Friday, July 25, 2008

The Twins

You know how there's that example they use to describe relativity stuff where there's these two guys (usually twins), and the one guy stays on the planet and lives out his normal life, and the other guy goes into space, and the one in space flies around really fast for a while and then he goes home and when he gets back his twin brother is ten years older than him?

'Cause like, moving at faster speeds makes time slow down for the guy doing it, you always hear how "the scientists" have done experiments with atomic clocks and reproduced the effects of that "twins" example.

And that's all fine and good and whatever.

But what gets me going is if you change the story of the twins a little.

Where you have the spaceship orbit the planet instead of just flying around haphazardly, and you put a window on the spaceship so the twins can watch each other.

And then you really get into how both twins experience time at different rates, how our brains operate at a certain speed, and take so many pictures per second, and how the twin in the spaceship experiences time passing more slowly than his brother on the ground does, he takes less pictures per second compared to the twin on the ground who isn't moving as quickly and experiencing time passing as quickly.

So the guy on the ground actually experiences time in greater detail, at a higher resolution, because he's moving more slowly, right?

The dude in the spaceship, from the point of view of the guy on the ground, is moving all slowly inside the spaceship, because the spaceship is hauling ass.

And the people on the ground, from the point of view of the guy in the spaceship, are whipping all about at super speeds ('cause the spaceship guy is experiencing time passing more slowly, and taking less pictures per second, which makes the "movie" playing on the ground seem to speed up).


So the slow moving dude on the ground is actually more dangerous than the fast moving guy, 'cause he can effectively move and react to things and notice stuff at super speeds compared to spaceship man.

That's what weird about it to me, y'know, the way that they always make it out like the dude on the ground is totally getting ripped off and aging quicker, when he isn't aging quicker, he's actually living and doing everything at super high speeds because the "spaceship" he's on is moving slow.

While its the guy in the spaceship that is totally at a disadvantage, if the twins got in a fight or something, 'cause he's all like, turning into a turtle and going into hibernation due to the effects of high speed flight.

See, there's actually a bit of a military advantage to stopping and smelling the roses and shit.

Actually I think some of that gets canceled out by the whole acceleration and deceleration thing, but whatever, the guys who thought of that stupid twins thing didn't even bother to think about the fact that a brain is a machine that needs to operate in time-space just like everything else so its not like I'm the one that's slacking on the job or anything heh.

1 comment:

Jeffool said...

You absolutely need to read Cringely's note on squirrels (or listen to the podcast of it, which is linked just under the title.)