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Monday, July 14, 2014

Event Time vs. Clock Time

I taught my first class at UT Austin today. I am staying a little over a mile and a half from the campus, so I decided to walk. I discovered that it's a lot hotter in Texas than in Oregon! I will have to get used to this so I'm not dripping wet during my classes...

Anyway, back to the usual. This is from Chris Dillow (I am definitely an even time type, one of the big reasons I avoided the 8-5 world):

Time, by Chris Dillow: Google boss Larry Page recently called for the end of the conventional 40-hour working week. Some new research suggests this could have more profound cultural effects than generally thought.
Anne-Laure Sellier and Tamar Avnet primed people to choose between organizing some jobs in "clock-time" (scheduling a specific job at a specific time) or in "event-time" (doing a job until you reach a natural break). They found that the choice led to two big pyschological differences.
First, clock-timers were more likely to have an external locus of control; they were more likely to see their lives as determined by fate or powerful others. Event-timers, on the other hand, tended to have an internal locus, regarding themselves as in control of their own fate. ...
Secondly, clock-timers were less able to savour positive emotions than event-timers - perhaps because if you have an eye on the clock you are less likely to lose yourself in a job and so enjoy flow. ...
Here, though, we need some history. One key feature of the emergence of industrial capitalism was that bosses replaced event-time with clock-time. ... But as Sellier and Avnet suggest, this replacement had some cultural and psychological effects...
And herein lies the thing. If Mr Page is right and/or if some combination of robots and a citizens basic income create a post-scarcity economy in which we are ... less subject to the tyranny of the clock, this could lead to big cultural changes which we have barely begun to think about.

    Posted by on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM in Economics | Permalink  Comments (8)


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