Monday, November 5, 2012

Autism and "Time Agnosia"

Time is a pretend thing.  I am supposed to have “time agnosia,” but I think I would prefer to say I am an achronist.  As atheists are to God, I am to time.  (I am not that way to God.)  But time: why do I not feel it passing the way other people do?  Not because of any deficiency in me, no!  It is because of my awareness of the fact that it is a pretend arbitrary made-up unreal thing that everyone else is accidentally in on together, unwittingly tricking each other, and I: I am like the boy in The Emperor’s New Clothes.

You can tell this is the case because of the “time change.”  Governments can tell everyone to dial the clocks back and voila!  It is now another time than it would have been.  And then they can decide to do that a couple of weeks later than they used to do it, or not, depending on the country and its needs, and then the “time zones” mesh differently.  Mmmhm.  Sure sounds real to me </sarcasm>.

Why don’t governments decide to change the weather?  (Hint: I believe the weather is real.)  Yeah, you feel me.


  1. LOL! Oh Ibby, how I wish we did not change the time twice a year. It's ridiculous and I agree makes no logical sense.
    By the way, Emma knows what "time" it is because of the sun's position. Sending you love.

    1. The sun is real! Note that is goes about its business regardless of our clock finagling! Love you all!

  2. Although i'm an NT, I totally get the time thing (I think), as I am always shocked when great amounts of time have passed...while I'm engaged in something. It has made me obsessive about calendars, being early, and other assimilation techniques, as Ibby well knows....

  3. Daylight Savings Time is creepy. I have timelexia, and I can never remember which way to go or why. Also, time zones? No! I will not have that!

  4. I feel exactly the same way as you. Always have. But then, the same obsession with finding the meaning in everything that made me do well in school also makes anything arbitrary really confusing and annoying. I wonder if you can relate to that?

    Is there anything about time you find real enough to work with? I do have a sense of time passing and I get more done when I break up my day into pieces and decide what to do in what order for roughly how long, so I think in some sense time is real. It's just our names for it and conventions for dividing it up that are unreal.

    1. Emily! I just found you here when I was re-posting this in honor of the Spring Forward. I do relate to you a lot! Thanks for writing!

      For me, I break up time in comparison to other things I can relate to the length of. Graduate courses are longer than movies but undergraduate courses run the length of a detective show on TV. You can run to the restroom in a commercial break and a good way to signify that sort of time frame is "a few minutes."

      This makes it sound like I watch TV and movies all the total time but the truth is, when I am reading a book, or living life in the moment, I have no idea of time elapsed unless I do these comparisons. Also I have my Mac speak the hours to me, hourly, if I am writing. This is useful.

      What is great for me about not really feeling time elapse properly if I am in-the-moment is that I do not get impatient about loitering. This makes me world champion at being mellow when loitering, even in situations of enforced loitering, such as a late airplane.

      But time change? Not a word of it. Seriously. Change the weather then, go on, show me. ;)