Time. I think about time a lot. You might even say all the time. My relationship with the concept runs from fascination to obsession. I can’t see it. I can’t touch it. But I can feel it leaving me in the dirt with every passing day.
Back in January 1999, I began a side project: writing time-tracking software. I was already a software developer and I enjoyed the time I spent crafting lists of instructions to make the machines do my bidding. It was at this same time my job implemented a new requirement: everyone start logging time spent on projects. I’d never be able to do that in my head and writing it down on a cocktail napkin seemed less than ideal.
That’s when Timekeeper was born. It began very simple, didn’t have a lot of features, but it got the job done. In 2008, I finally got around to writing Timekeeper 2 and then two years ago, in 2014, I topped off the most advanced version ever, Timekeeper 3. And because of this, I can tell you how much time I’ve spent on things. Won’t this be fun!
|Winter’s Gate (novel in progress)||725|
|Back to the Fridge||339|
|Upcoming “Cancer” Book||116|
|This blog post||2|
But modern software isn’t the only way to sit back and ponder in awe about how much time one has
wasted invested in their lives. Nope! You can also do it with period television shows and movies. For the sake of the math, let’s just assume it’s already 2017.
- Gone with the Wind came out in 1939. It was about Civil War events in 1861. If this story took place today, it would be about World War II events in 1939.
- If That 70s Show started today, it would be That 90s Show.
- Same with M*A*S*H. Relatively speaking, that show today would be about a war in 1995.
- If Happy Days started today, it would be about a middle-class family in Milwaukee set in the nostalgic era of 1998.
- The film Animal House would be about a zany group of college students . . . in 2001.
- And The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Will Smith today is 48: three years older than Uncle Phil when the show started. Mind. Blown.
I’ll leave you with one other fun fact. In addition to my fascination with time, I’m also fascinated by history (I guess the two are related). And when it comes to history, it gets hard to really quantify distances in time. Something that happened one thousand years ago vs something that happened ten thousand years ago is genuinely difficult to “internalize”. Once an event as passed, we tend to just lump them all together.
Take Cleopatra and the Great Pyramid of Giza. From our point of view, they were contemporaries: two ancient concepts that live in a vague and distant past in our collective memory. Except that by the time Cleopatra was born, the Great Pyramid of Giza was already about 2,500 years old. Which means that Cleopatra’s birth was closer to the founding of Pizza Hut than it was to that pyramid.