I just read a piece in the NY Review of Books about Time and Space. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/jun/06/time-regained/ There were a couple things about this piece that I liked. First was the nap that the picture of Albert Einstein triggered. I was already struggling with the subject matter, (oh that non-intuitive space-time continuum stuff!) but when I came to the picture of Abert’s smiling face, it was just too much inferiority-feeling to deal with so I fell blissfully asleep. When I woke up I realized I had solved the mystery of the Universe! Just kidding. When I woke up I felt a little less tired and continued reading.
Second thing I liked is I kind of understood the piece after all. I think I did anyway. My summary: It’s not time that is relative to space and motion, it’s more the other way around, with time being more or less stable and space being the temporal and provisional manifestation of other, prior stuff happening underneath. This seems right to me, not that I would know, or that what I think about it matters. But in a subject area where I flounder, it was comforting to feel I was a little more on solid ground, even if the ground isn’t solid anywhere ever.
And the upshot of it all? New brain research is telling us that the things that we think about change the structure and function of the brain and I’m hoping that if I think about this enough I will be able to use my newly constituted mind and the instability of matter to change this peanutbutter and jelly sandwich here in front of me into a plate of hot Buffalo wings, and the cholesterol in them into flavonoids, in the due course of measureable Lunch Time.