Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0117, April 5, 2017


DEPT. OF HERE AND NOW


How Big is Here? How Long is Now?




Copyright 2017 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski


     In the last M&R, we noted the non-existence of points, at least of the mathematical sort. An obvious non-point in the real world is the region of space and time we call "here and now". To be precise, by "here and now" we mean our actual experience of space and time: all we know is what it is like to be here and now, how it feels to us.

     The size of "here and now" is set by how far we can see clearly in every direction, how far ahead we can accurately predict the future, and how far back we can accurately recall the past. Our experience of "here and now" gradually becomes less distinct with the distance in space and time setting an experiential horizon beyond which lies unknown territory about which we can only speculate. How far this horizon lies depends on the level of detail we're looking for and the instruments we have to magnify our view of the world. In general, the more detailed and precise we try to be, the closer the horizon. In any case, "here and now" is not a point but a fuzzy, variable region of space and time whose size may be indeterminate but neither zero nor infinity. The head seems to be situated roughly in the middle of it.

     The wonderful aspect of "here and now" is how it includes both past and future and connects them by observed action/change. "Here and now" is the machine that manufactures the future out of the past and we are not only present as witnesses but also as participants to some degree actually in charge of the process, capable of limited but real control over it. And that's the story of and the glory of being here and now. "Amen," says Prickles, our resident spiritual consultant.

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