Archive for September, 2008

insight into a previous fixation: Time obedience and the social machine September 1st, 2008

2008-09-01, 07:24 pm
Nox Luna
Luna wx 5%v

It’s certainly a case of seeing the pattern more clearly once one has stepped outside of it. (of course, not escaping the fact that another set of patterns has been entered upon the previous exit, like moving from one set of gears to another….layers, layers, forever layers!)

This book, A Revolution in Time by David S. Landes has been a fascinating read so far. The book is about time measurement and its impact on human societies through the centuries and on the individual’s changing perceptions of and navigation through the medium of time, with a particular focus on clocks and mechanical time measurement devices. It has been incredibly rich food for thought and for concepts for future pieces. He asks some very good questions, such as why did (ultimately) the best mechanical clocks come to be invented and perfected in Middle Ages Europe and not in other cultures (such as the Chinese, Indian, or pan-Muslim near east) that were much more technologically advanced at the time?  How did success in this allow this part of the world then become the dominating force for the next several hundred years-to-near-present? Highly reccommended.

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The present moment is the only fulcrum we have available to us with/from which to direct force, to effect change of mode or direction or to impact matter/form.

We make space for actual creation out of the employment an entirely artificial construct that nevertheless, through our perceptions and deliberate action within it, effects change. Entirely artificial. Like art it is a lie that tells the truth.

The rhythm may be natural, but the counting is not.

The deliberate and conscious regulation of time makes a container for a group or individual to act harmoniously within. It is this potential of synchronized action that makes possible a unity of wills that tremendously muliplies a community’s/group’s power, both in terms of production and strength of the individual’s connection with the group identity. The shift from general time to clock time marks a functional transition from proceeding according to how long it takes to accomplish the sequence of tasks within a particular event/day  to fitting the  performance of each task into a subsidiary slice of time, so that all together the overall event is accomplished within known boundaries.

“The method of mesurement is a common language learned by participants in a community- it’s rhythms become theirs.”

promptness = readiness. In practical terms, earliness. (MFr : brought-forth, at hand, ready)
punctual = “on the point”, state of readiness, preparedness, presence at a singular point of time

Promptness (time discipline) emanates from within an individual, while punctuality or lack thereof  (time obedience) is an external determination.

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“…to the physicist, any stable oscillating phenomena is a clock.”

“This is the Great Invention: the use of oscillatory motion to track the flow of time. One would have expected something very different – that time, which is itself continuous, even, and unidirectional would best be measured by some other continuous, even, and unidirectional phenomenon…..Yet for resons worth exploring, it has never been possible to keep anyting moving at a continuous and even pace that even approaches the steadiness needed to track time. Instead, the secret of keeping an accurate rate has lain in generating some kind of repeating beat and counting the beats – that is, in summing a series of equal, discrete parts.”

“…the achievement of that unknown genius who built the first mechanical clock was not so much that he had used and escapement, as that he had made use of oscillatory motion to divide time into countable beats. This oscillation is the heart of the clock.”

So the clouds roll back, and the tumbling deeps of chaos are pierced by the rays of the hero’s sword. Tiamat is cloven into a million writhing segements and the Night of Time is seemingly subdued. But I have a suspicion that all those little pieces of Her grow into their own whole Deeps. And I’m not so sure that even measured time is “continuous, even, and unidirectional” anywhere outside of a skull.

These alternating percpetions are fascinating oscillations in themselves.

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