Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Many kinds of time: meta, para, conscious ...

[...] The associate of observation is conscious time.

What is conscious time? There is a meta-concept of time, meta-time, which is inert and unusable except as the argument of a multitude of temporal functional forms, time-forms, like conscious time of everyday use.

Conscious time is composed of instants, and a stream of conscious time that is composed of instants of equal duration is called timeframe.

The time-forms that are not conscious time are presently grouped and collectively called para-time. [...]

That's from an op-ed (the fashionable name for which appears to be 'Leader Article') in today's Times of India. Its title is "Black holes are an enigma", and it is by J K Barthakur who "has authored books on theories of time."

BTW, the above quote appears on the second part of a five part article.

What is the purpose of ToI publishing such a highly specialized piece in its op-ed sections? Sure, all newspapers have to fight the impression that they are dumbing down science, history, philosophy, politics -- in fact, pretty much everything. But, is this the best way to counter that impression?