January 29, 2006

Timelines

The other day, I was talking to my flatmate Niki at dinner when she asked, "So, when you think of time, how do you think of it?". Needless to say, I was a bit confused by this statement coming propos of nothing, so I asked her to explain more fully. She then asked, how did I picture time, in terms of days, weeks, months and years. What's strange is that I knew just how to answer her. When I think of a year, I think of it going like this…

April —————————————————> December

———————————————————————-

l

l

l

January

Starting at the bottom (January, obviously), and taking a sharp right at April. This means that I guess my life looks like a staircase, which I just spent 10 minutes drawing out in underscores and l's, but which blogbuilder won't let me show. angry face (well, not so much angry as ever so slightly bemused. You get the idea…)

Which is nice, now I think about it, it's like my years are climbing towards something, even in the literal way that I think of them. I'd never considered that before.

Niki, on the other hand, thinks of her years as being a kind of upright oval, going anti-clockwise downwards towards June and then up towards December. As for weeks and the progession of each month, she thinks of each week as progressing in a linear fashion from right to left . Obviously, this clearly proves her to be insane, but that's another topic for discussion entirely. When I think of a week, it moves from left to right, and when I think of a day it climbs vertically towards midnight, then kind of drops off in a curve down to the bottom at 6 a.m.

So, I mentioned this to some friends (two of which philiosophy majors) and none of them were able to elucidate how they think about time. So now I would like to know if Niki and I are, in fact, confirmed crazies, or if there are other people who have considered this… thank you for your time given in this groundbreaking piece of research.


- 7 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Alan Hazelden

    Sounds crazy to me.

    29 Jan 2006, 20:03

  2. You are indeed crazy. Good luck with that.

    29 Jan 2006, 21:44

  3. It is madness, but funnily enough, I visualize time like your friend Niki!
    I see the year as an upright oval, tilted away from me so the bottom looks fatter (june-august) and the top is the thinest (december-january). My timeline also ticks around anti-clockwise. And it's rainbow coloured from red (january) through the greens (summer) and around to purple (nov/dec).

    My week runs right to left like so:

    / Fri - Thu - Wed - Tue - Mon \
    \_ s a t u r d a y - s u n d a y _/

    anticlockwise, no colours.

    For the day, I picture a normal analogue 12h clock.

    It's good to think I'm not the only who thinks up this stuff =)

    29 Jan 2006, 22:08

  4. Funnily enough I imagine time like a flipchartish calender, cos thats normal, not crazy.

    29 Jan 2006, 23:43

  5. I think my sense of time has just decreased with age – and doing too much maths. Weeks kind of go left to right, but I have no visualisation for a year at all, and I have to think quite hard which month comes after which, especially around June-July time. If you asked me what I had for tea two days ago I'd find it quite difficult to tell you. Events just don't join up in a time-dependent way in my head.

    Funnily enough I was thinking about this earlier today – is it just me, or do other people find it difficult to join up events sequentially?

    31 Jan 2006, 00:49

  6. Sorry hun, it's just you getting really, really old…

    01 Feb 2006, 19:28

  7. I also cannot remember what order things happen or when, chronology eludes me. Its especially annoying when one of my best friends can give the year and month of everything that has happened to us since we met 13 years ago.

    08 Feb 2006, 16:53


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