04 Mar 2010
Time Flies

“Ethan here: Today marks the 44th anniversary of Candelstick Park tornado that struck Jackson. 57 people died and 504 people were injured.” —@16WAPTNews

I haven’t thought about that in years. My uncle was working there at the time; my aunt too, or maybe she was just visiting him. I vaguely remember them describing the experience. In any case, the “44th anniversary” part is what shocked me — I’ve been reminded that it happened nearly a half-century ago.

  Time flies like an arrow.
  Fruit flies like a banana.

I think I first saw that in a old Scientific American article about the difficulties in machine parsing of natural language. Lost in translation. A geek pun to me, since translation also refers to coordinate transformations: translation, rotation, scaling, skewing, … preserving topological equivalents across gross distortions, no tearing allowed. Ants. Moebius Strip II.

I sometimes envy those who have a sense of continuous, unbroken time. I imagine that for them events are like beads on a string, pages in a book, frames in a strip of film. Mention to them some event and they can provide context, cause and effect, sliding their finger along the curve and saying “see, this happened before, and this happened after”. The people who can always quickly answer those “where were you when such-and-such happened” questions that I hate. Steel Beach.

Like the “one, two, three, many” number concept attributed to some primitive tribes, time to me is only “today, yesterday, a while back, and a long time ago”. Time lies like pieces of a shattered mirror beneath my feet, glints and reflections, partial images fractured along random edges. Memory is a kaleidoscope filled with broken events, ever changing in random juxtaposition, tumbling in disconnected chaos. Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Category: Nostalgia
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