Don't Worry, You Won't Remember Being Stuck in Traffic

Time shrinks retrospectively.

Let’s say you’re on a very boring airplane ride over to Europe. During the event it might seem like it’s taking a long time.  But in retrospect, once you’ve gotten off the plane, it’s like there was no time there at all. 


The reason is you didn't lay down any new footage during the flight.  There was nothing new happening.  There were no events and so when you look back on it you can't remember it at all. 

And that's of course what happens during a typical workweek or when you drive to work.  You’re doing something that you do all the time. Time shrinks retrospectively.  But if you go off for the weekend to some novel vacation, a place you’ve never been before, then you look back and you think, "Wow, that was very long weekend!"

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Is life after 75 worth living? This UPenn scholar doubts it.

What makes a life worth living as you grow older?

Culture & Religion
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel revisits his essay on wanting to die at 75 years old.
  • The doctor believes that an old life filled with disability and lessened activity isn't worth living.
  • Activists believe his argument stinks of ageism, while advances in biohacking could render his point moot.
Keep reading Show less

Brazil's Amazon fires: How they started — and how you can help.

The Amazon Rainforest is often called "The Planet's Lungs."

NASA
Politics & Current Affairs
  • For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
  • Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
  • There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
Keep reading Show less

Amazon is selling thousands of banned, unsafe, and mislabelled products, report shows

The world's largest retailer has evolved "like a flea market," according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • The report found more than 4,000 listings for products deemed to be unsafe, banned or mislabelled.
  • These products included mislabelled pain relievers, dangerous children's toys, and helmets that had failed federal safety tests.
  • There are some steps you can take to avoid buying unsafe or counterfeit products from Amazon.
Keep reading Show less