Thursday, June 28, 2012

6/27 Cybertime

One of the aspects of the cybertime phenomena is that computers are able to tell time in the outside world. It is fascinating to think that computers and clocks produce nothing material but instead deliver information (363). Another comparison that Professor Strate makes that’s interesting is that the clock coordinates and synchronizes activities, and as a consequent of their ability to self-operate they become a metaphor for the body and universe. Furthermore, Professor Strate makes a good point that even if we are wearing the best watches, the times will always vary as much as 10 to 15 minutes. It is important to realize this because as our society continues to be more fast paced, these differences in time will eventually be “intolerable.” Moreover, he explains that computers also "communicate a sense of time that is not necessarily the time." Instead it’s a virtual time by which human perception agrees. Another important thing brought up in the chapter is e-mails.  There is such a sense of immediacy with e-mail, that even when an e-mail is written in an earlier period we conceive it to be communicated to us in the present. As a result, “our sense of time passage becomes distorted.” Moreover, cybertime and cyberspace within computers is the only medium where we have the ability to experiment different versions of ourselves. While reading this chapter this idea particularly stood out to me. It amazes me that we have this ability to try out our “dream selves.” Even though this possibility can provide many positive experiments, I believe it is also important that we remember that it is just a virtual reality.

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