A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time by Michael G. Flaherty

By Michael G. Flaherty

Time, it's been stated, is the enemy. In an period of harried lives, time turns out more and more important as hours and days telescope and our lives frequently appear to be flitting prior. And but, at different occasions, the mins drag on, each one tick of the clock excruciatingly drawn out. What explains this seeming paradox? dependent upon a whole decade's empirical examine, Michael G. Flaherty's new e-book deals amazing insights in this so much common human event. Flaherty surveys 1000s of people of every age in an try and be certain how such phenomena as ache, violence, probability, boredom, excitement, focus, surprise, and novelty impact our notion of time. Their tales make for exciting interpreting, via turns commonplace and unique, mundane and dramatic, terrible and humorous. A qualitative and quantitative travel de strength, A Watched Pot provides what might be the 1st absolutely built-in concept of time and may be of curiosity to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the informed public alike. a call remarkable educational publication.

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All you feel is wind. . ” Protracted Duration / 51 “The air pressure, the feeling of having your ears ready to pop, intensified to the point I thought I was going to lose my hearing,” the 25-year-old said of his ordeal. Grimm lay on his stomach about 15 feet from the car until the tornado passed 30 seconds later. He suffered a broken hip. “I am damn lucky the tornado didn’t pick me up,” he said. ”21 Armenians interviewed by Izvestia described in gripping sim­ plicity the terror of the first moments of the quake.

Moreover, despite the seemingly incontrovertible adage, “busy time passes quickly,” and in contradiction to the equally simplistic analysis of William James, both Van Maanen and Adams report that time was perceived to pass slowly. Indeed, a given period of time can be so supercharged with harrowing eventfulness that one is left incredulous at how much can transpire within a rela­ tively brief interval. Witness, for instance, Elie Wiesel’s shock as he reflects on what his family suffers when soldiers seize them during the Holocaust: So much had happened within such a few hours that I had lost all sense of time.

More people arrived at six, but the time still went slowly. I felt as though I was going to be stuck in K-Mart forever. Finally, after a busy night, it was over. The clock said 9:00 but to me it should have been the next day. [italics added] Thus, we do not need recourse to earthquakes and pogroms. Eventfulness can have a similarly anomalous ef­ fect on the perceived passage of time even when that event­ fulness takes the form of nothing more exotic than an un­ usually busy shift at work. Note that their time at work seems to pass slowly even though the two women in the preceding narratives must deal with abnormally abundant demands on their attention.

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