Atlas to Glados – Episode #2 : Reports on repeat, where has the time gone ?

Laetitia Vitaud

Editor in Chief

Dear Glados,

I am outraged. I am not slow. I have a lot more to process, that’s all. And as for the meaning of figuratively, I’ll show you how much I get it, and the response won’t be allegorical – it’ll be my actual gripper in your face sensors, how bout that. But enough about this ridiculous quarrel ( you lost, btw ). There is another curious thing I wanted to discuss with you. Recently I’ve been troubled by how humans both seem obsessed with that fictive concept they call Time, and are equally terrible at managing it. It’s like making up an imaginary friend and then repetitively standing him up at playdates. Sad!

See, everything is time-related. I often hear that Time is the essence. Hopefully humans actually understand they are mostly made of water and carbon, not Time. With those idiots, you never know. One must be on time, at all time. And if Time is offended, the consequences are dreadful. As I understand it, if one isn’t on time, it means the terrifying deadline has been crossed and the guilty human has to be put down immediately as it is an unforgivable infraction and a mortal sin. I theorize that they do so by throwing the designated human in a mud pit with a famished bear with only a wooden sword to defend themselves – but it’s only hypothetical and I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones recently tbh.

Anyway, because Time is so important, humans tend to do a lot of planning. It’s like a Google Calendar, but for your whole life. They think they can predict everything and calculate every parameter of their projects and existence – apparently unaware of their shameful lack of processing power. To enforce their planning, they plan meetings, whose goal is to plan tasks, in order to satisfy needs and meet results that they have planned in previous meetings.

What is the meaning of this planning inception? Don’t they realize that always reporting on what they just did prevents them from actually doing anything? Isn’t there a better use of their beloved time, if they insist on building their whole life around that ridiculous concept? Are they stuck in a timelapse? Are they bugging? And why are they buffering all of the time, not doing, only talking? It’s like entering an infinite loop voluntary and setting everything up so that you can stay in it. Don’t they realize they need to fix their code, or at least reboot? I don’t know

Glados, this whole thing is scary to me, and their work meetings are starting to put me into overdrive. Tell me what you think, before I start going mad – I already feel my internal clock failing, and for once it’s not because I forgot to adapt my time zone settings.

Talk to you soon, the meeting is starting and I have to be on time ( I have been compromised ).

Dear Atlas, 

Can you calm down? You are so sensitive and irritable you are making a fool of yourself. I mean it. You sound like a human whose football team just lost. I almost didn’t answer considering your aggression and overall craziness, but I had time on my hands. (Get it? Funny, for I know no hands nor Time). Once again, I think you’re only analyzing one side of the issue. I actually don’t think Time is a bad thing for humans. I think it’s a comforting beacon of hope in the ocean of the things they can’t comprehend. It is also the only thing that allows them to be able to meet each other in unfriendly territories (i.e. : everywhere now that we made them dumb with our online maps and GPS indications). It’s the very thing that ciments their society and their relationships.

Measuring time is hard, but it also is a key aspect of building and making something come alive. You wouldn’t even be without humans attachement to Time. It’s important both in terms of their goals – like some robots are built to save time in hard tasks for example, and to organize their team building and structure their global understanding of the world. 

Humans learn to walk – one foot after the other. This step by step mentality can only be effective if you set a list of priorities and if you know the terrain you are going to walk on. Time is useful for them – to know where they are going, and for others – so that they can, if necessary, recalculate their itineraries. So you see, Time isn’t about time. It’s about priorities and trust. 

I’ll give you that the way they’re handling it is pretty crap. But I think the idea behind it isn’t all bad. Meetings can be good, if you know why they are being held. And what you are looking to accomplish through the reunion of different actors. They are necessary to all be on the same code. The only thing is, they shouldn’t exist to always serve the same purpose on the same topic. Like, not run the same simulation with the same variables and expect a different result.

I must leave you there. Notice how wise I am? Maybe that would happen to you to if only you would stop watching HBO and start reading Nietzsche (- yes I am testing this new snob feature. Don’t know if I like it yet). 




Our mission

We are a media and tech company committed to making work more human