Note — Nov 03, 2019

Douglas Coupland: How a 24/7 World Destroyed Time

Seen in → No.101

Source → ft.com/content/7db4005e-f52a-11e9-a79c-bc9a...

One of a number of “time” pieces in the last few weeks, like The 2010s Have Broken Our Sense Of Time and On TikTok, There Is No Time. Honestly, I didn’t read all of them thoroughly and it seems a bit like overthought hand wringing. Perhaps I’ll revisit since some people I respect loved the Buzzfeed News piece. I’m including this Coupland editorial though because the quotes below have more to do with the formats of our (work)days than the supposed compression of our perception of time, the former being more relevant and useful to me.

We inhabit the temporal ruins of an agrarian economy long made obsolescent, in which productivity can be tweaked by changing the nature of time itself. […]

This swing-shift is where I first felt personally conflicted about the industrial time-for-labour relationship: it wants to colonise your sleep, not just your waking time. This was disturbing to me … that someone, or a thing, could annexe my sleeping life, and do so in a manner that left no room for rebuttal or flexibility. […]

I sometimes wonder if the reason we all go to school until our late teens isn’t so much to gain knowledge or for society to keep kids off the street — rather, it’s a way of enculturating future adults into the entirely artificial nine-to-five workweek.