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Old 05-14-10, 09:03 AM   #1
Hermes 
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Perception of Time

A unit of time is constant. 30 minutes is always 30 minutes. But is it?

My wife and I cycle the same routes all the time. We leave our house and cycle to various destinations south. It takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours to get there. We drive from our house to the same destinations and it seems to take forever even though we are on a freeway going 65 mph. We comment all the time how long and far it is to drive. But on the bike, time seems to get warped in some way. It seems to speed up. It feels like we just leave the house and we arrive. Albert may disagree.

Does anyone else feel this way?
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Old 05-14-10, 09:06 AM   #2
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Time is an illusion; lunch time doubly so.

Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:11 AM   #3
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when i'm on my bike, i am focused on avoiding potholes, broken glass, cars not seeing me, a parked car opening a door in front of me, pedestrians, etc. And an hour goes by so fast. In a car, I am changing the radio and have trouble sitting still when stuck in traffic and it seems to take forever to get anywhere

I think this quote sums it up best: "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity." - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-14-10, 09:20 AM   #4
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Last week, I took a ride to check out what time a dance was and what time they served food. It was at a VFW. Anyhow after I checked it out and rode home, I let everybody that was going, know what the scoop was. We took the cars out there that night and all 14 of them couldn't believe I would ride that far. It didn't feel that far to me, as it was only 40 miles.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:53 AM   #5
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Time is just our perception of a physical phenomenon, physics as we know it is just an imprecise model, none of it is real.
We know that average speed is just distance traveled divided by perceived time to travel the distance.
I sometimes ride with guys who tell me their average speed is well over 20 mph, they invite me to ride with them and I cringe knowing my average speed is more like 18 over the course agreed upon. Usually what happens is I have no difficulty so their measurement of time must be different than mine - they must be experiencing relativistic time dilation effects which are not well model by our current understanding of physics. I suspect you are experiencing these same issues although in your case I am sure it does not skew your measurement of elapsed time - only your perception of elapsed time.

I hope that clears it up - there will be quiz at the end of class
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Old 05-14-10, 09:57 AM   #6
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Our time on this earth is finite. If they want to burn theirs up faster, so be it..
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Old 05-14-10, 10:27 AM   #7
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perception is reality
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Old 05-14-10, 10:51 AM   #8
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I have 3 or 4 big hills to climb on my commute. The first is about 10 minutes long; the second 15 minutes; the 3rd one 10 minutes, and the 4th one is 10 minutes. I *know* this because I've done the commute hundreds of times in the past few years.

About a month ago, I actually timed each of these climbs with a real clock.

The first "10 minute" climb clocked in at 90 seconds. The second one -- 4 minutes. The third one -- 3 minutes. The 4th one -- 2 minutes.

I guess my commute is not as tough as I thought it was.
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Old 05-14-10, 11:11 AM   #9
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Hermes, I agree with your assessment of riding vs. car travel to an extent. last night, after warming up for 30 minutes, the 2 hr Z3 interval seemed to take about 1/2 a day to complete.
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Old 05-14-10, 11:55 AM   #10
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It's like work time and fun time, weekday time and weekend time, work week time and vacation time. The more you like what you are doing, the faster the time seems to go by.

That kind of sucks when you think about it.
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Old 05-14-10, 12:10 PM   #11
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We're confusing the issue of quality with that of time quantity. They are not the same thing. When we dislike something we want it to end now, not in 10 minutes, but now. When our experience is of high quality it seems it can't last long enough. One of the things that has gotten me through difficult or low quality times is the reality that it too shall pass. I love wooden roller coasters and will stand in line for an hour (if it's a good coaster) for a 90 second ride.
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Old 05-14-10, 12:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
perception is reality
Is this real?
Which reel?
The last reel...

Of this vintage motion picture...
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Old 05-15-10, 11:24 PM   #13
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Is this real?
Which reel?
The last reel...

Of this vintage motion picture...
"High School Madness", starring Peorgie Tirebiter....

SP
Bend ,OR
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Old 05-16-10, 12:06 AM   #14
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Sometimes I feel like you do Hermes. As long as I don't have to be anywhere right after I get home from a ride. But with the information provided by most modern bicycle "dashboards" with a computer that tells us speed, distance, elevation gain, and heart rate and oh yes time I often get brought back to reality several times during a ride. 30 minutes is 30 minutes when you have to be somewhere in 30 minutes. If not anywhere you are in 30 minutes is where you should be.
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Old 05-16-10, 05:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
Time is just our perception of a physical phenomenon, physics as we know it is just an imprecise model, none of it is real.
Yup, and if you ride toward a clocktower really really really fast, the hands will move backwards.
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Old 05-16-10, 05:57 AM   #16
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Yup, and if you ride toward a clocktower really really really fast, the hands will move backwards.
There are only a few bikes which can be ridden that fast, they tend to be rather fragile due to their light weight (they have a significant portion of anti-matter in the frames). When they break it takes forever to find a good quantum mechanic to work on them.
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Old 05-16-10, 08:37 AM   #17
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Riding one of these can avoid confusing space time issues:

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Old 05-16-10, 08:52 AM   #18
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One time I decided to explore a route in the area where I was doing weekly century rides. I took the car to see where the route went. I could not stand sitting in the car for that long. It drove me nuts. I gave up and came home before exploring. It seemed Like I was in the car forever.
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Old 05-16-10, 09:26 AM   #19
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"Time flies when you're having fun". On those days where the commute is enjoyable, it's over too quickly, but on days with a stiff headwind and going uphill all the way home, it seems like it'll never end.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:50 PM   #20
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Perception of time is one thing, but I remember doing some racing in Trinidad back in the late 90's. I had the very distinct sensation that time moved more slowly near the equator. Think of it this way: our sense of time is shaped by our perception of the environment. We think of one day as 24 hours, one revolution of the planet. However, if you are at the 45th parallel (say somewhere in Oregon), you are rotating around the planet's axis at a slower speed than someone at the equator. So as you look around in Oregon, things are changing faster in one hour than if you are in Trinidad, where the hour stretches out to match the distance you travel around the earth's axis. A difficult concept to explain, but it involves the space-time continuum. The faster you go, the slower time must go.
("The faster we go, the rounder we get" - The Greatful Dead)
- L.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:42 PM   #21
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When Trica and I go to San Francisco the drive home isn't so bad, but the last 20 minutes kills us.

I teach, I assure you the last two weeks are well over half a semester.

Distance too. A century fries me. A double? Well, 100 miles is half way, and I feel good at that point. The next 80 hurts, the last 20 and I'm a horse looking to the barn.
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Old 05-19-10, 03:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I have 3 or 4 big hills to climb on my commute. The first is about 10 minutes long; the second 15 minutes; the 3rd one 10 minutes, and the 4th one is 10 minutes. I *know* this because I've done the commute hundreds of times in the past few years.

About a month ago, I actually timed each of these climbs with a real clock.

The first "10 minute" climb clocked in at 90 seconds. The second one -- 4 minutes. The third one -- 3 minutes. The 4th one -- 2 minutes.

I guess my commute is not as tough as I thought it was.
The theory of relativity can be used to demonstrate that uphill time is different from downhill time.
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Old 05-19-10, 05:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
A unit of time is constant. 30 minutes is always 30 minutes. But is it?

My wife and I cycle the same routes all the time. We leave our house and cycle to various destinations south. It takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours to get there. We drive from our house to the same destinations and it seems to take forever even though we are on a freeway going 65 mph. We comment all the time how long and far it is to drive. But on the bike, time seems to get warped in some way. It seems to speed up. It feels like we just leave the house and we arrive. Albert may disagree.

Does anyone else feel this way?
Einstein once described his Theory of Relativity to a reporter like this:
"You sit on a park bench next to a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. You sit on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. That's Relativity."
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Old 05-19-10, 08:36 AM   #24
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Old 05-19-10, 08:42 AM   #25
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On the bike I don't spend much time thinking about it.
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