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Lecture 3

Fall 2012 CMNS 110 Reading Notes Week 3.doc

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CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

← CMNS 110 Reading Notes ← ← Monochronic and Polychronic Time (E. Hall) ← ← The effects of organizing time • Channelling and flow of information • Shape and form of networks connecting people • Host of their important social and cultural features of society ← ← Ways of organizing time • Northern Europe: one thing at a time; events scheduled as separate items  Monochronic M-time • Mediterranean: involvement in several things at once  Polychronic P-time ← ← P-time • Involvement of people • Completion of transaction over adherence to schedule • Appointments not taken seriously, often broken • Less tangible than M-time • Time is not wasted • Time as a sacred point ← ← M-time • Strict schedule, highly managed • Adherence to appointments • Problem: life is unpredictable – not enough time, too much time ← ← M-timers in P-time • Depressing • In shop: everyone all want attention of one clerk waiting on everybody at once o No queue or number to indicate who has been waiting the longest o Confusion and clamour ← In governmental bureaucracies • P-time: large reception area, business outside in semipublic setting • M-time: series of private meetings in inner office • P-time is more efficient ← ← Appointments • Being on time doesn’t mean the same thing • P-time: matters in a constant state of flux (flowing) • M-time: time woven into existence o Everything is scheduled: business and social life (even sex) o What gets scheduled constitutes priorities for people and functions ← ← M-time is tangible • Saved, spent, wasted, lost, made up, crawling, killed, running out • Heavily scheduled  development to industrial civilization ← ← Other consequences of M-time • Seals off two people from the group, intensifies relationships with one other person (at a time) ← ← M-time is arbitrary and imposed, learned • Not inherent or existential in nature ← ← M-time reduces context • Schedules associated with reality • Can alienate us from ourselves and others by reducing context • We perceive the world in segmented compartments o Disastrous in creativity o P-time people are involved in several academic fields • P-time people are almost never alone, interact with several people at once, are continually involved with each other ← ← Social organization (P-time) • centralization of control, simple structure o Flow of information and need to stay informed complement each other o People deeply involved in each others business  keep in touch • Bureaucratic implications o Delegation of authority and build-up in bureaucratic levels not required to handle high volumes of business o Shortcomings  functions increase  proliferation of small bureaucracies  not set up to handle business of outsiders  you have to be an insider or have a friend on the inside to make things happen Administration • P-time o Matter of job analysis o Job description includes activities that make up the job o Scheduling of activities left up to the employee o Job is not only a system, but also part of a larger system • M-time o Scheduled activities o Analysis of activities left up to the employee o Less likely to see activities in context as part of larger whole o Giving the organization a higher priority than the function it performs ← ← P-time and M-time in TV • We allow commercials to break continuity of most important communication • Polychronic advertising companies impose their values on monochronic population • In Northern Europe: strict limit and time of commercials • In USA: commercials interrupt body of program, break continuity  against the culture • In Spain: main feature as close friend who should not be disturbed  commercials mill around in antechamber ← ← Strengths and weaknesses • P-time o Limit to speed with which jobs can be analyzed o Once analyzed, Can handle surprising number of subordinates o Organizations limited in size o Depend on having gifted people at the top o Slow and cumbersome when dealing with new and different things o Extreme dependence on leader • M-time o Grow much larger o Combine bureaucracies instead of proliferating them o Blind to the humanity of its members o As they grow larger, turn inward, grow rigid, lose sight of original purpose ← ← American time as both monochronic and polychronic • M-time: official worlds (business, government, professions, entertainment, sports) • P-time: in the home (especially woman with multiple tasks and their networks with people) • M-time is male and P-time is female ← ← Polychronic women in a monochronic world • Depression as a result of the time system of the dominant culture o Women’s lives center around relationships and networks of people (polychronic) o Monochronic time does not • relationships are threatened or broken  worries and anxieties  depression • everything in our culture works for and rewards monochronic time • many women have bought m time without knowing that unconscious sexism is part of it ← ← Conclusion • All cultures with high technologies incorporate both monochronic and polychronic functions • Every culture does it in its own way o Japan has p-time towards itself, and m-time towards outsiders o French are monochronic intellectually, but polychronic in behaviour ← ← ← The Persistence of the Word (There Is No Dictionary in the Mind) (J. Gleick) ← ← Walter J. Ong • Jesuit priest, philosopher, cultural historian ← ← Writing • the hardest technology to erase from our minds is the first of all: writing • history begins with writing • there is no return to naïveté ← ← Electronic Age • New age of orality, “secondary orality” • Spoken word always in the context of orality • Ong (like McLuhan) made his visionary assessment of a new age just before it actually arrived ← ← Oral literature • Oxymoron • Unconscious approach to the past by way of the present o Like thinking of horses as automobiles without wheels ← ← Understanding the preliterate past • Written word is mechanism by which we know what we know • Organizes our thought • Trying to understand the rise of literacy historically and logically o Problem: history and logic are products of literate thought ← ← Language and writing • Language o Language is not a technology o It is what the mind does o A competence bodying itself in a series of concrete performances • Writing o Concrete performance o When the word is represented it takes on a separate existence as artifice o A product of tools and a tool ← Plato’s warning • Plato warned that writing would mean impoverishment • Writing will produce forgetfulness because those who learn to use it will not exercise their memories • Elixir for reminding, not memory • Appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom o Written word seemed insincere o Word abstracted from the real, free-flowing sound of language o Draw knowledge away from the person o Place memory into storage o Separates speaker and listener ← ← Some of the power of writing • One speaks to the multitude • The dead speak to the living • The living speak to the unborn o Power was incalculable  Restructure thought  Engender history ← Vocabulary • Oral languages have vocabulary of a few thousand words • English (as most written language) has well over 1 million o Growing every year by thousands of words o Words don’t only exist in the present, they have a past and a future ← ←
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