Time Moves Exponentially Faster Every Year

I read A Brief History of Time, which is anything but brief, and it hurt my brain. What I came to understand from it is that time is more circular than linear.

Book Design by Glen M. Edelstein

Someone once explained to me in mathematical terms, why it feels as we age, that time moves ever more quickly. It was on that occasion that the phenomenon of passing time finally made perfect sense to me.

As a follower of this blog, you’ll understand how taxing anything remotely related to math is for Stick Chick, so I’ll do the explaining this time. If it’s your first time here, welcome! Wait ‘til you meet her. She’s endearing—really.  You can learn more about Stick Chick from previous posts.

In fact, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and online banking was not yet available, Stick Chick would dread the arrival of the monthly bank statement, fearing that any attempt to balance it would be her demise.

For simplicity, think of time from the perspective of two people. The first is five years old, while the other is 50. I’ll dispense with the notion of complications such as memory from birth, or language skills, or even one’s individual environment as a child. Suppose that from birth, we have memory, and thus can perceive an order of events.

Is that the time?

I was born, I celebrated my first birthday in summer, I sat on a sled in the snow, pulled along by my Dad the following winter, and so on. At age 5, our view of what happened only a year prior at age 4 is a full one fifth of our total life’s experience behind us!

Similarly, at 50, something which happened a year prior, when we were 49 represents only one 50th of our experience. As we accumulate years, our perspective, or sense of time of each year feels progressively shorter. For this reason, the more years that pass, the faster each one seems with hindsight.

When was the last time you heard an adult add on the half year as kids do?  Now you know why that extra half is so important to them.  You’re welcome.

One thought on “Time Moves Exponentially Faster Every Year

  1. Pingback: Blowin’ up a Monitor | 50: A Figment of My Imagination

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