June 4-10, ’17 ~QofDay~ Following Time

Why do we have time or follow time in this world, can’t we just live without a watch or clock anymore?

Hi Bhatta,

I think OM has the accurate answer, which is all to do with communication and coordination of complex systems.

Some systems require synchronicity, people in the same place at the same time. Knowing the time allows such things to happen.

Many things may be done asynchronously (without all being in the same place at same time). Communications using websites such as this, or by email or txt message are such asynchronous forms of communication (while phone calls, or public meetings, or face to face discussions are synchronous).

Some people are in the habit of doing everything synchronously, even when many things can be done as well or better asynchronously (like work in most instances), but habits of control force use of synchronous systems.

I prefer to do most things asynchronously. That gives me greatest freedom, while still allowing coordination.
I do wear a watch, but don’t often consult it.
Anyone really wants me, they can call me on my cell phone.
Any meeting I have agreed to is in my electronic diary and it will notify my in plenty of time to prepare and get to the meeting.

[followed by]


It does seem possible that our society is moving towards automating and mechanising all tasks that require coordinated human activity at present, freeing human individuals to do whatever they responsibly choose.

And I suspect that many people will still want to coordinate many sorts of activity, so clocks and communication will still be a necessary part of life for many.
I recall going to a meeting of a protest group in the 70s. It was scheduled to start Saturday morning. It was a three hour drive for me to get there. It eventually started Sunday afternoon. To say I was not a happy chap is something of an understatement.
Another time one of that group was scheduled to come with me to a meeting with a government minister. I got to his place an hour early. We left his place half an hour late. He had the fastest trip of his life over the Coromandel ranges – Coromandel to Whitianga in half an hour, over the 309 road. We got to the meeting on time. He never held me up for any significant time after that. (I don’t think he had ever been in a 4WD sport car driven to its limits on gravel roads before.)
Having watches and working to them can have advantages. 😉

So many things about modern life are not great for the body, I’d say watches are well down that list. Diet, stress from weapons of mass destruction, mortgages, economic instability, etc are way higher.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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