Friday, December 26, 2014

The Calibration of Navigation

The Contraction of Time
This is a personal valuation of time in an era wherein on the human scale with the equally more distributed  perception that  it’s velocity is exponentially increasing. Whether it is the velocity of electronic communications, scientific discoveries, the increased emphasis on the productivity of industrial, service and economic indicators by their rapidity, the increased speed of alterations to our planet’s natural environment by genetic manipulation or the instability of weather patterns, one sits back and considers how time is measured. Geologic timescales, evolutionary by environmental drivers, civilizations, human life spans, all of which could be said to run on local time as parallel paths. The general suspicion I have is that all of these scales will be shortened in their cycling by human tampering. It may not be a matter of less time but rather the degree of transformation in the amount of variability in any given scale. Food perhaps for thought, or is there less open space for thought in of itself, for contemplation of this? Perhaps not.

The Drivers of A Vehicle of Time
If any of this is true, what are the drivers of this impetus to increase the velocity of time? One looks back to movement in of itself, from the foot to horse mounts, to locomotion, to automobiles to jet aircraft. Warfare is now measured in supersonic speeds. What lurks behind this desire to contract the distance between two markers? We are transitioning between the local and the global contexts of contracted open space in time.

The Velocity and Volume of Information.
How much information can one consume intelligently in a 24 hour time frame? Is there a set limit in this and if there is, have we exceeded it? From hand delivered notes to horse powered conveyances delivering them, to post offices on board speeding express trains, to the telegraph, to the telephone, from print media from radio to television to e-mail. Consider the timescale of this evolution of communication.
Whereas before, the volume of information at hand was due to it’s speed of deliverance. It seems now, this need no longer apply to our situation. There seems to a shrinking amount of open space to consider not only the valuation of information but it’s context as well in the story behind the stories that are the origin behind the 20 minute broadcast networks summary of global information. Or, in the 24/7 news cycles of cable news networks and the advent of experts decoding the import of information as a medium of pre-digestion. Has the volume of information decreased it’s valuation and are we saying more, supplying more information with less value in content? Twittering, Facebook and other mediums seem to trivialize the value of connectivity by the dilution of content.
All of this is occurring at lightning speed.

Land Speed Records
High speed rail now regularly runs at well over 200 miles per hour as highway speeds increase state by state from the 55 mile an hour legislated limit to 70 or more miles per hour. Some areas have no speed limits in areas of sparse populations. Magnetic levitation vehicles have been tested at 361 miles per hour in the next stage of land speed evolution.

The Velocity of Transformation.
The rate of variability counted in extreme weather events, atmospheric warming are increasing at a rate of velocity measured by comparing the current speed to a scale of magnitude which has not been witnessed in over 65 million years, according to a new study published in Science.
The velocity of disparity between the working poor and the captains of industry ,along the vanishing of the middle class has occurred in a matter of a few decades.
Science has successfully completed quantum teleportation of elementary atomic particles while travel to distant worlds through the outer spaces, now looks to wormholes to shorten such journeys.
The increase in global energy consumption driving this is predicted to exponentially increase in rapidity by 56% by the year 2040.

Speed Limits and Traffic Fines
Is there a limit to how much volume of information we can process in order to calibrate our navigation through it? There’s no laws to restrict us in this velocity. No traffic cop to fine us if we exceed a safe speed on this proverbial highway full of twists and turns. Will we run off the road?
Perhaps the question is not the velocity of transformation in parallel to the increasing rapidity of human time scales but rather our ability to adapt to them. Our familiarity with our signposts are vulnerable as they have been.. perhaps they are being transformed in advance of our flexibility and presence of mind that an unoccupied volume of time open space lest we forget the popcorn trail we left behind us to find our way back home again.


  1. Processing information for purposes of navigation. That is usually perceived as nonhuman contruct of timescale. To trade the illusion of steady states for the mysteries of phase change is sometimes trading fear of death for being lost forever. Probably goes back and forth, at least for stuff that phases.

  2. Neal, Neal, Neal...
    Enjoyed your comment as always. I think I will string them together and put Ornette Coleman or a Don Cherry tune as background music. Would make a great spoken word form of free form jazz poetry