Time: Liquid and Lucid

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dragon wench
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Time: Liquid and Lucid

Postby dragon wench » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:53 am

Have you ever noticed how the passing of time always seems to vary? I'm not just talking about old clicheed adages like "time flies when you are having fun." Though, that can be true.

More so, I mean the way that time seems to somehow contract or expand, almost creating a sense that you have stepped into some kind of alternate dimension where your awareness of time passing has become subtly altered.

I just got back from nine days of vacation. We flew out to the central part of the continent where we combined exploring and time for us with visiting my SO's parents and attending a family reunion.
Those nine days seemed far longer. I feel as though I have been away months rather than just a few days.

Or there is the case of friendships, where you have known somebody for years, sometimes even intimately (emotionally and/or physically), yet in some ways it feels as though you only met yesterday.

I have always found it fascinating how the passage of time seems to bend.. but for some reason it really struck me on this occasion while away. Maybe it was especially amplified because I had been under considerable personal stress for several months, and perhaps taking off for a break put some kind of internal coping mechanism into high gear. I'm not sure, just speculating here.

Anyway, I'd be curious as to any thoughts on the notion of time passing.
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Postby Xandax » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:59 am

They did an "experiment" (: laugh: ) of this on Brainiac on Discovery, that time parses faster when having a good time.

Okay - experiment is perhaps a big word when on Discovery, but they had 1 person doing something boring and 1 doing something fun (proberly had something to do with women, I can't remember :D ) for 30 minutes - and the one doing boring stuff believed 40 minutes had passed and the one doing fun stuff thought 20 had passed.

But yes - I think everybody notices it, and I'm sure it is some brain-stuff which I don't know anything about - which makes it so.
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Postby fable » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:07 am

Xandax wrote:But yes - I think everybody notices it, and I'm sure it is some brain-stuff which I don't know anything about - which makes it so.


My wife doesn't notice it. She insists time is completely linear and constant. I insist that as time is a measurement, the measuring object, that which is measured, and that which observes the measuring are all subject to time--and therefore suspect. What's more, I *know* time moves slower if she's listening to a tape by that wretched group ABBA.
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Postby Xandax » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:14 am

fable wrote:My wife doesn't notice it. She insists time is completely linear and constant. I insist that as time is a measurement, the measuring object, that which is measured, and that which observes the measuring are all subject to time--and therefore suspect. What's more, I *know* time moves slower if she's listening to a tape by that wretched group ABBA.


Well - our messaurement of time doesn't change :D (even when listening to ABBA :p ).
Our meassurement - overall - is a very good one. Planetary revolvment around the Sun and around itself.
It is something which we'd be able to communicate with aliens when we see them here, because it is a physical observable indicator. And then we'd be able to compare it to the aliens planet's revolvment around their star, and possible around it self to create a common sense of the understanding of time meassurement.

However, if time itself is liniar and constant, meaning events have happened and can never happen again and they happened excatly at time X - well that is an entierly different speculation. It could very well be that time is indeed not liniar but more sporadic, thus just by coincidence occuring that time flucturates when a person has fun and back again when he isn't :D
This would however mean that unless time is individual - your fun will influence on my time perception..... :speech:

Or, maybe I should just go home from work.
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Postby Chimaera182 » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:06 am

Oh, I can attest to this personally; in fact, I've been doing nothing but complaining about it for the past several days.

This summer has been completely boring to me, a never-ending supply of absolutely nothing to do coupled with the fact that I was doing absolutely nothing to begin with. As a result, each day seemed like any other; the only way to distinguish the days was by what was on TV, and that was only to tell me it was the weekend (gosh, not having a job is nice :D ). One week ago, I bought three games, one of which I began to play quite religiously. I was so into the game, so having fun, that the hours just melted away. Suddenly, I looked at the calendar and realized, "Oh (expletive)! The semester's starting next week!" Ever since that realization, the days began to go by even faster, until suddenly here I am, back in university again. -.- And just after having purchased fun games to pass the time, too.

I've been wondering lately, actually, why it is that time seems to pass so quickly when we're older and so slowly when we're younger, and I think I know why now. When we're younger, what do we yearn for? To get older. Why? Some want to get out of school, some want to get a car, some want to become independent of their parents, some want to go away to college, some want to drink legally... a vertiable poopoo platter of reasons to get older. So time drudges by ever so slowly, until the day(s) of vindication arrive(s). What do we have to look forward to after we're 21 (thinking in US legal drinking age here)? Not a whole lot. We have the occasional goals, true, like maybe buying our first home or a new car, but we have no really defined set of goals after that to aspire to, to wait for. Instead, what do we the older people do? We wish we were younger. Suddenly, we look to distant ages with fear, and that fear makes time go faster. Suddenly, we're being propelled towards middle age and our bodies falling apart on us. It's no wonder time speeds up the older we get. :(
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Postby [Generic] » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:40 am

I'm not sure if I can add something intelligent to this conversation, but I agree that time seems to pass faster if you're having a good time (I think that is part of what you're talking about).

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Postby C Elegans » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:06 am

dragon wench wrote:More so, I mean the way that time seems to somehow contract or expand, almost creating a sense that you have stepped into some kind of alternate dimension where your awareness of time passing has become subtly altered.


My perception and subjective experience of time is very irregular compared to the objective time, and I am quite used to just ignoring this. I often feel two weeks have passed when it's merely a day, and sometimes (very rarely though) I feel like there are "gaps" in time, it just passes by without me having any conscious experience of it so it's just like it has disappeared.

Time perception has a relationship to state of mind and state of consciousness. This is quite complicated and I won't go into any details, but higher arousal level like the so called "flow" state are associated with a slower time experience.

In my personal case, I am very lucky because I perceive time as passing more slowly the more fun I have and the more concentrated am :)

Or there is the case of friendships, where you have known somebody for years, sometimes even intimately (emotionally and/or physically), yet in some ways it feels as though you only met yesterday.


This is something completely else. It's also quite complicated, but it is for sure related to what is the core features of your relationship and how stable are those features, and what is your reference frames. It is also related to how memory function works - our memory reconstructs reality and constantly integrate the past with the present which also can result in a feeling of complete familiarity since part of this process is altering our memories to fit the present information. For those of you who are interested in such things, I heartily recommend Antonio Damasio's "Descarte's error" and "The feeling of what happens".
http://www.uihealthcare.com/depts/med/neurology/neurologymds/damasioa.html
Damasio is a neuroscientist, but he is one of the best popular science writers I know.

Regarding friends, yes I also have some friends who I may not have been in contact with for a long time, but when we have it feels like yesterday. I also have some friends who, shortly after I met them, felt like I had known them for ages.

I have always found it fascinating how the passage of time seems to bend..


Curved spacetime, eh? :D

Xandax]
Okay - experiment is perhaps a big word when on Discovery wrote:

Far to big, yes, - "experiment" is a word that usually denotes a condition of systematic data collection where possible error sources are controlled as much as possible. In human research where only 1 subject or 1 subject in each condition is used, the term "case study" is more correct.

Well - our messaurement of time doesn't change (even when listening to ABBA ).


Objective time measurement and human perception and interpretation of time, is not necessarily well correlated. In my own case, they don't seem to be correlated at all :D

@Chimaera and Generic: The most common explanation of why we perceive a certain amount of time, for instance a year, as longer when we are children than when we are adults, is that the perception of one year is relative to how long time we have lived. When you are 5 years, 1 year is 20% of your entire life, and about half of the time you can remember. When you are 40 years, one year is only 2.5% of your life.
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Postby Chimaera182 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:18 am

C Elegans wrote:@Chimaera and Generic: The most common explanation of why we perceive a certain amount of time, for instance a year, as longer when we are children than when we are adults, is that the perception of one year is relative to how long time we have lived. When you are 5 years, 1 year is 20% of your entire life, and about half of the time you can remember. When you are 40 years, one year is only 2.5% of your life.

I know that's the most common explanation; mine was just the sort of conclusion I came to recently when thinking about this subject.
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Postby C Elegans » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:33 am

Chimaera182 wrote:I know that's the most common explanation; mine was just the sort of conclusion I came to recently when thinking about this subject.


This "living in the future" that you describe, is an efficient method to not being very happy and to experience stress and dissatisfaction. Learning to live in the moment, and being "mindful" is a key to cease living mostly for the things that will happen in the future. "Mindfulness" is a vague term, but it denotes a high degree of focus on what is actually happening and what you are actually doing right exactly now in this moment.

Personally, I was never bored and not looking forward to getting older when I was young, on the contrary I was extremly (in fact far too extremly) "living for the day". I think "hyperactive" sums it up pretty well :D
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Postby Littiz » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:40 pm

C Elegans wrote:This "living in the future" that you describe, is an efficient method to not being very happy and to experience stress and dissatisfaction. Learning to live in the moment, and being "mindful" is a key to cease living mostly for the things that will happen in the future. "Mindfulness" is a vague term, but it denotes a high degree of focus on what is actually happening and what you are actually doing right exactly now in this moment.

Uh, I'll have to agree with you CE, actually because I know well what happens when one DOESN'T act as you suggest... :rolleyes:

[SIZE="1"]Sorry about entering the discussion so abruptly, but nostalgia at last hit me, so I passed by and noticed this thread...
Uhm seems like a WHOLE era since I left this forum.
Happy to see many of you guys (whom I rarely agreed with ;) ) are still around... I've spotted CE (of course), Fable, Chanak, dragon wench... all of you have become Moderators, SuperModerators or SuperAgents by now, but whatever :p
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Postby C Elegans » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:50 pm

Littiz? Sorry for spamming..but hi there and many congrats to the world cup! I am fine, hope you are too! :)
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Postby dragon wench » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:53 pm

Hello Littiz,
good to see you! And yes..I concur... living in the future and/or imaginary is highly self-destructive

Things are alright!
You? Feel free to drop by the Gull's Roost Pub thread, should you wish to chat ;)

@Everyone else,
I'll try to reply when I head has cleared :)

EDIT:
just saw CE's post above. I'm not excessively worried about spam ;)
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Postby wing » Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:16 pm

this is probably completely wrong, but i think that when you're doing something boring, your mind doesn't bother to try to remember as much. but when we're having fun we try to remember more of it. it seems kind of backwards, but it made sense to me before. i have to think about it more. maybe it'll make sense again. :confused:
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Postby Kipi » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:10 am

dragon wench wrote:Have you ever noticed how the passing of time always seems to vary? I'm not just talking about old clicheed adages like "time flies when you are having fun." Though, that can be true.

Have never really thought it by this way, until very recently.

Yesterday I started to think my last 8 months. It feels like I was just few days ago "celebrating" that I have only 300 days of service left... but now the count is 130...
So, I begun to wonder where did those 170 days go. :eek:
I mean, it's almost half a year! :speech:

To anybody who says that time doesn't change it's space, I can honestly quarantee that it really does, the above is very good example of that.
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Postby Xandax » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:45 am

Kipi wrote:<snip>
To anybody who says that time doesn't change it's space, I can honestly quarantee that it really does, the above is very good example of that.


That's not time changing. That is your perception of it. I'll be very suprised if your clock suddenly started counting double for everybody :D



(but then again - I can't remember much of the last 170 days, so perhaps it isn't me who's getting absentminded ... perhaps it is you playing with space-time :D )
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Postby Kipi » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:59 am

Xandax wrote:That's not time changing. That is your perception of it. I'll be very suprised if your clock suddenly started counting double for everybody :D

:p
That was what I meant, and you surely know it :D ;)
(but then again - I can't remember much of the last 170 days, so perhaps it isn't me who's getting absentminded ... perhaps it is you playing with space-time :D )

Damn, you caught me :( :laugh:
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Postby Littiz » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:37 pm

@CE: I see you remember my fanatism about the world cup :D
I hope I matured a bit since then, but it sure has been funny this time, going crazy with friends and family members of ALL ages and genders :D

@dragon wench: yes, everything adequately fine, I'd say, thank you!
I hope I'll be able to chat with you all now and then!

Truly sorry about my spam here, won't happen again :o
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Postby C Elegans » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:35 pm

Littiz wrote:@CE: I see you remember my fanatism about the world cup :D
I hope I matured a bit since then, but it sure has been funny this time, going crazy with friends and family members of ALL ages and genders :D


Of course I remember, I am a football lover myself although I doubt no Swede ever comes close to an Italian! :D And I hope you maturing has only made your love for football more mature, not decreased in any sense!

To get back on topic:

[quote="Wing]
this is probably completely wrong"]

Well, this is exactly what I experience, and for me it is part of what makes time appear as going faster when I am doing something boring. First, low arousal level (ie level of wakefulness) makes time appear faster to me because I am not as aware and vigilant. Second, in retrospect it seems as if time has passed even faster because I don't remember much due to lack of focus and as you say, I don't bother elaborating or associating the material to anything because it's so boring, so then I don't remember much either.
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Postby Bloodstalker » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:26 pm

I always looked at it as if my mind had a clock that was constantly ticking. Now, if I'm bored, inactive, or anything like that, the ticking gets louder and more noticable. This causes me to focus on the time passing, kinda like watching a clock, and time just drags on. If I am active or really interested in something, then the ticking isn't noticed, and the clock just fades into the background and hence I'm not aware the time is passing. Thus, when I'm having fun, I lose track of time because my mind is engaged.

As far as time speeding up when you get older, I always thought that was just a product of how I measure time now. When I was a kid, I had no real measure of time beyond school or summer break, so there wasn't much notice of the smaller periods like weeks and so on. When I got older, I started working for a living, and suddenly time began to be measured by two week periods from paycheck to paycheck. As a result, since I'm now moving on two week intervals, that just seems to move faster than if I were moving on nine months of school and three months of summer. If that makes any sense :D
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Postby wing » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:49 pm

Bloodstalker wrote:As far as time speeding up when you get older, I always thought that was just a product of how I measure time now. When I was a kid, I had no real measure of time beyond school or summer break, so there wasn't much notice of the smaller periods like weeks and so on. When I got older, I started working for a living, and suddenly time began to be measured by two week periods from paycheck to paycheck.


i remember hearing something about that. its that when you're, say, 10, a year is 1/10th of your life. when you're 90, a year is 1/90th of your life, so it seems shorter.
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