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Technology is often the product of people and their circumstances, yet its influence also far surpasses its immediate environment. This understanding of technology helps to explain the resulting changes to human behavior that occur over time, especially when one considers the historical periods involved in the development and distributions of specific technologies.In keeping with the idea that some technologies may possess inherent value-laden qualities, consider how the invention of mechanized timekeeping devices (such as the mechanical clock) have radically changed human behavior over the last 1000 years.For this assignment, explain the historical context and cultural traditions which led to the development of the mechanical clock. Do research on how the development and adoption of the mechanical clock in Europe later affected the United States. Be sure to give examples. Then, consider your own experience with a form of artifactual timekeeping. Consider the influence that precision in accurate timekeeping has had upon your own behavior, both in your everyday life and especially as an engineer.In your write up, be sure to include all the followings:1. Describe the history of the mechanical clock, including at least one influence that led to its development (e.g., historical, cultural, religious, social, economic, political).2. Explain how the mechanical clock gave rise to the concept of artifactual time.3. Explain how precision in accurate timekeeping affected human behavior in both Europe and the United States. Give examples.4. Think about how artifactual timekeeping has affected your own behavior, both in your everyday life and especially as an engineer. That is, consider the importance of measuring time with accuracy and precision that makes possible your training as an engineer.FormattingNo cover page, APA, Arial in 12pt, at least 2 references, minimum 750 words.P.S. Nice to see you my friend! In case you might forget my background, I am a senior student, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. To give you some idea what this assignment is about, I attached my class lecture slides. The links in the last slide are going to be helpful for this essay. It’d be great if you can cite some references from the lecture sides or the links in that slides. If it is too difficult to you, please cite at least 1 reference from the sources I’ve provided.In part 4, some personal example I can think about would be how important the time is in engineering design in terms of calculation, and estimate, or how important the time is in engineering project delivery so that the product would launch on time. For free to come with your own ideas as long as it is related to engineering field. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance!

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● Artifactual Time
○ Mechanical Time
○ Mathematical Time
● Accuracy in Timekeeping
● Why It All Matters
● Artifactual Time and its Applications
Cultural Preparation
● What’s the point to consider, then?
● Why should we care about thinking about all of this?
Cultural Preparation
● What’s the point to consider, then?
● Why should we care about thinking about all of this?

Because once we introduce something new into the world, we are
building a new world.
Once we see the world in a new way, is nearly impossible to return
to seeing it as we did before.
So, we should care about what we make, how we make it, and for
whom we make it.
The Mechanization of Action
“Men had become mechanical before they perfected complicated machines to
express their new bent and interest; and the will-to-order had appeared once
more in the monastery and the army and the counting-house before it finally
manifested itself in the factory.” (Mumford, 3)
Technical Syncretism (Eotechnic Phase)
“Civilizations are not self-contained organisms. Modern man could not have
found his own particular modes of thought or invented his present technical
equipment without drawing freely on the cultures that had preceded him or that
continued to develop about him.” (Mumford, 107)
Augustine On Time
“For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who even in thought can comprehend it, even to
the pronouncing of a word concerning it? But what in speaking do we refer to more familiarly and
knowingly than time? And certainly we understand when we speak of it; we understand also when we
hear it spoken of by another. What, then, is time? If no one ask of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him
who asks, I know not. Yet I say with confidence, that I know that if nothing passed away, there would not
be past time; and if nothing were coming, there would not be future time; and if nothing were, there
would not be present time. Those two times, therefore, past and future, how are they, when even the
past now is not; and the future is not as yet? But should the present be always present, and should it not
pass into time past, time truly it could not be, but eternity. If, then, time present — if it be time — only
comes into existence because it passes into time past, how do we say that even this is, whose cause of
being is that it shall not be — namely, so that we cannot truly say that time is, unless because it tends
not to be?”
—Augustine of Hippo, Confessiones lib xi, cap xiv, sec 17 (ca. 400 CE)
Clocks and Timekeeping
“The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial
“…here was a new kind of power-machine, in which the source of power and the
transmission were of such a nature as to ensure the even flow of energy
throughout the works and to make possible regular production and a
standardized product. …and finally to its own special product, accurate timing….”
(Mumford, 15)
Mechanical Time and Organic Time
Natural Systems
Organic Time
Artifactual Systems
Mechanical Time
Human Systems
Desire for Order
Organic Time and Mechanical Time

Organic Time

Phenomenal experience of time-consciousness
Temporality (past, present, future)
Biological Clock
■ Circadian Rhythm
Instants, Durations, and Events
Mechanical Time

Absolute Time, Physical Time
“…strung out in a succession of mathematically isolated instants…” (Mumford, 16)
Reference Frames
The Standard Clock
The Monastery and the Clock
“Our mechanical civilization represents the convergence of numerous habits,
ideas and modes of living, as well as technical instruments….”
“…the first manifestation of the new order took place in the general picture of the
world: during the first seven centuries of the machine’s existence the categories
of time and space underwent an extraordinary change, and no aspect of life was
left untouched by this transformation. The application of quantitative methods of
thought to the study of nature had its first manifestation in the regular
measurement of time; and the new mechanical conception of time arose in part
out of the routine of the monastery.” (Mumford, 12)
Artifactual Time and the Mechanical Clock
“But the effect of the mechanical clock is more pervasive and strict: it presides
over the day from the hour of rising to the hour of rest. When one thinks of the
day as an abstract span of time, one does not go to bed with the chickens on a
winter’s night: one invents wicks, chimneys, lamps, gaslights, electric lamps, so
as to use all the hours belonging to the day. When one thinks of time, not as a
sequence of experiences, but as a collection of hours, minutes, and seconds, the
habits of adding time and saving time come into existence. Time took on the
character of an enclosed space: it could be divided, it could be filled up, it could
even be expanded by the invention of labor-saving instruments.”
“Abstract time became the new medium of existence.” (Mumford, 17)
Artifactual Time and the Mechanical Clock
Isochronism of the Pendulum
“A principle first discovered by Galileo (1564-1642) in the late sixteenth century: the oscillation period of pendulums of
equal length is constant—i.e., the oscillations are isochronous or tautochronous—regardless of the amplitude of the
oscillation. In fact, as Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) demonstrated in 1659, isochronism applies only to pendulums
with cycloidal oscillations. When Galileo proposed his method for determining longitude at sea and on land in the 1620s,
he envisaged using the isochronism of the pendulum to make exact measurements of the local time. In 1637, Galileo
considered using these properties of the pendulum to regulate the motion of clocks.”
Clocks and Timekeeping

Sexagesmial (base 60) numerical systems used as early as 4000 years ago.
Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, China, Greece, and Rome.
Water Clock
Mechanical Clocks

Verge Escapement, Foliot, and Pendulum
Electrical Clocks
Quartz Crystal Oscillator Clocks
Atomic Clocks
Again, what’s the point to consider?
● Because once we introduce something new into the world …
… we are building a new world.
● As engineering students, think about the following question:
What technologies might have been impossible to create
without our ability to accurately measure time?
Artifactual Time and its Applications
The concept of Artifactual Time gave rise to more refined concepts of:
Artifactual Time and its Applications
● Mathematics and Science
Any mathematical equation that makes use of the concept of time as a unit of measure,
Where time = t
“Time can be measured not only more accurately than distance but also more
accurately than voltage, temperature, mass, or anything else.”
Bradley Dowden, CSU-Sacramento

Time Supplement

Artifactual Time and Navigation
● The History of Travel and Exploration
Lunar Distance Methods
The Problem of Longitude, John Harrison, and the Maritime Chronometer
Longitude by Dava Sobel
Maritime Chronometer, 1773 – 1850s
Telegraph Signals, 1865
Time Signals, 1904
Radio Navigation Systems, 1907 – 1950s
GPS (Global Positioning System), SAT NAV, 1973
Artifactual Time and Computers
“Probably the most important fact to know about a particular integrated circuit is
the propagation time. That’s the time it takes for a change in the inputs to be
reflected in the output.”
“Propagation times for chips are generally measured in nanoseconds. A
nanosecond is a very short period of time. One thousandth of a second is a
millisecond. One millionth of a second is a microsecond. One billionth of a
second is a nanosecond. The propagation time for the NAND gates in the 7400
chip is guaranteed to be less than 22 nanoseconds.”
Excerpt from Code by Charles Petzold
Petzold on the Nanosecond
“If you can’t get the feel of a nanosecond, you’re not alone. Nobody on this planet has anything but an
intellectual appreciation of the nanosecond. Nanoseconds are much shorter than anything in human
experience, so they’ll forever remain incomprehensible. Every explanation makes the nanosecond more
“Yet the nanosecond is what makes computers possible. …[A] computer processor does moronically
simple things—it moves a byte from memory to register, adds a byte to another byte, moves the results
back to memory. The only reason anything substantial gets completed is that these operations occur
very quickly. To quote Robert Noyce, ‘After you become reconciled to the nanosecond, computer
operations are conceptually fairly simple.’”
(Code, Petzold, 253)
Artifactual Time and Economics
Benjamin Franklin → “Time is money”
Rise of Capitalism
Merchant Class Economy
Railroads in America (Time Standards in 1883)
Daylight Savings Time (1918 in America, The Standard Time Act)
Productivity Studies → Standard Time in Manufacturing
Frederick W. Taylor → Management Science
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth (Time-Motion Studies, 1900s)
Henry Gantt → Gantt Charts (1910 – 1915)
Why it all matters…
The concept of artifactual time has so influenced our outlook upon life, that we
have even come to adopt systems of value which govern our use of artifactual
Hence, what was once a technique for describing regularity and order has now
developed into a moral standard by which we judge ourselves and others.
This is made clear by our attitudes toward time as a resource, a commodity.
“Time is money”, “That was a waste of time”, “I don’t have enough time”, etc.
Again, why it all matters…
Once we introduce something new into the world, we are building a new world.
Question to think about: To what degree are we responsible for what we build?
More examples:

Poor grades tied to class times that don’t match our biological clocks

Resources for Paper 2
A Chronicle for Timekeeping, Scientific American
Exactly What Is Time?

Exactly What Is Time?

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