Monday, December 19, 2011

Time Machine

    
A time to cast away stones, and a time to 
  gather stones together; a time to embrace, 
  and a time to refrain from embracing; 
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to
  keep, and a time to cast away; 
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to 
  keep silence, and a time to speak; 
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of
  war, and a time of peace.

-Ecclesiastes 3:5-8

  There is no time, there is nothing but time. And our answer to this quandary is an iPhone. Long have we avoided these -for the cost, for the individuation they market, but do not manifest. Betsy is overwhelmed by work emails and students who are ever-connected. Me? Well, I'll give mobile blogging some effort. I think the key to not becoming a smart phone zombie is understanding the device as a tool. People appear to hold them as idols. Never be a tool for the machine. And, although it is a new age, I still believe New Yorkers despise sloth, especially the inattentive, digital dowsers who clog subway stairways and sidewalks and stores. We don't have time for that! We want to be on time.

        "There are two ways to make money. One is to make something 
         that is useful to people and sell it. The other way is to steal it."

So it is that you cannot honestly charge for Time, you cannot fairly collect interest, and, consequently, you cannot make money by money alone. We know about this, we even have a name for it -Wall Street. This is a very old idea -it presupposes that Time is at the hand of God, that Time is not ours to know, have, give, or sell. Whether you believe in deity or not is beside the point -Time is not on our side.

We've all heard that Time is money. Why? Is Time the most valuable of conditions? We have made a rule of charging by the hour? There is never enough money, although we may be able to get more, but, can we get more Time, is there not enough Time? Can we trade Time, can we buy Time? Is Time transmutable? Transferable? Maybe the problem is not that there is not enough time, but that we believe we are in control of Time; it has become our time. We've confused the hands of the clock with something out of our hands. 

Consider, then, the simple act of giving a gift. A gift enables your actions, it expands your experience within Time. A tool does the same, by enabling your actions, and increasing your productivity. We will say that we have more Time because of Time saved. But it is not true. Time is just the same, but the gift of a tool exposes us to it! That a gift can make short our work and expand our experience is a profound manifestation of humanity. The thing given is never the gift, but the perception of Time is.

May this new iPhone (or any bedraggled version of these tools) makes short my work. From camera to blog, in situ, or weather that can be analyzed while traveling the lake effect highway, so that I can work my spreadsheet at the farm, or upload meteorological data from sensors in the field. Mobile computing must transform my consciousness of Time. Otherwise, given life and death, it is simple senselessness.


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