SOCIETY

The way we engage with one another is evolving. Advancements in technology have lead to the rise of a network of informed, tech-minded, global citizens. Technology now has a multifarious relationship with society and has permeated into it all aspects of it, with the potential to completely upend how we progress together as a species.

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How different eras and cultures organize seconds and minutes

A brief history of time

Our awareness of time and how we make sense of it is one of the most distinguishing features of humans. Here we look at the different ways in which we explain and measure it.

Exploring dreams and their relation to moments

The timeline of the subconscious

On the psychoanalyst's couch, the unconscious follows its own timeline, which has nothing to do with the duration of the present experience. This exploration of dream-like states provides a surprising look at how we process the events of our lives.

Is time a genuine phenomenon or a metaphor?

The infinite debate around the reality of hours

The thinkers involved in one of philosophy's most controversial topics make radically different assumptions about the nature of time. Can they find a solution? We chatted with philosopher Giuliano Torrengo to find out.

Differences in time perception across the globe

Chronemics and cultures

We plan for the future through calendars and diaries. But not every culture looks at time in this western way.

Why more people are getting up with the sun

Productivity before dawn

In the last few years, morning routines have become more and more popular. How does productivity happen while the rest of the world is sleeping?

The art of postponing

Why do we procrastinate?

Dr. Tim Pychyl, a professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Ottawa's Carleton University, takes us into the quicksand of wasting time and why we do it, instead of facing what really needs to get done.

George Widener predicts the future

The art of calculation

This American artist has an incomparable mental ability. Diagnosed with savant syndrome, he is endowed with a super-calculator power that drives him to obsessively compute complex sequences of numbers and dates to the point of predictions.

TV series and temporality

Dark narratives

The way we tell stories can teach us a lot about the zeitgeist of our era. What do TV series say about how we understand time?

How can we survive chrono capitalism?

The currency of time

Philosopher Leonardo Caffo explains how in principle, technology should allow us to work less, but in fact, we are working more than ever before.

Sailor Giovanni Soldini's particular sense of time

When at sea

The Italian sailor who has navigated the globe twice talks about how he views time as a "pervasive present" — an ongoing now where there are no appointments or future plans.

From Kiribati to the International Space Station

Zoned out on timezones

The means and the symbols of humanity’s inhuman velocity. Time zones are weird and endearing. They’re full of contradictions, approximations and exceptions, but we've discovered that they manage to work surprisingly well.

In the human world, death is inevitable, but some animals have the elixir of life

The immortality of animals

From blowhead whales to mayflies, a look at how longevity varies in the animal kingdom — yes, we've found a creature for whom death does not exist.

Neuropsychologist Marc Wittmann tries to solve the riddle of our calendared lives

The dictatorship of the clock

When we have infinite time, we often don’t know what to do with it. When we are short on time, we feel crunched. Neuropsychologist Marc Wittmann explains how we adapt to the world's timing properties for survival.

Tools to track the hours, from ancient to technological calculations

The invention of modern time

It feels natural for us to have a global system of timekeeping in which 24 time zones encompass the globe, starting from the Greenwich meridian. But it hasn’t always been like this.

In conversation with musician and dancer Harold O'Neal

It's time to take note

The American artist who has been compared to Duke Ellington and Maurice Ravel shares his views on the spatio-temporality of composing music.

How does a person's job, or the way they spend their days, define their sense of time?

Different states of mind

A street sweeper, a scientist, a clockmaker, and a nun from Switzerland — a country of time and precision — talk about their perspective on the precious 24 hours that we are given every day.

A neuroscientist explores how our brains make sense of time

The brain is ticking

Our bodies do not have clocks, but instead various neural systems that allow for time keeping, which vary depending on how we are experiencing the world in a given moment.

Utopia and Ideology

The interaction of political and utopian thought

Alessandro Ferrara, professor of political philosophy at the University of Rome talks about how politics has always been influenced by utopian thought, from Plato's republic to dictatorships, explaining the concept of hyperpluralism, sensible utopias and the legitimation of democracy.

Long story short

The rise and grind of Hustle Culture

From Alexei Stakhanov to Elon Musk, some people are particularly keen on the type of workaholism that hustle culture perpetuates. It’s all about how “busy” they are — how many projects they’re juggling at the same time. Hustle culture has become the standard for many to gauge productivity and performance.

The Conversation

Moonshots for Europe

Harald Neidhardt, CEO and Curator of Futur/io Institute discusses how Europe can think bigger in innovation.

Dystopian futures

In praise of Sci-Fi Determinism

Are we afraid of the future because we’ve lost our ability to imagine a better one?

Synthetic biology might feed us

BEYOND MEAT

Natural resources will never be enough to feed us all, and moving humankind to another planet is not an option yet. Synthetic biology could help us feed our growing population without destroying Earth – or forcing us out of it.

Sex in the digital era

How to turn your body into a device

It’s clear that technology is widening our range of possibilities for sexual experiences, but how is this going to change how we interact with others, and even, love them?

Food industry

Unchaining the supply chain

Contributing up to 29% of global emissions, the food industry is one of the most polluting. Given the continuous population increase, this number can only increase in the coming years. How can it balance growth with sustainability?

Turning soya into a commodity

Lords of Food

Is there a link between Chinese chickens and pigs and the gradual disappearance of the Amazon rainforest? What about between European cows and the growth of suburban slums in Africa? At first sight, one would think there is none – but food is everything, and it’s in everything, too.

Dystopian future

Post-Anthropocene: a survivor’s guide

Imagine a catastrophe has happened, and it’s day zero. Where would we start from to rebuild our society?

Environmental debate

Climate change needs a new definition

Defining the Anthropocene as a geological era is defining the features of "modern" humans. It's a complex, if not impossible task — but it's time that we stop burying our heads in the sand and see climate change as what it actually is: a cultural issue.

Long story short

Critical design will make our lives better

Our intrusion on nature occurs in two distinct, but complementary ways. On one side, we produce goods and services that require enormous amounts of resources and energy; on the other, we profoundly impact nature to get better performance. Therefore, the need to find a balance between these components becomes crucial.

Escaping society through the wood door

Cabin porn

Since the early days of the industrial age, some have looked through the peephole, seen the beginning of the end, and decided they were better off away from humankind.

How we ended up here

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANTHROPOCENE

We live in an age marked by climate change, pollution, ecosystem crisis, depletion of natural resources, and epidemics. It’s the Anthropocene.