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Time.

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    Why is it that a long period of time into the future (i.e 5+ years) feels like a much longer period of time than 5+ years of time that has already past, while time that is weeks or days long doesn't seem that different regardless of whether it has already past or not?
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    (Original post by No Man)
    Why is it that a long period of time into the future (i.e 5+ years) feels like a much longer period of time than 5+ years of time that has already past, while time that is weeks or days long doesn't seem that different regardless of whether it has already past or not?
    Because we expect more than we actually achieve in those years. Past five years of school, all I've done is GCSEs and AS-levels, whereas in the next 5 years I tell myself I'm going to do all sorts of epic stuff
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    I think this is probably a neurobiology question, and not a philosophy question.


    I'm sure it's something to do with the different areas of the brain in which long/short term memory is stored.
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    Obviously you haven't been listening to doctor who:

    " People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-of-effect...but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly...timey-wimey...stuff"

    which I'm sure answers the question
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    Maybe because you can summarise those past 5 years in your mind, usually losing information (you don't usually remember everything) whereas you usually think of the future in all its possible forms (i.e. you actually think about many five years ahead)?
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    You can't visualise, quantify and rationalise the unknown.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    Time doesn't move, we move through it. Knowing this, we can make an educated assumption that our perception of time is backwards compatible (in that we can explore what is and what has been but not what will be). Essentially and neuro-biologically the more times a neural path is traveled upon the stronger it becomes and the lower the chances of losing it. Therefore the past is already traveled (both literally and neuro-biologically) and defined where the future is ill-defined.

    You could also argue that it's only really important or somehow interesting (to you at least) events that you remember, not the whole bulk of time, and therefore your assumption of future consumption of time is not in line with the plausible reality.

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Updated: July 29, 2012
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