OK, and thanks Bruno. I thought MW more or less presumed a block
universe without time, but apparently this is yet uncertain.
> If time is merely an additional space dimension, why do we experience
> "moving" in it always and only in one direction? Why do we remember
> the past and not the future? Could a being move in some spatial
> dimension in the same way we move through time, and in doing so treat
> time more like we treat space? Et cetera.
Probably because our sense apparatus and brain are fine-tuned (by
evolution) to a limited part of reallity. We don't experience reallity
directly in its wholeness. Think of a cartoon man. He lives his entire
life in what to him looks like two spatial dimensions and probably
still makes claims about reallity! His life begins at page 1 and ends
at say page 50. At page 40 he remembers what happend at page 20, but
not visa versa. The reader could tell him, because the reader can go
back and forth in the book like he wants, but the cartoon man can't
see, hear, or touch the reader, though he probably senses the third
dimension in some strange way, similar to the strange way the reader
senses the fourth dimension, time. And the same relation a little
being living on a thin thread would have to the cartoon man. And the
reader to a being outside the universe, if such being exists.
If time is something different from space, this analogy doesn't hold
totally, though :)
> To my knowledge, modern physics treats many things as "dimensions":
> not just time and space, but also forces such as electromagnetism.
> This does not imply that such things are spatial in nature. A
> dimension is just a variable. Unless you think there is something
> particularly spatial about time?
"Dimension" is a flexible word meaning many different things, also non-
spatial, depending on the context. About the spatial nature of time
the others answered much better than I can :)
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime
(Apropos Günther Greindl's remark: "space as the self moving in
relation to everything else,
time as everything outside the self moving in relation to oneself."
it's funny that already in 1895, in his novel The Time Machine, H.G.
Wells wrote, "There is no difference between time and any of the three
dimensions of space except that our consciousness moves along it." I
guess it's the same that is meant. Consciousness IS a funny thing in a
block universe, I admit :-)
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