Time travel.

03 Feb

This is a blog about time travel, but not time travel as you may have considered it before. The best-known proponent of time travel is of course Dr Who, a time lord by all accounts, who can zip about all over time and space in a spinning wooden 1950’s police box. I’m not a big fan of books films or sci-fi serials when the characters can travel in time going back and forwards sorting stuff out which happen to get in their way or in the way of a creaking plot.


This is about time travel all right but, as I said, not as you may have realised.

What is your most important asset? Which is the most important asset that you can’t add too? Not money or stuff like that because you can always make more of it.

It’s time.

You can never create more time, you can’t decide that you’ll add an extra hour to the day because it suits you. You can stay up past midnight for an hour certainly, but that will just mean you use an hour from the next day.

Now there is a simple demonstration of time that you can try. It’s the nearest you can get to slowing down time and then feel it speed up again. The first day or so that you are in a new place or your first day on holiday pass pretty slowly. Not because you are bored but because you are in a strange place, you don’t have a routine, you don’t know the area and you have to get used to it. As the days pass they pass more quickly because you are familiar with where you are. Hardly scientific but there is a truth in it.

Now here we are at the interesting bit, which requires a bit of a leap.

In the second half of the 18th century it took 1.5 days, including an overnight stop, to travel between Edinburgh and Glasgow, roughly 50 miles. Doing the trip today would take you between 1.5 and 2 hours depending on when, during a working day, you go.

The vast improvement in vehicle and road technology has reduced the time it takes. The quicker the journey the more of our time we can use doing the things that we want or need to do when we get there. We haven’t found any additional time we have just made the best use of time.

You car, has become a time machine. Very simple. Leap complete.

The train and planes and stuff like that all do the same thing. Of course you are quite at liberty to enjoy the journey and do it at your own pace also. Take your time.

Cars are incredibly safe nowadays. There are still accidents but fatalities are down year on year. So why do governments fail to increase speed limits? Cars go faster now and they stop very quickly too.

In Edinburgh we are getting 20 MPH limits. Why? To save lives? There is no evidence of accidents suddenly increasing and things needing to be done. We all know that it can’t be due to pollution because it’s buses, taxis and lorries and the odd diesel car, which pollute. To protect cyclists? Possibly, but they need to learn to cycle properly and also to adhere to the Highway Code.

It’s simple. Until we unseat the car hater environmentalists they will steal our ability to make the most of our time and we can’t get it back.

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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Cycling, Edinburgh, Schools


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