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May 16, 2010

Who knows where the time goes?

From Chapter 8 ("Seven Years Are Like a Moment: Why Life Speeds Up As We Grow Older") of Stefan Klein's superb 2006 book, "The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity": "William James noted wistfully: 'In youth we may have an absolutely new experience, subjective or objective, every hour of the day.... Our recollections of that time... are of something intricate, multitudinous, and long-drawn-out. But as each passing year converts some of this experience into automatic routine which we hardly note at all, the days and weeks smooth themselves out... and the years grow hollow and collapse."

The James quotation is from his 1890 classic, "The Principles of Psychology."

Free, the way we like it.

Chapter 8 of Klein's book contains the best explanation I've ever come across for the sense that the pace of events is accelerating as our lives approach escape velocity — a.k.a. death.

May 16, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Couldn't find the referenced quote in chapter Eight for further context, but I do like the quote regardless - great logic behind that one...

Posted by: Tim | May 16, 2010 8:58:31 PM

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