Spending time, sharing time

When you hear the phrase “lost technology”, you tend to think of something mysterious from millennia ago.

However, as I discovered from “Einstein’s clocks, Poincaré’s maps”, even just a century ago, there were systems both surprising and sophisticated.

“Distributing time”
“Consuming time”

This is a sort of precursor to NTP, within a very locally constrained area, with this pneumatic control of the precision of everyone’s clocks in the city.

It must’ve been magic for most people in the world then — well, it’s still magic now, people just don’t care as much how anything around them works — and I wouldn’t even believe they existed if I didn’t see strong evidence.

Is there a takeaway from this, other than a mild curiosity? Maybe that anything is possible, because anything was possible in the past.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s