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Why Seconds And Not Hours?

September 28, 2011
By

Eri on September 28, 2011 at 07:38:

I think counting things in hours at least is more sensible; seconds can give an impression of more than it actually is (“I’ve studied for a million seconds!” “But that’s only like, 228 hours…”)

www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/so-should-we-track-and-log-every-second-of-japanese

Why do I kind of insist or…persist…in counting language exposure time in seconds? Because it’s a cheap win. It’s like timeboxing. It usurps the delay component of Piers Steel’s Temporal Motivation Theory equation. Or rather, it recruits the delay component in our favor by suppressing it, therefore driving up utility.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry…I stare at that equation practically every day 1. What I’m saying is, a second is so short that it virtually erases and motivation to procrastinate. You’re like “a second? SURE!”.

Trying to rack up an hour feels like work. Screw that. Racking up seconds is a game that is easy to win and, yes, makes you feel good. Sure, a million seconds is “only” 278 hours…But that’s fine. Why? Because it’s accurate. A million seconds is an accurate (if sweet-sounding) measure  of exposure time — it is real time — whereas “2 years” is almost always a vague, meaningless lie.

 

Series Navigation<< It’s Not The Years, It’s the Seconds: A Stack of Washingtons Is Not Worth The Same As a Stack of Benjamins<< So Should We Track and Log Every Second of Japanese?

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7 Responses to Why Seconds And Not Hours?

  1. Chagami on September 29, 2011 at 02:39

    Why seconds and not hours? My question is why either?
     
    What does time have to do with Japanese anyway? Sure, I suppose it can be used as a rough measurement that explains how much effort you’ve put into Japanese, but it doesn’t really tell too much about what you’re doing. Don’t worry about how long you’re being exposed to Japanese, just be exposed and everything else will fall into place. I think people procrastinate because there is a big task at hand that will take them a long *time* to complete. Well forget about how long your interval of Japanese exposure will be, just start something, and abandon it whenever you feel like – just be sure to replace it with something Japanese afterward.
     
    Need a cheap win? Do a rep.
     

  2. Levi W on September 29, 2011 at 04:33

    My opinions:

    What does time have to do with Japanese anyway?”
    -Nothing. But we aren’t talking about Japanese anyways.

    Sure, I suppose it can be used as a rough measurement that explains how much effort you’ve put into Japanese, but it doesn’t really tell too much about what you’re doing.”
    -Rough? A second is, within reason, the most precise time that any given person can measure without the assistance of instruments. Second are concrete, precise, and easy.

    “Don’t worry about how long you’re being exposed to Japanese, just be exposed and everything else will fall into place.”
    Not everyone can just “be exposed”. Some people need to know at the end of the day that they spent 6000 seconds doing reps. Baby steps. I do see where you’re coming from with the whole “Just Do” idea though… but it’s all about Winnable games (at the beginning anyways). Just being exposed provides no measurable “Win”, unless… let’s say… it’s measured O_O

    “I think people procrastinate because there is a big task at hand that will take them a long *time* to complete. ”
    From Khatz himself (with one underlined correction)
    -”What I’m saying is, a second is so short that it virtually erases any motivation to procrastinate. You’re like “a second? SURE!”.”

    My two cents

    • Chagami on September 29, 2011 at 12:16

      Interesting! Though I still stand by my assessment of time being a rough measurement. (Note that you interpreted my use of the word “time” as “second”.) Of course, time is an extremely precise set of intervals that describes the passing of a second/minute/hour/day/year/millennium/etc, but when it comes to measuring something else, I find it’s a little lacking.

      For example, say you stand beside your (ancient) microwave and I stand beside a failing nuclear power plant for one second. Because we’ve spent the same amount of time in our respective radioactive locations, we’ve taken in the same amount of radiation, right? Well, no, and this is what I was getting at.
       
      Other than that, your arguments do make me rethink my own thoughts!

  3. ライトニング on September 29, 2011 at 08:02

    I don’t count anything to be honest. I just make sure japanese is the prominent thing in my life.
    The first thing i hear when i wake up are japanese voices.
    On the walk to school I listen to j-pop or listen to mp3s i made out of movie sections and do Lazy Kanji on my Android phone.
    During passing periods I listen to j-pop
    During Lunch I do more reps and listen to japanese
    On the walk home, I read some Manga while listening to japanese
    And when I get home, It’s all japanese. From 5 PM until 1 AM. Games, Music, Movies, Anime, Manga.
    1 AM – 7:30 AM, playing Japanese news (Didn’t khatz say something about learning during sleep?)
    At least 55,000 Seconds a day. 1,650,000 seconds a month. 19,800,000 seconds a year.
    Big numbers seem more impressive than smaller numbers
    19 Million 800 Thousand seconds still seems more impressive than (if my math was correct) 5500 hours, regardless of the word coming after it.

    • SomeCallMeChris on September 29, 2011 at 11:26

      ‘Didn’t khatz say something about learning during sleep?’
      I believe what Khatz said about learning during sleep is that he played his immersion audio while he was sleeping ‘just in case’ it would have an effect. There are studies that ‘prove’ that sleep-study doesn’t work, but I don’t really know their methodology. I do think, however, that even if you absorb nothing during REM sleep, we do spend a good 20-30 minutes during the night not ‘really’ asleep… waking up enough to reposition ourselves, consider and possibly actually use the bathroom, etc etc, so at least that much time is legitimate exposure, plus the time falling asleep and the time drowsing and smacking the snooze button is exposure….
       
      But for me, I notice a significant reduction in the quality of sleep with overnight audio playing, and that’s not acceptable for me – both because it makes it harder to do my job, and because if I’m less well rested that makes waking learning less effective. With the right settings on snooze timers or whatever you could have falling-asleep and waking-up audio without having during-sleep audio though… I just haven’t set it up yet.
       
       

  4. felo on September 9, 2012 at 10:34

    Riemman-integration versus antiderivative-integration..

    the latter wins, in terms of precision ;)

  5. [...] I once claimed to have the procrastination equation memorized. I did at the time. I don’t any more. Perhaps that says something…make of it what you will, haha. ↩ [...]

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