Scott Hardie | July 3, 2019
I can't find it now -- maybe it was on Facebook? -- but I remember talking not long ago* with Denise Sawicki about time, and how it feels like the years are flying by faster and faster as I get older. A year feels like a week sometimes. I remember saying that if I was some fantasy creature that lived for centuries, like a vampire or an elf, time would probably seem to pass even faster. A decade would seem like a week. If I lived long enough, a century might eventually feel like a week. That's crazy to contemplate.

Today I happened upon this interesting math video which breaks down why we feel that way, not just about time but about other quantities. I find it most intriguing that there's actually a specific logarithm for this, and clever people (like retailers trying to raise prices without people noticing) can take advantage of people's tendency not to notice small differences in large numbers.

I've noticed this phenomenon with very large numbers. People get so angry when they hear about the government wasting, say $1 million on some unpopular program, but tell people that the government spends several trillion dollars annually and they shrug. The same thing happens with astronomical values; once we start talking about stars being a certain size or being a certain distance away, we just can't fathom the differences.

I don't necessarily have a question for discussion here. I just thought this was neat. What do you think?

*Maybe it was long ago! Thanks to this video, I have no idea what time feels like any more. :-)

Samir Mehta | July 23, 2019
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | July 24, 2019
Then I am jealous! Time seems to pass so quickly for me. It must be because so much of my life is the same: I do the same job for years, have the same hobbies and friends for years, and so on. If it wasn't for medical situations with Kelly and my mother dominating the year so far, 2019 would feel just like 2018 and 2017 and 2016...


Want to participate? Please create an account a new account or log in.


Other Discussions Started by Scott Hardie

Saving Face

With the news of the first successful face transplant – however controversial this particular incident might be (link) – am I the only one wondering how long it will be until this is a routine cosmetic procedure performed on people whose faces are perfectly fine except in their own minds? Go »

The Ugly Wave

Hottest trend these days among Muslim leaders: Calling the Holocaust a myth. (link) It's been going on for decades of course, but that wild and crazy guy Ahmadinejad is making it hip all over again. Go »

Knocks

Strunk & White's writing advice to omit needless words is a fertile idea for creative experiments, because of elegance in simplicity. Go »

Carrie and Debbie

Thoughts on the passing of one of Hollywood's great mother-daughter duos? Go »

United 93

Oliver Stone is putting out a movie this summer about the World Trade Center attacks (titled, with the usual Stone subtlety, World Trade Center), but the April 28 release of United 93 is coming up even sooner. Go »

Elizabeth M. Hardie

October 10, 1912 - October 11, 2001. R.I.P. Go »