An eleven hour sprint

7:52am. Arrive.

8:16am. Eat breakfast with students.

8:44am. Final preparation and reminders before hacking begins.

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Technology, information, and time

I read Present Shock by David Rushkoff a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to look at the world the same way since. The basic thesis of the book is that the rate of change in our technology-saturated world is accelerating at such a clip that our relationship to time itself is changing.

That makes my head hurt. But I think I like it.

Rushkoff’s ideas are big — but also persuasive. He coins phrases like “digiphrenia” (our response to the increasingly blurry line between past and present, when everything is archived and nothing is forgotten), “overwinding” (the failure of trying to compress things that in fact take time into shorter and shorter scales), and “fractalnoia” (in a time when pattern recognition is threatening the dominance of narrative forms in our ability to make meaning of the world around us, fractalnoia creeps in when we see patterns that are not actually there). He constructs his understanding of the world one brick at a time, and whether or not you can agree with each one of his assertions, it is undeniable that technology is not just changing the way we work and connect with each other, but also the way we think about and interact with time.

These themes beat me over the head last week when a student told me that he really loves reading but prefers to watch TV shows on his computer: although the storytelling isn’t always as good, at least he can multitask while watching a show.  Continue reading