- Jul 2018
er. Each of these choices reflect power dynamics and conflicting tensions. Desires for ‘presence’ or singular focus often conflict with obligations to be responsive and integrate ‘work’ and ‘life
Are these power dynamics/tensions: actor or agent-based? individual or technical? situational or contextual? deliberate or autonomous?
How do we understand such mosaictime in terms of striving for balance? Temporal units are rarely single-purpose and their boundaries and dependencies are often implicit. What sociotemporal values should we be honoring? How can we account for time that fits on neither side of a scale? How might scholarship rethink balance or efficiency with different forms of accounting, with attention to institutions as well as individuals?
Design implication: What heuristics are involved in the lived experience and conflicts between temporal logic and porous time?
Our rendering of porous time imagines a newperspective on time, in whichthe dominant temporal logic expandsbeyond ideals of control and mastery to include navigation(with or without conscious attention) of that which cannot be gridded or managed: the temporal trails, multiple interests, misaligned rhythms and expectations of others.
Design implication: How to mesh temporal logic with porous time realities?
Taken together, an orientation to time as spectral, mosaic, rhythmic (dissonant),and obligatedsuggestsa possible alternate understanding of what time is and how it can work.An initial typology ofporous time honors the fluidity of time and its unexpected shifts; it also acknowledges novel integrations of time in everyday practice. Addressingthese alternate temporal realities allows us to build on CSCW’s legacy of related research to questionthereach and scope of thedominant temporal logic.
Description of porous time and its elements as an extension of CSCW literature on temporal logic.
Yet, thepromise of social control affordedby information and communication technologies belies the inadequacy ofthe dominant temporal logic.
Design implication: Re-aligning real time needs/pressures/representations with temporal logic.
bels. To date, we have found that our subjects have a minimal ability, and almost no language, to discuss the vagaries of time. In general, people attempt to negotiate their subjective experiences of time through the assumptions of the dominant temporal logic outlined a
So true, in my study too.
Cite this graf.
In witnessing how people struggle toorient to the dominant temporal logic,we find it isinsufficient to encapsulate temporal experiences. Thus, we now theorizea set of expanded notions, an initial typology that we call ‘porous time’.
Definition of porous time.
Elements of porous time include: spectral, mosaic, rhythmic and obligated.
One of the ways that a temporal logic becomesvisible for analysis and critique is through the tensions that emerge when its assumptions and norms do not align with daily experience. In our collective fieldwork we have observedmultiple examples of mundane dailypractices coming into conflict withthe logic that time is, or should be, chunk-able, singular purpose, linear, and/or owned.These tensionshelp bring to the fore the extent of the dominant temporal logic and showcase the inadequacy of this narrow set of assumptions to fully describetemporal experiences.
This section of the paper focuses on tensions in temporal logic that lead to the new typology of "porous time".
These tensions give rise to conflicts in how people's activities don't align with the logic of how they should/could allot, manage and/or own their time.
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions and bad calendaring?"
We call this prevailing temporal logic ‘circumscribed time.’ We use this label to highlight the underlying orientation to time as a resource that can, and should, be mastered. A circumscribed temporal logic infers that time should be harnessed into ‘productive’ capacity by approaching it as something that can be chunked, allocated to a single use, experienced linearly, and owned. In turn, the norms of society place the burden on individuals to manage and ‘balance’ time as a steward, optimizing this precious resource by way of control and active manipulation.
Description of the elements of circumscribed time.
Finally,time is understood asaresource that is owned by an individual and thus needs to be managed and apportioned by that individual.Like personal income, time is a resource that the individual has both the burden and responsibility to manage well. This vision of time reflects an assumption there are ‘better’ or ‘worse’ ways to use, spend and save time and it is up to the individual to engage in practices of temporal ownership. Controlling time doesnot suggest thatan individual can speed up or slow down time, but rather,suggeststhat timecan be personally configured to meet individual aims or goals.
Definition of time as ownable.
This idea of time as a resource also denotes a certain sense of personal agency/control over time when certain practices, like scheduling or efficiencies, are applied.
Thedominant temporal logicalso conceptualizestime aslinear. In other words,one chunk of time leads to another in a straight progression. While chunks of time can be manipulated and reordered in the course of a day (or week, or month), each chunk of time has a limited duration and each activity has a beginning and an end. An hour is an hour is an hour, and in the course of a day (or a lifetime) hours stack up like a vector, moving one forward in a straightforward progression.
Definition of linear time.
WRT to temporal linguistics, linear time drives moving-ego and moving-time metaphors.
Aligned with chunk-able time is the assumption that each chunk of time, or its particular gridded arrangement, is allocated to a single purpose.
Definition of single purpose time.
Design implication: How does single-purpose time align or conflict with multitasking and/or blurred task types that overlap home vs office, personal vs professional.
appointment. Time chunksopen up the possibility for future-oriented temporal manipulation and valuation; they assumethat we are able to know, in advance, the duration of tasks and experiences.
How does the idea of time chunks and future-orientation fit with:
Reddy's temporal horizon concept? Zimbardo's future time perspective?
The expectation that time is chunk-able is conditioned by an understanding that time exists in units (a second, a minute, a year) and that temporal units are equal–that can be swapped and exchanged with relative ease.
Definition of chunkable time.
Design implication: Time is experienced in consistent, measurable, and incremental units.
Ex: 60 minutes is always 60 minutes no matter what part of the day it occurs or in any social context, such as calendaring/scheduling an event.
Using a chunkable time perspective, we conform our activities/appointments to clock-time increments rather than making the calendar conform. Per Mazmanian, et al., this perspective "perpetuates a sense that time is malleable and responsive" with little concern about how changing an appointment time can affect the rest of the calendar.
the nature of timethat reflect a dominant temporal logic –specifically that timeischunkable, single-purpose, linearandownable
4 aspects of circumscribed time
describes time as a resource that can be mastered incrementally.
A temporal logicoperatesat multiple levels. It is perpetuated insocialand cultural discourse; is embedded in institutional expectations and policies; drivesthe design and implementation of technologies;establishes resilient social norms; and provides a cache of normative, rational examples to draw on when individuals needtomake sense of their everyday engagements with time. When a tool like Microsoft Outlook is designed, presented, and justified in a marketing campaign it is both reflecting and perpetuating atemporal logic.
Design implication: How temporal logic informs and influences other behaviors.
In particular, by temporal logicwe mean the socially legitimated, shared assumptions about time that areembedded in institutional and societal norms, discourses, material and technological processes, and shared ideologies. A temporal logic defines what is rational, normal and expected, andimbues a society with a definitionof what time is that directsindividuals in how they should operate in and through time.It provides an understanding of time that becomes so embedded that it seems to define reality.
Definition of temporal logic as a shared understanding that leads to social constructs of common practices, rules, and norms.
What would it look like to more explicitly acknowledge power dynamics in information and communication technologies? In the tradition of critical and reflective design , how might CSCW scholarship think about designing technologies that ‘protect’ users from temporal obligations and render messiness and disorganization a possible way of engaging with time?
Design implication: What if porous time was considered a feature not a bug?
How to better integrate personal agency/autonomy and values into a temporal experience?
How could a temporal artifact better support a user flexibly shifting/adapting temporal logic to a lived experience?
Interrogating the temporal logic of circumscribed time raises three related sociotemporal concerns particularly relevant to CSCW: lived experience, visions of success, and power relations. We address each concernin relation to key theoretical works to showhow the insights presented here both point tothe limitations of the dominant temporal logic of circumscribed time and demandexpanding this logic to include those orientations suggested by porous time.
3 sociotemporal concerns that help bridge circumscribed and porous time: lived experience, visions of success and power relations.
The temporal logic of circumscribed time falls short of describing, let alone organizing, the complex temporalities that govern American lives today. As an expansion of the dominant logic, porous time aims toprovide a more nuanced account of howtemporality shapes interactions among people, technologies, and the
The tension between circumscribed and porous time leads to control-seeking and a need to adapt to the "fluidities of time".
This tension serves up different coping mechanisms, such as: metaphors, time representations, design challenges, routines, need for self-reflection, quantification via scheduling, data collection, technical solutions, predictive models, etc.
We find and name an emergent set of temporal elements–spectral, mosaic,rhythmicand obligatedtime–which implicitly challenge the assumptions of the dominant logic. We call this collective set ‘porous time.’
Definition of porous time and the set of temporal elements that challenge the dominant logic.
s ‘circumscribed time.’This logic, which is embedded in many popular tools, current scholarship,and especially in the discourse of time management, is characterized by assumptions that time is chunk-able(i.e. unitized and measurable), oriented to a single purpose, experiencedlinearly, and owned by individuals
Definition of circumscribed time -- a dominant temporal logic.
temporal logic–a particular orientation to time that manifests in time-related social norms, moral judgments, daily practices, and technologies for scheduling and coordinat
Definition of temporal logic
- single purpose time
- future time perspective
- language of time
- porous time
- chunkable time
- temporal horizon
- time metaphor
- temporal logic
- lived experience
- ownable time
- design implication
- circumscribed time
- linear time
- power dynamics