Posted by: graemebird | January 2, 2009

No Such Thing As Time

This is a post I’ve just put up on the website of Richard Dawkins. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with skeptics lately as I have noticed that most of the younger skeptics just do not have the ability of their esteemed elders. And here I would consider Richard Dawkins in that line-up although I take a more benign view of the influence of Christianity than he does.  So the elders I think of as the late Arthur C Clarke.  The Amazing Randi, Ian Plimer, and when thinking about it Richard Dawkins also. 

I’m really having big problems with younger skeptics. I’ve only come up with one that I think is any good and thats Penn Jillette. 

Anyhow this post I’ve just put on Richards website. Well I suppose its likely just a ticking time bomb. And when all the bully-boys rush in to kick the stuffing out of me I’ll try to take it easy this time. Let them fight it out amongst themselves and maybe only reply once every couple of days. The post involves reworking of earlier ideas and earlier threads. And I expect this reworking is going to be a big feature of this blog. Here is the post below:


This topic may seem a little old hat. But its important to go over it again. Since it is quite “dangerous” in science to be building on concepts that themselves have to be counted as speculative. Hence the basic soundness of the doctrine associated with William who hailed from Ockham.

Why I say that it is “dangerous” to build on ideas that themselves are of questionable validity is that the institution of science tends to get attached to these structures that are built upon questionable conclusions. They tend to get a lot of skin invested. I have to contradict myself a little without editing above. Since the better institutional methodology would be for individuals to feel free to build in just this way. But for the academy more generally to encourage their work, but then to set about finding if the job can be done without all the arbitrary or questionable postulates. In other words science more generally ought always be circling back to first principles. Going over and over first principles with the sort of obssession that an autistic kid might have for watching one of those old fashioned washing machines (the type with the wringer) in action.

We have a problem with extreme snootiness in science. We have an incorrect methodology which I might describe as “The doctrine of serial monogamy of paradigms.” This is where the favoured consensus paradigm get a head start over other promising ideas. Clearly this is an untenable bad habit and completely crazy epistemology. This bad habit/epistemological error, leads to what I would call “the curse of the lone paradigm.”


Well let me make the caveat right here that there is no use trying to get by without the concept of TIME. Its a waste of TIME and me having to use the concept in the very next sentence proves my point. We’d only be playing silly-buggers to try and do without the concept. Its what you might call a TIME-SAVING concept. And the fact that I had to use it in its own description of the type of concept TIME IS proves my point there also.


Augustine, I think, had many similiar ideas to the view that special relativity takes about time. Augustines ideas would readily slot in with the idea of a four dimensional God who would see through us and even our thoughts in the same way as we three-dimensional beings can imagine seeing through the individuals in the mythical mathematical, two-dimensional world of flatland. Though it might be tempting for the followers of Aquinas (or Christian theologians as such) to have common cause with errant scientists on such matters I think they ought refrain from this, and if anything attempt to monopolise such speculations for themselves. Because these scientists ought to stick to good methodology

What is good methodology?:

Well for one thing the method involves making arbitrary assumptions to get at least three simplified working predictive models and I would say hopefully as many as six. One model is no good. Two models divide things into good guys and heretics and both models may be substantially or totally wrong. And you need at least three to design a cost-effective research-program in any case. So you want arbitrary assumptions. But you want to KNOW that these assumptions are arbitrary and you ought to not build on these arbitrary assumptions at more then one step if you still have other leads to follow.

Arbitrary assumptions?

That brings us back to time.

We must boil things down to primary concepts and derivative concepts. And it appears that the leading paradigm ought to be that time is a derivative concept.It appears that TIME IS MERELY A FUNCTION OF REGULAR MOTION AND SIMULTANEITY.

NOW. RIGHT NOW. Right now is the only “happening thIng.”

Everything that is happening in the universe is happening at the same time. If it isn’t happening at the same time as something that is currently happening then it isn’t happening at all. And is already finished happening or may happen later or it isn’t a real “happening thing” at all. Simultaneity is a PRIMARY concept and no arbitrary assumptions need to be made here. Since whats happening now comprises all those things that are happening simultaneously everywhere. We see there are many things in motion at all levels of size and scope. The moon goes round the earth and in the old days the people….. they would tell time by the number of moons between events that happened at different times. That were not simultaneous to eachother nor the case where one action followed hard up against the other.The earth rotates and people would tell time by the numbers of days and nights. The earth travels around the sun and the old folks would tell time by the seasons and they would say things like “it has been many winters since the last time I saw you…” and they would frame things in this way in their many venaculars.

If we think about it, once we’ve factorised things down to simultaneity and regular movement, there is no reason to believe there is a thing called time at all. Its a necessary concept. But there is nothing to say that time exists as a thing, seperate and distinct from regular motion and simultaneity. It seems that time relies on movement and simultaneity and not the other way around. Now this may be wrong.Time may be a green liquid that lies just beneath the shell of the tortoise that holds up the Universe. But when a scientist centres himself for the task of model-building he should at least know which assumptions of his are arbitrary and which are primary assumptions…. and he ought try not to build more then one or two steps on the arbitrary stuff. We already have built on speed, regular movement and so forth to get time. We want to be cautious about building more on this derivative concept or we’ll likely come unstuck or get bogged down.

Here’s an opposing view. Used to tie up wider models. You might suggest that it is proof that what I say above is dead wrong. But only if you are the sort of person that thinks the first model of best fit that comes along with a hoopla of publicity represents the revealed truth. We ought not be emotionally involved with this and it is quite a simple matter of building other models of best fit that can do the job. As of today there are perfectly sound models that can be taken off the shelf to replace what is there, if science is to do its job.

The mainstream view of relativity ought to be renamed “The Theory of Velocity Absolutism.” or yet even the theory of liquid time. Its an absolutist theory both internally and in the way its supporters try and justify it. The velocity-absolutism is so pronounced that it is supposed to overide the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction. But in the real world velocity is a relative concept.

So now it is time to go back and find those models that can be used for the same calculations, that do not put forward time as anything more than a derivative concept. And that do not have any other arbitrary assumptions. There is no reason to believe that time exists at all. Necessary concept that it is.



  1. You cannot hide stupidity on the internet. You would think that stupidity would be easier to hide on the internet than the other way around. But this is not the case. And here is the proof of it. This person has been a complete fuckwit under two different identities. He’s basically a communist or recovering communist. And the prick infiltrated the LDP and was part of what I used to call “The gay wing of the party.”

    Actually I was putting Humphreys and Pommy in that class. But I’ve been quite happy with Humphreys lately. The problem with Humphreys was that he thought he knew everything. Had he been coming from the position that he had an enourmous amount to learn he would not have acted like such a prick in the past.

    Anyway here is this fellow, who as I have said, had acted like a complete moron under two different identitites.

    “Hello everyone. My name is Jarrah Job, but you’ve previously known me as fatfingers. That moniker is being phased out across the blogosphere, but I’m trying to make it clear that it’s the same person who will be chatting, arguing, LOLing and crushing my opponents underfoot.

    Everyone is welcome to visit my puny blog, though it’s not directed at the same kind of audience as here or other popular blogs.”

    I have met this dummy. But I shall now check his picture to see if it ties up with the recovering marxist commie that I met.

  2. Well I found his picture. And yes its close enough. For a drooling idiot he’s a fine-looking gentleman.

    In tracking down his photo I was suddenly struck by what a magnificent pool of talent the party has. I’m just not sure its coming together at the moment. One doesn’t usually find all that many people impressive. But in the LDP I just saw maybe a dozen people that I’ve always found immensely impressive. So the perssonnel is definitely there. Its like a rubricks cube that hasn’t quite clicked into place yet.

    Peter Whelan, David Leyonhjelm, Tim Quilty, Graham Nickols, Martin Walsh, Clinton Gale, Justin Jefferson and others. I would tend to have more confidence in these people than the clowns you see on the TV in the other parties.

  3. “Why I say that it is “dangerous” to build on ideas that themselves are of questionable validity is that the institution of science tends to get attached to these structures that are built upon questionable conclusions. They tend to get a lot of skin invested.”

    Some people would call this *faith*. . . 😉

  4. Right. Good point.

  5. Can you give us a definition of velocity that does not involve time?

  6. No thats part of my argument. The concept of time is a real time-saver. But it turns out that VELOCITY is the primary concept and not time.

  7. where the hell is bird?
    we are missing his eloquent wisdom

  8. I’ve been over at Randi’s and Richard Dawkins. I cracked the shits and staged a lefty-elitist like walkout at Randi’s. This is something I thought I’d never do at any time.

    Anyway I’m getting into some pretty bigtime share-trading from here on in. I think we’ve bottomed out.

  9. “Can you give us a definition of velocity that does not involve time?”

    You could but it would be an incredible waste of time. Others who have theorised about the non-existence of time have failed to emphasise its necessity as a working concept and how entirely futile it is to get along without it. This is my contribution to this rediscovery.

  10. Look at how one of the fellows at Randi’s has worded it:

    “GMB – Do you mean there is no such thing as time (even as a descriptive concept of relative change/movement of actual things)? Or do you mean time is not an actual thing? If it’s the later then I’m inclined to agree. Otherwise not.”

    According to YNOT’s definition.


    Thats just fucking brilliant. He boiled my entire thesis down to ten words.

    The corollory is that there is just no percentage in building a physical model based on time dilation or time as a dimension, or time as relative or any of that other jive. A good mathematician ought to be able to nut out a working model of best fits during Friday drinks. So there really is no excuse for this sloppiness. Its far worse than any epicycles for a earth-centrist solar system.

    • This guy just keeps getting better. He’s fucking amazing. Look what he reckons:

      “In “now and now” the “and” represents time.(YNOT)

      No that may sound like new age voodoo but it aint. You see every waking moment we have evidence of three dimensions of space. We have evidence for existence. We don’t find any evidence for non-existence, despite what the leftist philosophers might try to lie to the kids about.

      But as far as time is concerned we have no evidence for that. What we have evidence for is NOW. We only have evidence for NOW. And we can extrapolate confidently that the NOW consists of anything that is happening RIGHT NOW anywhere in the universe. And if it isn’t happening NOW it isn’t happening at all.

      So you might say that TIME is something that we have no evidence for. But NOW is something we constantly find evidence for. I call the NOW………. simultaneity. Which I think takes the smallest leap to make. And the contrary thesis is just dumb people lying.

      But consider how ynot describes things. He brings in memory on top of this. And he says that when you experience now and now and now, the concept of time lies in the word “and” in this situation.

      So if the NOW is analogous to a picture. Then the “time concept” is akin to a movie. The “AND”…… in his example is the stitiching together or all those RIGHT NOWS and hence our derivative notion of time.

      Now once more. This just shows how the physicists ought to have taken special relativity and seen how could they could fit the data by pulling out all that time dilation jive. Since you don’t build assumptions on top of assumptions that are themselves not true. Its risky to build on time when time doesn’t exist or is speculative.

      Mathematical model production is really a no tears undertaking. You just fit it the best you can. And what doesn’t pan out is likely the aether effect and some other factors that you didn’t think about at the time.

  11. Graeme., we want your opinion of Ron Paul’s betrayal of the Israelis – see Catallaxy

  12. You could but it would be an incredible waste of time.
    So? What’s the problem? Why is it bad to waste time? There’s no such thing. 🙂

  13. Thats too strong. Listen to it again and thinking of Ron having to justify the existence of government itself to the ghost of Rothbard.

    So there is Ron. And his idea is total defense of US citizens living and working within US territory. But no wider goal than that in foreign policy except for staying out of entanglements. And his idea is that you don’t get involved in piss-weak ways like getting on the world stage to support Israel. Rather you preach peace all the time until Congress DEMANDS war and then the President uses all the resources for a very short time and decisively ends the problem with dead leaders strewn about the place.

    So his attempts at what must seem an outrageously unjust neutrality must be seen in that light.

    I would take the Ron Paul position as the Default position. But move away from it for short periods. So the last thing I’d want is for Isreal to stop now. All those kids killed for nothing unless the Israelis can get in their and slaughter Hamas leadership by the truckload and when they leave convince everyone that they are itching to come in and murder the Hamas leadership that they didn’t get the first time around.

    If they don’t do that then all those poor Palestinian kids will have died in vain.

    But there is something to Ron’s logic. Bearing in mind he’s not the pacifist he’s making himself out to be. And Cuba would likely have been invaded if he had been in power in the 60’s 70’s or 80’s.

  14. And Cuba would likely have been invaded if he had been in power in the 60’s 70’s or 80’s.

    Ya reckon? Where’d you get that one from?

  15. Now that you’ve tested me I see that INVADED was likely too strong a word for what Ron conveyed. PREVAILED UPON WITH DECISIVE INTENTION. Might be closer to it. I once heard him imply that it was a problem that would have been dealt with. And there is something in that. Like if you have all your people at home, you aren’t trying to help Western Europe. You aren’t trying to surround the USSR or China. And you are really more worried about your local strategic position. Well you aren’t going to put up with this little island giving you shit and pointing missiles at you right there in your territory. He didn’t always convey this peace persona that you see now.

    You know Rand was like that. She couldn’t abide these people losing blood and money in Vietnam. But she was outraged that Cuba was allowed to exist communist just offshore. And I suspect that this was Ron Paul’s position also.

    Al Haig once told Reagan that you just give me the word and I’ll turn that fucking island into a parking lot. Now I”m sure that Ron wouldn’t have acted that callously. But there is something in it that if you are conserving all your assets locally for your own powerful regional defense rather than spreading yourself thinly then the beard will be seen to have short legs and could be made to stand down one way or otherwise.

  16. What difference does it make? Cuba’s tiny. As long as there aren’t any missiles it can’t do anything but send over really good bands. Thing is communism’s a drag. The best way to turn people against communism is to let them have it for a while.
    I’ll bet green money that it goes when Castro does.
    Turning it into a parking lot would be a crime. The culture’s tres manifique!

  17. I don’t see your point. Is it don’t worry about communism when its big or small? The USSR was big. So of course you cannot worry about them. Cuba is small. So let them do what they want?

    Always the same result with you dumb leftists right?

  18. you’re right Graeme
    some of these :Larva Prodders have become intolerably stupid on Israel

    but so has your pal ron paul

  19. I think its seven-nine tenths his vision of a fully independent civilisation and only about one-three tenths stupidity with regards to Israel. It just seems more odd to you than it ought. Supposing your guys are running things. And they are smart and good and they do things well and are well-informed. To me that was like the Bush administration 2001-2003. But then they were neutralised, turned deaf dumb and blind, fell into the hands of their CIA and State Department persecutors, and turned out to be not so quick on their feet as one would have thought. Now they are going to hand things over to people I wouldn’t trust with a slug-gun.

    The Paul/Rockwell view of things takes that all into account. This is the one argument Humphreys slapped me around with and he’s never made a winning point against me on any other occasion. He pointed out that it hardly matters if my perfect war would have worked. Because the left could have been expected to cause problems and you cannot expect people to wage war with great alacrity.

    The thing was these neocons did pretty well at first. But they didn’t have a sense of costs. They didn’t match ends and means as Codevilla would say. And they had already lost control of the situation prior to the Iraq invasion. I think these guys were actually capable of doing a good job.

    Well the Paul/Rockwell view may be skewed and unfair in this case. But it takes all of the above into account right from the getgo.

    You yourself have come around a little bit. But the thing is as much as we have sympathy for the Israelis surrounded by fascist governments and relentless financing of hatred…… As much as we understand this, their actions are STILL the action of a government. They are still likely to be three quarters dysfunctional.

    I wish them well but there is this nightmare that they are going to do all this, and then just when they have these Hamas bastards at their mercy and the lads are stringing up the ropes out comes the bloody US state department and puts together a fucking peace program. So thousands of kids killed and the people you really needed to have dead are still picking up their paycheck from Tehran.

    We have to realise we will face the same problems as Israel and we must start planning now.


    1. Mass-Sackings and rampant closing of government departments. And the slashing of non-defense spending.

    2. In order to allow us to expand the economy to a level of per-capita production the likes of which have never been imagined before.

    3. Which allows us to buy the gear and training the makes our act unassailable by all comers one at a time or if they choose to show up on the same day.

  20. We should just nuke up Graeme.

  21. Mass-slaughter, vapourisation and hideous injuries, third degree burns to small children ….. Thats DEFENSE to you is it SOON?

    Thats not defense, rather its a mass-murdering swan song.

    Yes its true that we need mini-nukes. But in no way to use them as you so naievely imagine.

  22. wimp

  23. What a profund fantasiser you are Soon. Blood sacrifice is bad not just because it is wrong. But also because it doesn’t work.

  24. I was kidding Bird. sheesh

  25. The USSR was big. So of course you cannot worry about them. Cuba is small. So let them do what they want?
    No. The Sovs are big so you have to worry about ’em. Cuba’s a Sov ally so you have to watch ’em. But you don;t have to invade or anything. Their country is their business. If they want a shithouse system let ’em live and learn. As long as they don;t bother anyone else.

  26. Well surely that depends on whether you can deal with them without invading. And no its not THEIR business. We are individuals and you imply that the beard has sovereignty over other humans. He wouldn’t have sovereignty over his outhouse had serious people been in power in Washington.

  27. We are individuals and you imply that the beard has sovereignty over other humans.

    But you think Pinochet and Franco are okay. What’s the difference? Only tyrannies fail to draw their power from general consent. Authoritarian regimes still require it. Compare Charles I to Charles II, for example.

    I think all governments should be subject to the explicit consent of the people they govern. But trying to impose that idea on other people is tricky and morally paradoxical.

  28. I didn’t say that they were okay doofus. What they did is they saved their respective countries from communism. Thats a serious save. And it has to be taken seriously.

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