Time Flies When You're an Alien

It has been said, as you get older, "The days drag on but the years fly by."  This is especially true when you have kids.  The endless tasks which make up the day of a parent can make 24 hours seem like two weeks.  And then you blink and the kids are grown.  What if, instead of living for 85 years we lived to be 850 years old?  What if we lived to be 10,000?  Even with some serious genetic engineering it is probably not possible with our frail human bodies.  But what about aliens?

We do not know how long aliens live.  Maybe they only live half as long as we do.  Maybe they live much longer.  Earlier this week I published some notes on time perception in an analysis of whether or not aliens might observe a New Year's celebration.  I showed how, if someone with a life expectancy of 85 Earth Years ("EY") went to planet ShortShort whose days (a full rotation of a planet) were half as long as ours and whose years (a full revolution around a sun) were half as long as ours, they would live to be 340 on that planet.  I also showed how, if someone with a life expectancy of 850 EY lived on that same planet they would live to 3400 years old on that planet.

That is actual time.  But how is it perceived by those people?  If you lived to be 3400 years old, would the days drag on but the years fly by?  I suppose, if you grew up here on Earth and then went to this planet ShortShort neither the days nor the years would drag on.  They would all fly by because you would be used to having longer days and years.  How would it feel if that was all you ever knew?

A Lifetime of Firsts

My grandfather, who lived to be 90, used to say, "It goes so fast... It goes so fast..." every day of his last year of life.  Scientific American published some findings by Psychologist William James which stated that time seems to go by faster as we get older because there is less going on in our lives.  The early parts of our lives are punctuated by all of our firsts, our first steps, first words, the first kiss, first time driving a car, leaving the house, etc.  By the time you are 85, there is not much you have not done at least once.  Would you feel that way at 85 if you still had another 3300 years to go?  It might depend on if those were Earth years or years on planet LongLong, where the days are twice as long as ours and the years are twice as long.

If you lived to be 3400 EY on planet ShortShort, where the days are 12 hours long and the years are 182 days long, you would live to be 13,600 years old.  How many firsts would it take to keep things interesting?  What new things would you try that you never would have in your current situation?

Maybe you are too scared to do something because you are afraid to fail.  What if you could fail twenty times and still have another 13,000 years to enjoy your success?

Maybe you have said, "I wish I had done [fill in the blank] while I was young."  What if you finally got around to following your dreams at the age of 300 and you still had thousands of years more to enjoy it and try other things.

This may be what aliens go through.  A species which has figured out how to get from there to here probably has figured out how to live past 85 years.  Why not?  Humans seem obsessed with living longer.  It seems to be a survival instinct to want to live as long as you can.  Surely, if every species on our planet possesses this, people from other planets would feel the same - maybe not 100% of them but there would absolutely be some people somewhere in the Universe who feel that way.

Do NOT get out of your Car
Do Not Get Out of your Car
I suppose if I had the ability to travel at (or faster than) the speed of light and I had thousands of Earth Years or tens of thousands of planet ShortShort years to live I might want to spend my retirement travelling the Universe.  I would tell my wife, "We're selling the house and buying an RV."  She may or may not go along with this idea.  But either way, I would want to take a couple thousand years and go see the sights.  I would visit solar systems with strange beings, all over The Milky Way galaxy.

The signs posted on the dark side of Earth's Moon would warn me not to get out of my vehicle so I would just drive through the Earth Safari, observing its creatures.  Still, some people would get out anyway, just like people on Earth get out of the Winnebago and get chased by Grizzlies.  But that is their problem.  I am OK with observing from the safety of my spaceship (wish this stupid tour bus spaceship would get out of my way) and then I will move on to another solar system.  Wait a minute, are those fighter jets behind me?  Oh, it is on!  Ha ha, catch me if you can.  Almost got me, almost got me, nah, too slow.

What would you do with thousands of years to live and the ability to travel around the galaxy at the blink of an eye?

Enjoying this blog?
Also follow me
If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form on this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.