Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring What? Mechanical Clocks Be Damned (#SOL15, Day 12)


The Time Traveler (M.A. Reilly 2012)
Judy wrote about springing ahead in the post, Are You Still Awake? Her words resonated as I too am finding this springing ahead difficult to manage.  I know I'll resettle, but this week has been very disruptive and it's making me a bit cranky and has me wondering why we reset clocks to begin with. Can't we just leave them alone? All week I've been walking around with a headache and yawning far too early in the day. Who made this decision anyway? So I queried the question, Who decided we should adjust the clocks for daylight savings? and this is what I found.

Benjamin Franklin.

Blame Ben, not.

Franklin (who is credited with so much) is credited with first having broached the topic of daylight savings time (DST--gotta love acronyms) in a letter he penned in 1784 to The Journal of Paris. Franklin argues for daylight savings based on economic savings and does so with great wit.  But alas, his words are nothing more than a bit of satire.

It isn't though until 1966 that the U.S. Congress standardizes time with the Uniform Time Act and the wording there is considerably less witty than Ben--but given the current production of laws by Congress, language use is a small matter.

Hmm, maybe the bigger issue isn't the adjustment to the daylight savings time, but rather the presence of that invention.  In Technics and Civilization, Lewis Mumford told us that civilized life begins with the mechanical clock. He wrote, "The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial age."

Too true. Too true.

2 comments:

  1. And the clock ushered in the stress that come from filling that time.

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  2. Eactky. I stopped wearing a watch about a decade ago. Can't say I miss it. Unshackled and all that.

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