|Intelligent Systems And Their Societies||Walter Fritz|
There are three fundamental measurements in physics: weight, distance and time. We can sense the weight by lifting an object. We can measure a distance counting steps. But time is not something that we can measure in our environment. Time exists only in our mind.
In our environment we can observe the movement of objects through a certain distance at a certain velocity. Now we can calculate the time it took. Time is distance divided by velocity. But we cannot observe time itself. The past (yesterday) and the future (tomorrow) also do not exist in our environment, they exist only in our mind. The past is a set of memories in our mind. The future is a set of predictions in our mind.
You could say that we take a clock and by comparing we measure time. But where does the clock obtain time? In the past, we had clocks that had a wheel that continuously turned right and left. There is a distance and a velocity. Based on distance and velocity the clock indicated time.
In a modern clock there is a crystal that vibrates. It vibrates a certain distance at a certain velocity. The clock counts the amount of vibrations and so indicates the hour.
In these examples the clock, based on distance and velocity calculates time. But a direct measurement of time does not exist.
It is often difficult to differentiate between what our senses tell us and what really exists in our environment. A typical example are colors. We see a red flower, but the flower is not "red". Red is the representation in our mind. The flower reflects light of a certain electromagnetic frequency. Then our eye classifies it and sends an impulse to our brain. The brain represents it as the concept for "red".
The red color is only in our brain.
Summing up: Time is a very useful concept, but it exists only in the brain of persons.
Jump back to Robot Brain
Copyright © New Horizons Press