Philosophy of Time

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Duke East Term Two, 2016


Philosophy of Time was taught by Jon Heaps (the renowned [ Snubhub]) and Eduardo Martinez (who coined the famous phrase, "Come on, guys..."). Class discussion ranged from time travel, to the universe, to what it means to be a person. Many philosophers were read in short amounts of time and it was revealed by Jon in the last week that such readings of philosophy should actually be given a much larger span of time to be read. A lot of Radiolab was listened to, and many films that may or may not have related to the class were watched. Once per week the class wrote an "exam" on a given topic to be analyzed by Jon and Eduardo. The class was different from most, as during breaks, instead of playing frisbee, they would lie on the grass in a giant cuddle puddle and have an existential crisis.

The PoT Heads


Jon enjoys:

  • Scandinavian death metal (not emo music, those are two very different things)
  • people not being "lowkey useless"
  • German idealist shade
  • taking pleasure in our existential crises.
  • maybe fishing? he thinks it sounds nice.
  • the class (he does not hate us)

Jon does not enjoy:

  • sticking to a schedule
  • philosophical arguments on coffee
  • the last week of class
  • babies (he believes they are boring)


Eduardo likes:

  • when no one's late to meet him on the quad (looking at you, Greg)
  • when everyone is"ready to ball"
  • powerpoints
  • the rare moments when the class is quiet
  • kinkshaming Lyn

and overall, thinks that "that's pretty sick" (said in intense British accent, of course).

Eduardo does not like:

  • not being able to see everyone while taking role
  • the class being disorganized (he's like a border collie herding cats)
  • being called "Daduardo"
  • the class yelling for Greg (and thus embarrassing him)
  • chaos
  • evening activities that used (and messed with) the classroom


organized alphabetically by last name with notable quotes/ actions under name and year in bold

  • Ava Booker 2
-the only reason our class retained any level of purity
-not ready to ball
  • Lyndsey Campbell 3
-Queen of the Queers 2017
-class mom
-'Hot fire, good good! 10/10 would do'
-ready to bawl
  • Patrick Corona 2
-insert poorly timed anti-joke here
-(written in chalk on the board) 'is time time?' also 'help'
-not ready to ball
  • Casey Epstein-Gross (not "Espstein" @maggie)(this is what you put down on that sheet @Casey) 2
-'Who needs Netflix and chill when you have Kierkegaard and despair?'
-'what kind of deep south type shit...' (after learning from Maggie that fried butter is indeed, a thing)
-ready to ball
  • Rosa Golchin 2
-always giggling... nobody ever knew why
-'If I eat this it'll be my eighth apple of the day'
-(continuation of above quote after being informed that doctors would never bother her) 'that's the issue, my mom's a doctor.'
-'I was like 'START CRYING!"'
-sometimes ready to ball
  • Katie Kirchner 4
-class vodka aunt
-'OK! I'm here to talk about death!'
-(Following above statement) 'Also, my name is Katie in case you didn't know, because I've literally never talked in this class.'
-(While jumping over a rope fence) 'PARKOUR!' (she missed, fell on the concrete and knocked over the entire line of fence)
-never ready to ball; doesn't even like balling
  • Alana Lutz 3
-highkey judged us all
-spoiler: we didn't score to well
-'Obviously someone's going to die, it's a movie.'
-(on groupme to Sarah) 'Too bad. [...] Death is absolute.'
-mostly ready to ball
  • Morgan Opela 4
-gave a solid final essay that finally ended the debate on teletransportation
-'I asked a guy to the dance and he didn't say no!'
-(later that week; before said dance) 'he forgot we were going to the dance together, but that's OK, I'm just happy I actually asked someone.'
-secretly Madison Kocian
-occasionally ready to ball
  • Jiyoung Park 3
-as sweet as the tears we cried were salty
-actual perfection™ (pt. 1)
-ready to ball; take over the class
  • Kareena Patel 2
-'my notebook is color-coded!' (it was a jumble of blue and pink ily tho)
-'lies' (on groupme in response to Yangqi saying that Solaris was good)
-sometimes ready to ball
  • Maggie Powell 3
-(when asked how gravity affects time) 'ummm... science?'
-'In my defense, she was all up in my face with that kazoo.' (in explanation to why she knocked Lyn's kazoo out of her mouth)
-quoted the Bee Movie to disprove the existence of the future
-ready to brawl
  • Emma Ramirez-Richer 4
-class wine mom
-ready to ball once; ended with mud all over her shoes and a failed cartwheel
  • Emma Reinisch 3
-'I don't get it... any of it'
- not afraid to speak out, which encouraged others to be comfortable asking questions
-ready to attempt to ball
  • Micah Reisner 3
-'I'm the gayest!'
-the class's Silly Putty provider
-insert analogy that doesn't make sense to anyone but them, Maggie and Morgan
-ready to ball/bawl/brawl
-Llama Mama 2016
-(literally every time he opened his mouth) 'In the words of...' or 'to quote ...'
-ready to ball
  • Abney Turner 3
-quiet in participation, but was probably one of the only ones who understood anything
-handwriting should be made into a font type
-actual perfection™ (pt. 2)
-not ready to ball
  • Sarah Vickers 2
-can use track legs to run away from problems (Kant)
-(on groupme to Alana) 'You don't understand me /insert yellow angry emoji and the rolling eyes emoji/(I am a rebellious teenager)'
-not ready to ball; ready to run after ball
  • Yangqi Zheng 3
-could read minds
-has interesting internet hobbies
-'I thought I kinda figured out how the universe works, but I talked to Eduardo and now I don't understand anything...'
-ready to ball ;) wbu

The Class Itself


On the first day of class, Jon warned, "This class is going to take away any normalcy you have left." No words could have been truer. The class, despite its chronic inability to concentrate, learned a lot about a ton of philosophers, how to make coffee, Russian filmmaking and "Basically, a lot of German idealist shade." -- Jon.

Class Rules

The formal class rules are:

  • Pay Attention
  • Ask Questions
  • Give Reasons
  • Be Responsible
  • Choose Fun

In the first week of class, Maggie, Emma and Micah noted that murder may be permitted under these rules. Jon disagreed.

Tip Rules, as determined by the class

Written in the form of ancient Grecian poetry Hesiod

Parenthesis used occasionally for clarification/references

Morgan, Lyn, Yangqi, Jiyoung and ____ (I'm sorry to whoever I forgot)) (please finish and add names if you have this)

"First, find your place. Prepare it so that woe might not befall you, nor the ire of your roommate. Upon the call of authority, follow in their stead, where you will be informed of what is right and proper. Beware, however, their words are mingled with lies. More shall happen amidst the night, but heed it not, for it is irrelevant. Much anguish shall be felt at break of day,but all shall be well after a little while, perhaps by accepting the downfall of your emotions. One should take care to be timely in meeting their class, lest they be smote* by the hot fire of [...]."

Casey, Emma, Katie, Sarah, and Alana

"When your parents drop you off, reject them and by no means let them talk to your room8 [yes, it really does say "room8", thanks to our resident hardcore parkour sk8r girl, Emma RR]. This is for the best. Establish your clique/cult immediately, then start hunting for a mate. On the first day, rules don't apply 'til suppertime. Tough out a blisteringly hot, 4-year-long night. You will not sleep and neither will your crying roommate. Do not comfort them. That would be a bonding overload. Upon emerging from your dorm, notice the conditions. If it is fair and exactly 78 degrees Fahrenheit, you are in Durham. This is a good check. Be wary at all mealtimes. Never take a tea that has been given to you. You must taste-test the teas personally every day. It's suggested that you bring your teacher a Saran-wrapped apple. You will not be the smartest in your class, and will have to rely on sucking up to your teacher. Periodically, check for your lanyard. If it is missing, expect heart failure within two hours, or death by starvation. By the time the sun dips to the west, your holy pilgrimage to the distant 9th Street is nigh. Upon descending into this fertile valley, feel free to feast upon caffeinated riches and rest your weary legs. Enjoy this moment, for it is the only freedom you are allotted. Evening is upon us. The encompassing darkness is optimal conditions for sneaking to other dorms where potential mates reside. Make use of one of these "hang out" spots:

  • The copious nooks of third floor Bassett,
  • Dorm benches after dark,
  • Second floor Brown closet,
  • And various stairwells.

On the second Monday, approximately the ninth sunrise, you will inevitably and inexplicably feel depressed and teary. Don some black clothes and lipstick. Turn on some Scandinavian death metal. On the second Tuesday, disguise your true-nerd nature by becoming a hipster. Flannel is not optional. On the second Wednesday, shield your young eyes. On the second Thursday, just put on some fandom crap and say it was 99%. You are also welcome to play Macklemore's iconic "Thrift Shop". The methods are of mysterious origins, but remember that you are absolutely devoted to TIP. Friday is a special day. You will know that when y o u r friends are excited to do physical activity out in the blazing sun, the dance has arrived. You have three and a half hours to prove your worth to the cult by means of expressional body and limb movement. You are not permitted to leave until you have produced slightly over one gallon of sweat and tears.

Soon after, the Tournament begins. The infamous laser dragons will fight the loathed staff in an ultimate war of flying discs. If you by chance take a blow to the head, explain you were hit in the shoulder. That is the simple one and only rule. After soreness overcomes your limbs, soothe your pain with some black market Tiger Balm which you can be sure to find on the second floor of Pegram. Now its time to leave. Cry a lot and give the llama a Kiss! Bye Forevs!"

It should be noted that this group unfortunately ran out of time and had to rush the ending, but they send their regards :(

Maggie, Micah, Kareena, and Patrick

"On the day when the great bird carries you to the Eastern Realm of Knowledge, arrive before the sun reaches mid-sky. Find your residence quickly, and pray to the residential gods that you acquire the best resting place. Seventeen hours past the new day meet with your fellow disciples of the Residential God to traverse across the field of four to the market to acquire superior nourishment to the group of Greggory(see first entry of rules). Then proceed to where the officials will inaugurate you as a citizen, and teach you the laws of the land. Confer with your fellow disciples before slumber; do this always. Rise early, before the sun, and prepare yourself for your first day of enlightenment. Find other worshipers and journey to reach your assistant professor. In the hall of knowledge, lend your attention to the teacher of education, and prepare yourself and your mind for wisdom. This routine shall occur each twenty-four hours without the holy day of rest. In the late hours, you shall participate in activities of mandatory fun with your fellow disciples.

Remember to always eat to achieve optimal nourishment at the three suppers. You must do your laundry no less than once. Don't set foot beyond the fire border and/or blue water line. If you are found wandering beyond your sleeping quarters past the twenty-second hour, you will proceed to endure immense trouble. Also, you are only allowed to use your electricity boxes during dedicated hours.

Within the first seven sunsets, the elders will demonstrate the customs of old. Although this event is not mandatory, be sure to attend for the sake of your societal understanding. Each seven days an annual ball will be hosted on the circular field of four. Learn the steps to each dance on the first night of festivities, then participate fully upon hearing designated musical options. The Knights of Residence will prevent canoodling with their steeds, so be certain to save room for the Llama.

You may participate in both silent and vocal performances to the residential gods. When the elder forces battle for the title of best (silent performance), make certain not to support the eldest performers. There will be an intermission, after which the elders have been succeeded, and a new crop of disciples will attend the Eastern Realm of Knowledge. Those returning, and becoming elders, will carry on traditions, and thus continue the cycle once more."


Philosophers, Ideas, and Other Things Discussed

not in any order currently, will be by chronology soon :)

John Locke

Discussion included:

  • consciousness
  • what defines a person
  • what defines a man
  • what makes one thing different from another
  • what makes something the same
  • identity with conscience vs. identity with body

see 'Parfit'

The Physics of Time

By Dan Falk Discussion included:

  • Block Universe theory
  • Growing Universe Theory
  • The arrow of time
    • Entropy
    • Gravity's effect on time
  • The existence (or nonexistence) of the Future

the class had two views on the article and a quote from it perfectly depicts the sides; "Carrol said he agreed with everything she had said; Elitzur said he 'wanted to scream' during her talk. (He later clarified: 'If I bang my head against the wall, it's because I hate the future.')"

Falk, Dan, and Philip Cheung. "A Debate Over the Physics of Time." Quanta Magazine. Quanta Magazine, 19 July 2016. Web.


Discussion included:

  • the definition of time
    • not the measurement, but the measured
  • the existence of the past and future
    • there is only the present (?)

Our Time and Theirs

By Anthony F. Aveni Discussion included:

  • the rhythm of life
  • modern perception of history is unnatural
  • Time as an idea and the measure of duration between events
  • a lot of analogies and metaphors
  • not everyone views time the same
    • people in the past
    • different cultures

Sir Isaac Newton

Discussion Included:

  • Absolute:
    • space
    • motion
    • time
  • everything is relative (?)


Discussion included:

  • general theory of relativity
    • gravity's affect on time
  • theory of special relativity
    • most accurate model of motion at any speed


Discussion included:

  • history into three categories
    • monumental
      • the past as a model for the present
    • antiquarian
      • the past should be preserved and remembered
    • critical
      • let go of the past to live in the present

Hesiod: Works and Days

Discussion included:

  • ancient Grecian poetry
  • analogies for time
  • how to spend time/life


Discussion included:

  • space
    • outer-sense
  • time
    • inner-sense
  • the necessity of time and space for existence


Discussion included:

  • there is only existence at one point
    • present of things past; memory
    • present of things present; sight
    • present of things yet to come; expectation
  • we measure the memory of time passing
  • there is memory, experience, and expectation only

Nuclear Storage

Discussion included:

  • Yucca Mountain storage facility of nuclear waste
    • made to be safe for one million years
  • how to keep it safe
  • how to warn future inhabitants
  • doing something right takes time


Discussion included:

  • teletransportation
    • is it the same person/man/human
  • qualitatively identical vs. numerically identical

see John Locke

Logical Fallacies

Discussion included:

  • equivocation
    • use of the improper definition for a word in an argument
  • slippery slope
    • rejecting a claim by appealing to a large chain of negative events without evidence of said chain of events occurring
  • straw-man
    • distorting an opponent's argument to make it easier to attack
  • red herring
    • changing topics to avoid addressing/discussing a question
  • appeal to authority
    • making a claim by appealing to an authority that already endorses that claim, without proving the expertise of said authority
  • false dilemma
    • giving a misleading choice between a certain number of options when there are more options available


Discussion included: (will add once I have more info)


Discussion included:

  • Enuma Elish
    • over time
    • polytheistic
    • Marduk (what a stud)
    • humans to serve
      • farmers got fed up of dying and left
  • Judeo/Christian creation
    • monotheistic
    • instantanious
    • Abraham and Sarah scam kingdoms/regions and get rich

Movies Watched


  • long nature shots
  • Russian film from 1970's
  • what makes a human the same

Tree of Life

  • the meaning of life
  • more long nature shots
  • how time can affect a view on an event/ series of events


  • what is reality?

Russian Ark

  • 90 minutes of confusion


Days of Heaven


The Eagleman Stag

Things Listened To


Pitch Dropping
Immortality and Cells
Photography and Time
Beethoven for 24 Hours


Norwegian Black Metal
  • Ten Stories


The Practice of Mindfulness

For more quotes and inside jokes, the Pot Page(s) are right here: