To me the most intriguing part of the topic is that while multiple ways of time tracking (e.g Lunar based calendar, Tropical, Solar and Sidereal year) can be traced back to natural phenomenon, the concept of “hour” was actually entirely man made. Besides the structured time-keeping method, Johanna Drucker also mentioned how time can be described through relations and temporality. It is possible to view time from highly subjective perspectives or multiple view points.
I really liked this sentence from the reading “the experience of time is highly subjective, as if that of space, and thus the sense of a long moment, a swift day, a fast movie, a slow book requires elasticity in the way we measure, record, and express temporality”. I think it’s just a really beautiful the way time has been integrated into speech have almost descriptive qualities because of the emotions we associate with time(for example, a swift book = good read, a long day = bad day). I think it’s an interesting concept worth exploring.
I was particularly drawn to the idea of time as sensation—as something we emotionally connect to rather than the typical conception of time which is very much focused on efficiency, labor, and productivity. I see an avenue of recuperating time and moving towards a time which reinforces community and rest and love <3
I was externally shocked to learn about how bad (mathematically inaccurate ) our way of measuring time is. It is clear by the presentation that time, as we recognize it, is an extremely mathematical process that started out as basic observation.
The readings made me think about how I never think of time technically or quite literally anymore. Especially once the pandemic started, my perception of time itself has changed. We, as humans, have this temporal agency where we can alter our view of the structure or management of time.
I found it very interesting from yourcalendricalfallcyis.com that timezones aren’t set in stone, where countries like Samoa made a decision to switch its timezone, and that new timezones are created (Eastern Russia) when the timezone the area is in does not fit.
Another idea that stuck with me was from Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production, where Johanna Drucker manifested a perspective on time that states,”Humanistic temporality is broken, discontinuous, partial, fragmented, in its fundamental conception and model” (Drucker). I never viewed time as something that had so many errors and historical mistakes, and sort of just followed it since it is generally seen as an accurate system to structure our entire lives around.
While we have atomic clocks, the fact there are clocks out there that are not precise and that large portion of human history operated upon an inaccurate time scale sticks with me because it makes me question the historical timeline. This fact raises the question of how this different time scale causes people to experience life differently and perhaps view life to be faster or slower.
From Johanna Drucker’s text, I enjoyed how she identified the different interpretations of time from two schools of thought. Empirically, time is considered as a continuous cycle, whereas in records of human events, time is discrete, variable, and relative. It was interesting that the “humanist approach,” where the concept of time is flexible, is quite similar to Einstein’s revelation that time is relative (as briefly described in the 6-minute YouTube video on the history of timekeeping devices).
(But also, I don’t fully understand Einstein’s theory of relativity, so I’m not sure what the implications I can draw from this finding.)
I learned that our current calendar draws a lot of inspiration from the roman calendars. Romulus, the first king of Rome, had an affinity to the number 10 (probably because people have 10 fingers), so he split the year into 10 months and left 61 days nameless. This attempt at combining the lunar system with the solar system was by no means perfect, but it shows just how much people wanted to standardize time. Amongst the timekeeping devices, I learned that candle clocks took advantage of candles that burned at a constant rate. While this method would not have worked to keep constant time, it’s a clever way to know how much time as passed.
Something that struck me about the readings was that you can represent terms like after, before, starts, meets, etc. as a relation between times i and j. It’s not that surprising, but the diagram in the Drucker pdf puts it very cleanly. I also thought it was interesting how being able to precisely measure time allowed ancient civilizations to accurately measure the size of the Earth.