Counting the Time (A Whimsical Thought Experiment)
Our economic and political institutions press us to take the short view. So does our culture: our calendars go out only one year. Would our psychology of time change if we adopted another measure?
As a thought experiment, imagine changing the basic unit from a year to millenium, which we could abbreviate as an M (pronounced “em”). Then we’d have the following system of units:
1 kiloM is a million years.
1 M is a thousand years.
1 deci-M is a century.
1 centi-M is a decade.
1 milli-M is a year.
1 micro-M is about 7 hours.
2100 is less than .09 M from now. It’ll be here before you know it!
Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…READ more