Past/Present/Future

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Pffft, I was thinking this when I saw it. I imagined m_b as a sort of latter-day Jane Goodall, trying to emulate their primitive grunts and scowling/gurning facial expressions...

I modify my behaviour expertly: I shake hands robustly on meeting them, look them in their eyes, call them 'mate,' employ 'banter,' beat them at pool to move up the social hierarchy...it gets easier with practice. The pool, that is - not the other stuff.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"I suppose because the purely sensory pleasures/emotions associated with a positive experience/period of time past are inaccessible, I am aware they existed, but the reality of them as a lived experience of pleasure, joy, excitement, contentment or whatever remains out of reach except as words by which I can categorise the experience. As such what remains is the memory of the situation in which that positive emotion arose-- which is difficult to enjoy, or which from my current perspective is impossible to enjoy, or is a mere husk in which the positive emotion arose. The essentially ephemeral nature of the experience makes it impossible to replicate via memory (and the same is true of negative emotional experience)."
Well, I recognise all of that of course - and yet, without effort, good memories tend to produce a good feeling and bad ones a bad (though always necessarily, to a greater or lesser degree, less intensely than at the time - or is that actually true?). I don't see that as fetishisation though, I guess it's no more a choice for me than for you.
Life in general is made of infitesimal moments, the past and the future and the now, if you reject all except the now (presumably future suffers from the same problems as the past?) then you are restricting it to an infinitely small point.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
If you make your present efforts future-directed, then future nostalgia is to an extent prevented, as the future is the fulfillment of the past, and the past merely a foreshadowing of it.

By (attempting) to live in the present, you become prone to nostalgia, as each moment stands alone.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Interesting question-- I suppose because the purely sensory pleasures/emotions associated with a positive experience/period of time past are inaccessible, I am aware they existed, but the reality of them as a lived experience of pleasure, joy, excitement, contentment or whatever remains out of reach except as words by which I can categorise the experience.

Surely this is overstating the case - what about one's memories of food? Do you not drool at the thought of yet another Big Mac and fries?
 

zhao

there are no accidents
Instants

If I could live again my life,
In the next - I'll try,
- to make more mistakes,
I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed,
I'll be more full - than I am now,
In fact, I'll take fewer things seriously,
I'll be less hygenic,
I'll take more risks,
I'll take more trips,
I'll watch more sunsets,
I'll climb more mountains,
I'll swim more rivers,
I'll go to more places - I've never been,
I'll eat more ice creams and less (lime) beans,
I'll have more real problems - and less imaginary
ones,
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives -
each minute of his life,
Offcourse that I had moments of joy - but,
if I could go back I'll try to have only good moments,

If you don't know - thats what life is made of,
Don't lose the now!

I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umberella and without a parachute,

If I could live again - I will travel light,
If I could live again - I'll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till
the end of autumn,
I'll ride more carts,
I'll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live - but now I am 85,
- and I know that I am dying ...

Jorge Luis Borges
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Surely this is overstating the case - what about one's memories of food? Do you not drool at the thought of yet another Big Mac and fries?

I think sense-memory and emotional memory are slightly different matters. I can imagine green with ease, or striated, or the smell of bacon, or the taste of paprika, or entire symphonies. But when I imagine, say "joy" (and beyond that generality towards a precise variant or shade of it, a very definite blend as experienced, as much as a particular tone or a texture of sound say) it eludes me- I can only remember, or rather recreate, a crude linguistic label for it, and a set of related external circumstances associated with it. I'm unsure as to why this is. Possibly something to do with the synaesthesic linkages between senses and language/representation...? Which necessarily excludes internal emotional states, which are described in some tertiary fashion in insufficiently detailed terms? Imagine for a moment any given drug-state- whilst the kinds of audio-visual hallucinations and alterations to social interaction are easy to describe (and to remember) the actual internal sensation almost entirely escapes representation (in language)... perhaps...?
 
I can imagine green with ease, or striated, or the smell of bacon, or the taste of paprika, or entire symphonies. But when I imagine, say "joy" (and beyond that generality towards a precise variant or shade of it, a very definite blend as experienced, as much as a particular tone or a texture of sound say) it eludes me- I can only remember, or rather recreate, a crude linguistic label for it, and a set of related external circumstances associated with it. I'm unsure as to why this is. Possibly something to do with the synaesthesic linkages between senses and language/representation...?

pretty much, visual sense impressions in particular are very strong, once you have seen green and have green "qualia" effectively when you envision green your brain is doing what it does when you see green in reverse. the primary visual cortex is activated, creating a mental, near tangible simulation of green. joy "qualia" could not be said to exist in the same way, so your mental representation of joy is contingent on memory rather than absolutes.

i've always been depressed by people fetishising their teen years. certainly this tendency has come about in the latter half of the twentieth century, i would say it has its roots in contemporary culture. you should be at the peak of your powers as a grown adult. i'm in my early 30's and i'm still very much hoping the best is yet to come. i'd like to think where i'll be in a decade is somewhere i couldn't even conceive of now. what has made you all so defeatist?
 

STN

sou'wester
Being a teenager was dire, really.

No matter how bad things might get, at least no one can make me do PE now.
 

vimothy

yurp
you should be at the peak of your powers as a grown adult. i'm in my early 30's and i'm still very much hoping the best is yet to come. i'd like to think where i'll be in a decade is somewhere i couldn't even conceive of now. what has made you all so defeatist?

OTM -- maybe everyone else here has just lived such fantastically exciting lives that the future can only be disappointing?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"what has made you all so defeatist?"
Hang on, who is being defeatist? The only ones I saw say negative things were Swears ( as normal) and Gavin who said that the outlook for his country was bleak. That's simply a rational reply rather than a defeatist one as such.
 

swears

preppy-kei
Never said my life was going to be terrible, just very, very dull.

I'm grateful for the easy life I have, part of that is the luxury of looking back on the good times.
 

martin

----
Being a teenager was dire, really.

No matter how bad things might get, at least no one can make me do PE now.

Yeah...just think of zits, dressing like a spastic, girls treating you like a leper, being told you're going to hell by your mum, people saying "YOU JUST LISTEN TO WEIRD CRAP, SOUNDS LIKE AN MOT TEST"...oh hang on, this all still happens to me!

We should start a thread about PE teachers
 

frogger

Member
pretty much, visual sense impressions in particular are very strong, once you have seen green and have green "qualia" effectively when you envision green your brain is doing what it does when you see green in reverse. the primary visual cortex is activated, creating a mental, near tangible simulation of green. joy "qualia" could not be said to exist in the same way, so your mental representation of joy is contingent on memory rather than absolutes.

i've always been depressed by people fetishising their teen years. certainly this tendency has come about in the latter half of the twentieth century, i would say it has its roots in contemporary culture. you should be at the peak of your powers as a grown adult. i'm in my early 30's and i'm still very much hoping the best is yet to come. i'd like to think where i'll be in a decade is somewhere i couldn't even conceive of now. what has made you all so defeatist?

You need a minimum amount of memory to have an experience of green. Qualia (green object + processing) + memory = experience. Joy might also be contingent on affect and recollection, although, is it possible to have joy not related to a past recollection?

I'm not sure why people fetishize their teen years. It might be because they had a disposable income + free time + low levels of responsibility...Personally, even though I had these things, I prefer where I am at now. Much more stable and ready to deal with whatever comes.
 

brown neon

Member
without effort, good memories tend to produce a good feeling and bad ones a bad (though always necessarily, to a greater or lesser degree, less intensely than at the time - or is that actually true?).

not sure that's true. the collision of a memory with the present often spins me into new emotions. i like the past, it's a fertile inspiration for the present/future. sure is tense tho.
 

Troy

31 Seconds
I miss the way I used to view the future. It was a wide open world with millions of possibilities, all ahead of me.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Something that's pretty interesting, and is very far from being resolved, is the fact that in general relativity time is treated as a dimension much the three space dimensions so that rather than having a mathematical expression for the geometry of space that changes as a function of time, you just have a fixed expression for the geometry of space-time; a sort of Buddhistic 'eternal now'. In this formulation, objects don't really 'move'; their trajectories are described by paths in space-time that are eternal and unchanging. So time, in this formulation, doesn't have a 'forward' and a 'backward' direction any more than the universe has a built in 'left' and 'right'.

So there arise two important questions relating to human consciousness: how is that we feel that time is something that 'passes', whereas space is somehow just there; and why is that there is a past that we can remember and record, and a future that we cannot? In other words, there is not (yet) any clear physical basis for the psychological perception of the passage of time or for the direction it takes. The laws of physics are, to an extremely good approximation, symmetrical with respect to time, and don't distinguish between past and future. Even the tiny violations of this symmetry only involve certain kinds of exotic particles and have no relevance for ordinary matter. The apparent arrow of time seems to have something to do with the extraordinarily low amount of entropy (disorder) in the early universe, which has been increasing ever since, but it's not yet clear how this relates to causality and consciousness.
 
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