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Home arrow Psychology arrow Images of time: mind, science, reality
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Thermodynamics

On a warm summer’s day, when we look around us and see a tranquil scene, it is too easy to forget that this image is but an illusion, masking a microscopic world teeming with movement on atomic scales, a seething mass of atoms and molecules in dynamical thermodynamic equilibrium. We do not see the electromagnetic energy pouring from the Sun constantly onto the trees, houses, and mountains in the distance. We do see some of that radiation when those objects reflect or re-emit the light that falls on them: it is that feeble light that induces out brain to create the images of stability that we perceive. If the Sun stopped for some reason, our perception of the universe would change dramatically.

Observational context

Owners of pets will know that some animals do not appear to recognize images in mirrors or on television screens. As for humans, lawyers know that witnesses who saw the same event may give honest but contradictory accounts of what happened. All this suggest that the mental images of the world around them created by an observer depend as much on that observer as on the properties of the SUOs being observed. It may be unwise therefore to believe in an objective image of time based on human experience. If an observer such as a dog can interpret visual information so differently to a human, then the human view of time may be irrelevant to them.

 
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