Home » Uncategorized » Time really is speeding up: Christopher Caldwell FT January 2010

Time really is speeding up: Christopher Caldwell FT January 2010

Christopher Caldwell has written a simply fascinating essay on how our perception of time is different from the timepiece that we look to when we want to know the time. He uses a number of examples to make his point. A couple that really caught my attention: Reagan’s birth in 1911 is as close to the Battle of Waterloo in 1812 as it is to Obama’s inauguration in 2008. Waterloo feels like a very, very long time ago and something that happened “hundreds of years” before President Reagan. The hundred years between Reagan and Obama seem so much shorter. Another example is Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock, which appeared in 1957 which feels to me like yesterday and not like “fifty-three whole years.” But if one goes backwards in time, Jailhouse Rock is closer to ancient events like World War I, the Boer War, Teddy Roosevelt and all that than it is to us today. That shrinking and lengthening of time is most intriguing. Caldwell says that events that we lived through appear much closer to us than events that we are told about. Read the full article!

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