Download e-book for iPad: A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time by Michael G. Flaherty

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 helpful as hours and days telescope and our lives frequently appear to be flitting previous. 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 an entire decade's empirical examine, Michael G. Flaherty's new booklet bargains amazing insights in this so much common human event. Flaherty surveys thousands of people of every age in an try to confirm how such phenomena as anguish, violence, threat, boredom, pleasure, focus, surprise, and novelty effect our belief of time. Their tales make for fascinating studying, by means of turns regular and unique, mundane and dramatic, terrible and humorous. A qualitative and quantitative journey de strength, A Watched Pot provides what could be the 1st absolutely built-in concept of time and may be of curiosity to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the proficient public alike. a decision amazing educational ebook.

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Extra resources for A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time

Sample text

Indeed, under more careful scrutiny, they turn out to be quite full—not of demonstrable events or activity in an objective sense, but of perceptions, feelings, thoughts; in a word, of engrossment with the pro­ ceedings, such as they are. Ironically, when we asked re­ spondents about uneventful episodes, they reported that “nothing” was happening even though, like Koestler, their own descriptions contradicted this conclusion. In fact, a great many things are happening as the young woman waits Paradoxical Variation / 29 in that office and—again, like Koestler—much of what she attends to is of her own making.

Once again, common-sense knowledge does not rescue us from our dilemma. The folk theory tells us that busy time passes quickly, and, coupled with our own experiences, the familiarity of this aphorism may make it seem indisputable. Paradoxical Variation / 30 Nevertheless, the folk theory only serves to mark one side of the apparent contradiction. As we have seen, Van Maa­ nen perceived time to pass slowly during a very eventful episode. His account is corroborated by Ansel Adams when the latter finds himself in the midst of an earthquake: At five-fifteen the next morning, we were awakened by a tremen­ dous noise.

These themes can be thought of as the sufficient causes of protracted duration. In other words, each of these factors is capable of bringing about the perception that time is passing slowly, but none of them are necessary for the ex­ perience of protracted duration. In the following pages, a selection of data is brought forward as a purposeful melody of observations. The chosen vignettes have been selected with an eye toward conceptual elaboration and il­ lustration. ”6 Indeed, any form of suffering is capable of provok­ ing the perception that time is passing slowly.

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

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