July 2011


technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource

William Stanley Jevons, 1865

What if that resource is time, of which we have a finite amount? Time does not really exist on its own, but is really an abstraction of each person’s life.

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In her prize-winning book, The Incredible Journey Sheila Burnford uses the term “companionable silence” to describe the hours spent in a canoe between two brothers during their annual vacation; and the time a father and son spends walking along a forest trail.

Is companionable silence lost forever to the generation growing up with social networks and cyber-relationships? What replaces companionable silence in the online world?