Time Out of Mind

franklin2.jpgI think that this New York Times article is an interesting one. It makes the case that there is no such thing as “clock time” and that there is only time that is experienced in the mind of human beings. We treat time as if it were money – something that can be saved, stored, invested and wasted, but our language is quite mis-leading.

Here is an excerpt:

Time Out of Mind

In 1784, Benjamin Franklin composed a satire, “Essay on Daylight Saving,” proposing a law that would oblige Parisians to get up an hour earlier in summer. By putting the daylight to better use, he reasoned, they’d save a good deal of money — 96 million livres tournois — that might otherwise go to buying candles. Now this switch to daylight saving time (which occurs early Sunday in the United States) is an annual ritual in Western countries.

Even more influential has been something else Franklin said about time in the same year: time is money. He meant this only as a gentle reminder not to “sit idle” for half the day. He might be dismayed if he could see how literally, and self-destructively, we take his metaphor today. Our society is obsessed as never before with making every single minute count. People even apply the language of banking: We speak of “having” and “saving” and “investing” and “wasting” it.

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