#1
How do you perceive the long and short processes of time in your head?

For me, I use a basic single time line that starts from left and ends at the right. But, I have always wondered how others perceive the process of time in their heads. What other templates do people use?

Like I said, for me, I use a basic single time line for long series and short series of events. When I think about it, I see a long line in front of a black backdrop (possibly space), stretching usually from about 1800 to present. Certain areas of the line are more inflated than others based upon interesting and significant events that occurred during that period (i.e. Wars/terrorist attacks/catastrophes.)


When I picture a short series of time, like the 7 day week, I see somewhat of a game board set-up with a white backdrop that extends from the left to the right. Each day is shaped like a rectangle that interlocks with the other days and the weekend (Saturday, Sunday) is somewhat inflated and raised compared to the other days with Friday creating a slope that connects the week to the weekend and a down slope connecting the weekend to monday.

I remember a long time ago I was thinking about time and was creating the image of my basic timeline in my head when I decided to try something new. I changed my perception of the timeline. I went behind it and looked at it from the other side, so that the line now ran from the left to the right, with the left being present and the right being the past. This instance was very mentally refreshing for me. So that event is what inspired this thread.
#2
I picture this guy laughing at me for even attempting to.
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#3
Timeline. Goes from left to right.

A red bar goes across the white line.
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#4
I don't picture it. It just kinda happens. Am I stupid?
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#5
Conceptually
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#6
Hmm. Time is an all-encompassing aspect of existence.

I don't think any visual representation could be adequate.

Especially with the whole relation between space and time thing.



"Views of spacetime along the world line of a rapidly accelerating observer in a relativistic universe. The events ("dots") that pass the two diagonal lines in the bottom half of the image (the past light cone of the observer in the origin) are the events visible to the observer."
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#8
Haha, what a question... Time is fundamental but not constant. Think about things in seconds, and then when you're ready, minutes. It only gets bigger from there.
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#10
Well according to relativity time does exist, not just in theory or as a way to explain other events.
Using a single line to represent it isn't really accurate, because time can be slowed down, and we don't even know if it's linear.
#11
time isnt linear, nor is it really a "time-line" like we seem to think,

time is just there, it never started, will never end.

Also time is relative, if you are travelling at the velocity of light in a vacuum, time halts to almost stopping (dont believe me? google it)
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#12
I perceive time as a massive airport departures lounge, when your plane has been grounded.
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#14
Quote by JimmyBanks6
time isnt linear, nor is it really a "time-line" like we seem to think,

time is just there, it never started, will never end.

Also time is relative, if you are travelling at the velocity of light in a vacuum, time halts to almost stopping (dont believe me? google it)


Thats assuming that time is based on how long it takes light to reach certain areas, so maybe the way we perceive time has halted, but time really hasn't done anything, because it doesn't ever do anything, it doesn't exist independent of our perception.
#15
Quote by EnemyWolf
Thats assuming that time is based on how long it takes light to reach certain areas, so maybe the way we perceive time has halted, but time really hasn't done anything, because it doesn't ever do anything, it doesn't exist independent of our perception.


actually if you were in a space ship at the speed of light for 20 years,

and then came back to earth, your body will have aged very little, while your identical twin on earth will have aged 20 years ahead of you.

its complex to imagine, but thats physics.
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#16
Quote by JimmyBanks6
actually if you were in a space ship at the speed of light for 20 years,

and then came back to earth, your body will have aged very little, while your identical twin on earth will have aged 20 years ahead of you.

its complex to imagine, but thats physics.


Nice, I'm not sure the exact details of that scenario, but I've heard it or variations of it from a few different sources so it must have some credibility, I really need to get acquainted on all this physics stuff when I go to college. It's one subject I have NO clue about.
#17
Some people seem to have strayed off the topic I meant to discuss. I don't mean to discuss what time exactly is (although it has been very interesting reading peoples thoughts on it), but rather, how you perceive it in your mind when thinking about series of events.

How do you picture the events that have happened over the past x number of years? How do you arrange these in your head to view them? Think about history class and how you remembered when stuff happened. Do you use a timeline? Or do you use some more complex method that you created yourself?
#18
I don't.
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#19
I see it as certain... feelings. Like when I think of a time before AC/DC, it's hard,, a dark, scary place. But then again, a time before the Beatles is like that too. It's hard for me to imagine some things happening at the same time, just because of the different feelings. Vibes, you know. Like a paradigm shift. You see the baseball playing 70s kid with wavy hair and bell bottom jeans, and then you see the groove, funky afro scene of 70s New York. And you see Nixon and Veitnam, and KISS and the hard rock scene, then punk. Just all kinds of crazy, conflicting things that all depend on where YOU were when it happened.
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#20
People assume that time is a straight progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey......stuff.

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#21
In my head, as a calender. Left to right, days of the week, time of day from 12 to 12.

I also truly believe that time is only relevant to the human percieving that time.

Standard time exists through the suns rotation around the earth, but we as human beings have the ability to speed up or slow down time depending on the mood we are in.

Time goes by fast when you're having fun. :p
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#22
I don't see it visually. Time has little substance to me; it's simply a measurement. I just see the events.
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#23
Quote by JimmyBanks6
actually if you were in a space ship at the speed of light for 20 years,

and then came back to earth, your body will have aged very little, while your identical twin on earth will have aged 20 years ahead of you.

its complex to imagine, but thats physics.
If very little is 20 years, then yes. Relative to you, a second is still a second. Your identical twin on earth wouldn't have aged 20 years ahead of you. With Einstein's theory of Special Relativity and Lorentz transforms, say you were to go 0.99c relative to your identical twin on earth for 20 years, you would age 20 years and your twin would have aged 141.776 years. The closer to the speed of light you travel, the great the time dilation is.

Edit:
Quote by JimmyBanks6
time isnt linear, nor is it really a "time-line" like we seem to think,

time is just there, it never started, will never end.

Also time is relative, if you are travelling at the velocity of light in a vacuum, time halts to almost stopping (dont believe me? google it)
Time to you doesn't almost stop, but time that isn't in your frame of reference almost halts to a stop.
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a0/2 + ∑ an cos(nπx/L) + bn sin(nπx/L)

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Last edited by Got Guitar? at Jun 16, 2010,
#24
Quote by crazy8rgood
Time is an illusion.

Lunch time, doubly so.

This, gentlemen, is the only correct answer.

OT: I don't ever really think about time. Just moments. Never how they're connected, really.
#25
Aww thanks a lot guys, I made this exact thread a year ago and all I got were replies of "lalz, ur stupidzz. go away."

I guess I see it approximately the same way as you, although to explain how I see it would require me to draw it in MS paint (which I suck at).

I see time as a three dimensional line (like a cube with infinite length). For days, weeks, months, pretty much anything except a year, the line is straight and goes from left to right, viewed from the perspective of whatever time is current time, although I can change the perspective. For example, visualizing a week on a Wednesday, I would see Monday and Tuesday fading away to the left, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday fading a way to the right.

For a year, however, the line curves around on itself and forms a circle, with whatever is the current time on the bottom, and the various areas are different colors and have little animations depending on what happens at that time. For example, viewing a year from the current month of June, April and May fade out to the left around the circle, December is directly across with Santa and snowflakes falling, and July and August fade away to the right with warm colors and a Sun.
Edit: The circle is viewed from the side too, like looking at a dinner plate on a table with your eyes a few inches above the table.

It's very strange
Last edited by samick007 at Jun 16, 2010,
#26
Quote by JimmyBanks6
actually if you were in a space ship at the speed of light for 20 years,

and then came back to earth, your body will have aged very little, while your identical twin on earth will have aged 20 years ahead of you.

its complex to imagine, but thats physics.


This is what I find hard to understand. If you were gone for 20 years, would it matter how fast you were going during that time? I always thought you would just age normally but I guess time is somehow effected by that?

I'm glad I took physics next year this is actually very interesting.
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#27
Quote by Bmag37
This is what I find hard to understand. If you were gone for 20 years, would it matter how fast you were going during that time? I always thought you would just age normally but I guess time is somehow effected by that?

I'm glad I took physics next year this is actually very interesting.
You're correct. See my post above. Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity and Lorentz Transforms was one of my favorite topics in my undergrad physics series. I kind of miss doing all those calculations.
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a0/2 + ∑ an cos(nπx/L) + bn sin(nπx/L)

ĤΨ(x,t) = iħ ∂Ψ(x,t)/∂t
σx σp ≥ h/2
#28
Quote by samick007
Aww thanks a lot guys, I made this exact thread a year ago and all I got were replies of "lalz, ur stupidzz. go away."

I guess I see it approximately the same way as you, although to explain how I see it would require me to draw it in MS paint (which I suck at).

I see time as a three dimensional line (like a cube with infinite length). For days, weeks, months, pretty much anything except a year, the line is straight and goes from left to right, viewed from the perspective of whatever time is current time, although I can change the perspective. For example, visualizing a week on a Wednesday, I would see Monday and Tuesday fading away to the left, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday fading a way to the right.

For a year, however, the line curves around on itself and forms a circle, with whatever is the current time on the bottom, and the various areas are different colors and have little animations depending on what happens at that time. For example, viewing a year from the current month of June, April and May fade out to the left around the circle, December is directly across with Santa and snowflakes falling, and July and August fade away to the right with warm colors and a Sun.
Edit: The circle is viewed from the side too, like looking at a dinner plate on a table with your eyes a few inches above the table.

It's very strange


Thanks for giving your input, and sorry to hear about your parallel thread some years ago. Its very interesting to see that you view the week just as I do (like focusing on one day makes the ones to the left and right fade away).

When it comes to the year, I do not see it as a circle as you do. I see it as me almost just zooming in on my timeline onto our current year. I see now a timeline of the year interlocking with the past year and future year slowly fading in my peripherals. Once again, I somewhat see blocks interlocking to make a line from left to right. The line heightens at December/January (possibly for the positive holiday mood, or for the ending/beginning of the year). The line of interlocking blocks then decline down to summer where it seems to level out for the whole summer season until slowly creating an incline back to December/January . Summer is the only constant line, which may be because of its relaxing carefree mood. Its interesting because my perception of the year was different as a child. As a child I saw summer as the Top of the timeline, mostly because it seems as if the year ended and began in summer due to school.

All very interesting stuff, please keep them coming. I want to hear of some very interesting way of perceiving time in your head (different than a timeline like mine).
#29
Quote by Got Guitar?
You're correct. See my post above. Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity and Lorentz Transforms was one of my favorite topics in my undergrad physics series. I kind of miss doing all those calculations.


Alright cool, but if you did leave for 20 years going light speed, you said you twin on earth would age 141.776 years (0.99c). Does this mean that you're measuring the 20 years, so that relative to your 20 years, someone on earth would have expirienced a certain amount more? Does it mean that if your twin on earth measured 20 years, and you came back you would have expirienced it like it was less then 20 years?

Sorry for all the questions I'm just curious now
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#30
I perceive time as a continuous flow never changing. When I'm happy time goes at it's normal rate. When I'm sad same thing. Am I weird?

And I don't imagine anything in my head.
#31
Quote by Bmag37
Alright cool, but if you did leave for 20 years going light speed, you said you twin on earth would age 141.776 years (0.99c). Does this mean that you're measuring the 20 years, so that relative to your 20 years, someone on earth would have expirienced a certain amount more?
Yes. They'll both actually experience a longer amount of time. It's just a matter of which frame of reference you choose to measure from. Which leads to this, I suppose...

Quote by Bmag37
Does it mean that if your twin on earth measured 20 years, and you came back you would have expirienced it like it was less then 20 years?
If you were to travel at 0.99c relative to the twins 20 years, your twin will think you've been gone for 20 years, but you'll think you've only been gone for a fraction of that time (around three years).

Quote by Bmag37
Sorry for all the questions I'm just curious now
If interested, here's an awesome video on Special Relativity: http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=611

Quite lengthy, but it covers just about everything you'll need to know for an undergrad lecture of Einstein's Relativity.
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Drive! Drive on down the field, men of the scarlet and gray...
I'm an
Engeneer
Enginere
Engenere
I'm good with math.

a0/2 + ∑ an cos(nπx/L) + bn sin(nπx/L)

ĤΨ(x,t) = iħ ∂Ψ(x,t)/∂t
σx σp ≥ h/2
#32
I imagine time as the distance between two points on a 4-dimensional scale. Therefore, a 5-dimensional being would theoretically be able to create time and events and so on, just like an artist can paint a 2D picture.

However, since I can't imagine 4 dimensions, I do my best with what I have, and go for the 3rd dimension.

When I picture myself moving through time, I imagine myself walking or floating forwards through a tunnel of time.
#33
Quote by SteveHouse
People assume that time is a straight progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey......stuff.


i only entered this thread to say that
#34
Time is what we call the thing that stops every single event from happening all at once, just like distance is the only thing keeping mass from being all in the same place.
...In my opinion.
#35
A giant black hold that's actually a clock.

So, impossible to visualize, as it is both microscopic and gigantic at the same time, warping reality itself to the point of breaking human conception.
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#38
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#39
I was thinking about this when I was stoned once...

I was figuring out when I needed to go home, and the timelines of staying at my friend's , going how and how long it would take to get home were overlapping silver lengths of what appeared to be metal. The pieces of metal started to get wider, and started moving apart and twisting through blackness, like space. They were just floating. I said to my friend that it must've been anti-gravity. Anyway the sheets of metal started floating around, and this stick man started jumping from one to another, but he was under my control.

All that in my head.
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Last edited by KirkMetallica at Jun 16, 2010,