Curious but Meaningless

This is day number 22,454 of my life, which means I was born 3207 weeks and 5 days ago. I’ve experienced fifteen leap years in my life. I’ve experienced just a shade more than 738 months. I was born on a Wednesday and last celebrated my birthday on a Tuesday. My next birthday will be on a Wednesday, so I can consider it something of a rebirth, yeah?

If my calculations are correct, it has been roughly 1,940,025,600 seconds since my birth. That’s one billion, nine-hundred-forty million, twenty-five thousand, six hundred seconds.

Now, if one considers that (according to an article on Wikipedia), the wings of a hummingbird hovering in mid-air flap fifty times per second, a hummingbird hovering in mid-air since my birth would  have flapped its wings 97,001,280,000 times. That’s ninety-seven billion, one million, two-hundred-eighty-thousand times. (The average life-span of a hummingbird is about three to five years, so that little bird would have long since died, but that’s not the point of this drivel.)

All of these arguably interesting but meaningless numbers serve only one purpose: putting experience in the context of time.

How long does it take to experience a second? I suspect it takes us (humans) longer than one second to process the experiences we have in a one-second time period. I have no hard facts to back up my assertion, just a hunch. Let’s say it takes an additional half-second to fully comprehend the experience of one second of time we’ve just been through. If I’m correct, then, it takes us longer to understand what we’ve experienced than the amount of time we’ve experienced. You know, because first we experience a second in real time, then we take another half second to process that experience. Okay, I just wanted to make sure you were with me.

Using my logic, if you can call it that, it will take me another thirty-plus years just to fully comprehend the life I’ve lived thus far.  I’ll be over ninety years old when I finally appreciate the experiences I had through age sixty-one. At that rate, I’ll never catch up. I’ll have to live forever just to appreciate the life I’ve been living. I think we’ll all agree that’s not an available option, so the facts (I use the term loosely) suggest we’ll never fully process the full experience of our lives. We are living a mystery with no final “reveal.”

What I have just written is utter hogwash. But at least it can be used to clean the pigs.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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