Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Losing Track of Time

The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dali.
Some days I could use a bit more persistence.
Sometimes I send emails and post things to the Internet while I'm traveling and don't tell my computer we're in a different time zone. I don't know if that's ever caused significant confusion for anybody; often I'm just off by an hour or two.

But this summer I quite confused myself when, after looking at my computer's calendar settings to see what day of the week something was happening, I accidentally moved my computer's date settings ahead by several months.

I didn't realize the problem until I was looking for something in my "sent mail" and discovered it seemed to have been sent several weeks in the future. I changed my settings back, but when the future became the present and then the past, my correspondence was out of order and intermingled.

"Don't get ahead of yourself," advised my friend S :-) Maybe that's the only lesson to learn here.

When we visited the clock and watch museum in Pennsylvania (see previous post A Brief History of Time Keeping) I was fascinated to learn how new are our notions of time and how to measure it . America's railroad operators initiated the movement to promote a common standard. "The day with two noons" in November 1883 was an attempt to keep trains from colliding and reduce the number of passengers in one city from missing their connections in another.

Do you think I could miss a deadline and cover it up with an explanation that I'm simply operating off a lunar calendar or that my clock wound down a few weeks ago?

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