A Theory of Time



I know, I know it's been a while.  And to add insult to injury (figuratively speaking of course) Datfuule beat me to making a post for 2007.  Yeah 8 months in, an I'm making a New Year's blog.  Happy '07.  But thankfully in talking to Dat and my boy JAB recently I've been able to formulate a more compelling hypothesis for my thoughts on the passage of time.

Initially, since so much has happened since I last blogged, I was going to talk about how the passage of time seems to increase exponentially with age.  But as of this past week I at least have a better understanding as to why.

When you are a kid almost everything is new.  Or at the very least not so common to you.  There is almost always something new to experience so you don't have a frame of reference on the way time passes.  Not to mention the fact you almost always are working toward some eventual goal.  Mostly with your education.  You are trying to graduate from preschool, kindergarten, elementary, high school, etc  (of course you have other goals too but I'm trying to keep it simple).   Combine that with limited experience things seem to drag on forever.  When I was a child I thought 1979 would never end.  Consequently high school seemed to last much longer than college.  But they were both only 4 years long.

By the time you reach adulthood you have a frame of reference.  So a semester or even a year isn't nearly as long as you once perceived it to be.  Not to mention that for the most part you don't have the same goals you are working toward.  Most 9 to 5ers are working toward the weekend not a summer vacation.  Just get through work long enough to make it to the next holiday which, if you are lucky, gives you a 3 to 4 day weekend.  You aren't getting that 2 weeks for Christmas.  Unless you are really lucky.  Plus you are basically doing the same repetitive thing you do day in and day out with only slight variation.  Barely any real new knowledge or anything to disrupt your frame of reference.  You add all that together and the days seem to fade one into the other and next thing you know it's been almost 2 years since you've been to Seattle.  Another 3 since you started a new job and almost 8 since you moved from Atlanta.  All broken up by weekends, holidays, random sick days and the occasional week or so of vacation.

Thus as you get older the passage of time gives the appearance of accelerating the older you get.  Reminds me of the opposite effect (kinda sorta) in this comic book I read called Invincible.  In it the protagonist discovers that he is a half alien with super powers.  Think Superman if his father came with him to Earth to start a family with an Earth woman.  As a by product of his alien heritage he will age slower the older he gets.  As his father put it, "...you will be 500 years old by the time you start looking like you are 30."  As human beings we aren't nearly that lucky.  Sometimes I don't even think we should be.  But considering my theory it might be nice.

I'll be back soon.  And I promise it will be a lot sooner than 8 months.  No matter how fast time might appear to be moving for us...

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