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Dr. Petroski
Dr. Petroski
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Join date : 2018-05-16

What time is it?

on Thu May 24, 2018 8:59 pm
In Natural-Born Cyborgs, Clark talks about the invention of the wristwatch—and by extension, the notion of time itself, as a prime example of technology making us more rather than less human. Consider that in the modern era, we use time as a metric to organize, plan, and motivate our activities across an entire day, month, or even year (indeed, the very notions of days, months, and years are themselves inventions of the very concept of time). Prior to time as a “thing,” early humans would organize their lives around their ability to hunt during the day and sleep at night, and they would make inferences about different climates based on obvious changes in air temperature over long periods. Yet, they did not schedule appointments around hunting, gathering, eating, and sleeping. These “day-to-day” activities were largely at the whim of impulse and opportunity—early humans hunted when they saw prey and slept when they were tired.

Fast forward today, when we have set defined periods for breakfast (mornings, for sake of argument we will say 8:00 a.m.), lunch (noon), and dinner (6:00 p.m., although these meal times might not match up well with your daily habits). Having such a set schedule allows us to plan the rest of our work and sleep schedule so that we can arrange an efficient and productive daily routine, coordinating time for college courses as well as a vibrant social life. In fact, Clark would argue that this reliance on time is part of our cyborg nature: a biological species that have integrated an artificial (that is, not biological or natural to us) tool into our lives in order to help us live.

How do you think your life (on campus or off) would change if there was no concept of time?

Dr. Petroski
Department of Communication
Southern Connecticut State University
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