Thursday, December 21, 2006

Time Flies, So Stop Pushing

Steve Miller had it wrong: Time isn't slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.

The future is time and time cannot slip into itself, can it?

Actually, we're the ones who are traveling through time. We all go in the same direction, like a school of fish. No one, as far as we know, can curve around and go backward.

So, here's the question. Space and time are so closely linked that Albert Einstein called them "space time." To move from standing still requires work, that is, force acting over time.

Ignoring planetary and galactic movement, if you want to stay in one spot on Earth, you simply don't stir. Movement in space seems to be under our control.

We're also traveling through time, but what force is doing the work to push us? You can stop movement by sitting at your desk, but there's no equivalent way to stop our motion through time.

Whatever propels us through seconds, minutes, and years, is relentless. What is it? If we could figure that out we could probably stop it. Then we'd be outside time, in eternity.

We would probably be able to see other things moving, but how would we appear? Or would we disappear because we're steadily receding into the past? No, because we wouldn't be moving in relation to time.

Consider packing into Times Square on New Year's Eve. You can't move, but nothing stops the date from changing.

Happy New Year, as you hurtle, unhindered, into the future.