By Michael G. Flaherty

Time, it's been stated, is the enemy. In an period of harried lives, time turns out more and more helpful as hours and days telescope and our lives frequently appear to be flitting previous. And but, at different instances, the mins drag on, each one tick of the clock excruciatingly drawn out. What explains this seeming paradox? dependent upon an entire decade's empirical examine, Michael G. Flaherty's new e-book bargains outstanding insights in this so much common human event. Flaherty surveys 1000s of people of every age in an try to determine how such phenomena as discomfort, violence, hazard, boredom, excitement, focus, surprise, and novelty impact our notion of time. Their tales make for exciting interpreting, by way of turns common and unique, mundane and dramatic, bad and humorous. A qualitative and quantitative journey de strength, A Watched Pot offers what may be the 1st absolutely built-in conception of time and may be of curiosity to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the knowledgeable public alike. a call awesome educational e-book.

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Sample text

The conscientious student of lived duration must somehow come to grips with a facet of subjectivity that is paradoxical, variegated, and taken for granted by laypeople and scientists alike. In this chapter, I attempt to describe the full range of variation in the perceived passage of time. It is my intention to map the contours of lived duration, thereby marking the perimeter of that territory which is explored more thor20 Paradoxical Variation / 21 oughly in the chapters that follow this one. Consequently, only enough of the data are introduced here to establish the extent of variation, not to account for it.

I worked for about nine hours, but it felt like days had gone by. The store was very busy and I was constantly scanning food and bagging gro­ ceries. Time seemed to go by so fast, but only minutes had. Scan­ ning the groceries seemed to take forever, and every time I looked at my watch only minutes had passed. m. A lot of people surrounded me with various questions, check approvals, and refunds. When I looked at the clock it was 5:15. Yet, it seemed as though I had been there for an hour. More people arrived at six, but the time still went slowly.

Moreover, I shall forego furnishing this section with concrete examples, and rely instead on the reader’s ca­ pacity to resonate with what are, after all, experiences each of us has had at one point or another. The elementary forms of lived duration are “elementary” only in the sense that they are indispensable to the existence of variation in the perceived passage of time. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive of lived duration without reference to such variation. For if there is variation in the perceived passage of time, then the variation reflects the fact that, under certain conditions, time is perceived to pass slowly while, under different conditions, it is perceived to have passed quickly.

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