Time, where art thou?

I am notoriously atrocious at managing my time, and often thing that time is my greatest nemesis. I know, it isn’t. Shaytaan is. But one of the symptoms of his devilish presence is my mismanagement of that most precious of commodities, which once gone never comes back. Not even a split second of it. So, it was with much interest that I read this week’s LA Times’ Health section articles on time. Did you know that

Neuroscientists have come to recognize that patients with devastating brain disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases greatly underestimate the passage of time. Poor timing is a hallmark in several psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, autism and attention deficit disorder.

That is astonishing…I never would have thought that people having a poor perception of time actually might have further medical implications. And then there was this:

At the other end of the time spectrum is the elusive — but tiny — stretch of time we call “now.”

For most people, researchers have come to define the optimal “now” — give or take a second or two — about 2 1/2 seconds long, basically a human’s typical span of unconscious attention.

Those whose “now” interval is much shorter than 2 1/2 seconds are readily distracted and thus unlikely to stay on task long enough to make full sense of their surroundings and respond appropriately. If “now” is much longer than that, people’s powers of attention may be too rigid to shift when necessary to keep up with changes in their surroundings.

This sounds like something totally not worth blogging about at 12:30 am, but bear with me. This is useful stuff; think about it. If you are not sure if you’re dealing with either an ADD kind of person, or alternatively a person with tons of staying power but unable to process data quickly, you can just ask them, “How long does now, this moment in time, exist?” If they tell you it’s an hour-long, then you’re probably dealing with someone who needs time to assimilate changes and going too fast for them might cause rifts in your relationship. Alternately, if there idea of now is a second, then you’re probably going to have to learn lots of cool yo-yo tricks or something to keep them interested. Well, that’s how I plan to use that information, anyway. So, how long is now, to you? Seriously. My now is about 5 seconds. I’m a bit slow. And also a tad bit ADD. There’s way more in these articles, but both my ADD and my need for sleep are kicking in…so I’ll either get back to the issue of time later, or let you guys read it yourselves.


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6 Responses to Time, where art thou?

  1. realistic bird says:

    Ah! Neuroscience is so cool! I studied a bit at uni concerning how we learn and assimilate information, memory, etc. to help students out, it still interests me.

    How did you calculate your now? I’m thinking like I look at the watch to see the time like 2 seconds. I don’t think I have ADD but there is nothing that make me focus on something I don’t want to know about I zone out but when I’m interested I get all.

    This article needs some time to chew on, *excited* 😀


  2. Neuroscience is very interesting…and that’s just from the layman’s perspective. Sounds like it must have been a blast of a class, albeit a bit difficult 😯

    I didn’t calculate anything! I’m lazy. I’m just going around asking everyone, “How long do you think now lasts?” As soon as I got to that part of the article, I stopped reading, and asked myself that question. I figured 5 seconds sounds good, and then I kept reading 😆 I would love to have a better way of getting to what my brain really perceives “now” to be, though.

  3. Tranquility says:

    Cool, my younger sister is studying this in uni.

    I think mine is about 3 to 5 sec, depending what I’m doing. Lol sis I think I’m a bit ADD or something too … cause Lord knows I drift off to my own little world, now and then. But then again it all depends on what I’m doing, if it is something I’m interested in then “now” goes by faster but when I bored out my mind then haha that’s a whole another story…

    • Boredom does make the now seem like it will never end! And how about repetitive tasks…if I have to make the same dress pattern 5 times in a row, for example…I feel like I’m dying a slow and torturous death. My mom, on the other hand, can repeat the same pattern 20 times, and every time, she’ll find something interesting and different about it. MashaAllah.

      I wish I had your sister’s brain 😛 May Allah make it a breeze for her, ameen!

  4. realistic bird says:

    It is not difficult if you already know the terms from regular biology class. I should look the book up to get the name because it is really a simple and small book. I guess the writer knew he was not addressing neuroscientists rather educators so he made it simple in language 😀

    “I figured 5 seconds sounds good, and then I kept reading”

    Haha, it is not an easy question to answer because it is open.

    I listened to the author of the book below on a program and thought it is an interesting book to buy. It is kind of neuroscience in a simplified way.

    How We Decide: http://www.amazon.com/How-We-Decide-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/0618620117

    • Look, birdy…5 seconds is my answer and that’s final :razz:j/k

      Well, that book sounds interesting…I’m going to look for it in the libraries around here, inshaAllah. Thanks for pointing it out!

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