Time Is Relative

This animation, of psychologist Philip Zimbardo lecturing?on the six different ways people perceive time, takes about 10 minutes to watch. Depending on your time orientation, it might seem to take far longer, or seem to rush by. Understanding which “time zone” we inhabit, Zimbardo says, has profound effects on every aspect of life.? (HT: Kottke) [%comments]


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  1. AaronS says:

    That was both beautiful and elegant!

    I believe in an after-life, but I also try to remember that there are only so many weekends I will spend on this earth. So I seek to dedicate these fleeting times (as well as mornings and evenings) to being involved with my son and family.

    I don’t want to turn 80 and have the deep regret that, when I could, when I was able, I used my energy for temporal things that do not satisfy that deep and precious place inside.

    Let my time be spent with my wife and son, rather than on yet another “project” that I can come up with to keep me occupied. I’d rather die a little poorer in dollars than bankrupt in what really matters.

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  2. Zack Brown says:

    As a 27 year old (born the same year as the NES) who played more than 10,000 hours of video games before the age of 21, I’m a little offended by the characterization of gaming virtuosos as people with poor social skills. It’s a tired conventional wisdom, so I expect the Freakonomics blog to tackle that next (or let me do it!). Zambardo does a lot of extrapolating here–view with great skepticism.

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  3. Philippe says:

    The protestant vs catholic thing had me wondering what it means about having no more protestants on the Supreme Court.

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  4. Rudiger in Jersey says:

    Much of our technology and materialism in this modern life is devoted to saving time, like washing machines, frappachino machines, vaccum cleaners, power tools, and fast cars. But ironically all that saved time goes to one thing: more television watching.

    Imagine how much better we would be if we devoted those hours to perfecting a skill or improving our minds. Playing 10,000 hours of video gaming: Imagine the opportunity cost lost of instead playing classical piano, doing calculus, studying quantum physics or inventing an alternative energy source.

    It is not just being time oriented, it is having the discipline and strength of mind and work ethic to progress and mature. Our children are big babies with educated thumbs on their joysticks.

    Too bad they are not spending 10,000 hours learning a trade or how to be self sufficient. The teenager you don’t chastise today, may be the 55 year old gamer living in your attic rent free and asking ‘what’s for dinner, ma?’

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  5. David says:

    There are lots of ways to detach from the present and those around us, from daydreaming, to reading, to phone, to boob tube, to computers/email/web/youtube and video games… The dreamed about worlds have always been compelling, and they’ve always been a “concern” for how it’s “changing” culture…yet culture is dead if it’s not changing.

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  6. David Chowes, New York City says:

    Groucho trumps Dr. Zimbardo. Marx (not Karl) said that one
    minute in a dentist’s chair seems like an hour; while one hour with his girlfriend seems like just one minute.

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  7. charlie says:

    this took AGES to buffer – at least 2 seconds

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  8. hanmeng says:

    Luxembourg has the highest GDP in the world, yet is 87% Catholic.

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