The Maier Files | Do you know what time it is?
Do you know what time it is? That question may perhaps be asked a lot more these days than ever. In our clock-studded modern society, the answer is only a peek away, but is it?
Time, paradox, Otto Maier, Maier files
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Do you know what time it is?

Otto Maier

15 Aug Do you know what time it is?

Do you know what time it is? That question may perhaps be asked a lot more these days than ever. In our clock-studded modern society, the answer is only a peek away, therefore we are able to “blissfully” partition our days into ever smaller sized increments for ever more neatly scheduled jobs, assured that we will always know it really is now 7:03 a.m.

Contemporary scientific revelations regarding time, however, turn the question indefinitely frustrating. If we look for an accurate knowledge of the time, the incredibly elusive microscopical of “now” dissolves into a scattering swarm of nanoseconds. Bound by the speed of light along with the velocity of the nerve impulses, our perceptions of the present depiction of the world as it was a moment ago—for all that our consciousness pretends otherwise, we can  by no means catch up. Even in theory, perfect synchronicity escapes us. Relativity dictates that, similar to a weird syrup, time runs slower on a moving train than in the station and quicker in the mountains compared to the valleys. The time for our wristwatch is not precisely the same as the time for our mind. I’m typing this and it is now approximately 7:05 a.m.

Our intuitions are totally paradoxical. Time heals all wounds, but it surely is moreover the great destroyer. Time is relative but additionally constant. There is time for each goal, but there is not ever enough. Time flies, crawls not to mention races. Seconds could very well be both split and stretched. Like the tide, time waits for no man, but in intense moments it also stands still. It is just as personal as the rate of one’s heartbeat but just as public as the clock tower of the local church. We do our best to reconcile the contradictions. It seems like 7:07 a.m.

Last but not least, time is money. It is the companion of change, the antagonist of speed, the currency through which we pay attention. It is our most precious, irreplaceable asset. But still we point out we don’t know where it goes, furthermore we sleep away one third of it, and no one can actually account for exactly how much we have left. Hmmm. We are able to find a hundred strategies to save time, but the amount leftover however decreases constantly. It is already 7:08 a.m.

Furthermore time as well as memory form our perceptions of our personal identity. We may likely feel ourselves to be at history’s mercy, nevertheless we as well see ourselves as free-willed agents of the future. That idea is disturbingly at odds with the vision of physicists and philosophers, however, because if time is a dimension similar to those of space, then yesterday, today and tomorrow are all equally concrete and determined. The future exists as much as the past does; it is just in a location that we have not yet visited. Some place, it is 7:09 a.m.

Argentine essayist and poet  Jorge Luis Borges  wrote: “Time is the material of which I am made.”  “Time is a river that carries me away, but I am the river; it is a tiger that destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.” Time infuses and guides both our physical world and our inner selves … We are more and more in the grip of Kronos … It is now 7:10 a.m. Synchronize your watches, more to come in Otto Maier’s future …

 

Otto Maier

 

 



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