Time keeps on ticking everywhere
May 2, 2013
I read an article the other day about a new book called Time Reborn written by Canadian super-nerd Lee Smolin. Dr. Smolin is apparently the real-life Canadian version of Dr. Sheldon Cooper, America's favorite TV physicist. It seems that in Canada, there is still some question as to whether time is real or an illusion. Freakin' Canadians!
Smolin was quoted as saying, "Time is paramount and the experience we all have of reality being in the present moment is not an illusion, but the deepest clue we have to the fundamental nature of reality." Yeah, right … in Canada!
The basic concept of the book is that Einstein, and pretty much every egg head with bad hair and a pocket protector since Einstein, was wrong in in theorizing that time is just another dimension in space and our human perception of time passing steadily and sequentially is all in our heads. Um…no.
I'm not a physicist, and I don't even play one on TV, but it seems to me that these guys have wasted a lot of energy and … well … time theorizing about something every second grader who ever watched a classroom clock knows; time is real and it's variable. Otherwise why does time move so slow during math class and so much faster fast during recess?
Of course, time is real, why else would I be wearing this watch? I don't wear a 15-year-old Timex Ironman watch to make a fashion statement; I wear it so I'm not late for work and because I'm too cheap to buy a nice watch.
I don't have to read some Canadian physicist's book to understand the nature of time. I just have to look around and pay attention. The evidence that time exists is everywhere. My freakin' alarm clock reminds me that it's time to wake up and my snooze button reminds me that nine minutes can pass in the blink of an eye.
My stomach reminds me when it's breakfast time, lunch time and dinner time but I rarely need to be reminded when it's Miller time.
Time happens everywhere; in England they have tea time, in Germany the trains run on time and when I was in France, they just plain didn't have time for a low-rent American tourist like me.
Industrious people spend their time, criminals do time, soldiers serve time, overachievers seize time and underachievers waste time … I know a little something about that last one. Serious people invest time, alien abductees have been known to lose time and slackers like me are famous for letting time slip away.
Jim Croce kept 'Time in a Bottle"," Pink Floyd discovered "Time" on the dark side of the moon, Cyndi Lauper made a lot of many sing the same songs "Time after Time," while the Rolling Stones remind us that "Ti-i-i-ime is on our side!"
On the other time can work against you, it can be you worst enemy; just look at Joan Rivers. Some people age well but for others … let's just say that time has not been good to them.
Time flies or it can drag by, but either way, time marches on. Some people take a time out but, in the end, you can't stop time. Some of us are slaves to time while others have no sense of time and those people almost never show up on time or arrive just in the nick of time.
Some people work part-time but would rather work full-time and are willing to work overtime because, let's face it, times are tough all over!
You can give time, take time or even try to make time but, ultimately, we all run out of time. I'm not trying to give you a hard time, just trying to say you should make the most of your time by enjoying the good times and have the time of your life.
This brings me back to Lee Smolin and his silly quote about time. Sure time is real but if time is the deepest clue you have to the fundamental nature of reality … you need to get out more. It's pretty clear to me that the deepest clue to the fundamental nature of reality is not time, but how you choose you fill the 24 hours we all get in each day.
I choose to fill my days telling lies over a cold beer with friends because, according to Einstein and Jimmy Buffett, it's always 5 o'clock somewhere.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist.