The Blurring of Now – How Time Affects the Game We Perceive

The Blurring of Now – How Time Affects the Game We Perceive
September 11, 2019 madchenKliop
In Book Reviews, Subscribers Only


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are not those of a reliable scientist!

This article is about the present; the now; the moment for which all us LFC fans crave, kick off, when all our universes collide (if you are lucky enough to find a working stream).

The only trouble is, I’ve just finished reading a book which has informed me that the present doesn’t really exist – or not in the collective, ‘global’ moment way I had been thrilling in a second ago.

The book is called THE ORDER OF TIME by Carlo Rovelli.

As with pretty much every other phenomenon in the world, I love to try and force it through the prism of football – the universal truth experiment. For me, the most magical quality of football is its ability to capture time. Time in football is freakin everywhere. From the ref’s whistle to the ‘season’ to the ‘timing’ of challenges and skills. From the timing of the offside trap (how does Virgil do it?) to Bobby’s instinctive sense of when to release the ball. Even the narratives that keep us logging in on a daily basis are exercises in explaining the movement of time from past, through present to future.

One of the fascinating revelations in the book is that, if you get down to it with incredibly precise measuring machines (clocks), one person’s time isn’t the same as another’s. If you are at the top of a mountain, time is actually lived quicker than at sea level. An extreme consequence of this independently experienced time is that it is literally impossible for someone in Alpha Centauri to experience kick off in the same now as I might in Brixton, London. Now doesn’t really exist.

This is not to say that the now we collectively experience when watching a football match is not a miraculous confluence of our timelines. It is in fact, an event, to which we all contribute, but does it exist as an independent universal moment outside of our experience? The answer according to my (laughably dim!) understanding of the physics described in this book is NO! Time is an illusion peculiar to us!

If this is true, this has profound implications, especially for VAR! Apart from anything else, ‘us’ comprises billions of slightly different perspectives. The now that informs every decision is a negotiated settlement rather than a ‘clear’ this or that, (handball, offside, etc).

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