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Thursday, July 23, 2015


“Once you see the boundaries of your mind, they are no longer the boundaries of your mind.”
 - Wolf Howl

"What if when you die, they ask "How was heaven?" 
~Victor Standish

 "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
 ~Anaïs Nin

Half of your life experience is over by age 7.  No lie.

 Have you ever observed that time seems to be going by faster as you get older?

 There's a reason that one summer seems to stretch out forever when you're a kid,

 but zips by before you know it when you're 30. 

That reason is perspective.

I am ancient enough to have seen THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK at the theater.  

As I was leaving the theater, an eight year old boy was bawling about the fate of Han Solo.

His mother comforted him by saying the next movie would show what happened.

He exploded, "But that will take three damn years!"

It struck me funny.  But think on it.  

Three years to him was more than a third of his life.  

That's quite a chunk of time to ask a little fella to wait, isn't it?

 When you're one year old, a year is literally forever to you -- it's all the time that you've ever known.

 It means that waiting 24 days for Christmas at age 5 literally feels like waiting a year at age 54.

 It might also explain why kids on car trips are always asking that annoying question, "Are we there yet?" 

A car journey actually feels longer to kids than it does to adults.

  If you measure your life this way, in "perceived" time rather than actual time, half of your "perceived life" is over by age 7!

We perceive time by comparing it with our life span: 

The apparent length of a period of time is proportional to our life span itself.

 Another school of the thought is that the passage of time speeds up with familiarity. 

As we get older, things become more familiar to us, and time slips by as a result.

Then, there is the man who lost his memory by having a root canal. 

 No lie again.

 The man, called only “WO” by his physicians, 

woke up on the morning of March 14, 2005, at his military post in Germany. 

 In the afternoon he went to his dentist for a routine root canal treatment. 

 Every day since, no matter what the actual date happens to be, 

WO wakes up thinking it’s the morning of March 14, 2005, believing he is still in Germany 

and that this is the day of his dentist appointment. His life is something of a “Groundhog Day” in reverse 

 The main thing that continues to captivate and confuse doctors most is this single, inexplicable fact: 

There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with his brain.

Yet, he cannot retain a memory for longer than 90 minutes

 (the length of time a temporary memory takes to become permanent.)

 He is completely dependent on an electronic diary 

that reminds him of what he’s doing and what has happened in the 10 years since his last new memory. 

Every morning he checks his computer for a list of life events he should be aware of

 — marriages, deaths, his children’s birthdays.

 Some of them, like the loss of a beloved pet, hit him hard for in his mind, he is hearing them for the first time.

Can you imagine living like that?


  1. Sounds like the movie The First 50 Dates. She woke up thinking it was the same day as well. That would be a freaky way to live.
    Now I know why time zips by when you get older. Bummer.

    1. That's where the inspiration for that movie came from. At least we now understand why time zips by so as we get older!

  2. Exactly what I was thinking, Alex!
    Still, I won't be having any root canals!

    1. I read about this the morning I was to have to go to the dentist to have some work done! You can imagine how unsettling that was!!

  3. No, I can not imagine living like that. And with my bad teeth and all, a scary thought.....

    I drove the 100 miles to Los Angeles so often when Errol was at UCLA, that route has become so familiar that it seems more like 50 miles to me. I drove it yesterday and it took me 2.5 hours, but I felt it went so fast. Familiarity, I guess.

    1. The human mind is so fascinating and odd in its ways, isn't it? Los Angeles traffic would terrify me I think!

  4. That sounds like a horrible way to live unless there are many things you wish to forget. My theory of time is that it speeds up when you are not thinking about it, i.e. when you are having a wonderful time, and it slows down when you do think about it, such as checking the clock to see if class is up or checking the calendar to see how many more days until vacation.

    1. I have often thought as you do about good versus bad times and the sensation of time passing. :-)

  5. Interesting take on time, I never gave it a thought about why kids keep asking "Are we there, yet" It must be terrible to lose your long term memory, the same as short term. The brain is a funny thing.

    1. Yes, we think we know about things when we really only guess at how things and life works!