Sunday, July 17, 2011

Contraction of Time

Time is an interesting phenomenon, best observed while waiting for new year by counting seconds or while checking the starlight dispatched centuries ago. Interesting it becomes more, when one becomes acutely aware of it and then, suddenly tastes freedom. Take the exam duration for example or your deadlines. With advancing generation, it seems that mankind is increasingly aware of time, perhaps because the space is better connected now. Traveling in space imparts a bit of time travel. Thanks to omnipresent media, we are doing that very very often. The effects are strange. I compared few things from a generation ago.

After quite a careful analysis, my grandfather bought a car. An ambassador. It was supposed to run for a generation, which it did and ran farther. Few days back, a friend bought a car. The constraints are simple. He may move far away soon. He is not that expert in driving yet. His preferences in automobile industry are not fixed. The result - he bought a car, which he is sure to get rid of in an year or two. This shrinking of time and therefore, being acutely aware of the smallest time dimensions (spend an attosecond - here) is visible in multiple facets of life. For example, in my childhood, I would see a senior Dada to have Amitabh haircut. It persisted till his hairline allowed him to do so. Today, I find a youth to sport Ghazni-cut today before jumping to whatever the fashion offered. Ditto with loyalties elsewhere. Be it political affiliation, sports or supporting a cause. Dandi march is replaced by retweets.

As per Hindu philsophy, the world is cursory and the truth lies in permanence. It might be disturbing to see that permanence is easily dumped now. What I am not sure is if the increasing spatial dimension garners the same truth in the little time boundary that, otherwise would require eons for a person alone to discover. No, this is not the knowledge that you can claim by standing on shoulders. This is realization, which is deeply personal. If the realization is not helped, then why the apparent contraction of time with every passing generation ? I sincerely hope that will not take us farther from truth.

At least, it will not, if you do not repeat my conclusion.

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