Monday, June 1, 2009
Technics in Time
Technics in Time: The origins of the mechanical clock can be traced back to a French monk at the close of the tenth century named Gerbert d'Aurillac, who later became Pope Sylvester II. Attributing full credit to him is still controversial, but the general implications of the mechanical clock's invention are widespread and undeniable. At that time, the monastery was the seat of a regular life where bells rang at specified intervals to call the monks to prayer. Although sundials and water clocks had been in existence for thousands of years, the invention of the mechanical clock signaled a fundamental change in the progression of daily life. As a result, a definitive form of social regimentation developed in urban life around the thirteenth century. The drive for routine and rigidity stemmed primarily from the introduction of the mechanical clock, which demanded efficiency, punctuality, and responsibility from all citizens. Such a radical departure from previous epochs in human history, where people subjected time to their individual needs, could only mean that modern man was a creature that necessitated discipline. And it was precisely this healthy appetite for discipline that led to the foundation of modern capitalism. Man was finally able to self-actualize and create a better future for himself by furthering innovation.