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

By Michael G. Flaherty

Time, it's been stated, is the enemy. In an period of harried lives, time turns out more and more priceless as hours and days telescope and our lives usually appear to be flitting previous. And but, at different occasions, the mins drag on, every one tick of the clock excruciatingly drawn out. What explains this seeming paradox? established upon a whole decade's empirical learn, Michael G. Flaherty's new e-book bargains extraordinary insights in this such a lot common human adventure. Flaherty surveys countless numbers of people of every age in an try to determine how such phenomena as discomfort, violence, hazard, boredom, pleasure, focus, surprise, and novelty effect our notion of time. Their tales make for fascinating analyzing, via turns commonly used and unique, mundane and dramatic, awful and humorous. A qualitative and quantitative journey de strength, A Watched Pot provides what could be the 1st absolutely built-in idea of time and may be of curiosity to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the proficient public alike. a decision notable educational booklet.

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Extra resources for A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time

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12 Vehement emotions focus one’s gaze on the problem at hand. This effect is portrayed with great clarity in Jack Katz’s analysis of rage: The blindness to the practical future implications of the moment gives rage, with all its fury, a soothing, negative promise that hu­ miliation painfully lacks. This is its great comfort. 13 Still, despite the differences between rage and humiliation, the latter has the same effect on the perceived passage of time. Note, for instance, how a brief interval of embarrass­ ment can seem like an interminable ordeal: Halfway through the final performance and in front of a full house, Kathy simply forgot her lines.

What, another week, a whole month, a whole quarter of a year! 4 Through the ordeal of imprisonment, Koestler stumbles upon one of the three paradoxical features of lived dura­ tion. , with hindsight), it seems to have passed quickly. Furthermore, both of these feelings provide implicit contrast with the normal, nearly unnoticed synchronization between lived duration and the passage of standard tempo­ ral units. There is, then, this puzzling elasticity to the per­ ceived passage of time. 5 On the contrary, it is quite apparent that Koestler himself fills his time in prison with attention to all manner of subjective and objective experiences.

Systematic observation demonstrates that the exotic properties of earlier specimens only serve to highlight a relationship that is prevalent, if less obvious, in the circumstances of everyday life. In the following narra­ tives, two young women recount how unusually busy shifts at work affected their perception of the passage of time: I was checking out food at Albertson’s grocery store. I worked for about nine hours, but it felt like days had gone by. The store was very busy and I was constantly scanning food and bagging gro­ ceries.

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