Back in college, when I had a philosophic disdain against "Time", I had sought to seize it by its throat, to no avail. Despite having been defeated by "Time" time and time again, however, I remained adamant. As a gesture of my dissent, I even made a conscious decision not to wear a wrist watch. The earth shattering consequences of this landmark decision proved to be nearly phenomenal, to me that is, at least.

Although I had to endure several impractical consequences due to my chronic cluelessness about time, I was able to observe life from the unique point-of-view of a timeless creature trapped in a time-constrained universe. The experiment taught me many things, chief among which was how to really think for myself.

In all humiliation, the first challenge I had to endure was how to tell time without a wrist watch of my own. In the days of the apostles, this seemed to have been not a big problem. They can tell time by the hour without needing a wristwatch!(see Acts 2:15) In my case, I have the option to look at other people's wristwatches. But that too was problematic because people live by varying personal time codes even when they live within the same time zone.

Some people make it a point to turn their watches 5 to 30 minutes in advance, while some are delayed by 5 to 10 or even 15 minutes. Now, how can I tell exactly what time it is without constantly asking them "hey, is that the exact time or are you just being hyperactive?"

Through sheer “hardship”, I learned to tell people apart based on the time code they live by. A-type personalities, for instance, want to live 20 to 30 minutes ahead of the rest while the less aggressive ones are content on being on time so they just set their time around 5 to 10 minutes advance. I noticed too that retired senior citizens are usually content to live around 5 minutes late. I concluded that a person with high Chronologic Quotient (CQ) is one who is consistently on time without tinkering his wristwatch. On the other hand, people who are punctual just because they adjusted their wristwatch can be called "Timeoholic".

(To this day, I still marvel at people who say advancing time on their wristwatch works. How could have they effectively fooled themselves? Maybe they just are just self-disciplined in a contrived way or have a remarkable ability to forget, I really don't know. I tried the same experiment myself and the only times it worked were if I accidentally forgot that I adjusted the time in the first place.)

My first victory in the battle against the legion of differing wristwatches came shortly after I invented a light saber, I mean a cognitive system, which I called a "Rational Standard for telling time when confronted with confusing information". It's a set of short decision-making rules I use so I don't have to ponder the universal question "what time is it, really?" whenever I am confronted with confusing time data. Here's an illustration of how it works in 3 simple rules...
When confronted with 2 or more conflicting time data
1.) The more "advanced" time code is to be preferred. (just to be on the safe side)
2.) When the variance between the time codes is 15 minutes or more, prefer the "late" one then add ten minutes. (again, to be on the safe side)
3.) When the variance is 30 minutes or more, disregard the one(s)
with the largest variance from the rest and choose the median value.

Wallclocks are generally more accurate than wristwatches so this standard don't apply to wallclocks. In fastfood stores, however, wallclocks are usually 10 minutes in advance-- presumably a febble attempt to drive away customers as soon as possible.

The use of a "Rational Standard" is actually the very application of the "scientific method" in not so scientific areas and I do not claim it to be mine. I remember having "invented" a similar standard regading the nature of "Truth". I formulated this independently when I was still in Highschool except I did not call it a "standard" then. Here it is:

In the face of two or more opposing "truths"...
1.) Only one can be true, the other(s) is(are) false.
2.) Otherwise, both are false.

Years later, when I heard bro Eli assert the same "rule", I knew he was talking sensibly...but that's another story.

It later dawned on me that the exciting thing about Rational Standard is its usefulness on practically every confusing issue or even confusing personal situations. My daily experiment with it caused me to write down several "statements of standard" on many personal issues. I eventually organized the whole thing in 1995 into a fool-proof, non-toxic, non-combustible, home-made and totally indigenous, personal philosophy, which I called "Definitism" (incidentally, I recently found out that there's this fictitious character in a novelby the name of Anna Granite who called her philosophy Definitism. The novel was published in 1998. Anna Granite was said to be a caricature of the real person Ayn Rand who espoused a philosophy called Objectivism. I never studied Ayn Rand's Objectivism although I now intend to just to see if there are any similarities with my Definitism. At any rate, I have already dropped Definitism in favor of true Christianity.)

This initial triumph of my Definitism against Time did not last. My experiment with Definitism, however, became the dominant theme of my personal journey at that time and I forgot my grudge against Time, afterall, in the bulwark of Mind, Time is powerless. Lately I’ve almost burst into laughter when I remembered that there was indeed such an episode in my angst-filled life when arrogance had a special place in my heart, when stupidity was the order of the day.

There is this passage in the book of Revelations I read lately that had me remember that I once launched a futile battle against Time. I realized, my battle may have been futile but my cause was nonetheless vindicated. Someday, Time will be effaced from off the scheme of reality and on that day my battle of old would have been won for me, at last.

(See also this post at Newsdrive)
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About the Author BAGWIS VIZCARRA Google+

Joe Vizcarra is a Manila-based independent writer. With an A.B. degree in Communication Arts, his professional background includes writing for local TV news channels, a PR & marketing agency, and a national government agency.


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