The curse of habits

The curse of habits

Alva Noë explains why when we form new habits, time doesn’t fly:

We live a world of significant actions and events, not movements, just as we live in a world of meanings, not words or sounds. We live in a world of arcs, not points.

Here’s the thing:

[A]rcs collapse time, for they make time, as measured by the ticking of a clock and the turning of pages on the calendar, irrelevant. They organize time, and everything else, according to their own requirements. The baseball player is counting time with pitches and innings; it doesn’t matter how long the game took in minutes and hours. The basketball player measures time in relation to quarters, fouls, time outs, and baskets, and so on.

The crux:

[T]ime goes faster as you get older, but this is because, as a general rule, by the time we are older, we have settled in on the story lines and narrative arcs by which we structure our lives. We sign on as wife, potter, architect, bar tender, business person, or whatever, and so our lives are governed by time- and event- structures (shifts, projects, pregnancies, etc.) that have nothing to do with biological or physical time. We have become expert wives, potters, architects and now we are the expressions of our own routinized skill.

We are now actualized habits.

A call for breaking routine, turning at a different corner, learning an instrument, or unlearning one, being awkward, looking. Count me in.

(thx, allen)