Went to a meeting at my old alma mater @Swinburne #University earlier this week. Haven’t really walked through the main campus in 9 years and the new #architecture is #beautiful (well, new to me!). #Love this place as without it I would never have found my true #vocation: #sociology. The wonderful paper by Thomas Gieryn on the sociology of #place came to mind. He argues that beyond studying people’s physical location to a geographic space, we also need to take into account how people invest #meaning and personal #narrative into places. We remember physical structures in particular ways, but they are flexible in our imaginations. Meaning changes and is contested over #time. Being back at Swinburne I was not remembering anything about my years as an undergraduate #student. Even though I taught throughout the same time as I was a #postgraduate, it wasn’t #teaching that I remembered as I saw the old and new buildings side by side. Instead I was overwhelmed by memories of writing my #thesis. I looked up at my old office I shared with other postgrads and I saw the long nights typing and transcribing. I saw the mind-expanding chats with old  friends, debating and strengthening ideas. The many cups of tea. I remembered not specifically handing in my thesis but instead driving home exhausted and elated after submission. It was the exhilaration of seeing my # research take shape, the #excitement of words on paper that I felt and nothing else. People make places and we make sense of place. #melbourne #australia #socialscience #education #visualsociology

Went to a meeting at my old alma mater @Swinburne #University earlier this week. Haven’t really walked through the main campus in 9 years and the new #architecture is #beautiful (well, new to me!). #Love this place as without it I would never have found my true #vocation: #sociology. The wonderful paper by Thomas Gieryn on the sociology of #place came to mind. He argues that beyond studying people’s physical location to a geographic space, we also need to take into account how people invest #meaning and personal #narrative into places. We remember physical structures in particular ways, but they are flexible in our imaginations. Meaning changes and is contested over #time. Being back at Swinburne I was not remembering anything about my years as an undergraduate #student. Even though I taught throughout the same time as I was a #postgraduate, it wasn’t #teaching that I remembered as I saw the old and new buildings side by side. Instead I was overwhelmed by memories of writing my #thesis. I looked up at my old office I shared with other postgrads and I saw the long nights typing and transcribing. I saw the mind-expanding chats with old friends, debating and strengthening ideas. The many cups of tea. I remembered not specifically handing in my thesis but instead driving home exhausted and elated after submission. It was the exhilaration of seeing my # research take shape, the #excitement of words on paper that I felt and nothing else. People make places and we make sense of place. #melbourne #australia #socialscience #education #visualsociology


L.A. street artist and Obama “Hope” poster creator Shepard Fairey has turned Trayvon Martin into an icon. The artist was commissioned by Ebony magazine a few months ago to create the piece; Fairey only just shared the image on his blog, saying he had to keep the artwork under wraps until the issue hit newsstands earlier this week. (Ebony is owned by Time Inc., the parent company of TIME and TIME.com.)

(via Trayvon Martin Gets the Shepard Fairey Treatment | NewsFeed | TIME.com)

L.A. street artist and Obama “Hope” poster creator Shepard Fairey has turned Trayvon Martin into an icon. The artist was commissioned by Ebony magazine a few months ago to create the piece; Fairey only just shared the image on his blog, saying he had to keep the artwork under wraps until the issue hit newsstands earlier this week. (Ebony is owned by Time Inc., the parent company of TIME and TIME.com.)

(via Trayvon Martin Gets the Shepard Fairey Treatment | NewsFeed | TIME.com)

  • Source: TIME

This video is adorable and informative. The story from Brain Pickings is also great. Till Roenneberg discusses the concept of social time (which I have previously written about from a cultural perspective). Roenneberg also discusses “social jet lag”, as a way to debunk the stigma attached to people who sleep in later than the norm. He argues that people in different social groups benefit from keeping to their distinctive sleep routines. Societies force people to observe particular sleep-wake patterns, but compliance can be socially harmful for some people and it can be detrimental to their health:

This myth that early risers are good people and that late risers are lazy has its reasons and merits in rural societies but becomes questionable in a modern 24/7 society. The old moral is so prevalent, however, that it still dominates our beliefs, even in modern times. The postman doesn’t think for a second that the young man might have worked until the early morning hours because he is a night-shift worker or for other reasons. He labels healthy young people who sleep into the day as lazy — as long sleepers. This attitude is reflected in the frequent use of the word-pair early birds and long sleepers [in the media]. Yet this pair is nothing but apples and oranges, because the opposite of early is late and the opposite of long is short….

I am often asked whether we cannot get used to given working hours merely through discipline and by confining our sleep habits to certain times. The assumption inherent in this question is that the human body clock can synchronize to social cues. I tend to find that any such questioner, who usually also displays a somewhat disdainful tone towards the weakness of late chronotypes, is an early type — someone who has never experienced the problems associated with the [desynchronized] sleep-wake behavior of late chronotypes.

He’s a man after my own heart! There’s even a bell-shaped curve and everything. Read the whole story - fascinating.

Via Brain Pickings.

V Sauce talks about some of the scientific theories as to why time seems to speed up as we get older.

The sociology of time: cultural variations of social time

Temporal time is the passing of time as measured by clocks and calendars. Social time refers to the cultural meaning that societies place on time and the social norms that shape how people imagine their relationship to time. Social time also determines how societies organise the past, present and future. (Read more.)

Werner Bergmann discusses several sociological studies that demonstrate the historical and cultural variation of social time. In the past, societies were organised around the rhythms of sun rise and sun set. Industrialisation led to a stronger emphasis on ‘the clock’ as a primary way of organising society. Cultures reformulate the demands of modern life against cultural ideas of social time.


Bergmann discusses how Australian Aboriginal family and community relationships (kinship systems) are not simply a way of classifying social responsibilities. Rather, family relations also reflect a perspective that life is timeless. Indigenous Australians do not mention the names of the dead. The term for grandparent and grandchild relationship is the same. Such aspects of Aboriginal cultures denote a relationship between the ancestral past and the present. While some people might interpret from this that Indigenous Australians are past orientated, this is untrue. Instead, Aboriginal Australians are firmly present-orientated, but with a view that the present is timeless. I would also argue that Indigenous spirituality, stories of ancestral beings and creation (the ‘Dreamtime’), as well as cultural rituals similarly reflect the timelessness of the here and now. Aboriginal cultures reflect that nature, ancestors, and the present are interconnected.


Berman further shows that studies of American society emphasise how different sub-groups are motivated by different conceptions of time. Some sub-groups that are close-knit are more driven to work together to improve the material and wellbeing of group members in the present. The immediate need to take care of family and kin take precedence over individual achievements. Other sub-groups that are highly individualist are driven by ideas of the future. In this case people are taught to delay immediate leisure, invest in education, and work towards long-term goals that will pay off many years down the track.

Class, ethnicity, religion, gender and other social markers will influence how different groups understand social time.


Institutional forces will also shape this process. When an economy is prosperous, future-orientated perspectives are easier to maintain, but this can manifest in different ways. A current example I would offer is that in a strong economy, people might save all their resources towards future goals, or people might alternatively get into a habit of lending and rely on credit cards because the future seems a long way away. When there is economic stagnation or downturn, delayed gratification becomes a necessity. People’s ideas about the present and future therefore shift in relation to changing material realities and social norms.

Love all of it, especially mentions of the Dead Sea and this:

It (time) shouldn’t be an arrow. 
(Dean Rickles, philosopher of science at the University of Sydney, Australia)

Via:
cwnl:

About Time: Everyday Time Warps
Despite Einstein’s theory of relativity proving otherwise, society still for the most part believes time is as simple as a storybook with a neat linear storyline. Don’t let your evolving human senses fool you. Here are some points to help you reconsider that thought.
Space Age
Russian astronaut Sergei Krikalev has spent longer in space than anyone else - 803 days in total. While space’s weaker gravity aged him, this was outweighed by the rejuvenating effect of his high speed. So he is 21 milliseconds younger than if he had stayed put.
Round-The-World Flights
Repeat a famous experiment carried out with atomic clocks and you will age 40 nanoseconds less if you circle the globe eastward, in the direction of Earth’s rotation. Fly west, though, and you will age 273 nanoseconds extra (Science, vol 177, p 166).
Your Head Ages More Than Your Feet
…by around 10-11 seconds a day. Live for 80 years and that difference adds up to 300 nanoseconds.
Location, Location, Location
A year atop Australia’s tallest apartment block will make you 950 nanoseconds older than a bungalow-dweller.
The Youthful Dead Sea
Spend 40 years by the shores of the Dead Sea, at the lowest elevations on the Earth’s surface, and you’ll age 48 microseconds less than someone living at sea level, and 750 microseconds less than the residents of La Rinconada in Peru, at an altitude of 5100.metres.
Had time truly been a constant, a linear variable of the universe it would apply itself equally and sequentially throughout our lives. But as we look closer, it clearly looks like that is far from the reality of things.
“The truly odd thing is that the laws of physics, which surely ought to be responsible for what we see in the world, can work just as well both forwards and backwards in time,” says Dean Rickles, a philosopher of science at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. “There shouldn’t be an arrow.”
If time’s arrow is not in the laws of physics, where does it come from? An important clue emerges from the complex interactions of large numbers of particles. Every object you see around you, including you, is made up of a vast collection of particles. These particles are not just sitting around - they are constantly shuffling about and rearranging.
Image via SNES 16-Bit Doctor Who Intro (2010)

Love all of it, especially mentions of the Dead Sea and this:

It (time) shouldn’t be an arrow.

(Dean Rickles, philosopher of science at the University of Sydney, Australia)

Via:

cwnl:

About Time: Everyday Time Warps

Despite Einstein’s theory of relativity proving otherwise, society still for the most part believes time is as simple as a storybook with a neat linear storyline. Don’t let your evolving human senses fool you. Here are some points to help you reconsider that thought.

Space Age

Russian astronaut Sergei Krikalev has spent longer in space than anyone else - 803 days in total. While space’s weaker gravity aged him, this was outweighed by the rejuvenating effect of his high speed. So he is 21 milliseconds younger than if he had stayed put.

Round-The-World Flights

Repeat a famous experiment carried out with atomic clocks and you will age 40 nanoseconds less if you circle the globe eastward, in the direction of Earth’s rotation. Fly west, though, and you will age 273 nanoseconds extra (Science, vol 177, p 166).

Your Head Ages More Than Your Feet

…by around 10-11 seconds a day. Live for 80 years and that difference adds up to 300 nanoseconds.

Location, Location, Location

A year atop Australia’s tallest apartment block will make you 950 nanoseconds older than a bungalow-dweller.

The Youthful Dead Sea

Spend 40 years by the shores of the Dead Sea, at the lowest elevations on the Earth’s surface, and you’ll age 48 microseconds less than someone living at sea level, and 750 microseconds less than the residents of La Rinconada in Peru, at an altitude of 5100.metres.

Had time truly been a constant, a linear variable of the universe it would apply itself equally and sequentially throughout our lives. But as we look closer, it clearly looks like that is far from the reality of things.

“The truly odd thing is that the laws of physics, which surely ought to be responsible for what we see in the world, can work just as well both forwards and backwards in time,” says Dean Rickles, a philosopher of science at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. “There shouldn’t be an arrow.”

If time’s arrow is not in the laws of physics, where does it come from? An important clue emerges from the complex interactions of large numbers of particles. Every object you see around you, including you, is made up of a vast collection of particles. These particles are not just sitting around - they are constantly shuffling about and rearranging.

Image via SNES 16-Bit Doctor Who Intro (2010)

(via afro-dominicano)