Posted by Mark Frauenfelder, August 12, 2009 10:08 AM | permalink
Here’s a test: let’s say a meeting, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been moved forward two days. What is the new day of the meeting? If you think it’s Friday, you imagine time as something you move through. If you think it’s Monday, you think of time as something that [moves through you].
(I’ve corrected BoingBoing’s phrasing in that last bit to more properly reflect the contrast)
My natural disposition is the former. We move through time, time does not move through us. Time is static. Our consciousness is not. That’s my impression. I may be wrong.
Another way BoingBoing could have described the difference would have been to use the concept of “moving a meeting back”. “Moving a meeting back” to me meant moving a meeting back in time, meaning, making it happen sooner. But people mean the opposite. I’ve learned to translate my thinking to the terms that mean what the majority (or whoever created office expressions) mean.
The study BoingBoing reports on, although too vague to have any real meaning, is a nice reminder that our relationship to the concept of time is unclear, because our understanding of time is paltry.