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Sometimes you just have to say, "Let it go..it's Chinatown.."
-- Thom 'Starky' Stark

 

Light and Time and Bars -- Reported 1998-01-03 13:41 by Patient Joab (and Steve)

This editorial is not about those idiotic fools who, time and time again, put clocks on walls where you can't see them. Rather this editorial is about time itself.

Now, everyone knows that the light leaving the sun takes almost seven minutes to get to our cranial balls. Now, if you are at a bar and you see that the clock reads 2 AM [NOTE TO MR BAD: PLEASE INSERT WHATEVER CLOSING TIME YOU GUYS HAVE OUT IN CA] [NOTE BACK TO JOAB: WE HAVE THE SAME CLOSING TIME AS YOU HAVE IN BALTIMORE], you take in consideration that this clock is 15 minutes fast, because that's bar-time. But there's another fact that many people neglect to consider, namely that the clock is not moving, only the hands are!

That is, many people think that the clock is moving, but in fact only the hands of the clock are moving. The rest of the clock is stuck to the wall! Therefore, by the time it takes the light of the clock to reach your eyes, the time displayed will not be correct (even if it is not set 15 minutes fast). That means ordinary, stationary clocks are absolutely incapable of rendering an accurate time display.

But the linguistic confusion doesn't end there. The language we use to describe time and clocks is rich with comparisons to other junk. Clocks have faces and hands but are not human. Some big clocks are are almost eight feet tall. Now, compare my beer mug to the mug of a clock. My mug may be full of beer but a clock's mug is full of numbers. Can't drink them. On the other hand, there are a number of ounces of beer in my mug. It's paradoxes like these that make quantum physics so confusing to ordinary people like you!

Yes, we can tell time, but time can't tell us what kind of cereal to buy. Nonetheless, time has told us many things, like the time I was at the bar and didn't know what time it was because the clock was on the wrong wall. The lesson here is that you can take a clock off the wall but you can't stop time, and you can't stop the bars from closing either (at least not until 2 AM).

Some say time controls us, but others say it doesn't; rather, we wind it up. Everyone has free time, but only if they look at someone else's clock. It would take people on the sun seven minutes to see my clock, except for the fact that I hid it on a wall where they can't see it.

In summary, if a clock travels toward you at the speed of light, at the time of impact, you would know precisely what time it was, without question!

 

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

aznar@pigdog.org


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