Why are human beings so good at wasting time? Perhaps it is born of the arbitrariness of artificial time. “Real” time, natural time, lived time — these are ours. We inhabit them like bodies. Everyone has their own clock.
Sharing time — an agreed upon arrangement — becomes significant in comparison. A convention of great import. We agree to meet and interact at points in time, building systems and infrastructure around its abstract reliability. It thus becomes indispensable. The chief knot in our social fabric.
But what is it? A glimmer into the grand plans of the Great Watchmaker? A pre-existing imperative we’ve fortunately happened upon? Unlikely. This seems too perfect and tight a fit — like the enmeshed movements of a precision-made clock. Perhaps it is as created and conceived as these devices. The original mechanical marvel. And less than ghostly.
In contrast to lived time — a moment-to-moment mystery — artificial time is the ultimate ubiquity of modernity. Unquestioned and unquestionable. To defy its martial, disciplining will is to swim against the current. Or leave the river entirely.
But if you can, you may really find a flow…