I’ve been thinking a lot about the perception of time lately. A bit of Google tells me others have thought about this too. Ever heard of autistic savants being able to instantly count falling matches? Its a well documented fact and yet it is very hard to explain. Some have theorized they are seeing it happen “slower”. That same time “dissonance” could account for many other autistic differences!
If that seems too far-fetched, maybe its just a “side-affect” of differences in “focus”. Maybe they are focused so much on one thing that they are able to perceive “more” of it. That would also imply that lesser focus is being applied elsewhere. So perceiving time being “slower” in one aspect might necessitate it being “faster” elsewhere. And again, that would explain a lot of autistic differences!
I’m certainly not autistic, nor a savant, but I may fall on the spectrum with some degree of Aspergers. And even if not, there are some shared traits, and I’m thinking time “dissonance” might explain at least some. I have a lot of trouble with sound in particular – it often seems to come too “fast”. Its like my sensory input “clock” is running “slower” and gets easily overwhelmed.
Maybe it is “slower”, or maybe its that my focus is elsewhere instead. So what then is running “faster” for me? I think there is more “depth” or processing that is happening. In other words, things that I do “catch” seem to really “hit”. So maybe I’m giving up the ability to have more “breadth” so that I can have more “depth” in things. This just happens for me – it is not a conscious choice.
Even my thoughts seem to fit this pattern. Its not at all the case that I’m not thinking much – nor more. It just feels like those thoughts are happening too “fast” and tend to stay outside of my “reach”. But when I do “grab” onto a thought, it tends to be highly focused. That works well for me in a detail-oriented tech field. And probably made academics “easy” while I lacked “common sense”!
I guess I am really wondering how much is “focus” and how much is “clock”? If differences are due to “focus” then we should be able to “improve” them more. But if they are due to our “clock” being different, then maybe not so much! I don’t mean to imply you can’t improve yourself even then – but there may be real “limits”. I am working on “growth” a lot lately, so this is really intriguing!