This post was inspired by this article found in Gizmodo: Why You Should Never Listen to Ride of the Valkyries While Driving.
How amazing that our brains work on a different level than time. When I watch a pot boil, it seems like time is crawling along, dragging me with it just barely creating enough time to get the kettle hot enough to whistle. Then on the other end of the spectrum is spending time with friends or playing a great game of Frisbee that takes hours and squishes it into minutes. I’ve been challenged by this thought a lot. How could this be? Why would the brain allow this to happen?
So my curiosity is in the brains ability to perceive and understand time, and with that goes a whole slew of sense perception questions.
In regards to time and feeling fully alive: I believe the more you are challenged in thought and decision the more time accelerates. For example, when I’m playing Frisbee I make a ton of decisions, and this decision making process is quick and low on technical consideration. I pretty much do exactly what comes naturally to me. The more I think about playing Frisbee the worse it becomes. This is the same for spending time with friends. When I’m having the most fun I forget about everything else and allow auto pilot to take over. The more I decide without reevaluation the faster time goes. I like to call those heighten decision making process times “being in the zone”.
The Gizmodo article states that I should not drive while listening to Flight of the Valkyries because it will make you drive faster, which makes sense because that song has a fast pace. Yet, why does our brain decide to drive faster when we hear a fast song? Is it that our heart rate increases, so going faster provides a counter balancing affect to the increased blood flow? Than why does our heart rate increase? Nothing about that music is physically pushing blood faster? It’s just sound. Does it come from the constant thud of our heart beat? What would music sound like if we didn’t have a heart beat?
Back on another tangent. When travelling I experience periods of confusion (where to go/how to read the ticket), frustration (waiting in line/going through security), being in the zone (following signs/being excited about your destination), and boredom (waiting at the gate, and lots of other waiting) all this contributes so much to my exhaustion. This variation in experiences especially the large bought of boredom, which makes time drag forever, leaves an impression of lots of time passing. Meaning it makes sense that people would be exhausted at the end of day of travel. How do we help people make travel a less exhaustive experience? (Clearer tickets, quicker lines, faster boarding, less delays, easy baggage, easy to and from airport, more red carpet clubs)
Very tangential: What if we had a red carpet club wholly automated. You checked into the room. Vending machine distributed snacks and drinks. Hal provided clear instructions and updates about your flight/how to get to the gate. Nice room, simple chairs plenty of outlets. It wouldn’t cost very much if you implemented good systems to keep everything clean. But I digress.
Food provides such an awesome sensory experience, and is so valuable to what I consider significant and worthwhile in my life. I am very thankful that I was included in so many different family eating rituals. If I eat a meal with any family in any context. I consider a deeper understanding into how they function as a group. Food is something everyone enjoys, so if you do it with your family your going to begin associating your family with this really good thing. At least to a very small degree, and small degrees add up! Food is something I’ll continue to address throughout these posts. Yay food!
IN CLOSING! Senses are essential to our interaction with the world and our sense of time is dependent on what we’re doing. When I want to understand what is happening, or how to improve my life or the lives of those around me. I will remember to consider the depth our senses have to our understanding of the world and its impact on the formation of our personalities.