17 March, 2007

The Speed of Time

I am currently going through a phase where there is absolutely nothing happening in my life other than work. The sad thing is that this is not because there is too much work. There is work, but it is a very 9 to 7 variety.

Should my managers be happy? Yes and No I guess. They should be because there is nothing to distract me and that I can only but work. No because not having a distraction can soon become the biggest distraction of all.

Hence this post. How quickly does time pass? A perfectly correct but completely useless answer could be "At the rate of one second every second." It does, but that is just a definition, a measurement of something we feel and count. Even if we did not have a definition, it would still pass. The answer I am looking for has more to do with how does a person register time and its passage. Is it the same for every one? It does seem to pass faster and slower depending on all kinds of things - but does it pass or feel to pass at the same speed, ceteris paribus? Also, if humans could not sense the passage of time, would it matter if time passed? And, do humans sense the passage of time only because we are mortal? In other words, if humans were immortal, would the passage of time be immaterial?

I have realised that I think about strange things when I am not happy. I am not happy. In fact, I want to share exactly why I am not happy, but can not. So I try to think up of other things to write about – and strange things are pulled out from the attic upstairs.

I was watching a documentary about the last days of Birtish rule in India. I realised how I had been neglecting my reading and have been devoting time and energy to the Playstation! Anyway, more on my playstation prowess (or the lack of it) later.

PS: I dont even know if ever anyone reads any of my blogs, simply because there are no comments. Please leave some if you can, just so I know whether I need to shift all this to my hard drive instead of blogger.


Ruban said...

We realize that time passes because we have defined time and like to count it in everything we do. We have associated time with everything that happens in our life - our physical growth (age), our career growth (experience), our activities (meeting time, sports play time, flight timings) etc.

So I guess it isn't really about mortality but blame it on necessity, for it is the mother of invention.

Our lives would have been a lot better had Adam not eaten the apple, Pandora not opened her box and Mr. Babbage had given up :-)

Whatever be it, at least now you know that someone reads you blog. So keep blogging!

Pratima said...

i read your blog.. keep writing.. anyway you never mail me!!

ThisIsLobo said...

Time flies, you cannot. They fly too fast.

Being mortal and having the concept of time are probably related. That 's why people are anxious about their future, why they want to make their future more secure, why a bird in hand is considered better than 2 in the bush. We crave certainty.

But there is a stronger correlation between memory and awareness of the concept of time. The past and future are not real in any sense - they are just concepts that are offshoots of the concept of time. Other species are just as mortal as we are but they don't have memories of the past. And they are not aware of their mortality, hence not anxious about their future.

But ramblings aside, I guess the topic of the post is the present. The rate of speed of the present. Our perception of the rate of speed of the present. This perception is so dynamic it can change in minutes. An unhurried sense of time is itself a form of wealth.

Mohammed Shahid said...

Mine ha-penny here, Muku: smallish typo, should be British - not Birtish.

Alan J said...

Saurabh, there is a good book that I recommend for those who are wondering what to do next in life. It isn't a deep philosophical inspirational type book that will change your life, but simply a history of a number of people who were facing a similar question and what happened to them. I liked it. The book is called What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson.

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