Friday, January 14, 2022

Time Machine

“One way of understanding capitalism, in fact, is as a giant machine for instrumentalizing everything it encounters…in the service of future profit,” remarks Oliver Burkeman in Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. This Burkeman, goes on to explain, is why rich people are so often unhappy. “In focusing so hard on instrumentalizing their time, they end up treating their lives in the present moment as nothing but a vehicle in which to travel toward a future state of happiness.” Kierkegaard’s “Unhappiest Man” in Fear and Trembling lives in “past memory” or “future hope” and is “incapable of living in the present.” Of course, this is one way of describing compulsive photographers who constantly catalogue and collect experiences in lieu of fully experiencing them. The advent of digital photography exacerbated this propensity, due to the facility with which images could proliferate. Digital photographs can infest computer memory—though you don’t need an exterminator. All that's required is to push the “delete” button. Modern technology turns reality into a new kind of processed cheese interposing one degree of separation with its tasty artificial spread. Remember when you poured over the pages of the old family album with their photograph corners? Burkeman quotes John Maynard Keynes thusly, “The ‘purposive’ man is always trying to secure a spurious and delusive immortality for his actions by pushing his interests in them forward into time.” 

Read Francis Levy on "Time Management For Mortals," 

and listen to "Love Machine" by The Miracles

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