How do we show time?

10 June 2006

I’m sure that I’m about the umpteenth person to be interested by the relationship between the Clock of the Long Now and the Antikythera Mechanism, but both are just too cool not to talk about some more. And while we’re talking about gadgets that display time, check out the Digital Sundial. I want one (of each, natch).

Each of those is so neat because the creators pretty much wear their temporal hearts on their sleeves. The purpose of each device is implicit in its design, though I think only the first one qualifies as having done that intentionally.

Solar time is another one of those deals, like the appearance of the Moon, that reveals more and more the closer you look at it. And one of those things that is very easy for us to dismiss as trivial because we have basically free substitutes in calendars and clocks and so on.

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