Monday, March 25, 2013


Of the W's and an H, "when" doesn't seem to get all that much attention.  What, who and why seem to get more and How has its followers, too.  But, it seems to me that mortal beings are rooted in When.  When I was born determines how old I am now and relates to how much life is left in my battery.  I know when I was born but I don't know yet just when I will die.  I think it will be within 20 years but I can't be sure.  

We have developed a pretty good understanding of time.  Since each moment is unique and has its own time name, when I was at the store might clear me of a criminal charge of vandalism if it took place at that time.  I live through certain moments of time and they can be used to understand a great deal about me.  For each moment, I was doing something somewhere and my history is complete if the whole sequence is documented.  Same is true of anyone or anything else.

There has been a new headline in the last few days about newer and more complete calculations of the age of the universe.  I am not sure how they got their estimate of close to 14 billion years but I am willing to believe the number.  As a human who lives for maybe 100 years, time periods in the millions or billions of years don't really have a great deal of meaning.  My knowledge of what is known and agreed on about the life of the universe, the solar system and our planet is slowly increasing.  I can see why some writers emphasize the time that has elapsed since humans existed.  The earth is supposed to be about 5 billion years old while humans have only been around for about 4 million years, much, much less than 1%.  Spoken language in even rough form is probably not more than 100,000 years old and writing is less than 10,000 years.  

There have been some serious efforts recently to locate exo-planets somewhere.  I understand it isn't easy to find the little spots far, far away, planets outside (extrasolar) our solar system and of course, we are not too interested in planning exploration and maybe settlements unless there is oxygen and water.  We got them, not right away, of course, but after 300,000 or so years of primordial earthquakes and volcanoes all over the place, Earth came through with an atmosphere and water and the path to us could start to be followed.  

I am floating along in this stream of time and it feels pretty good.  How about you?

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