In 1657, the balance spring was invented by Robert Hooke and Christiaan Huygens, and that small advance in technology changed the way we live forever. The above video from Fusion is quite an interesting short story about the many ways our lives have changed because of clocks.
For most of our history, mankind used nature’s clocks—the Sun, the Moon, the seasons—to determine when to get up and go to sleep, when to plant and harvest crops, when to eat, and every other activity that required time. After the invention of the balance spring and the development of clocks, everything changed dramatically.
These changes started in motion the need for more and more accurate clocks, which now measure time atomically.
This following video has Dr. Steve Jefferts of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, who is an expert on measuring time. He co-developed one of the world’s most accurate atomic clocks. Here, he tells us why we need such accuracy.
This small technological development opened the door to the age of science and reason, but it also, in many ways, has made us slaves to time and schedules.
We no longer follow the natural order of things, but do things when the clock tells us it’s time to do them.
I had not given it much thought until now, but this video explains why today’s world is so governed by time. Like everything, this elicits both good and bad consequences.