Future Time

Paris Trip Day 1!!

Last week in Future Forecasting *dramatic presenter voice* we looked at time within our future and how time works, scientific time and perceived time. This was a very interesting discussion because it made you really think hard about the length of time and how you yourself consider time, how you experience time and how time flies by. I’d never given it much thought before last Tuesday apart from the odd occasion when I was carried away, looking at the sky.

Measurements of time –

  • Nature time, using the seasons, the moon etc… When people planned their days by looking at the sky, life was slower as time was less restrictive.
  • Theocosmic, a combination of religion and astronomy to find time, like Easter is the “first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.”
  • The mechanical clock! Literally life saver! Paved the pathway for Cities and great inventions, it gave us our own personal time, so we can be more organised and therefore get more things done.

The session involved different groups of people who thought about time in different ways. The extended present; the ‘near future’; deep time, ‘the long now’ and eternity…

I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five.

I love this quote because it really makes you think about your life, the moments had, experiences lived and what you take with you as life goes on. How much have you kept? What has been forgotten? What will never be remembered? What will you always have? These moments we experience in our ‘present’ can mean more or less in the future. All are unique, individual perspectives. This is what makes time so varied and complex in comparison to how we actually record time, one straight line with numbers, rather than the beautiful mess of our own experience of time.

We also looked at the timescales of trends. There are 4 types of trends:

  • Fad – a quick trend that doesn’t last long, like a ‘fling’
  • Micro trend – one that lasts 3-5 years, only effects a small number of people, like a ‘serious relationship’
  • Macro trend – one that lasts 5-10 years, large trends that change the landscape for the future,  like a ‘marriage ‘
  • Mega trends – one that lasts a long time and changes the world, creating a huge shift, like a ‘royal marriage’

There are trend forecasters who use observation and data analysis to gather their claims. These are based on the past, facts, and the general direction of society. {possible and probable futures}

There are scenario planners who ask questions and think through / speculate ideas to find direction. These are based on logic and some imagination. {possible and preferable futures}

Crazy amounts of information to take in, in 2 hours :O

Then using what we had learnt we where to, in groups, design our own timeline on anything we wanted! So, given an hour and a half (which I experienced, went very quickly) we came up with a triangular style based on time and emotion in the life of Elon Musk.

The blue represents his personal life – birth, family, relationships etc… The red represents his work life – inventions, companies, deals, investments etc… Then the ‘highs and lows’ are displayed by the ‘up and down’ triangles, retrospectively. However we kept time in a line. We did consider using circles or other shapes to show time, be that as it may, sometimes the simplest option, the most familiar, the one we seem to understand in an instant, is the best. Plus an hour and a half to redesign time is a bit of a stretch 😉

xox Much love Holly xox

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