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One of the great distinguishing marks of human as opposed to other animals is that our brains are so organised as to be capable of what we call imagination. I define imagination, following Jean-Paul Sartre, as the ability to contemplate what is not as well as what is. This means that human beings are not confined to the here and now, what is before our eyes, ears and noses. We may think about how things might have been as well as how they are: for example, ‘suppose I had painted my room blue rather than green?’ We think how things used to be (the past) and how things probably will be (the future).
About Time: Speed, Society, People and the Environment Where does all the time go? Despite the burgeoning army of machines designed to save time - from cars and aeroplanes to dishwashers and microwaves - we don't seem to have any more of it on our hands. We simply fill the space we clear with more things to do - consuming more, spending more - and then look around for new ways of saving time. Being busy has become a habit - a habit that gives us high status - busy people are important people. About Time, edited by the think-tank Forum for the Future, brings together ten of the world's leading thinkers and writers, including Will Hutton, Baroness Mary Warnock, Sir Martin Rees, Ghillean Prance, Jay Griffiths (the author of the bestselling Pip Pip) and Jonathon Porritt in a collection of intriguing essays exploring the issue of time and how it relates to the environment, economy and society.