Archive for November, 2011

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Perception of Time

November 15, 2011

There is a great New Yorker article from April about fear, death, and the perception of time. But there is a line in the article that has stayed with me since reading it:

The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.

The article continues and explains something called the oddball effect. Where a computer screen will flash a brown shoe on the screen three of four times in a row and then a flower. The researcher will ask the subject which object stayed on the screen longer. And the subject will always say the flower. But as you may have guessed, the images were flashed for an equal amount of time.

I heard or read somewhere people applying this effect to when they travel. Often you will hear that ‘my vacation lasted forever.’ Or that ‘time moved so slowly.’ Because the world is not familiar to them when they travel.

I don’t know why I want to go to France. The food? For sure. The art? Most definitely. The adventure of the journey? Hell yeah. I have always been the type of person to jump feet first into the deep end and find meaning later. And, in a way, I am doing that here. I have lived in my same apartment for 4 years. I have had the same car for the same amount of time. My job, also the same. Time has flown by. My life has never been more routine and familiar now than in any point in my life thus far. And that is why I’m excited for this month-long interruption — to press the pause button on my perception of time, at least for a few weeks. It will be a grand journey for sure but most definitely, it won’t be familiar.

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Passport Arrived

November 3, 2011

My Passport