Prof. dr. Wubbo J. Ockels is a Dutch physicist, and also the Netherlands’ original astronaut. He is a Professor of Aerospace Sustainable Engineering and Technology at the University of Delft, and tries to stimulate a mentality change among Dutch citizens.
In his mind-bending TEDxAmsterdam talk, Ockels explains how ‘time’ is created by human beings, as a way our brains can make sense of gravity. The speed of light is constant, because it is made by us: it’s the clock by which we have calibrated our existence. Based on this premise, Ockels proposes a new way to explore life in our galaxy.
Reports on his talk
“The original Dutch astronaut, Professor Wubbo J. Ockels, sliced through the atmosphere of self-congratulation to give a mind-bending talk, based on his experiences in space. He started by berating the audience for pretending to understand the universe and mysteriously declaring, “I know what it is that you don’t know yet and it will change your life”. What we didn’t know, and were told, was that time is a creation of life, since it’s the only way our brains can make sense of gravity. This can be pithily put in the very post-Cartesian phrase: “I live, therefore time passes”. Such a view isn’t a new notion philosophically (Heidegger suggested being and time determine each other reciprocally), nor physiologically (which acknowledges time is a construct of the central nervous system) but it was not treated with seriousness in physics.”
- Idealize: Wubbo Ockels: De Nederlandse staat blundert
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- Studio ICT: Een spirituele maanlanding
And as a small bonus, here an interview with Wubbo Ockels, made at TEDxAmsterdam