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I have already once touched the subject of Time in this post, but in the book I am reading now (“Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) I found a passage which adds great weight to my words from then. It also adds measurable value to all wasted time – now you can tell, more or less exactly, what you have left. Here it goes: “…At this point in our scientific knowledge we are on the verge of being able to estimate how much information the central nervous system is capable of processing. It seems we can manage at most seven bits of information – such as differentiated sounds, or visual stimuli, or recognizable nuances of emotion or thought – at any one time, and that the shortest time it takes to discriminate between one set of bits and another is about 1/18 of a second. By using these figures one concludes that it is possible to process at most 126 bits of information per second, or 7560 per minute, or almost half a million per hour. Over a lifetime of seventy years, and counting sixteen hours of waking time each day, this amounts to about 185 billion bits of information. It is out of this total that everything in our life must come – every thought, memory, feeling, or action.” (p. 29)

I am now 44 years old, meaning that out of those 185 billion bits of information I have only 80 billion left, if I manage to live to 70 staying awake 16 hours a day. How do I use those bits is up to me, but I definitely do not want to waste them. I will not get any more, so not only that, I also want to experience all I can. Any experience added, any new one, any new thought or feeling is a win. Any minute spent with an idiot, or spent arguing, or forcing myself to work, is a loss of 7560 bits of my life. This is why you should not let others determine how do you spent your bits, or life. You should be well aware of the value of every second of being alive – your decisions add to your experience and quality of life, or the same decisions will rob you off it.

You have 185 billion euros in a bank. Every minute you spent 7560 euro, regardless of what you do. Your 10 minutes in a bathroom costs you 75600 euro. Waiting half an hour for a date is worth 226800 euro. All you get in return are memories, so better make sure that what you spent your riches on is really worth it.

 

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