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Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium - Judy Wajcman

Prof. Dr. Judy Wajcman
Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science

Silicon Valley’s Quest for Temporal Optimization
When Jul 08, 2019
from 11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, seminar room
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / open to university members
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Silicon Valley’s Quest for Temporal Optimization

Digital calendars have become a new platform for time-making, time-measuring and time-keeping. They are part of the infrastructure that configures arrangements among people and things. Not only do they exacerbate a distinctively quantitative, “spreadsheet” orientation to time, of late they seek to optimize our activities through algorithmic intervention. This vision is increasingly realized in the form of intelligent digital assistants whose tracking capacities and behavioral algorithms aim to solve life’s existential problem—how best to organize the time of our lives. I draw on interviews with engineers in various high-tech companies in Silicon Valley to argue that calendars are emblematic of a larger design rationale to mechanize human thought and action in order to make them more efficient and reliable.