Dog Days

365.25 days.

The length of one year, right? But what is a year? It’s a completely arbitrary unit of time, it just happens to make sense because we are here on Earth. It is a frame of reference that we’ve divided into months, weeks (and from there the rotation of the Earth is a day divided into hours, minutes and seconds.) None of this makes any sense if you are somewhere other than Earth, and why how the Earth moves around the sun and not the lunar cycles?

Take Mars for example: 686.971 earth days to a ‘year’, and 24 earth hours 39 earth minutes and 35 earth seconds to a ‘day’. Think about that for a moment while we talk about dogs.

I think it is pretty common knowledge that dogs age about 7 years to every one for a human. At first this may seem to mean very little, but imagine if our entire lifespan as a human was wrapped up in 1/7 the time we normally have. What if we had winters that lasted several years rather than several months? What if we had summers that spanned the entirety of our puberty, and had to build our careers in the fall? Considering perception is such a large part of our reality, how would that affect our life?

You may not know it, but time is not the same everywhere. Gravity affects time in some really strange ways (c.f. gravitational time dilation) and as we venture further out into space this is going to become a big issue. One of the things that will have to become a reality for a unified advance in that front is the development of a ‘standard of time.’ We’re already seeing it happen here and now, with the International Dateline and Grand Meridian Time. These concepts will have to be expanded, sometimes with a sacrifice of accuracy, for us to continue to function as a species, but the value of collaborating as a species far outweighs local accuracy. Community is more important than perfection. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is strange that an absolute truth, the great, supernatural cores of reality are so often discarded (or condemned) for contemporary scientific discovery. Particularly when the two do not conflict. These truths are the things that make us human, they are the very things that unite us.


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