Ideas

Time Got So Much Weirder. The World Needs a New Lexicon

Friends, we need to revamp the calendar. Our years start arbitrarily, based on “the sun,” which people rarely see anymore. And months, they’re a scam, a way to keep peasants tilling and monks distilling. Those people didn’t have social media; they barely had vellum media. Weeks, days, hours, minutes—especially minutes—are just more mechanisms for keeping humans in thrall ultimately based on astronomy, astrology’s lesser sibling. In the globalized information environment we currently enjoy, we should and must construct better timescales. I propose some new terminology.

Demic: The duration of a pandemic; split into waves, which are further split into prepanic and panic. (Some have conceptualized a post-panic phase, but none has yet occurred.) Examples: “I’ll get a new job after the current demic.” “We should get dinner while it’s still prepanic.”

Loopmas: A season of good cheer surrounding the randomly scheduled release of new Apple hardware. Replaces “the holidays.”

Binge: Replaces “weekend”; refers to the amount of time necessary to watch a streaming video series in its entirety. The period formerly known as Friday night to Sunday morning is good-binge, and the period formerly known as Sunday morning to Monday morning is sad-binge. “Babe, the panic is starting soon. Why not come over and spend good-binge with me?” A binge can optionally be experienced at tubespeed, a state of heightened awareness in which you partake in culture at 1.25X, 1.5X, or 2.0X. “I went hard tubespeed last sad-binge and finished both seasons.”

Demoquadrennial: An election–focused political season, equivalent to 48 months on the old calendar, stretching from pre-nomination through postelection. Each demoquad is broken into a series of shorter periods known as surely-thises. “With the revelations in Washington yesterday, this demoquad enters its record ninth surelythis.”

Lightmode/darkmode: The new “day” and “night,” but no longer tied to the 24-hour solar cycle. A person can opt into them at any time. “I’m off to bed—have a great lightmode!” “It was a long lightmode’s journey into darkmode.” Transitions between the two are fades: “The mode is darkest before the fade.”

Pushings: Improvement over “hour”; it increments whenever a new notification or update is pushed to your phone. This allows you to easily characterize the quality of a so-called day: “It was a long lightmode, and I got hungry around sixth pushing and went out for drinks.” Or: “Twelve straight pushings and I’m ready for a binge.”

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