In his book, Moonwalking with Einstein, author Joshua Foer examines the role of memory in creating a denser timeline of experiences to slow down the passage of time. His friend and fellow memory enthusiast Ed Cooke expressed the idea that has dogged humans since the beginning of, well, time.
“The idea is to avoid that feeling you have when you get to the end of the year and feel like, where the hell did that go?”
Ed’s solution was to remember more, in the process increasing the number of chronological landmarks to heighten his awareness of passing time.
In Foer’s words: “Just as we accumulate memories of facts by integrating them into a network, we accumulate life experiences by integrating them into a web of other chronological memories. The denser the web, the denser the experience of time…. Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next — and disappear.”