Reading Brian Greene’s New York Times op-ed
on the inherent subjectivity of time in a quantum, relativistic
universe, I couldn’t help be struck by two thoughts. First,
Greene fails to mention Peter Galison’s excellent recent book on the very same subject of time simultaneity.
Second, and more important, Greene’s vision of “kaleidoscopic” time perfectly describes the
messy, intersubjective, constantly changing yet enduring nature of
information in the emerging blogosphere:
power, however imperceptible, to affect time’s passage. In my mind’s
eye, I often conjure a kaleidoscopic image of time in which, with every
step, I further fracture Newton’s pristine and uniform conception. And
in moments of loss I’ve taken comfort from the knowledge that all
events exist eternally in the expanse of space and time, with the
partition into past, present and future being a useful but subjective
As David Weinberger taught us in Small Pieces Loosely Joined,
the Net has deep metaphysical implications for our conception of the
world. We’re all used to thinking of the Web as the revolutionary
development, and it certainly was. But while the Web dramatically
lowered the cost of publishing and accessing information, it kept the
static and impersonal page metaphor of older media. Weblogs,
aided by syndication mechanisms, remove that crutch.
Some day we may look back and identify the rise of blogs, not the Web,
as the decisive development that changed our relationship to
information… and to each other.