The book “Ender’s Game” is my favorite novel of all time and the series is one of my favorite series. If you haven’t read any of the Ender books, it is a Sci-Fi series that takes place in the future and deals with an alien war and the diplomacy of trying to co-exist with several other intelligent species. Jane becomes Ender’s companion in the second book. She is a digital consciousness, far beyond AI, with no physical existence. She communicates with Ender only through a digital chip implanted in his ear. In the lapsing seconds as she speaks with Ender she can search databases, think extensively, and can carry out multiple conversations at once. Jane’s consciousness is so aware and processes things so quickly that seconds seem like days to her. Time isn’t actually passing more slowly, but she perceives time to move slower because of her super-consciousness. A few months ago I read an article about how humans can experience a similar phenomenon.
The article was on a study comparing how activity levels changed people’s perception of time. If you look at a 40 year old with a super-active personality, that might even be on the verge of eccentric, they perceive their life to have been longer than a 40 year old who has been living the grind. It might already be clear to you that this is no magic, unbelievable phenomenon. The super-active person, whether they be a serial entrepreneur, traveler, inventor, or simply very active social light, creates more distinct memories that do not easily blur. When thinking about their past, their many unique experiences, jobs, inventions, and adventures all stand out and give the perception of having had a longer life. The days don’t blend together. It’s not rocket science, but it’s interesting that we can all change to be more like Jane, should we desire. Time doesn’t actually pass any slower for busy people, nor does time slow for Jane, but by being super-active either results in so many accomplishments that time appears to slow.
I think this is how time passes for some of the world’s more eccentric entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs. Their personalities are so active, their days so full of interesting ideas and work, that a year is enormously different to them.
I think more ordinary, non-billionaire-mogul-types are affected equally though. Some people live life by the second and I think sometimes we diagnose them with A.D.H.D. and that’s not good. These might be some of the brightest people out there because their minds are naturally moving so quickly that they get bored easily. School curriculum is hardly challenging and someone it is just downright dull. The kids that are easily able to concentrate might just have minds that move slower. Their processing speed is more in line with the dull pace of public school teachings. They are no Jane. This doesn’t make them stupid, just better suited for linear thinking. Instead of realizing this and sticking the fast thinkers in faster paced environments, we drug them up and slow them down.