Briefly speaking… it doesn’t. There is no such thing as time. There is only a perceptual measurement which humans created as a ladder to crawl through their sentience. Only the continuum exists.
Neil Simon died a few days ago. He was a prolific and very successful American playwright and screenwriter. His work is performed regularly throughout the U.S. and the world for that matter. But less so, each year. Before the middle of this century (if we’re still here), his name and works will be trundled around only in museums and high-school drama classes. So what?
Eugene O’Neill was the only American playwright to ever receive a Nobel prize. A contemporary of Shaw, he challenged and expanded the inherence and boundaries of theatre and with that, all media. The adaptation of his plays to film never quite fit. His great experimental works, such as The Great God Brown, are nearly forgotten. It’s ironic that he is somewhat remembered by the Hollywood version of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, one of his lesser plays, lesser still in its film version. O’Neill has been trundled around for years. So what?
So this. The perspective of history is a guide-thread in the web of human knowledge. It is the memory in that perspective that defines who we are, where we are, and what it is we are doing. Without it, we drift… as the vast mass (say 99.9%) of us has, since our first ancestors tumbled out of Africa. Other than with scholars and cognoscenti, the memory of those writers, other writers, artists, warriors, politicians, criminals, et al., will simply, as always, dissipate and fade away.
In the next 20 years, we will have generations throughout the world who are so overwhelmed by information and imagery they will be able to recognize themselves only in mirrors and digital screens. No perspective, no memory, just… what-they-see-is what-they get… and then don’t.
It is becoming harder and harder to be concerned about the daily panorama of petty things: taxes, trade, nuclear destruction, environmental destruction. Petty because we are about to venture out into our solar system and beyond (if we’re still here) and so few understand how small we are, how vast the universe is, how much of the future is the present.
Elon Musk said recently that we must merge human intelligence with so-called “artificial intelligence” (as if there’s any difference) to avoid becoming irrelevant. He’s wrong. As our brief perception of time exponentially accelerates, we are finally able to witness our species’ evolution. A.I. truly stands for “As Is.” Our progeny will emerge and expand into a natural, immortal order. We in effect are currently the “artificial” intelligence!.
Briefly speaking… as one of the great metamystical philosophers of the 20th century, Lenny Bruce, said:
“And that’s that!”