+Philosophy Now magazine asks its readers each issue to answer a philosophical question. This month the question is What is time? The simple answer is, it is no more real than a concept. Here’s a slightly longer answer.
A more interesting question might be what is a moment? We appear to have moments in time. We reflect and we think in ‘the present,’ that is in this (and only this) moment—we live in an ineluctable series of ’moments,’ where we imagine time ‘stands still’ sufficiently for us to gather our thoughts and do our things. We live in a series of moments. So what are these moments? Like footsteps in the snow they seem to leave a trail but not for very long, they melt away and become faded memories. That we have this memory gives us the notion of time—a notion that is inconceivable, for example, to a rock. The question ‘what is time’ wouldn’t occur to a rock, even if the rock encapsulates the elements of its being in its molecular structure, i.e. its past., just as we do. Without consciousness there can be no sense of time, no concept of living in the moment, which is to say in a fiction twixt past and future (since we actually ‘live’ neither in the past nor the future). Time is a figment of the moment. The moment is another word for now. So what exactly is ‘now?’ That, I think, is a question for later, even if I thought of it now.
+There’s been a fair old competition going on these last few months. Who’s coffin witnessed the longest grieving queues? The Queen's, Pele's or Pope Benedict's? Does it really matter how long the queue is? (It's another media obsession.)
+Here’s an extract from Keir Starmer’s speech today:
So let me spell it out – no more short-cuts. Strong, dynamic government is necessary, but it’s not sufficient. Communities need strong public services, but that’s not enough on its own. For national renewal, there is no substitute for a robust private sector, creating wealth in every community.
Well, he’s really spelt it out hasn’t he? Only a robust private sector can do the job. It appears all else is secondary. How far will he take this spelt out wisdom? More privatisation of the NHS, perhaps? Private (i.e. toll) roads? G4S patrolling our streets? More contracting out of local (and national services)? More revolving doors in the defence sector? The opportunities are endless! We’re told—in the face of criticism—that the proposal for a ‘Great British Energy company’ signals Starmer’s radicalism. But it’s not yet clear what that means. Will it actually alter the balance between consumers and big energy? Whatever Starmer thinks it means, I’m willing to bet it will not put energy companies into the public’s hands.
N.B. It is a common error on the part of Starmer and his ilk (inc. Tories) that the state doesn't create wealth. One only has to ask, e.g. American defence manufacturers to determine the truth of this.