I was thinking of asking this question. How do you visualize time ? Somebody did it, so let me just use that post 🙂

Vivek asks

When you think about time, do you visualize it?

For example, when you think about an appointment that you have to keep, does the image of a wrist-watch or a clock present itself to you? Is it a digital display? When you think about months and years, do you mentally flip pages of a wall calendar? Or is it more like the inbuilt calendar of whatever Operating System you happen to be using?

This issue came up recently in a conversation. My friend thinks of time in closed loops, and I think of time in a strictly linear fashion. In my imagination, months proceed like this:

J–F–M–A–M–J–J–A–S–O–N–D

The year ends and a fresh line begins under this one. Within a month too, the dates are arranged in a straight line for me (not in groups of seven). The same hold for hours in a day – I count them from 1 to 24.

Not that I find it impossible to think of time in a closed loop, but the linear imagery comes naturally to me.

I wonder if it means something.

Which camp are you in? And are there other ways in which people visualize time?

As for me, the Jan to Jun goes like in the calendar on the wall — not the calendar where each page has one month. I get the picture of 3 months on a row, till june it is clear. After that it is not strictly 3 months per row. From June it goes in one coloumn below June till December.

Also when I think of a month, I get to see some dates marked with some importance like June 1st beginning of school, April 10th results, my birthday in March, exams in March and other close relatives/friends’ bdays, October holidays, Christmas, Rain in June-July (instantly reminds me of umbrellas), summer from March. April to June are lit brightly in my mind’s calendar probably because it is summer. Similarly Jan-Feb is little dark probably due to cold. July, August, September, November are not present on my mind’s calendar, only if I look for it, it would be visible in their appropriate places.

The days in the months are, obviously, visualized to be like in the calendar I mentioned. 7 days a week. Again Sunday reminds me of shoe-polish, hair cuts. Only Sunday gets marked as holiday in my mind. Saturday is half-day with white uniform. Wednesday – colour dress 🙂

Talking of numbers, 1 to 5 is in one line (left to right), in parallel to it (above it) is 6 to 10. After which it goes till 30 one next to another. After 30, 50 is marked somewhere like the end of 5th line in a table. After that only important numbers like 80, 90, 100 come to picture. After 100 it is again very sparse and like in a table only important numbers at the end of the coloumn – 1000. Anywhere above 20 to 25 and 80-100 are thought of as marks obtained. (As you can see only school related things are imprinted strongly on the mind. Engineering marks like 35-50 don’t have a place 🙂 )

As is noted in that post’s comments,

Random Access View
Linear Alphabetical View
Meteorological View
GOTO Statement View
Dormitory View

some interesting views are possible. Tell me, how do _you_ visualize time.