Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How fast does time go?

I seem to have fallen off the blogging bandwagon for a bit. A combination of recent events conspired to eat up time that might otherwise be used for writing, but there shouldn't be much to prevent me from writing about things in the nearish future.

The title of this post comes from a question I always thought was a little weird, namely what is the rate at which time passes. I've always liked the uninformative answer of one second per second. Often it seems like it goes much faster, like the lightning quick weekend I just had. Other times it slows down. For example, recently I went skydiving and I was warned that during the free fall it feels like time stops. I was looking out for this, so I was concentrating on it as I jumped out of the plane. Time really does seem to grind to a halt for those, apparently, 50 seconds. I'm not quite sure what to make of the feeling of time stopping together with my seeming ability to entertain thoughts at that point. The kantian in me is very confused by this since time is the form of inner sense and it seems like stopping that would interfere with inner sense. Nonetheless, it certainly seemed like time stopped then it started again. Truly odd. This ends my rambling on time perception. I'd like to return to the philosophy of time at some point since I really dig on McTaggart. I'm not sure when that will be. I promise to try to avoid further forays into phenomenology though. (Bonus points to anyone that caught the underlying motivation for this post.)

From the looks of my posts, one would think that I've spent most of my time thinking about Making It Explicit and the Tractatus. This is in part true. I've been thinking about other things but these haven't yet made their way into posts. This will hopefully change this week.

For those interested in the Pitt-CMU grad conference in the spring, the website is up but the new call for papers isn't done yet. Bas van Fraassen is the keynote speaker, which should be pretty sweet.

1 comment:

Justin said...

I will note that the phenomenon of time slowing down has been studied. Or at least a cool video was made by scientists. That's my favored use of "has been studied."