EssentialstheDiagonal is a personal blog by Mike Gerra, skeptic, technologist, psychologist, artist, humanist, collector of grand, eclectic ideas.theDiagonal blog connects the dots across multiple disciplines for inquisitive, objective and critical thinkers, exploring the vertices of big science, disruptive innovation, global sustainability, illuminating literature and leftfield art. It is on this diagonal that creativity thrives, big ideas take flight and reason triumphs.
Tag Archives: time
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Product driven companies, inventors from all backgrounds and market researchers have long studied how some innovations take off while others fizzle. So, why do some innovations gain traction? Given two similar but competing inventions, what factors lead to one eclipsing the other? Why do some pioneering ideas and inventions fail only to succeed from a different instigator years, sometimes decades, later? Answers to these questions would undoubtedly make many inventors household names, but as is the case in most human endeavors, the process of innovation is murky and more of an art than a science.
Author and columnist Matt Ridley offers some possible answers to the conundrum.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Many people in industrialized countries often describe time as flowing like a river: it flows back into the past, and it flows forward into the future. Of course, for bored workers time sometimes stands still, while for kids on summer vacation time flows all too quickly. And, for many people over, say the age of forty, days often drag, but the years fly by.
For some, time flows uphill, and it flows downhill.
From New Scientist:
“HERE and now”, “Back in the 1950s”, “Going forward”… Western languages are full of spatial metaphors for time, and whether you are, say, British, French or German, you no doubt think of the past as behind you and the future as stretching out ahead. Time is a straight line that runs through your body....read more
Friday, June 22, 2012
From Evolutionary Philosophy:
We have learned to see time as if it appears in chunks – minutes, hours, days, and years. But if time comes in chunks how do we experience past memories in the present? How does the previous moment’s chunk of time connect to the chunk of the present moment?
Wait a minute. It will take an hour. He is five years old. These are all sentences that contain expressions of units of time. We are all tremendously comfortable with the idea that time comes in discrete units – but does it? William James and Charles Sanders Peirce thought not.
If moments of time were truly discrete, separate units lined up like dominoes in a row, how would it be possible to have a memory of a past event? What connects the present moment to all the past moments that have already gone by?...read more
Friday, November 4, 2011
The graphic below spotted over at Culture of Science puts humanity’s time on Earth into a truer, longer term perspective. The scale is condensed to 24 hours since the formation of our planet to the present time.
Image courtesy of the Geology department at University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Send to Kindle
Saturday, July 23, 2011
From the Physics arXiv for Technology Review:
Physicists have created a “hole in time” using the temporal equivalent of an invisibility cloak.
Invisibility cloaks are the result of physicists’ newfound ability to distort electromagnetic fields in extreme ways. The idea is steer light around a volume of space so that anything inside this region is essentially invisible.
The effect has generated huge interest. The first invisibility cloaks worked only at microwave frequencies but in only a few years, physicists have found ways to create cloaks that work for visible light, for sound and for ocean waves. They’ve even designed illusion cloaks that can make one object look like another.
Today, Moti Fridman and buddies, at Cornell University in Ithaca, go a step further. These guys have designed and built a cloak that hides events in time....read more
Friday, July 22, 2011
From Scientific American:
Everybody knows that the passage of time is not constant. Moments of terror or elation can stretch a clock tick to what seems like a life time. Yet, we do not know how the brain “constructs” the experience of subjective time. Would it not be important to know so we can find ways to make moments last, or pass by, more quickly?...read more