It’s about time…

By Montecito Journal   |   September 14, 2021

It’s about time that we understand that living in a culturally diverse world means that we are also living in and with multiple calendars and structures of time. Philosophers in the 20th century came to understand that time was the most essential dimension of human life.

It would not be inaccurate to say that time was the central philosophical question of the last century and remains so for us. One of these philosophers, a Viennese Jew by the name of Alfred Schutz (1899-1959) fled Austria in 1939 shortly after the Nazi annexation and came to America where he taught for many years at the New School for Social Research in New York City. In one of his most important contributions to the discussion of social time, he argued that we live in no less than 26 different realms of time. Subsequent research has discovered more. Some of these times are about the past, others about the future, but bulk of them are intensely about the present. There is time that is linear that moves toward a goal. There is cyclical time where the end is the beginning. There is spiral time that seems a synthesis of the linear and cyclical. Many of these forms of time are also about memory in which the past, future and present are experienced simultaneously. The genius of the human is that we can manage and negotiate most of these multiple time structures.

But often we find ourselves in temporal conflicts and some of these can be very serious. That is precisely what will happen when the Santa Barbara County Subdivision/Development Review Committee scheduled a meeting on September 16, Yom Kippur, despite the fact that a significant number of interested parties would not be able to attend because sacred time, one of those 26 times, we manage most of the time, could not be violated without doing fundamental damage or harm. This is precisely the center of Jana Zimmer’s essay published last week in the Montecito Journal. She cannot be at that meeting and thus her client’s position could be harmed.

It’s really about time
and we cannot escape
our responsibilities to
understand the meanings
of time for others.

It’s really about time and we cannot escape our responsibilities to understand the meanings of time for others. The very first thing a person in a position of public life needs to ask before scheduling a public meeting should be, “Does this meeting provide a significant conflict for someone or a specific group?” As a person in public service or trust you need to know as much as you can before making a decision.

Over the course of my career at UCSB, I sought to provide some form of accommodation for students whose religious time conflicted with my class time, university time. For example, when an exam period for finals or mid-terms fell during the month-long fast of Ramadan, I offered students an alternative exam time, after the fast was broken at sundown, to complete their work so that they had every opportunity to do their best work alongside of non-Muslim students who were not fasting.

What is at stake is what I would call “temporal equity.” That Jewish time, Yom Kippur in this case, is every bit as significant as other religious and non-religious times. It really is about time. Understanding the different temporal structures we all exist in, and acting in accord with them to minimize conflict will only strengthen our community.

Richard D. Hecht

Richard Hecht has recently become Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at UCSB where he taught for 47 years.

Not-So-Smooth Operating

I’ve been trying to reach Supervisor Das Williams about this matter, with no response. And now it is way too late as road resurfacing is beginning on 192 from Cold Spring Road to Camino Viejo.

The problem is: this is a heavily used road for motorists, yes, but also for pedestrians and bicycle riders, from unknowing tourists with e-bike rentals to hardy road riding athletes. Every day we are risking our lives to ride from our homes down to the bike lanes in town and back up to our gorgeous mountains.

What is needed is for the utilities to be buried, pedestrian paths put in and safe shoulder space for cyclists.

With a smoother surface car will travel faster. Cyclists need a smooth surface for safe riding, bike lanes are the answer.

I’m sure everyone living along 192 would agree.

What is it going to take to bring the road up to 21st century standards??

Emily Sommermann

Time to Shift Mindset

Ok… So Mr. Mineards doesn’t like free thought and emancipation from the confines of ridiculous establishments such as monarchy. But it’s time he stops slamming Harry and Meghan passive aggressively — (and not so passively) for doing so. It’s idiotic to say the least… but it’s cruel at its deepest level. Any learned person should know that status, money and fame does not fulfill the soul. So, it’s time he grows up… even at his age, and stops mentioning the cost of their home, as if it’s an excuse for his reprehensible thought process.

Samuel G.

Time for New Voice

Twice now, the citizens have taken matters in their own hands and started a recall for Democrat governors, Gray Davis and now Gavin Newsom.

Each has done great damage to the once great State of California.

Citizens have organized to recall Gov. Newsom because of his detrimental policies on commerce, finance, taxes, and the COVID lockdown, etc.

The huge effort to get the one-million-plus signatures was accomplished by a cross-section of voters of all political stripes. This recall is for “all” of the voters not one party. All the voters are fed up.

Now that we have done it, we must vote Gov. Newsom out of office overwhelmingly so we will have a mandate to change California for the better. Newsom does not care about the voters; his driving support is the civil service and teachers’ unions who you will see are supporting him. He is their cash cow as was Gray Davis.

But once we have voted Newsom out, we must select a qualified candidate to replace him who will lead the state strongly and in the right direction. There are now 46 candidates running for this job. Only two have any government experience. A strong businessman is also running who came close to beating Gov. Newsom in the last election. The last thing we need is another Arnold Schwarzenegger who talked a good job but never knew which way was up. Right now, a lookalike is Larry Elder, a radio announcer. He talks for change but has no experience. It is easy to sit in a radio studio closet and blab over a microphone but have no notion how to run things outside or develop a winning budget. Elder is an Arnold lookalike and should not be encouraged to run. He is just a lot of words on a microphone that can be heard primarily in the Los Angeles area.

The most prominent candidate with all of the qualifications to hit the street running with a short learning curve is Kevin Kiley, assemblyman for the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer counties. He is a graduate of Harvard and Yale law schools. As an assemblyman, he has been in the forefront of the recall effort. He has led the fight to reopen our schools. He is a conservative who knows the political system in the state and can be the most effective influence to make changes for us. A second good candidate is Kevin Faulconer, the ex-mayor of San Diego, third largest city in California. He also knows the government organization and can be almost as effective. A well-qualified businessman is John Cox, of San Diego, and past governor candidate. So please do not vote for the loudest mouth in the lineup again, vote for Kevin Kiley, et. al.

Thank you.
Justin M. Ruhge


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