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What we get wrong about time

Understand the future

Understand the future

Many of us think of our past as a kind of a video library where we can look at records of our lives. If memories were fixed like videotapes, you would find it difficult to imagine a new situation.

It is our past memories that help us imagine a future, and to preview future events. This skill of using the past to predict the future helps us try out different hypothetical scenarios before we commit.

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What we get wrong about time

What we get wrong about time

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191203-what-we-get-wrong-about-time

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

The perception of time

Although some physicists would argue against the existence of time, we all do have a perception of time that reflects the reality of our lives on Earth.

False pasts

Most of us forget more than we remember. We change memories to make sense of what has happened in our lives. When we then recall a memory, we reconstruct the events in our minds and even shape them to fit in with any new information.

Slowing down

Part of your sense of time passing is dictated by the number of new memories you have made. Time feels as if it is going more slowly when you are bored or feeling lonely or rejected.

In contrast, if life feels as though it's going fast, this could be a sign of a full life. If you lay down many new memories, in retrospect, it can feel as though ages passed.

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Why early years seem longer
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