be awake! site of seeker for seekers

time, time, time…

Seven minutes! But they must be up!” Joachim shook his head. A little later he took the thermometer out of his mouth,looked at it, and said: “Yes, when you watch it, the time, it goes very slowly. I quite like the measuring, four times a day; for then you know what a minute — or seven of them actually amounts to, up here in this place, where the seven days of the week whisk by the way they do!” “You say ‘actually,’ (…) But after all, time isn’t ‘actual.’ How long, or how short, it actually is, that nobody knows.” “How so? — we do measure it. We have watches and calendars for the purpose; and when a month is up, why, then up it is, for you, and for me, and for all of us.” “Wait, a minute, then, is as long as it seems to you when you measure yourself?” “A minute is as long—it lasts as long—as it takes the second hand of my watch to complete a circuit.” “But it takes such a varied length of time — to our senses! And as a matter of fact — I say taking it just as a matter of fact, it is motion, isn’t it, motion in space? Wait a minute! That means that we measure time by space. But that is no better than measuring space by time, a thing only very unscientific people do. From Hamburg to Davos is twenty hours — that is, by train. But on foot how long is it? And in the mind, how long? Not a second! Well, then, what is time? Space we perceive with our organs, with our senses of sight and touch. Good. But which is our organ of time? But how can we possibly measure anything about which we actually know nothing, not even a single one of its properties? We say of time that it passes. Very good, let it pass. But to be able to measure it — wait a minute: to be susceptible of being measured, time must flow evenly, but who ever said it did that? As far as our consciousness is concerned it doesn’t, we only assume that it does, for the sake of convenience; and our units of measurement are purely arbitrary, sheer conventions.” (Thomas Mann “The Magic Mountain”)

More about time — soon 🙂

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3 responses

  1. hello kate..

    great post.. and so true :’)

    June 24, 2011 at 6:37 am

  2. sharp, i believe it’s true so much, i’m preparing the essay/photography’s album about time 🙂 i hope it will be available soon.

    June 24, 2011 at 8:09 am

    • oh great.. I’m looking forward to it! 🙂

      June 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

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