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Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.
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Why Time Flies By As You Get Older

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  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:11AM (#31005534)

    So my conclusion is to go with Einstein in that time is relative.

    Except that Einstein's special theory of relativity is talking about time _really_ being relative, not perception of absolute-time being relative.

  • by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @01:06AM (#31005990)

    At age 57, time doesn't "pass faster" for me than it did when I was 23 or 24, but each day adds a lower percentage of new experiences and memories than it did back then.

    Well, duh. Near the level cap, it takes more XP to advance.

  • Porcupine Tree (Score:2, Informative)

    by npoczynek ( 1259228 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @01:32AM (#31006178)
    Porcupine Tree's most recent album has an excellent 15 minute epic on this subject, titled "Time Flies". Check it out if you're bored one day and in the mood for some excellent modern rock.
  • Re:Michio Kaku (Score:5, Informative)

    by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @05:11AM (#31007476)

    If Picard ever stopped to think about it, I'd imagine that might begin to worry him...

    Picard would probably use his 100-billion neurons firing 1,000 times per second = 100-trillion operations/second to ask "Why is Data so slow? Can't he get an upgrade?"

  • by aneroid ( 856995 ) <<aneroid> <at> <>> on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @05:49AM (#31007654) Homepage Journal

    Full attention != Full processing capacity

    He obviously has tons of background daemons running and was in a situation of "some degree of peril" and physical change (the skin graft thing) which clearly would have triggered several others. A more useful, relevant, pertinent (and I predict...) reliable benchmark would be something like "thoughts per second" or "operations per thought" (since different thoughts would have different operations and a different number of operations). "Thought operations" (or "thoughts") could be a standard for thinking-speed.

    So - how an AI thinks is more important than how fast it thinks since "operation speed" can changed via hardware. Thinking-speed is a result of underlying algorithms that actually make up the "I" in AI. Thinking-speed is also affected by the AIs own growth and ability to change itself. IQ of an AI would also result from that.

    Which also implies that AIs can be distracted from a task - simply by causing it to a) spend more operations about input received or b) making it think about something else simultaneously. An AI being able to manage that/reduce the effect of the distraction, again, is dependent on design, self-growth and self-modification.

    It would be have sounded even more worrying if in those 0.68 seconds, he had as many "thoughts" as an intelligent person would in a year...or two. (Endless loops, non-breaks, etc. adds to the worry.)
    Ofcourse, I do agree with your statement. It IS an eternity for any AI.

    Sidenote with math-conjectures:
    60 trillion OPS = 60 x 10^12 OPS (or in MIPS = 60 * 10^6 MIPS, since we are not assuming only-FLOPS) - and yes, many operations make up 1 instruction, so assume best case is 1 instruction = 2 operations. So 30 * 10^6 MIPS? An X9100 is 32472 MIPS ~= 32 * 10^3 MIPS. So only slightly-less-than 1000 times slower than Data.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard