Skip to content

On Modern Time

January 2, 2012

Espen Hammer in The New York Times:

We live in time. On days like this one, when we find ourselves carried without any effort or intent from the end of one calendar year to the next, this observation is perhaps especially clear.

Our lives are temporal. Time passes, and with that our lives. Dissolving into things, processes, and events as the mode of their becoming, time is a medium within which every being is able to exist and develop. Time is, however, also destructive. Its power means that everything, including ourselves, is transient, provisional and bound to come to an irreversible end.

Many philosophers have tried to articulate what it means to be not only temporal but aware of oneself as such. How should we interpret the fact of our own temporality?  (…)

Clock time is the time of our modern, busy and highly coordinated and interconnected lives. It is the time of planning and control, of setting goals and achieving them in the most efficient manner. We move through such time in the same way we drive a car: calculating the distance passed while coordinating our movement with that of other drivers, passing through an environment that can never be particularly significant and which will soon be observable in the mirror.

Modern society is unimaginable without clock time. With the rise of the chronometer came a vast increase in discipline, efficiency and social speed, transforming every institution and human endeavor. The factory, the office, transportation, business, the flow of information, indeed almost everything we do and relate to is to a greater or lesser extent controlled by the clock. It was not always like this. [More]

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s