Time I

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One of the recurring themes of my numerous daydreams relates to the passage of time, and different ways of measuring it. For example, I think about what I call my “backwards age”, that is, what would my life have looked like if I’d lived exactly my current lifespan, but in the opposite direction from my birthdate. So I’m 46 now –  what would my life have been had I turned 46 the day I was born (March 5, 1962 if you want to keep track). 

The most obvious way to look at this is through historical events - I would have been born in 1916, during the middle of World War 1. Would have survived the ‘flu epidemic, the “Hoover Years”, the Great Depression... and I would have been the perfect age to serve during the Second World War. Since we’re assuming I made it to 46, that means I survived the war - at which point I’d have been 29 years old. It seems incredible that I was actually born only 17 years after the end of the war! I mean – I look back at when I was 29, and it really wasn’t that long ago!

Another way of measuring is by life span. For example, Duston’s Dad, Warren, is 90 years old (we should all wish to be 90 like he is, by the way). Now if we take that lifespan to be a unit of measure - let’s call it a “Warren” - then how many Warrens ago did various events happen. Columbus discovering the Americas? Why, that was 5.7 Warrens ago! The baby Jesus? 22.3 Warrens! When you think about it that way, it doesn’t seem that long ago. I mean, if we reach even back as far as the earliest glimmerings of history, pre-the-ancient-Egyptians, we’re STILL only talking about 80 or so Warrens - that’s more than 7,000 years! I don’t know for a fact, but I’d imagine that scientists who work with fruit flies or mice must find it hard to resist the temptation to look back on certain specimens as having been the “Columbus” or the “Charlemagne” or the “Nefertiti” of the experiment.

By the way, I’ve called this entry “Time 1”, because I have a lot more to say about it - I LOVE this time stuff. At some point I’m sure “Time II” will emerge...