This Saturday 12th December 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Is Time Speeding Up?’ Many people, across all age groups, have a sense that time is passing by more quickly, that they can’t get as much done in the same amount of time any more. Why is this? The reasons given for time speeding up are usually perceptual. In an article for Quartz, Tony Crabbe comments “We haven’t always been obsessed with time. In fact, as the historian E.P. Thompson highlighted half a century ago, before the Industrial Revolution clocks were largely irrelevant. Instead of a time orientation, people had a task orientation. They had jobs to do, and so they did them in the natural order, at the natural time.” Factories needed to co-ordinate people more accurately, however, and so clock time was imposed on the workforce with leaders such as Benjamin Franklin reinforcing the new inextricable linking of time and money. Do we feel that time is speeding up because the link between time and money has become more pressured? Time is broken into tiny increments these days - research from Google observes that people visit websites less often if they are more than 250 milliseconds slower than a competitor. Could it be that the way we measure and monitor time makes it seem more fleeting? The digital age is putting more and more information our way. Could it feel as if time is speeding up because it is a finite resource with a seemingly infinite number of tasks trying to fit into it? Or is time actually speeding up? This has been speculated on by various alternative thinkers and also a few scientists open to considering that the speed of light may not be fixed. Clearly if we look at the history of science things that were once considered impossible later have been shown to be true. Is time speeding up?
What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com