If you read these posts, you’ll know that I’m not a physicist or a philosopher, and really, to address the issue that is on my mind just now, I need to be either, or, preferably both.  I am puzzled about time.  About a specific feature or aspect of time.  I’ve been thinking about it for some time and will probably be ruminating on it for some time to come; and I’m considering it now.  But my puzzle is: What is “now”?   Is there a “present”?  If so, what is it?

OK, it’s a weird question but I’d like to know what you think.  Most people have never thought about it.  At least in all my 66+ years (sigh) I think I’ve only heard / read about the issue a couple of times.   This will take a bit of explaining.

I have no trouble conceptualizing the “past.”  For most of us, including me — when I’m not doing the hard-core academic historiographical thing (which I do enjoy doing, of course) — the “past” is simply everything that has happened before.  (When doing the academic thing I often talk about “the past” as that which we can *establish* as having happened before, but leave that aside for now.)   OK, so far so good.  And if the the past is what has happened, then the “future” is what will happen. Great.

But what is the present?

It seems kind of obvious until you think about it.  The present is

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