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Understanding the Past, 1/10th of a second at a time

An interesting take from one of the Chronicle of Higher Ed blogs on the humans systems implications of our increasing ability to subdivide time into tinier and tinier increments:

Yet we are still some way off coming to terms with analyzing these developments. They require mathematical expertise that is still in short supply. One of the most exciting academic developments of recent years has been the way in which mathematics and statistics suited to these phenomena have begun to sprout. Just as mathematicians have developed who specialize in life sciences, it seems likely that the same will happen in the social sciences and that, before long, such mathematicians will no longer be a rare breed.

Equally, there is a conglomeration of activity that brings together the arts and humanities, design, and computational science based around what might be called the aesthetics of immediacy, a longstanding Western cultural tradition first found in the realm of timekeeping (as my book with Paul Glennie, Shaping the Day, on the genesis of clock time shows), which is changing yet again as technological improvements allow new kinds of temporal representation.

Happy Monday.

Image: Time defending Truth against the attacks of Envy and Discord, 1641, by Nicolas Poussin, oil on canvas. Via Wikimedia Commons.

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