Universal Time Front Page

Universal Time - Julia's Introduction

I believe that no one else has put forward this novel way of conceptualising our physical existence within "time". On behalf of the family and friends of Bernard Newsam, I have therefore catalogued all the papers relating to my fathers ideas, which he eventually entitled "Universal Time", with a view to making his concept public. He always wanted to launch this into the world himself; and hoped to receive feedback from anyone interested enough to read it. However, as his health began finally to fail he literally ran out of time to write what he had originally intended to be a book, and in early 1994 he circulated a shortened version to a few interested friends and relations. One friend in scientific publishing was kind enough to forward it to one of his assessors.

Good writing sometimes has that "aha" factor, when something rings true because it expresses something that the reader feels they know already, but did not know they knew. In the case of "Universal Time" several readers said they knew it already, full stop. My father expected people to find his idea initially difficult to accept, but instead, the predominant feedback, at least from the academic world, was that he was contributing nothing useful. We appear to have an idea which on the face of it says nothing at all!

This final rejection led my father to write his "Last Word" on the subject in November 1994, reiterating his central points. He declared himself "happy" with that brief statement, knowing that he might not live to receive any serious acceptance of it.

I believe that he did in fact possess a high degree of understanding and insight with a grasp of this subject which surpassed that of some theoretical physicists. Even making allowances for a degree of arrogance in his own opinion of his place in the history of scientific thought, I do not think he spent his life attempting to express an idea that is merely the intellectual equivalent of proposing to use degrees Centigrade rather than Fahrenheit. Unfortunately he did not possess the writing talent and persistence, plus the time and resources to follow it through to the point of publishing a readable book.

We, his family and friends, now only have what little he did leave in writing, plus our own fallible memories of his many verbal explanations. When experiencing difficulty in getting all of his thoughts clearly on to paper, if he thought an explanation was going to be misinterpreted he would leave it out, rather than include a badly expressed idea. Finding some of the resultant text disjointed, I was tempted to correct it or even to rewrite parts altogether, but have chosen not to do this for fear of introducing my own errors. In an ideal world I might have recorded some of our conversations in writing, and checked their validity with him. Unfortunately I do not have any such useful notes of my own, so, rather than attempting my own presentation I propose including some of his own private notes and earlier drafts as reminders of the way he used to think, hoping these extra papers will do something towards fleshing out his patchy finished writing.

Julia Newsam May 2002