What are the Significance of Clocks?

A clock is a powerful and important piece that also serves a vital function. Throughout most of human history, the development of accurate and automatic timekeeping devices was on the cutting edge of technology, and was contributed to by some of the greatest minds to have ever lived.

Today many of us take clocks for granted. Based on what is now very simple technology, clocks are relatively inexpensive, and you can pick up a decent timepiece for just a few dollars. However that clock that you hang so carelessly on the wall has a much deeper significance, it has a meaning which stretches through time, to affect the most subtle nuances of your life.

To appreciate the clock, imagine it is gone. Reduced in faculty, suddenly you are forced to rely on nature to tell what time it is. How will keep your appointments, when is your next meeting, and what happens when you have a cloudy day?

But that is just the most obtuse of inconveniences. Clocks are in our lives more insidiously than most can imagine. An accurate clock is the backbone of all navigation technology. If you can’t tell exactly how much time has passed, you can’t tell how fast you are going, or even sometimes where you are. The clock keeps pace, giving us an accurate reading of how much is going on, and how long it took.

Without the clock, it would have been impossible for Columbus to make his journey across the ocean. Without clocks, satellites wouldn’t know where they are, and would go crashing into one another. Without clocks you couldn’t even have a speedometer in your car, because “miles per hour” requires knowing how long an hour is.

Even more, consider the psychological impact of clocks. Without that ticking timepiece it would be so much easier to sleep longer in the morning. In fact, you would feel less guilty about sleeping all day, because you would never know exactly how much time had passed.

If you think people are late to appointments now, imagine if you couldn’t call them on it? Without a clock you would never know how late they were. Sure you could estimate by the sun, but using this method there are only 3 times of the day that you can be sure of, noon, sunrise, and sunset. That leaves a lot of wiggle room for someone prone to tardiness.

In this way the clock is like a taskmaster. It stands over our shoulders, whipping us with a constant lash of second by second time, that is slowly slipping away. It reminds us of this, and of our own time, and how precious it is. In this way, the clock really affects everything in our lives. It colors our world; it is the background beat against which everything moves. The clock is intrinsic to our world, and the way we behave, every single day.

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