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Georgetown University professor Michael. President Trump, Kazin pointed out, could not prevent the publication of Fire and Fury , signaling at least one limit to his power. But institutions, including those that represent historians, said Ibram X. Some historians took time to visit Washington public history institutions like the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a sobering testament to African American resistance, located on the National Mall.

A number of historians shared their own stories of sexual violence, including one who described being assaulted at her first academic conference.

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For the great American poet Walt Whitman, time was a constant preoccupation. Walt might have had much to talk about with another Wittmann, this one a contemporary German psychologist, who has written a short meditation on the subjective experience of time and its neural foundations.


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Felt Time is made up of seven essay-length chapters. Each chapter stands on its own as an exploration of one aspect of subjective time, and there is no obvious logical progression from one to the next.

There’s no time like the present

The first chapter launches an investigation of temporal myopia, the way in which people neglect or irrationally discount the future, and how that short-sightedness is linked to impulsiveness in conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Wittmann contends that overvaluing our present can lead us to damage our future, but also that overvaluing the future can cheat us of a satisfying present.

Being oriented too much towards future events and achievements can deprive us of the chance to live spontaneously and to be fully in the presentness of the moment.


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Compulsiveness is no more healthy than impulsiveness, in other words, although Wittmann offers no guide to finding the sweet spot between them. The following chapters explore how time itself is experienced, suggesting that this perception occurs at four levels of granularity. This level of temporal resolution offers a clue to the sense of time accelerating or decelerating under conditions of normal emotional arousal as well as abnormal neurological conditions. At the second level, the present moment seems to last between two and three seconds, the duration of many conversational turns and musical phrases and also, perhaps not coincidentally, of a human breath.

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Each short segment of experience represents an integration of perceptual experience into a single unit, and cultivating mindfulness allows us to participate fully in it. The third level, enabled by working memory, knits together moments into more lasting periods, and at the highest level these are assimilated into a narrative sense of self and personal history within long-term memory. These chapters on the perception of time lead into chapters on its functions and our fears. This skill alerts us to when events are not occurring at the expected pace, as in the aversive experience of waiting.

All of us, however, share a sense of time as a finite quantity that concludes in death, and the awareness of that regrettable fact may account for the experience of time passing more quickly with age. Wittmann recommends that we seek out novelty and variety as a way to stretch time, and observes that monotony makes time move slowly in prospect but seem to have raced in retrospect. To conclude the book, Wittmann examines the self-consciousness of time, arguing that subjectivity arises from our sense of embodied persistence. Life is unfair. Life is fragile.

Life is short. How many times have you heard those phrases? How many times has something happened in your life that has confirmed them?


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  8. And how many times after incidents of sorrow were you determined to have a more in-the-moment life -- only to forget this new philosophy in less than a week? Both were 59 years old. Both were wonderful people. And both were greatly loved and now dearly missed. Needless to say, it's difficult to imagine never seeing them again. And it's easy to dwell on memories of the past and future plans that will never be. And yet, as short as life can be, we can spend so much time wishing our todays away, searching for better tomorrows. I've certainly been guilty of this.

    But then again, who isn't? Who is ever truly satisfied with their current situation?

    No Time Like the Present

    Who doesn't feel discouraged when expectations aren't met? Who isn't bothered by things that are totally out of our control? Wow, I may not recover!

    There’s no time like the present.

    Oh no, the world may come to an end! Boy, this messes up my whole day! Well now two days are shot! Thankfully, things like these aren't catastrophic by the farthest stretch of the imagination. But, when their effect leaves you wishing the present away, that's when we start losing our lives. Our day-by-day lives.