why time is going by faster

Allard Welter allard at quicknet.nl
Sun Aug 15 07:41:44 PDT 2004


On Sunday 15 August 2004 08:44, michael wrote:
> It is everyone's experience that dull times seem to go by faster than
> one's perception ;"what,friday already?" .And vice-versa;witness what
> happens the day after departure on a trip "seems like a week
> already!".The fact ,however,that nowadays in general ,old and young

I think a little more qualification may be in order. Dull times seem to 
have gone by faster (note tense) but seem to happen a lot slower. 
Interesting times on the other hand fly by at a breathtaking rate, but 
seem to have taken a lot longer in retrospect. I believe there is a 
simple explanation for this. Dull times don't leave as many memories 
behind as interesting times, thus there is less information associated 
with dull times and if there is no information on some event it never 
happened right?

I was conscripted for two years about twenty years ago. I can count on 
my fingers the number of interesting things that happenend in those two 
years. Looking back those two years went by in the wink of an eye, 
however the one thing I do recall vividly is how time seemed to drag 
while I was in the army. Granted I was younger then and probably had a 
greater desire for excitement than I do now. Contrast that to 
university times ... before you know it exams are next week, looking 
back though my university days take up a considerable chunk of my 
recollections, not least because I was up the mountains at every 
available opportunity.

> alike, feel that time is accelerating would tend to suggest therefore
> that our lives as a whole are becoming duller,that we are becoming
> increasingly passive in the face of events that we cannot control
> ,that our lives are gradually losing their value and meaning,and to
> bring back and old term,that we are becoming increasingly alienated.I
> wonder if people in the developed world feel the same or if this is
> worse here in the third world where disillusion with democracy and
> capitalism is a fact,and a general feeling of hopelessness is
> prevalent.Any ideas?

I would agree with the above, but would like to add the observation (at 
least IMO) that the majority here in the "developed world" don't seem 
to be aware of any alienation. "Brave New World" springs to mind often. 
If you have not read Aldous Huxley's masterpiece, I suggest you do. 
Written in 1936 (I think) I believe his predictions are becoming more 
accurate by the day. Especially man's complacency in a "safe" 
environment. I have lived most of my life in South Africa where I feel 
the people are more "alive". They also are more aware of their 
neighbours (granted they shoot their neighbours more regularly as well) 
and certainly resent the "developed world" and their better than thou 
approach to world politics. Regarding hopelessness - no, not the same 
kind here in the "developed world" (But certainly in Africa). Probably 
because most people here have the means to seek out excitement if they 
so wish. They are quick to point out what is amiss in the rest of the 
world (and make a token contribution), but not prepared to give up 
their own luxuries to help solve them (I don't mean handouts but things 
like agricultural subsidies and trade embargos).

Oh yes, it's not democracy but the manner in which demoncracy is 
implemented that is the problem. Most African tribes had a form of 
democracy long before the developed world dreamed it up. Theirs was a 
more hierarchial implementation. Capitalism of course is evil. In the 
developing world capitalism is IMO the one thing standing in the way of 
any meaningful emancipation. Capitalism was great in creating wealth 
initially (and improving the quality of life/death). But extrapolating 
the argument "Capitalism works in the developed world therefore it must 
work in the developing world" is balony and morally reprehensible 
(especially since our developed capitalists are intent on being the 
developing capitalists as well). Unfortunately I don't have any 
solutions. I'd just like to see the developing world be given a more 
free hand to solve their own problems (without Russian/American made 
weapons).

Regards - Allard.



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