In the digital universe, our personal history and its sense of narrative is succeeded by our social networking profile—a snapshot of the current moment. The information itself—our social graph of friends and likes—is a product being sold to market researchers in order to better predict and guide our futures. Using past data to steer the future, however, ends up negating the present. The futile quest for omniscience we looked at earlier in this chapter encourages us, particularly businesses, to seek ever more fresh and up-to-the-minute samples, as if this will render the present coherent to us. But we are really just chasing after what has already happened and ignoring whatever is going on now. Similarly, as individuals, our efforts to keep up with the latest Tweet or update do not connect us to the present moment, but ensure that we are remaining focused on what just happened somewhere else. We guide ourselves and our businesses as if steering a car by watching a slide show in the rear- view mirror. This is the disjointed, misapplied effort of digiphrenia.
Yet instead of literally coming to our senses, we change our value system to support the premises under which we are operating, abstracting our experience one step further from terra firma. The physical production of the factory worker gives way to the mental production of the computer user. Instead of measuring progress in acres of terri- tory or the height of skyscrapers, we do it in terabytes of data, whose value is dependent on increasingly smaller units of time-stamped freshness.
Time itself becomes just another form of information—another commodity—to be processed.
We move our values into the digital realm from the physical.
Folksonomies: new media
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Future (0.973809): dbpedia | freebase
Time (0.625018): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Past (0.594321): dbpedia | freebase
Present (0.581847): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Value (0.467584): dbpedia
Sociology (0.462796): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Contemporary history (0.435168): dbpedia | freebase | yago