Wednesday, June 29, 2011

affinities (2): sterile masculinity

Husbands (John Cassavetes, 1970)

Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (Peter Hall, 1973)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

a quick update & this American life

I haven't been posting much but plan to start back up on a more regular basis soon. Partially to blame is my AC adapter -- it only works when it's in a specific place (I have to tweak the wire to get it working). I also can't take my laptop anywhere as my battery is not holding a charge. So basically, using my computer right now is a pain. On top of the technical difficulties some blame must be placed on whatever it is that's causing me to spend two weeks (and counting) reading the same 100 page book (I've made it to page 68!). Mental fatigue, lack of motivation, whatever.


Below are some simple numbers I calculated which detail something many people probably intuitively know that I nevertheless find interesting as a way of looking at life and time. I've never seen the numbers broken down in this particular way before, but there have probably been more in-depth (and more accurate) studies done along similar lines...

* * *

Assuming a 77.7 year life expectancy, the average American can expect to:

Spend 1.6 years in the bathroom (30 minutes per day)

Spend 2 consecutive years in school

Spend 10 consecutive years at work (assuming full-time, 40 hour per-week employment, beginning at age 22 and extending up until age 65)

Spend 26 consecutive years sleeping (assuming 8 hours per day, every day)

Spend 3.2 consecutive years eating and drinking (assuming 1 hour per day, every day)

Spend about 1 year cleaning / doing housework (assuming 2 hours per week)

Spend 3 consecutive years online (assuming 1 hour per day after childhood)

Spend 13 consecutive years watching television (assuming 4 hours per day)

TOTAL: 59.8 years.

Many of these numbers are made from my own assumptions, though I think in most areas I underestimated, if anything. The television average is correct. For school I calculated starting at age 5 and ending at age 20 (the latter number was selected to account for those who don't attend college). And starting work at age 22 is not near the average for most Americans, but, again, I wanted to lean toward underestimating (see also my estimates for "time spent online").

Everything on the list -- except for television watching and time spent online -- is more or less essential. If we subtract the two aforementioned activities we arrive at a sum of 43.8 years. And of course this list doesn't account for activities like grocery shopping, driving and other things that are also essential for most Americans, so I think it's safe to assume that (at least) 45 years of our lives can pretty much be crossed off for us in advance. (The huge amount of television watching most Americans engage in is probably largely due to the fatigue caused by much of their preordained time).

From this I think we can say that our [Americans] real life expectancy, if we look to define the term another way, is closer to something like 32.6 years (of which the average American will spend about half of in front of the television).

But not to fear! About 81% of Americans believe in Heaven.