The TriadCity Adventurer
Year of Rebirth 2
Month of Spiders 1, Year of Rebirth 2
The City's first Great New Year's Eve passed quietly last night without major celebrations.
Each 13th New Year begins a new Great Cycle: the World's major temporal and astrological division. While this division is ancient and traditional, it's remarkable nevertheless that the one just completed was the first in the City's known history. How is it possible for something to be at once ancient and brand new?
I caught up with Mark in his apartment, to ask him that question.
Occam: Many of us are confused by the fact that, while the City is very ancient, Time seems to have begun very recently. Exactly 13 years ago today, in fact. Can you explain?
Mark: Ugh. Well, it would be easier without this hangover. Darn smart juice. The basic answer is very simple. Time isn't linear in TC. Or more precisely, while Time is linear, all points on the time "line" are always present simultaneously. Thus the exact labeling of any point is basically arbitrary -- "Month of Spiders 1, Year of Rebirth 2", for instance -- that is to say, dependent on one's point of view. In order to provide a common point of reference, it was decided to standardize on the ancient notion of Great Cycles, although you'll still find many in TC who use other calendars. All equally arbitrary. Thus it is that we began measuring and chronicle-ing historical time just 13 years ago. I hope this makes sense.
(At this exact point in historical time, Mark's rather rambunctious next door neighbor, Frankenstein, and his little daughter, went running across their apartment, causing a small earthquake. Mark noticeably winced, while the lamp rattled on his desk.)
Occam: I see. Doesn't this imply that, while historical time existed before the first Great Cycle, which just ended, it was nevertheless unmeasurable?
Mark: Yep, that's about it. That's how some people look at it, anyway. Others prefer the more mechanical idea that time actually did begin exactly 13 years ago, in which case, all our ancient lore and legend is either complete nonsense, or is based on events that took place outside of time, or before the beginning of measurable time, or before time which can be labeled in a conventional way. Take your pick.
Occam: I must say, this all seems very metaphysical to me.
Mark: Me too. That's why I'm maybe not so good at answering your question. I really just do physics. You might talk to Poobah re metaphysical questions.
Occam: Indubitably. Quite right. Thank you for your time.
Mark: No worries!
Happy New Year, everyone. ~Occam
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