|sense of time||on time|
Time as we know it.
|references & inspiration|
Telling the time by a pattern of hands on a dial is part of the primary school curriculum. And rightly so, because of the computational gymnastics involved. Reading an analogue clock is a cognitive workout, requiring attribution of different values to the same 12 symbols, interpreted on three parallel planes - seconds, minutes, hours. Only with practice does this awesome mental feat come to feel easy. But the persistence of analogue timekeeping has another more subtle function. It is as a bridge to ancient systems for organising the world. The ticking hands express a behind-the-scenes mechanism based on physical laws harnessed to precision. The circular face recalls the sundial, the pre-modern parcelling of the Earth's rotation into even portions. These narrative connections are especially important when so much of our activity is migrating into a digital realm.
- The Guardian view on analogue clocks: their time has not run out