- Having a dull conversation with a co-worker.
- Running down a list of my groceries in my head.
- Thinking about the time that I set a whole side of salmon on fire in the oven while making dinner for my Aunt and Uncle.
- Thinking about how weird my mother’s family can be about food.
- Coming up with the next comment I’m going to make in my dull conversation.
The part that really struck me was about how our perception of the world, and thus time, is delayed. In this paragraph Eagleman talks about how that delayed understanding is directly related to language:
“[The brain] gathers up all the evidence of our senses, and only then reveals it to us. It’s a deeply counterintuitive idea in some ways. Touch your finger to an ember or prick it on a needle and the pain is immediate. You feel it now—not in half a second. But perception and reality are often a little out of register, as the saccade experiment showed. If all our senses are slightly delayed, we have no context by which to measure a given lag. Reality is a tape-delayed broadcast, carefully censored before it reaches us.”
Another part of the article got me thinking about the relationship between description and action in story:
And what about this layering of thought and memory within time? At one point in the article, after conducting some testing Eagleman says “It suggests that time and memory are so tightly intertwined that they may be impossible to tease apart.” It’s clear that our memory is fallible, but this idea that our brain is creating our reality for us after the fact indicates that every moment of our reality is a memory, every moment of our reality is constructed.
Like I said - mind boggling.