Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Justin Cybertime

Many of the ideas Lance Strate possesses about cybertime encompass the idea that much like a human being, the internet lives in the present, everchanging and adding to itself much like the human body. The display that we all see on our monitors shows only one time, now. This is much different than clocks of old, where you get the impression of time passed and time to wait. Strate refers to this notion in saying that, "the digital display is entirely present-centered, representing the time as nothing more than a discrete quantity." People can relive the past or look toward the future as much as they want, but they still exist in present time.

Not only does today's advancing internet cover the span of all time zones, it also seems to eliminate many time barriers and deadlines associated with technology before it. Looking at anything that is even a few days old can be considered looking at ancient history in cybertime terms, because so much will be added and updated every second. While by the same effect worrying about what the future may bring is pointless (Internet2), because of the massive amount of information and advancements that will occur as time passes leading up to anything in the near future.

One point about crossing over time zones is the obvious interaction between people in far away places of the globe. Clearly, this occurs everyday in games, chat rooms, message boards, etc. If one was to play an online game with participants from around the globe for a full day, you will see when each time zone has its most popular hours of gaming. If you find yourself up at say 5 am and can't fall asleep (it happens around here), then you will not have to worry about finding friends or gamers online to compete with.

It seems that the most obvious overcoming of time barriers is through email communication. To me e-mail erases a sturdy sense of time with regard to mail that was in place for centuries leading up to the breakthrough of the internet. The fact that you send the email at the same instant as the person recieves it shows that time has been erased, and if it took no time to gather your thoughts, you could have a normal conversation with some one across the globe as if they were sitting in your living room. Email has erased any burden of time on global communication.

When referring to the idea of deadlines being completely altered I picture any large newspaper corporations. The employees for these publications must work around the clock leading up to a deadline for the next morning where all the news is cut off, and placed into the same process for the next day. The fact of an alotted period of time to fit as much news from the day in as you can brings about a sense of time running the business. However, in cybertime a person can constantly update as the news updates, without the constriction of basing your news around a specific time on a specific date in a specific time zone. The difference shows how cybertime is much more concerned with the present and the deadlines that exist on the internet are every second. By constantly updating and changing form, these internet news publications are living in the now as much as you or I would. While working for a newspaper conforms a person to always looking ahead to the next day or trying to recap the prior day.

Although blogs like this one and message boards all over the internet show past posts with an attached time, I do not believe this exhibits the passing of cybertime or an idea of concentrating on the past. This is because I consider these type of Internet discussions to be living organisms. With every post from the past there are new posts that can come in at any second from any place in the planet. The fact that new posts are constantly confirming, challenging, or responding to those prior, I believe that as the blog changes constantly as a whole, time in cyberspace is being overcome at every turn.


forand said...

The internet exists in all time, not just present time. The fact that you pointed out in your blog, the time and date recording of documents on the internet is a testament to its archival nature. This nature is grounded in real time and the 12 month calendar...not cybertime. Sure you send your email at the same time the other person's box receives it, but the receiver doesn't read the mail until they check their "inbox".

I agree, internet has eliminated many limiting qualities of time and space, but it still exists within the 24 hour day; you can't exist solely in cybertime, there will always be a real time to coincide with your internet time.

The fluidity and changing nature of the internet and blogs does not negate the fact that everything on the internet has been composed at a certain time on a certain date. Response blogs, articles and reviews are pertinent because they happen before or after certain events...in real time.

forand said...

And who is this Justin character that heads your blog??