WPC: Now

Ooh goody! A chance to rhapsodise lyrical on lightweight philosophy!


that hoary old question:

Does ‘now’ really exist?”


Seeing that as soon as you (try to) grasp it (the Now) —the rotten thing is gone. Your now has become a ‘then’. Bugger. But now and then we can get close, especially with cameras. How so?


with a camera (okay, most cameras) every shot you take represents a ‘now’. Or at least a slice of now, a tiny cross-section of an infinite line. No? Yes, sometimes … looooong exposures add up the nows so that lots of different nows become one. Wow!


the smaller your cross-section, the less blurry your moving images. Oops, static images of movement. Which figures, ‘cos with no time at all then all motion (by definition) ceases. You can prove it (why bother? Just trust me …) (or not) by peeking at these demo snaps:

one 8 thousandth

—herewith being (according to iPhoto’s reading of the camera’s guff) one eight-thousandth of a second. Snappy enough to freeze most motions. I apologise for not getting you a nicer shot but I was experimenting and seizing the moment—

one thirteenth sec

—which now was a long drawn out thirteenth of a second, long enough for a free-falling object unaffected by other factors to drop about two and a halfish feet*. Ergo all our highly visible drops are now wee streams, and appear as such. Cute.

Let’s look at a larger scale.

Nows alter in appearance, no? No. Things alter in appearance with respect to time. If you access an earlier ‘now’ you get to see things as they were—

earlier old tennis

—like the old Tennisery alongside the museum in Invercargill. This Racquets Clubhouse is due for total demolition. I took the snap before they got started some months ago but they must have run out of steam, funds, or both.

Whatever, it now looks like this—

old tennisery now

—and at some undisclosed ‘now’ it will look quite different again. And now the philosopher in me emerges: can anyone challenge me when I state that out there in the future that building doesn’t exist at all?

Hah! Come now—I dare any bugger to even try~! (Wow, talk about a real challenge) (!)

So: if out there in the future (definitely, inevitably, and as unarguable as your very own personal demisement**) that poor building no longer exists … then there unarguably ain’t no such thing as Free Will.

Never was, never shall be. Will be. Whatever.

Anyone care to tell me why?

Right now?



* Which for you metrics people is still two and a half feet—I don’t like metrics, they aren’t as accurate as old fashioned stuff based on fractions.

** It means death-scene.  mails wink


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