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segunda-feira, 25 de maio de 2009

Everything at the same time

As life evolved in our planet choices were made. We see these colors we know as blue, white and yellow, because the radiation that composes these colors are in great number in our planet. It happens because of the distance between our planet and our Sun and the type of star our Sun is. Other example is that our body made the choice of a 24 hours cycle of wake up, eat, have a day and sleep again, because that’s the time Sun needs to disappear and appear again. Something that was also decided and changes completely the way we see life, was to capture time as a continuous thing, with past, present and future, one after another, without going back, even if in the real game of the universe, time is not like that.

Whaaaaat? What do you mean? Are you insane? Is this some kind of sorcery? No. Let’s make it step by step, don’t lose yourself, put your favorite hat on and hold my hand.

I liked this hat, it's a crab hat

First of all, let’s think about a naval battle game, with all those little squares, just like this one in the side. If you prefer you can play a free flash version here. To find any boat in this space we need 2 information, one for line, one for row. Because we need only two pieces of information to find anything in this space, we name it a “two dimensional space”, or a 2d space.

If we think in a space with 3 dimensions, let’s say a “naval battle in a building”, we will have not only information of line and row, but also information about high, what would stand for which floor the object we are trying to localize is. 3 information to localize, 3 dimensions, that’s a 3d space. It is all very touching, isn’t it?

However, we don’t live in a naval battle game, what about real life? How many dimensional information we need to find something in our world?

At a first glance it could seems very simple, since the objects around us have 3 dimensions and we can move ourselves only through 3 dimensions: 1 – right or left, 2 – to the front or to the back, 3 – up or down, like the image by side shows. However, the funny thing is that when you arrange a meet with someone you will need a fourth information to make this event happen. Which one?

Jebediah, after many years of flirting with his female friend Aeris, is finally going to meet her. They set up everything, it will be on the third tree, in the corridor on the second floor, of a building they know. Jebediah goes out full of energy, running to the place of their arrangement. He gets there but… but… she is not there! He waits for 2 hours and go home. Why he couldn’t find her? Why life had to be so bad with his poor heart?

This time, like many times happens in life, was not fault of the universe, Jebediah was so excited about the meeting that he was there at the right place but not in the correct day! And, like we know, you can’t right away meet someone going to were the person will be tomorrow or were this person was 10 years ago, right?! To meet someone, you have to stay in the same place the person is, but in the present time! Aha! Time is the forth information we need do localize something in our world.

Ok, that is nice, great magic so far, but what about everything happening at the same time? If time is a dimensional information, if it is a dimension used to localize something, it can’t be continuous, with past, present and future all pointing to one direction, with no possibility of going back.

Thinking about the dimensions we are already used to see as not continuous dimensions, you can step to left and then, if you want, you can go back to where you were simply giving a step back to the right. We can freely move along this right-left dimension. Our perception does not allow us to do that with time, we can’t move to the past or to the future, looking to the time as a static dimension, like the right-left dimension is to us. To us, time is just perceived as this instant, as this moment, as now.

For some reason that escapes our grasp, in the dimension of time it seems we are only able to move in one direction. We can remember the past, but we can’t go back there, see it all again, or make it different. I don’t know why it happened in our evolution, maybe it was the only way to make existence understandable to our limitations, to create a logical path between a giant web of possibilities that is life. Is easier to understand things looking to how they started, looking from the past to the present and then to the future.

If you have the idea, It doesn’t mean at all that there is already a destiny written and you can’t make anything against it in life. That’s not the correct interpretation. Everything happening at the same time means that you were born with a road already build up to you, you just have to travel through it, surprising yourself because you really don’t know what is going to happen. Maybe that’s why our brain decided to make us blind to the time as a dimension. If time wasn’t continuous people would not dream, believe and fight to live the life they want to live, so perhaps that’s what you should do. Who knows?