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Philosophy

Elastic times are here again

The memory of time will be compressed if nothing special has happened. This has for a long time been my idea, my understanding, of what happens when you experience and remember time. You have a sense of time passing when you are in the middle of doing something. And if what you are doing is something special you will remember this as a moment in time.

But if you only do ordinary, mundane things, several in a row, and nothing out of the ordinary happens, all those moments will be stacked together in your memory. Those unlabeled chunks of time contract to a diffuse unit of nothing special, a kind of void, and get counted as one single event in time.

So only if something out of the ordinary happens it gets its own spot in memory. Several noteworthy experiences will give the feeling of longer time occupied. Two weeks on an exotic holiday will feel longer than four months at a repetitive work when you remember it. And it turns out this is actually what really happens physically in the brain.

Recent research in neuroscience by Nobel laureates confirms my idea almost exactly. So this is why time seem to move so fast these days: We’re never doing something out of the ordinary. I wanna change that, right now.