463: Time and Beauty: Why Time Flies and Beauty Never Dies (with Dr. Adrian Bejan)

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Time and beauty are two of our most visceral perceptions. Yet, their nature is seldom questioned.

In this groundbreaking new work, Dr. Adrian Bejan — a true ‘original’ among physicists — explains, in a scholarly yet colorful style, the scientific basis for the perception of time and beauty.

Organized into three main ideas, the book begins first with the perception of time. The author expounds on why we feel that time flies faster as we get older. Perceived time, also called ‘mind time, ‘ is different from clock time. In this context, time is another word for ‘perceived change’.

Next, readers will discover that beauty is appealing because beautifully-shaped images are scanned faster by two eyes. To observe our immediate surroundings and to understand them faster is highly advantageous to survival; hence, there is an underlying evolutionary advantage to our discernment for ideal ratios, shapes, and beauty at large.

Finally, time and beauty are jointly understood to explain why the global pandemic had decelerated our mind time. This understanding arms us with techniques to slow down our mind time (which accelerates with age), and to create the conditions for living longer and more creatively.

Scientists may have contemplated aspects of time and beauty separately. In contrast, the author submits an original and rewarding approach to understanding them together. In the process, key questions to our cognition are answered.

Why does the mind ‘try’ to make sense of a new mental image? Why is there a natural tendency to organize a new input and mentally position it among past perceptions? Through physics, the book offers a general answer: to empower the individual with speed and clarity of thought, understanding, decision-making and movement.

The same answer holds for the other disparate perceptions illustrated in this book, from time and beauty to ideas, message, shape, perspective, art, science, illusions, and dreams.