Internet time

I have been thinking lately about "Internet time", after being surprised to notice myself being struck by how material I added to this website several years ago, seemed like I had added it only yesterday. I asked myself how so much time could have passed so quickly.
Of course persons' having a sense of things past having happened "only yesterday" antedates the Internet. But I think the Internet may exacerabate it, ever further "shortening" the span of time in which we live, so that a person may reach old age (60? 80? 90?...) but still not yet have -- metaphorically, i.e., in terms of cultural self-development -- gotten out of diapers, and without being able to feel they have "lived" (i.e., had a full and fulfilled life). [Is this the meaning of Nietzsche's "eternal recurrence of the same"? Is this our version of mysticism's "eternal now"?]
This -- to me, at least -- troubling thought found an echo today (06Apr04), when I read an email in which someone wrote [not in a context of thinking about implications of the Internet for our temporeity!]: "Alexander the Great was only 30 when he over-ran the Persians and founded one of the largest territorial empires in history. Unlike Bush, he invaded foreign lands constructively -- literally! -- building beautiful Greek cities wherever he went. He built two in Afghanistan and there are still blue-eyed children there." Perhaps this is not an altogether fair representation of Alexander then at 30 or George W Bush now at 58, but I find it "evocative", and helpful as a measure for assessing the time (as well as "the times"...) in which we (or at least, I...) live.
Would that the Internet would foster persons maturing even younger than 30, and "invading" the world even more constructively! Would that "Internet time", instead of shrinking everything into indistinguishable simultaneity, would nurture deepening and enrichment of time, so that, at 30, with perhaps far more than half of his or her life still ahead, each person would be able to look ahead to something probably few have known in the past: a mature and fulfilled spirit in a still youthful body. That would be progress, in my opinion.
Related issue: The Internet seems conducive to "quickies": things that come fast and go as fast as they came, even if works which can emerge and be appreciated only through long-term sustained elaboration are not impossible here. Might cultivating audit trails and associating with current Internet content archival copies of previous versions, be a way to help "slow down" the vanishingly fast pace of Internet time? [ Crescit eundo.... ]
[ Email me! ]Share your ideas how to try to save time(sic) from the Internet.

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Sorry, but this SWATCH clock applet requires Java 1.1+ (Get with it!)....
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[ Swatch Internet time symbol: @ ]
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What is this new Universal Time?

Timed by Swatch

Internet Time represents a completely new global concept of time. So what is the deal? Basically, the Swatch Beat, the revolutionary new unit of time means the following:

No Time Zones
No Geographical Borders

How long is a Swatch beat? In short we have divided up the virtual and real day into 1000 "beats". One Swatch beat is the equivalent of 1 minute 26.4 seconds. That means that 12 noon in the old time system is the equivalent of @500 Swatch beats.

Okay, so how can a surfer in New York, or a passenger on a transatlantic flight know when it is @500 Swatch Beats in Central Europe for example? How can the New York surfer make a date for a chat with his cyber friend in Rome? Easy, Internet Time is the same all over the world.

How is this possible? We are not just creating a new way of measuring time, we are also creating a new meridian in Biel, Switzerland, home of Swatch. Biel Mean Time (BMT) will be the universal reference for Internet Time. A day in Internet Time begins at midnight BMT (@000 Swatch Beats) (Central European Wintertime).
The meridian is marked for all to see on the façade of the Swatch International Headquarters on Jakob-Staempfli Street, Biel, Switzerland. So it is the same time all over the world, be it night or day, the era of time zones has disappeared.

The BMT meridian was inaugurated on 23 October 1998 in the presence of Nicholas Negroponte, founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory.

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[ Go to SWATCH Group website! ]

Note: There is a Java Swatch Beat clock applet at top of this page, which does not work unless your web browser supports Java JDK 1.1 or higher. I (BMcC) apologize for the limitation.

[ What time does your computer think it is? Find out here! ]Return to Horology page (What time does your computer think it is?).
Find out current moon phase :: Have you looked at the moon lately?
Read Rabelais (and others) on the meaning of time ("it's About time"...).
[ Return to thoughts about Internet time! ]Think about the meaning of "Internet time".
Leisure is the basis of culture.
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Get source code for SwatchTime applet (above).

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Copyright © 2000 Brad McCormick, Ed.D. [ Email me! ]
09 April 2006 (2006-04-09 ISO 8601)
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