Time perception check

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  • MetalDog 8 May 2008 15:55:25 23,708 posts
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    I have a theory that large groups of people percieve fast days and slow days as a shared experience. I futher theorise that this group perception shift isn't down to the activities being performed, since they can be done on slow and fast days to no effect - so perhaps atomospheric pressure or somesuch creates pockets of slower and faster time perception due to some subtle effect on our brains?

    Today has been a noticably un-normal time perception day for me in London - to check my theory, has your day been fast or slow and what area are you in?

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Deleted user 8 May 2008 15:56:46
    It's alien lizardmen affecting us through mindbullets.

    /tinfoil hat
  • Deleted user 8 May 2008 15:56:56
    Slow in Glasgow but I put that down to it being roasting outside and I can't wait to get out in it.
  • tombo 8 May 2008 15:56:59 2,095 posts
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    slow today.
    Real slow.
  • gang_of_bitches 8 May 2008 15:57:06 5,442 posts
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    My day has been incredibly slow.

    I hypothesise that this has more to do with my crippling hangover than atmospheric pressure though.
  • Dante_Cubit 8 May 2008 15:57:34 1,885 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    I have a theory that large groups of people percieve fast days and slow days as a shared experience.

    They are called 'weekends' and 'work' days.
  • MetalDog 8 May 2008 15:59:04 23,708 posts
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    Slow day for me too, incidentally - and Dante, there have been days when /everyone/ I've asked has said they had a fast day at work - so I don't think the idea of group perception of time is altogether silly.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Razz 8 May 2008 15:59:13 60,771 posts
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    My day has flown by. But I've been very busy today and I didn't get any sleep last night (I was working) so I've been a bit Zombified too,

    Whitehall, London

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  • Lutz 8 May 2008 16:00:23 48,854 posts
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    Slow day here, Manchester. I put it down to the heat.
  • _Price_ 8 May 2008 16:03:46 3,072 posts
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    And here I thought this was going to be a thread about illigal substances. I love the change in drug users perceptions of how long a minute lasts....

    Anyway, today has been totally average. Haven't had a lot that needed doing but I got up early anyway and got some things sorted. I still think it's very much dependent upon what you're doing rather than anything else....
  • UncleLou Moderator 8 May 2008 16:04:33 35,427 posts
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    Just be quiet. My mind is very clear today. So then, what is time?" Hans Castorp asked, bending the tip of his nose so forcefully to one side that it turned white and bloodless. "Will you please tell me that? We perceive space with our senses, with vision and touch. But what is the organ for our sense of time? Would you please tell me that? You see, you're stuck. But how are we ever going to measure something about which, precisely speaking, we know nothing at all--cannot list a single one of its properties. We say time passes. Fine, let it pass for all I care. But in order to measure it. . .no, wait! In order for it to be measurable, it would have to flow evenly, but where is it written that it does that? It doesn't do that for our conscious minds, we simply assume it does, just for the sake of convenience. And so all our measurements are merely conventions, if you please.
  • Khanivor 8 May 2008 16:04:34 40,399 posts
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    It's an interesting topic; why do some days seem over before they've really started while others the clock actually seems to go backwards.

    There's probably loads of boffins who have looked into this. Which means there will be loads of different theories.
  • jellyhead 8 May 2008 16:04:35 24,350 posts
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    The day has gone by quickly for me, it's lovely out too. So i can't wait to go and sit in the park this evening and have some evening DS sunshine and gaming.
    Lovely.

    I've caught up with a bunch of tasks i've had lingering around so maybe the day has gone quickly because i've actually accomplished things and feel positive?

    This signature intentionally left blank.

  • magicpanda 8 May 2008 16:05:24 13,267 posts
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    Incredibly slow. Clock watching like a mofo

    The last week or so as well.
  • Tiger_Walts 8 May 2008 16:05:31 16,582 posts
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    frod wrote:
    It was a slow day, and the sun was beating on the soldiers by the side of the road

    :D

    Neither fast nor slow for me. Preston, Lancs.

    IT Monkey and StickyPiston Minecraft Hosting Support

  • nickthegun 8 May 2008 16:09:52 58,813 posts
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    I had a stoned conversation a while ago that went along the lines of:

    'If time moves more quickly when you are busy and/or having fun, would it be better to live a boring, sedentary and comparatively longer life or do cool stuff and die, perceptually, faster?'.

    I dont think we got to the bottom of it as we had to go out for rizlas.

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    He totally called it

  • Lutz 8 May 2008 16:09:55 48,854 posts
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    Something I have noted about time perception was written very well in one of Pratchetts Discworld books:

    A day takes an age to pass, but days plural go past like a stampede.

    I can't believe it's already May FFS.
  • nickthegun 8 May 2008 16:10:51 58,813 posts
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    And in answer to the question, its been a very slow day for me.

    One of those days where I have got stuff to do, but im putting it off because its hard.

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    He totally called it

  • jellyhead 8 May 2008 16:11:07 24,350 posts
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    Tim is an illusion, lunch with Tim doubly so.

    Sorry, Mr Adams. :)

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  • Khanivor 8 May 2008 16:17:14 40,399 posts
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    There is the theory of the Mobius...
  • MetalDog 8 May 2008 16:19:59 23,708 posts
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    What you're doing clearly can affect our perception of time - waiting for something usually goes slowly, doing something new and fun usually goes quickly. I'm more talking about the less well-telegraphed shifts in perception when we're doing the same thing we usually do during the day.

    The perception of time is a very odd thing. We know that different animals as a rule percieve time at different rates. How much does it take to externally influence the perception beyond dull or interesting tasks?

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • UncleLou Moderator 8 May 2008 16:32:00 35,427 posts
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    I didn't find the excerpt I was looking for, but the Magic Mountain has a terrific, philosophical section about time. Short prosaic summary following. :-)

    If your days are all the same, and boring, they seem to pass slowly, but in hindsight, years full of slow days passed fast.

    On the other hand, if your days are exciting, and you see and experience new stuff every day, days fly by, but in hindsight, it feels like these times lasted long.
  • catterz 8 May 2008 16:36:42 8,763 posts
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    Fast day for me. Bucks.

    Kept myself busy packing in the morning which rolled into lunch, which went right back to packing, to some computer games, to packing again.

    Still stalking this place, old-school style (UID: 1053)

  • DodgyPast 8 May 2008 16:39:21 8,415 posts
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    Lutz wrote:
    Something I have noted about time perception was written very well in one of Pratchetts Discworld books:

    A day takes an age to pass, but days plural go past like a stampede.

    I can't believe it's already May FFS.
    Can't believe my course will be over in 2 months and I'll have to get a summer job :(

    I think UncleLou has hit the nail on the head.

    Before I went to Thailand seems a lifetime away, whereas the 5 years preceding that seem almost like a single day.

    The Thailand bit was an incredibly varied part of my life, 1 year of travelling followed by living in 3 different places, 4 different girlfriends and 3 different jobs.
  • glaeken 8 May 2008 16:40:38 11,100 posts
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    Well like any CPU the more you give it to process the more it has to divide itself across multiple tasks and so you are limiting the CPU slices you have for each type of stimuli.

    This in effect means the brain is running more slowly which would actually make time appear to pass more quickly.

    Limiting your input means you have the whole CPU and all of its slices to say for instance stare out of the Window with so the brain can process that limited stimuli far quicker and in effect the brain is running more quickly which has the effect of making time appear to pass more slowly.

    In the example of experiencing slower or faster time in groups in theory while in a group you always have increased stimuli so time should always appear to be running quickly. In order for it to also all appear to be running slowly for the group you would really have to be sitting around but not engaging in anything but silent boredom.
  • postal 8 May 2008 16:40:50 104 posts
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    Clocks are self-referencing. Time is an illusion in and of itself.

    /feels like friday
  • mrharvest 8 May 2008 17:49:34 5,184 posts
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    Surbiton / Kingston. Time has been very quick.

    I have a different hypothesis:
    On a nice day if you work (indoors / in an office) your day seems slow.

    I went to our awards & commendations show, that was one hour. The rest I've spent outside eating ice cream and I just came home for a quick shower and a G&T.
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