our whole lives revolve around this natural fiction, or something society accepts, believes, and practices, but is not truly factual. According to the chief scientist at the Naval Academy, Demetrios Matsakis, even our own establishment of time may be flawed, for no clock is perfectly set with another without irregularities. 

Schools of thought discuss this theory, claiming that space and time aren’t physical realities, but part of animal intuition. Robert Lanza of “Psychology Today” writes that time and space “are modes of understanding, part of the mental software that molds sensations into objects.” It seems inevitable that society would have developed our own form of counting these movements in space. But the factual basis of time is not often brought into question to the average human. 

This idea may seem silly or useless to believe, and there are likely several more scientific refutations to the question of time beyond my comprehension capacity, but the idea as a whole is an interesting perspective to at least consider. Where do the foundational elements of our functioning come from? This theory resonated with me and led me to question every part of my daily routine. Some say there’s always more than meets the eye, but this theory asks if our developed states may have derived from something less. 

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