Saturday, September 10, 2005

Not Fade Away

Echo, echo, echo, the words die away across the canyon, as the sound waves bounce repeatedly between the walls of rock before exhausting themselves into silence. Our perception is off something receding, moving away from us, into the past.

Simultaneously we consider time to be moving forward; we talk of in a half an hour¹s time as being a point in the future, full of the as yet un-happenned, whilst half an hour ago, is safely taken place and gone.  But if an echo is the sound of something receding, of something behind, then should not the reverberations be occurring in the past, should they not in relation to our perception of time¹s trajectory have already happened? Instead the sound, the echo travels on, speeding forwards into the future, not behind but in front.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

should not the reverberations be occurring in the past, should they not in relation to our perception of time¹s trajectory have already happened?
Reverberation is like the past coming back to you, sonic time travel. Preverb, or backmasking as it's sometimes called, is more like what you're describing: the reverb that happens before the sound event.

ps said...

Sonic time travel , exactly, the past travelling forward in time, rather than our perception of something dying away....

sb said...

Reverberations always happen in the future. An action in the present only ever has consequences in the future. Doctor Who and Einstein both know this!

sb (why do my comments show up as anonymous?)

ps said...

On the contrary Dr Who and Einstein (and maybe even Eisenstein) would be the first to agree that events in the present can have reverberations in either the past or the future. It all depends on which way you are pointing and is as the white haired one said relative. Time is not the absolute, the speed of light is. Putting this to one side what I was trying to get at is that it is our perception of time that is as important as the actual trajectory of events. We feel the sound to be dying, moving away from us, whereas it is travelling towards us from the past. Interestingly the opening paragraph of the always worth a read Momus blog is also about perceptions of the past and the future………

http://www.livejournal.com/users/imomus

SB said...

I thought that Einstein said that relativity shows that if/when time travel becomes possible it will not be possible to travel to times before when time travel became possible, or words to that effect.

The sound may be travelling towards us from the past, but as this is to conflate time and distance, then the 'further away' the event of the sound is from us in time as in distance, the quieter it will be. So in temporal terms we are presumably travelling away from the sound event faster than it's reverberations are travelling towards us, it will inevitably get quieter.

All these conundrums!