I DON’T RECALL who first said that time is an illusion: it could have been a famous theoretical physicist, or one of my uncles, or that guy in college who’d always want to talk about quantum mechanics after six Jägermeisters. And, yes, it’s true I haven’t kept up with some of my uncles—so theoretically the crazy college guy could have become a physicist and married one of my aunts, in which case all three answers are the correct answer. Read even a little bit of theoretical physics, and you’ll quickly see that weirder things have happened—and they’re happening all the time, all around us.
The geniuses tell us that time doesn’t exist and that the universe has way more than three dimensions of time and one of space. The geniuses say there could be an infinite number of universes, each with dozens or even hundreds of dimensions. Stop thinking of time as a river, they say, because it’s not like a river at all.
While I find it impossible to comprehend many of the things written by today’s geniuses on the topic of the multi-dimensional multiverse, I do understand that time is not like a river. Nor is it, however, an illusion. Time is more like a moment that is forever here and yet forever not-here. It’s a now that is never really a now. And while I’m not a genius, or even a theoretical physicist, I’ve spent over a decade studying this concept of time in an experimental setting. That’s why I’m confident I have some new insight into how time works.
Without further pre-amble, here is my experimental model of the ground-breaking forever-here-and-yet-forever-not-here model of time
It works like this:
7:05 am—My partner is sitting in the chair with an iPad, re-watching the final episode of Sons of Anarchy. She has to be at work in two hours, so she says, I should get ready for work now.
7:55 am—My partner is sitting in the chair with an iPad, watching a movie trailer. She says, I really should get ready now.
8:15 am—My partner is sitting in the chair with an iPad, watching a music video. She says, Oh man, I have to get ready.
8:35 am—My partner is sitting in the chair with an iPad, looking at Instagram. She says, SHIT I’M GOING TO BE LATE. Then she jumps out of the chair and runs around the apartment a dozen times trying to figure out where her wallet and keys and rings and boots are.
This, fellow scientists, is time as I regularly experience it in my sciency time-space model of the universe.
Now, if I were Einstein, this is the place I’d pull out one of those impressive strings of math—you know, with the wiggly lines and triangles and pi in it. Like this.
But I got Ds in math, so I’m just going to stick with E = mc 2. And in my model of the universe, the E stands for Eventually, and the mc stands for “Makes (it to the) Car.” The 2 represents walking around the apartment, over and over again in a big square, saying Has anyone seen my mittens?
Time is at its material essence an infinite series of nows which culminate in eventually making it out the front door and getting to work on time—E=mc2—although as for this last bit I truly have no idea how it happens. I can also confirm with my model that space is way more than three dimensions and that there’s probably as many as twenty—one to put keys in, one for the mis-placed lunch bag, one for unfindable mittens, one for wallets, one for your favorite hoodie, and so on. Note that these are in addition to the many visible dimensions of space, like the kitchen and living room, where everyone leaves their boots.
The only way into the hidden dimensions, apparently, is to create what I call Room Ripples
This is a disturbance in the space-fabric resulting from your family being enlisted to run around frantically with you looking for your stuff. The ripples open what I’m guessing are portals into the respective dimensions where things were left the day before. And I’d be willing to bet good money that if you had a careful look into that Einstein math, there’s a formula predicting this. My advice—again, as a straight-Ds student—is to focus on the math bits with the most pi and triangles and wavy lines in it.
My model of the universe has many advantages over the competition: it makes sense, it’s observable and reproducible, there are no boring river metaphors, and you get to watch trailers on your iPad. Also, with my model you get Room Ripples, and who doesn’t like that? Best of all, my model doesn’t give you a headache and make you feel like a dum-dum who can imagine at most three dimensions of space, and not the two hundred and ninety-five that are right there in front of your primate face—just look at the math.
Still can’t see them? Apparently six Jägermeisters will help.
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