The almighty clock

You only live once, movie from the 1930's... Who said YOLO is new?

You only live once, movie from the 1930’s… Who said YOLO is new?

Time is precious. That’s a universal truth. Just look at the amount of time we spend talking about it! We brag about doing things quickly, complain about not being able to do so, think about the future and past.

Look at the many units we use to divide and measure time, from ages to milliseconds.

Look at the huge, gigantic time philosophy that has emerged. The philosophy of YOLO, carpe diem, share the moment… Spending your time wisely seems an almost religious obsession for some people.

Talking about religion, the importance of time is reflected in them too. The bible (and I’m sure many other religious texts) has specified how long it took to create the earth, and many a prophet have predicted an apocalypse.

The way I see it, we are given a chunk, of unknown size, to do whatever the hell we want with. In theory at least – reality is very different. Our genes and environment make a lot of decisions for us, decisions about what to do. Not that we can’t rebel against those musts – lots of people do what they want instead of what would have been smart in an evolutionary context. On the other hand, what the really want is probably determined by their genes and/or environment so it doesn’t really make any difference.
The thing is, even though we value time so much, we waste a lot of it. And now I’m not just talking about having fun. Watching TV and skiing might seem to be pointless time spenders, but you do get something out of it – enjoyment. No, I’m talking about things that are NOTHING but time wastage. Things that are not useful in any way to anyone, yet are allowed to consume innumerable hours. I’m talking about school.
My sister has told me how her class has to spend an HOUR every Monday talking about the weekend. They don’t learn anything from it, they don’t get any fun from it (those whose weekend you actually are interested in can be interrogated during lunch), they don’t get an explanation of why they do it. At that same age I had to sit in a circle and tell the teacher that everything’s fine, and if it’s not I won’t talk about that with this group. Four years later I still don’t know why.

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