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458
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THE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
TIME
(Continued from page 456)
the intangible thing, Time. That this physiological rhythm is the basis of the time-concept seems to be verified by the fact of time-awareness of hypnotic subjects. This time-awareness, often remarkably exact, and implying measurement of some kind, must have its seat in the subconscious mind, that strange storehouse of things from libido to "genius" acquired by inheritance through numberless generations.
The difficulties of exact time measurement are enormous; no less difficulty is the exact expression of the meaning of metaphysical time. To the average scientist the latter difficulty would seem greater than the former because of the prevalent and perverse notion that to measure a thing is to know it.
Neither Professor Gunn nor to the present writer would such a point of view be acceptable, though they would be in full agreement as the to the difficulties involved in the final synthesis of the time idea. These difficulties the author considers, and tries to overcome, in his concluding chapter. His success is not complete: how could it be when involved in the idea of time are all the fundamental ideas of metaphysics: the nature of Reality, the meaning of Space and Motion? It seems sufficiently clear that Time is not something outside of the universe, but something within it, a part of it. Space and time and motion, or events, whatever all these may be, are parts of the universe. Whether there are other parts, of equal or greater importance, need not be here discussed. But Time cannot be explained in terms of Space. A four-dimensional world of space-time is mathematically determined. The value of the concepts must not be underrated. But such a world is difficult, at least, if not impossible of apprehension qualitatively. "A curve in a space of (four) dimensions is really a curve in (three) dimensions being actually traced." But when that is stated is the meaning of Time more clear? A four-dimensional space-time world is a world of physics and mathematics, perfectly justifiable and most useful in those realms, but the question may be asked, is that the world we know? Man cannot live by science alone any more than he can live by bread alone. Space and Time may not be isolated, may never exist apart from each other, and yet may not be identical; and Space-Time as an entity, a "continuum of events," as Whitehead calls it, is simply a mathematical scheme for the organization of events. We join the unlike Space and Time into Space-Time, in order more conveniently to present the scheme of events, just as "Movie" and "Talkie" are combined the better to present a so-called motion picture drama. Nor do elements of similarity in Space and Time connote identity. The is a perspective of conceptual time analogous to that of space, so that in remembrance of past events these, though at equal intervals, seem the close together the more remote they are in the past, just as in a long line of telegraph poles those farther away seem the closer together. Turn now to the poles running in the opposite direction. The space-perspective is the fame forward as backward. But turn to the future of time and perspective is changed. The more remote the future events the farter apart they seem.
(Continued on page 460)
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