Time-Clock By the Hour

November 1, 2015

Surreal-Artworks-Made-by-Xetobyte-1In reality, is it an hour later, or an hour earlier? My kitchen clock already set to my laptop — time begone!

Via Vox this morning:

When clocks leap forward in the spring, researchers have found, rates of heart attacks,traffic accidents, and workplace injuries tend to increase slightly — likely the effect of millions of people’s bodies being forced to adjust to the missing hour of sleep.
Workplace productivity, meanwhile, tends to decrease.
Then there’s the hassle of adjusting again in the fall.

(Illustration: ‘A Break in Reality,’ by Xetobyte,found here).

Yeah, like right-about now. Although there’s not much of a hassle for me personally in the ‘fall back’ mode of our crazy Daylight Savings Time system, keeping a memory track of certain periods is the problem, especially with the speed nowadays.
Especially, when in real-time, you shift one hour from the evening to the morning, without really any good reason other than a 1950s sensibility.
And humanoids have problems, not just for old folks, either — via Live Science:

But much of the antipathy toward daylight saving time stems from practicality.
Though the brain is not a perfect timekeeper, research suggests people do have a sort of internal “clock” that helps them keep track of how much time is passing.
Many brain regions appear to be involved in this process, but activation in the insular cortex —located between the temporal lobe and the parietal and frontal lobes — may play an important role, according to a 2013 article in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

And for us old folks, messing with time does more to scramble an already-scrambled brain than just moving a clock backwards and forwards. Time is already moving at high-speed at advanced age — car trips are way-longer as a child then as a grown-up, ‘are we there yet,’ a motto of youth.
An explanation from the the Washington Post:

In mathematical terms, our time perception is logarithmic — stretched out at the beginning and compressed at the end — rather than linear, in which each year has the same length.

Perception likely isn’t the only reason we experience time the way we do.
One problem with Janet’s theory is that we’re not constantly experiencing our lives as a whole.
We live in the moment, and we’re not always thinking of or remembering our 20, 30 or 40-plus years.
More recent theories about how we experience time draw on psychology and science.
One says that our sense of time is governed by biological processes that run the body.
Researchers have long shown that we experience time as going by much slower when our body temperature is higher.
So perhaps it’s not a coincidence that children have higher body temperatures than adults, and also experience time more slowly.

How 15 years ago ain’t that long, except when I look in a mirror. Time is the weirdest of human capabilities, one we measure yet at the same time, there’s no real, actual yardstick — other than a clock, and we programmed it, so you’re back to where you where when you started…
Supposedly, St. Augustine attempted a side-issue explanation, sort of, “I know what time is until you ask me for a definition about it, and then I can’t give it to you,” in a reference to how liquid the subject.

Last August, Wall Street expert, Barry Ritholtz at his blog, The Big Picture, waxed philosophic about time, and although in context of finances and investments, it’s still a good view of history via clocks:

The past is a hazy set of fallible memories, biochemical impulses, often tinted warm by the rosy glow of nostalgia.
The past can also be darker, traumatic, painful, repressed, still haunting its survivors.
Both experiences, often a mix of each, colors the subsequent perspective of its bystanders.

When considering the future, it is important to recognize it is merely one hypothetical possibility out of an infinite set of possible outcomes, unknown and unknowable.
It remains out of reach, sometimes just barely. Some think they understand what will happen in the future, and we divide these “seers” into two groups.
The largest group consists of much of humanity, and these are the ones best described as delusional.
Evidence and experience – and of course their own published forecasts – teaches us these folks haven’t the slightest idea of what may occur, much less what will occur in the future.
Pick any subject at all, and as we have shown too many Times to reiterate here, we have no idea what will occur.
None whatsoever.
Those of you who believe you do know what will happen, please contact me directly so I may disabuse you of all your childish fantasies.
There is a very tiny percentage of seers who actually can make out, through the haze of the present, a somewhat clear future no one else seems to be able to see.
They discern overlooked hints of a significant future event or a societal shift missed by the masses of the delusional.
Sometimes, it is merely as simple as (luckily) spotting an underestimated probability that turns out to actually happen.
The rarest of birds simply manufacture the future according to their own visionary beliefs for how things should be.

And on top of all that insanity, science-wise, we don’t know jack-shit about how our brain handles time — way-too many moving parts.
Also from last summer, at Science News:

“We don’t think about it, but just walking down the street is an exquisitely timed operation,” says neuroscientist Lila Davachi of New York University.
Muscles fire and joints steady themselves in a precisely orchestrated time series that masquerades as an unremarkable part of everyday life.
A sense of time, Davachi says, is fundamental to how we move, how we act and how we perceive the world.
Yet for something that forms the bedrock of nearly everything we do, time perception is incredibly hard to study.
“It’s a quagmire,” says cognitive neuroscientist Peter Tse of Dartmouth College.

New findings hint that the brain has legions of assorted clocks, all tick-tocking at different rates.
Some parts of the brain handle milliseconds and others keep track of decades.
Some neural timers handle body movements; others monitor information streaming in from the senses.
Some brain departments make timing predictions for the future, while timing of memories is handled elsewhere.
This diversity has led some scientists to focus on figuring out how the brain stitches together the results from its many clocks to reflect the outside world accurately.
A deeper understanding of how the brain’s timekeepers work might also shed light on something much more profound: how the brain constructs its own reality.
The brain sometimes squishes, expands or warps time, some studies suggest.
Subtle timing slips have been linked to emotions, attention, drugs and disorders such as schizophrenia.
Those tweaks hint at how the brain normally counts seconds and milliseconds.

Time is indeed fleeting, but where is it going?


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