Monthly Archives: June 2012

Why time goes faster as we grow older

Something happened last year – time started racing and has not slowed down since. Perhaps it has something to do with living in Dubai. Or with my lifestyle. Or is it something that just happens, as we grow older?

Now, I do not know if age is a factor or not. But let’s assume it is. How would that work? Here’s one possible way. We perceive things in context. But what is the context for time if not time itself?Each passing year can only be perceived in the context of the life lived up till then.

When I turned four, that extra year weighed as heavy as a quarter of my life. I would have been quite difficult to miss. At ten, the turning added merely a tenth – yet, still, the seasons showed no hurry. In the context of my life, each passing year weighed less and less. What if I am not very good at grasping ever-diminishing quantities? What if the relative weight of a year in my life is correlated with my ability to be fully aware of its passing?

If we calculate the relative weight of each year of my life, diminishing as I grew older, and equate it with my ability to give full attention to the passage of time, and plot the results on a graph, this is what we get:

First thing implied: my total perception of life is spread unevenly across the years. Youth gets the lion’s share. Second thing: if my life expectancy is 80 years, it turns out I have perceived more than 82% of my life by the age of 33 – that is, a life measured in ability to be fully aware of the passage of time. Third thing: by seven years old I have been fully aware of exactly 50% of the time I can be aware of – in other words, by that age, it could be said that I had already become half the person that I can ever be, assuming life experience determines  most of a person’s development.

Have you read so far? Does the above make sense? I truly hope not…

This is merely practice for writing a piece on the pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo that can reach wider audiences with the advent of the internet. Non-sequitur: I want to experiment with new models for creating and disseminating knowledge in a venue I hope to open by December 2012. See the idea for the venue here and some details related to layout and activities. Let me know what you think.

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