Personal Time

In an interview, musician Jeff Mills mentioned what he had been reading, which turned out to be Stephen Kerns, The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918. One of the brilliant things this book discusses, and there are many, is his detailing how the railroads forced the standardization of time. Before railroads came along, each city had its own version to time, a standard time of their own making yet as the need to predict the arrival and departure of goods and passengers. The idea of a standard time then came into play much to the relief of commerce and rail passengers. As our relationship with technology seems more and more singular, it poses the question if our technology will begin to allow us to move back to our own personal idea of time and our own personal time zone. As a standardization of time also allowed time clocks and timed work days to manage the industrial revolution, now our need seems to allow people to work on their own schedule. We no longer work in a 9-5 life but in flex time and on schedules that we create ourselves. Why does it seem so odd to think that we may find a time when we all have our own personal time. One could live in an understanding of time of their own making. Our devices could translate the time from person to person in the way we deal with time zones today allowing you to truly live in a time zone of ones own making.

Jeff Mills, Time


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