The Perception of Time as We Age

Intriguing read

Quam Proxime | As near as may be

“In the seventh century,” writes Lewis Mumford in Technics & Civilization, “by a bull of Pope Sabinianus, it was decreed that the bells of the monastery be rung seven times in the twenty-fours hours. These punctuation marks in the day were known as the canonical hours, and some means of keeping count of them and ensuring their regular repetition became necessary.” The instrument that would help the monasteries ring bells on a regular basis was the mechanical clock, whose “‘product’ is seconds and minutes.” Standard, measurable sequences of time not a latent property of the universe, but the output of a man-made machine. Mumford proposes that the monastic desire for order, the desire to cultivate a way of being where surprise, doubt, caprice and regularity were put at bay, was the cultural foundation that created the clock, but that the clock went on to “give human enterprise the regular…

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