Time on the telephone




It’s About Time!

It’s About Time!
Here is the latest Cecily musing, and it’s about time – seriously, it is about time. You know that non-spatial continuum in which events occur in irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future? That definition from ‘The Free On-line Dictionary’ is really useful when you’re apologising for being late. Just insert this instead of “time” in your explanation. It might go something like this, “Sorry, the present segment of my non-spatial continuum in which events occur in irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future is over-crowded with events that when dealt to will see an enhancement in performance in future segments of the aforementioned non-spatial continuum”. That should do the trick.The problem with this, and other definitions, of time is that it makes time appear so orderly, yet our experience of time is anything but orderly; instead it is chaotic. We run to catch the bus, hurry home for dinner, arrive breathlessly at a date and worry about the ticking of our biological clock. Although we are loath to admit it we like it like this. Imagine a life as ordered as time; perfectly planned with predictable leap days and leap seconds to account for any irregularities. If my life were this ordered the leap I would plan would be off a tall building.Humans have dreamed of time travel for ages. In the future time travel may become the perfect way to spend your vacation. Thinking of the Iberian Peninsula? Instead of the Costa del Sol, how about taking that well earned break in the Spanish Inquisition? Alternatively if art is your thing, then skip the Louvre and take in the caves at Lascaux 17,000 years ago instead!Like all travel, travelling in time has its restrictions. Firstly your about-to-expire air points will probably only get you to the middle of last week. Another thing is you won’t be able to undo the past. Upgrading the location of your first sexual experience to a suite in a Parisian hotel from the back of a Mark 2 Zephyr is just not possible. I’m sorry, but what’s in your past is in your past. If you really want to travel back in time just stay at home and watch one of the endless sitcom re-runs on TV.Travelling into the future on the other hand is something we are already doing; at the rate of one second per second. Any faster and we risk discovering our future. This might eliminate our uncertainty as to which job to take, or man to date; but along with uncertainty we would also eliminate hope. If I were to find out how my story ends I’d probably just put the book down now.

I’m hoping that my good old friend Ecclesiastes got it right when he said, “There is a right time for everything: A time to be born; A time to die…”. Hopefully in between there is enough non-spatial continuum to enjoy work, play, family and friends; with some time left over to smile at the thought of Mark 2 Zephyrs past and future Parisian hotels.