Download A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time by Michael G. Flaherty PDF

By Michael G. Flaherty

Time, it's been stated, is the enemy. In an period of harried lives, time turns out more and more worthy as hours and days telescope and our lives usually appear to be flitting earlier. And but, at different instances, the mins drag on, every one tick of the clock excruciatingly drawn out. What explains this seeming paradox? dependent upon a whole decade's empirical examine, Michael G. Flaherty's new publication bargains outstanding insights in this such a lot common human event. Flaherty surveys hundreds and hundreds of people of every age in an try and make certain how such phenomena as ache, violence, possibility, boredom, excitement, focus, surprise, and novelty impact our belief of time. Their tales make for interesting interpreting, through turns established and unique, mundane and dramatic, terrible and humorous. A qualitative and quantitative travel de strength, A Watched Pot offers what may be the 1st absolutely built-in thought of time and should be of curiosity to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the informed public alike. a decision amazing educational publication.

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Extra resources for A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time

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I wondered what my parents were going to say, if they would be mad, where my boyfriend was, and most of all, would it hurt. . After it was over, I realized what a short time it was to think so many thoughts, but, while it was happen­ ing, there was more than enough time. 25 The characteristic experiences of intentional violence echo those of natural and accidental violence. There is a sense of extreme urgency and concentration on matters at hand. One is utterly absorbed with self and situation.

Slowly, I put my hand into a bag and pulled out a red thing. It looked as if it would taste good so I took a big bite. Instantly, my eyes got big, and my mouth felt as if it was on fire. I started kicking and screaming, but my mother couldn’t help me. I had to sit and wait for us to get home. It seemed as if my mother was driving five miles per hour. The pain seemed to sizzle. Finally, when I got home, it felt as if thirty minutes had passed. In addition, there are offensive experiences. Such experi­ ences have little if any effect on us physically, but, by offending our sensibilities, they make for the kind of suffering that occasions protracted duration.

By and large, scholars have emphasized experimental control at the ex- Introduction / 19 pense of thorough familiarity with naturally occurring vari­ ation. In chapter 2, I take the measure of that variation by establishing what must be explicated: the three paradoxical aspects and three elementary forms of lived duration. In chapter 3, I present a great deal of qualitative data to ac­ quaint the reader with situations in which time is perceived to pass slowly. In chapter 4, I construct a theory that is ca­ pable of accounting for the full range of variation in the perceived passage of time.

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