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

By Michael G. Flaherty

ISBN-10: 0814726879

ISBN-13: 9780814726877

Time, it's been acknowledged, is the enemy. In an period of harried lives, time turns out more and more useful as hours and days telescope and our lives frequently appear to be flitting earlier. And but, at different occasions, the mins drag on, each one tick of the clock excruciatingly drawn out. What explains this seeming paradox? established upon a whole decade's empirical study, Michael G. Flaherty's new booklet bargains amazing insights in this such a lot common human adventure. Flaherty surveys thousands of people of every age in an try to verify how such phenomena as ache, violence, risk, boredom, pleasure, focus, surprise, and novelty impact our conception of time. Their tales make for fascinating examining, through turns established and unique, mundane and dramatic, terrible and humorous. A qualitative and quantitative travel de strength, A Watched Pot offers what may be the 1st absolutely built-in thought of time and may be of curiosity to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the expert public alike. a call amazing educational ebook.

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Sample text

It is in this sense that “just killing time” can be a very active en­ deavor. ”7 However, it should be obvious that this claim is belied by the thorough­ ness with which he relates the details of his experience. Koestler’s own words show that his time in solitary confine­ ment was not the utter vacuum he makes it out to be. It is true that no dramatic or memorable events punctured the monotony of each passing day, but he is overlooking the success of his own valiant effort to substitute attention and concentration for intrusion and distraction.

When the end of the night came . . I felt as if I had been there forever. Paradoxical Variation / 24 And, by means of more intrusive inquiry, the absence of overt activity can be pushed to exotic and technological ex­ tremes, albeit with the same effect on lived duration. In the following narrative, a male, forty-year-old physics professor reports on his experiences inside a stimulus deprivation tank: I was instructed (before entering) to try to stay as long as I felt comfortable and to try to keep track of time.

Any one interval, then, can be experienced as relatively shorter or longer than another, but an interval cannot be experienced as absolutely short or long by contrasting one’s inner sense of duration with the measurement of that interval in terms of standard temporal units, such as hours, minutes, and seconds. ”64 Thus, both scholars favor laboratory methods, thereby abstaining from research on the experience of time in everyday life. Yet, as is evident in the narratives above, people in real life commonly translate anomalous temporal experiences into standard temporal units.

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

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