How the average person uses his or her time. Compare and contrast with how the notably non-average Thomas Edison did.
There is very little to be done about all this when space is limited, crowds are large, and humans always — always — put things off until the last minute. But Grand Central, for years now, has relied on a system meant to mitigate, if not prevent, all the crazy. It is this: The times displayed on Grand Central’s departure boards are wrong — by a full minute. This is permanent. It is also purposeful.
The idea is that passengers rushing to catch trains they’re about to miss can actually be dangerous — to themselves, and to each other. So conductors will pull out of the station exactly one minute after their trains’ posted departure times. That minute of extra time won’t be enough to disconcert passengers too much when they compare it to their own watches or smartphones … but it is enough, the thinking goes, to buy late-running train-catchers just that liiiiiitle bit of extra time that will make them calm down a bit. Fast clocks make for slower passengers.
Because you’ve always wondered: A time zone map of the world.
For mankind’s history of mapping time, see the superb Cartographies of Time.
How To Create Time:
1. Eliminate or reduce media
2. Work offline.
3. Do less.
4. Don’t make appointments or schedule meetings.
5. Sleep in two shifts.
6. Make time less precious.
Take, for instance, product manufacturing. A Styrofoam cup will be used once for about four or five minutes before being thrown away. The turnover time of the industry that purchases that cup is going to be a couple weeks or a couple months, at most. Those are the time scales that that object is created for. However, the refuse of that Styrofoam cup will last for millions of years, because it’s not biodegradable. What does it mean to live at a historical moment in which the time scales that we operate on are so radically out of touch with the time scales of the temporal footprint of the things we make?
I think it’s an enormous power and advantage women have, this understanding of time and mortality. It’s only a shame that we often do everything we can to abandon or deny this natural advantage. I always think of the menopause: what a gift it is to women to have, in their own bodies, this piece of time-keeping which allows them to fully understand, in their bodies, that death is coming. They’re not very good managers of time, men. Men don’t have that – you see so many men heading towards their deaths in utter shock and incomprehension because right until the final moments they thought they were going to be given some kind of reprieve. Or all those powerful men who make terrible fools of themselves in old age with girls a quarter of their age … They’re not very good managers of time, men.
with Zadie Smith about her new novel, NW.
Finally, here is a “guaranteed” way to lengthen your life. Childhood holidays seem to last forever, but as you grow older time seems to accelerate. “Time” is related to how much information you are taking in – information stretches time. A child’s day from 9am to 3.30pm is like a 20-hour day for an adult. Children experience many new things every day and time passes slowly, but as people get older they have fewer new experiences and time is less stretched by information. So, you can “lengthen” your life by minimising routine and making sure your life is full of new active experiences – travel to new places, take on new interests, and spend more time living in the present – see Making Time
by Steve Taylor.
Ah, yes – xkcd timeline of when people in the United States will begin forgetting cultural epochs.
To be human is to be aware of the passage of time; no concept lies closer to the core of our consciousness.
The day, of course, is ubiquitous as a unit of organization, regulated by our cycles of waking and sleep
. But when we think about work, the dominant fact of our lives, we think about the week. Just consider the feelings the words arouse. Day
: nothing much, except a little bit of hopefulness, maybe. Week: dread, languor, tedium, woe. Yes, we sometimes speak about making it through the day, if we’re having a bad one, but as Erma Bombeck knew, we always
speak about making it through the week. Despite the etymology of the word, it is the week, and not the day, that has become the repository of the quotidian
: of triviality, of drudgery, of routine. Days differ; weeks are always the same. Days begin with dawn; weeks begin with Monday. “Thousands of petty annoyances and grievances”: that’s the week all over.
- William Deresiewicz
against the week
We can’t exclude the possibility that this is all a dream, but as long as it continues, it will not make the slightest difference to how we lead our lives.
What’s the probability that you’re dreaming this very minute? 1 in 10
, it turns out.
“When humanity disappears, a ring of dead spacecraft will remain as evidence of our existence.”
The Last Pictures - a collection of images for the far future. This fall, artist Trevor Paglen will place 100 images on board a communications satellite, as a kind of time-capsule of humanity destined to remain in perpetual orbit, inspired by Carl Sagan’s Golden Record.