We are on our way to Greenwich to see the time laboratory, the conventional origin of time. We came for business to London, but the history of the place is too big to restrict the travel to just work. For more than two years, we have to address the issue of alternative research, challenging conventional thought, understanding sentiment and a host of other ideas. We asked many questions. But the only question that really bothers or concerns the human today is the question of time.
What’s about time that makes it so important? The answer to “When?” is priceless. When will the Sensex bottom? When will the recession end? When will Gold reach 3,000 dollars? When will Oil reach 100 dollars again? When is it a good time to enter real estate? For the wise humans, Homo sapiens, there is no wiser question than the question of “When?” The question of time and future is why we also seek astrologers and ask them similar questions. When will I become rich? Or maybe, when will I die? The latter question is considered lesser important than the former one.
Time seems like a ‘Holy Grail’, with only the human psychology standing against it. The greed and fear flaws are enough for us to even screw this up, even if we knew “when”. Knowing it is one and believe it is another. Time creates everything and works against everything. This is what Saint Augustine (Augustine’s Time) tried addressing when he answered to a disciple questions. “What was God doing when he was not creating the universe?” He said, “There was no time before and after the universe”. The Saint tried explaining the profoundness of time in many of his teachings. He also said, “So, what is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I seek to explain it, I do not”.
We have been asking our own economic cycle questions knowingly and unknowingly regarding time for more than a decade now. And we are ready to take you through ‘time’ over the next few years now, maybe more. The subject is simple but comprehensive, explicitly connecting everything but implicit, broken but continuous.
If the subject was so big, then it should be widely researched and written about. We asked about books related to time across the host of bookstores in London. There were just two titles. One was ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking and a book with a similar title by Leofranc Holford-Strevens. The subject so big had barely two books available in London and three books talking on reading time, space and time, philosophy of time and time travel are available on the biggest online bookstore. How come, such a big aspect of our lives and we missed it?
The Time as we see is built around many assumptions. There are assumptions of linearity, assumptions of cyclicality, assumptions of periodicity and continuity linked with time. In the epics ascribed to ‘Homer’ and dating from the 8th to 7th centuries BC, the Greeks regarded ‘Chronos’ as the foundation of their culture, Chronos denoting a lapse of time. According to Strevens, “The more complex life becomes, the more sophistication is demanded of the intellect not merely to distinguish one year, month, day or subdivision of the day from other but to relate the years and so forth thus distinguished to each other”.
It’s not just economics, which has time as an underlying. But every aspect of science, philology, history, mathematics, capital market forecasting, behavioral finance has not only evolved with time but basis consequences on time. One might observe it as an uncanny coincidence, but historians work overlaps with time cyclists (Lamprecht and Strauss), Capital Market technicians connect their work with mathematicians (Robert Prechter with Fibonacci), Mathematicians and Physics talk about similar underlying ideas (Euclid, Kepler and Ohm), Economists, Physicists and Mathematicians using similar models (Modis, Stanley, Malthus, Verhulst), Linguists and Economists (Zipf and Pareto), Mathematicians and Father of Fractals Mandelbrot raising a similar idea what Elliott raised a few decades earlier. Why such overlap? Is this coincidence? Or is there a connection, which nobody saw till now? Is time connecting all this research from 300 BC? Time came before mathematics. It’s just that we started understanding it after we developed mathematics? Is there something bigger than mathematics? We will answer many of these questions in our thoughts ahead.
But what we can now tell you is that Excitement cycles as mentioned by Professor A L Tchijevsky recur over time. Weather and climate cycles of a thousand years occur over time. 1960-s, 1970’s social trends are defined over time. Time is a social construct and we see time through the life and nature around us. Understanding time can not only give a unifying theory to the research of a few thousand years but also help us understand the world we live in. Time evolves, oscillates and continues. Time comes before everything, even the measurement of modern distances came through time. And we believe that time as we measure today is flawed and the lunar Indian model is a better time measurement system than the clock which came after the sundial based system. It’s just that sun seemed brighter on the dial than the moon. We believe what we see and this is why understanding what we don’t see is a challenge.
Understanding time could bring more than a conventional thought down, it’s a revolution, which could rock the very foundation of economic thought or the geometric structures Euclid laid down in 300 BC. We are at the start of the journey, but if time is indeed the real mathematics, we could see high accuracy in time forecasts. Something like saying that what happened on Sensex in October 2008 is what is happening now in March, a time low. After which prices should move up for a month or two and then head into June. We can’t see as far in Jun now, whether Jun will be a higher low in Sensex or not. But at this stage, it seems a high probability case. From Jun global equity should start a 12 month-15 month rise on equity worldwide, the recession respite we are looking for. Let’s see how we tread on our time forecasting journey when we hit Greenwich meridian today.