Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Passage of Time

by Chris Chaos

I had a question about an observation that I had over the last few years....

Has anyone noticed that it appears that the passage of time seems to be going faster the older you get? Does it seem like the days, weeks, months and years are rolling by incredibly quick? For me it seems as if time started to gain acceleration when I was about 22 years old. I have always kept busy with schooling, work, hobbies and other pursuits in life so my time has always been occupied.

Now I know as a kid time seems to take forever since you are constantly looking forward to things: birthdays, Holidays, trips, your 13th b-day, your 18th b-day etc.... When you have your eye on a date when something exciting happens time feels like it never moves.

Now flash forward to adulthood, you are working on college, a job, a career, paying bills, having kids and the daily grind. You are constantly busy and bogged down with life that you do not have the time to stop and smell the roses per say.

Quite a few other adults that are doing something with their life have stated similar observations. On the flip side I noticed that people that have nothing going for them in life state the opposite, they can be heard stating, "I am so bored, I cannot wait for today to end." Why so you can do the exact same life loafing that you did today?
 Passage of time
The times that I seem to notice the most (not due to ques such as alarm clocks) are 10 am, 12 noon, 3pm, 6pm and then 9pm. These blocks pop up the most and the time in between them appear to disappear without explanation.

An excerpt from Wikipedia:

Time perception is a field of study within psychology and neuroscience that refers to the subjective experience of time, which is measured by someone's own perception of the duration of the indefinite and continuous unfolding of events. The perceived time interval between two successive events is referred to as perceived duration. Another person's perception of time cannot be directly experienced or understood, but it can be objectively studied and inferred through a number of scientific experiments. Time perception is a construction of the brain that is manipulable and distortable under certain circumstances. These temporal illusions help to expose the underlying neural mechanisms of time perception.

Pioneering work, emphasizing species-specific differences, was conducted by Karl Ernst von Baer. Experimental work began under the influence of the psycho-physical notions of Gustav Theodor Fechner with studies of the relationship between perceived and measured time.

William J. Friedman (1993) also contrasted two theories for a sense of time:

The strength model of time memory. This posits a memory trace that persists over time, by which one might judge the age of a memory (and therefore how long ago the event remembered occurred) from the strength of the trace. This conflicts with the fact that memories of recent events may fade more quickly than more distant memories.

The inference model suggests the time of an event is inferred from information about relations between the event in question and other events whose date or time is known.

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at 

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