Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time/Money Duality

This post can be considered the part-II of one of my previous posts - LATE. The movie "In Time" was the major motivation behind this post.

Time spent and perceived.
I have heard the phrases "Don't waste money!" and "Don't waste time" more often than any other suggestions asking not to waste something. "Don't waste electricity", "Don't waste water", and other similar suggestions are indeed the derivatives of "Don't waste money", or are driven by some sentiments such as "Don't waste food - give it to the poor instead!" We can simply conclude that "Money" and "Time" are considered two equivalent and most valuable assets. We spend money to save time, and also spend time to save or earn some money. I see this duality as the reason behind the routine of the humans. Everyone makes the world a better  ('better' is a relative term. so someone's better may be another's worse though) place to live, at least by a tiny bit, through their job and otherwise, by investing their time.

Being a complex quantity, Time has its own real and imaginary counterparts. Each of us has 24 hours. But the effective time differs from person to person. I feel, in terms of physics, we can't define Time as a vector or a scalar rigidly. May be, we should research further on the nature of the multi-dimensional time!

If we consider time as a complex number, what we measure will be the time's projection on the x-axis, the real counterpart of the complex quantity. When we are waiting for something or someone even a few minutes go like an hour - we can explain this using the above "Complex-time" concept. 

"Busy" is a relative term. I can be busy for task-1 or person-1, but may be available for task-2 or person-2.

The time and the money spent and the duality
"Can you spend five minutes with me regarding this project?"
"Sorry, I am afraid. I have to catch the train in 5 minutes to my home."
"Oh, it is fine. I am also on the same route. Let's discuss on the train"
Now, I am not busy for the discussion, since the talk is not going to consume my time.

Currently, it is impossible for us to travel by time, or purchase it. So either we spend much time or less of it - we can earn time relatively, but not absolutely. In natural terms, we can't earn time, but just spend it effectively. Time does have a monetary value. The In Time  movie attempts to make Time as money, focusing on the time-money duality. It discusses the sharing of time, and transfer of time between different individuals. The rich have more time, and lesser the poorer.

Since Time is used as the money, the rich have more money, making them living forever, almost, where the poor keep running searching for time, awaiting their end, everyday. For them, "tomorrow is a luxury they (you) can't afford" and even idling becomes costly (of course, idling costs in the real world too, in the time scale, as of the above image).

Wish if we can buy some time, utilizing this time/money duality in the future.

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