Philosophy

This is now: Swedish researcher defines ‘now’ as being about 2 seconds long

A Swedish researcher set out to determine how long ‘now’ is, and has come to the conclusion that it’s about 2 seconds long. Jan Almäng also says that ‘now’ has a beginning, middle and end, and that it involves perception of things happening, having just happened, and starting to happen.

Discussing memory and our understanding of how time is constructed as a form of perception, Jan Almäng suggests that ‘now’ involves more than just a split second moment: it is also comprised of an understanding of the second or so that led to the moment, and an understanding of the next second being about to begin.

Deep breath. Almäng nevertheless recognises that each person’s ‘now’ is slightly different, and everyone perceives things in their own way. For some people, the past might be more important than the future, and vice versa.

About Sarah Bosdiccia

Sarah Bosdiccia is a writer, journalist, blogger and editorial assistant. In the past, she has worked in the local newspaper business and has taught journalism modules at undergraduate level. She doesn't 'do' Facebook but you can follow her at @sarah_bosdiccia.

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