Timing has been a somewhat mysterious thing to me. Mysterious in that a lot of people, ones I am not familiar with seeing before, suddenly appear almost out of nowhere speedily to grab some goodie just before I finally reach it, their timing suggesting they could predict time and place and set their speed and actions accordingly. A phenomenon I have observed hundreds of times and seems even more frequent in recent years. The purposes of those people and actions is only guessable if not just to be assaultive in some rule-framed system. Clocks and time as indicated by them are not so mysterious to me, however. Even timing circuits in electronic circuit design were precisely calculated by me in past and still vaguely remember what involved in making those calculations such as in R-C timing circuits. Such principles are probably involved in the functioning of all kinds of clock timing processes, such as the water-clocks of long ago. I also recall the job I had where an electrochemical device was used as part of timing devices, apparently for military purposes before I worked there but in my awareness for commercial projects; the electrochemical device was actually an integrator that if it had a steady input would be useful as a timing device. I thought it was far more interesting as an integrator, however. And now I wonder if other processes providing timing are actually integrators too. A pendulum has long been used as a timing device too, which has controlling parameters of gravitational acceleration there, length of pendulum; a process of exchange between kinetic and potential energy. Many of mankind's activities are made more efficient by synchronizing them, and so clocks provide a common time reference for people so that they can synchronize their activities with those of others indirectly, each observing the progress of time instead of observing each other. Thus people from many parts of a city can all show up on the company's doorstep to work at 8 o'clock in the morning, all observing their clocks which show the same time, and so each can provide lead time in their situations so as to have it meet at the employer's doorstep at the time specified by the employer. In recent years, clocks have become able to link themselves to a common reference, transmitted at various frequencies; household clocks receive signals sent from the WWVB transmitter in Colorado transmitting using a carrier frequency of 60 KHz which is able to reach into homes all over much of the western United States. I have two such clocks in my house here, one in sight of me as I type this, it says time now is 1439 hours. My computer here also shows the time as part of its display, and this time is also derived from a standard connected to that calibrating WWVB. Thus people can be more accurate in their efforts to synchronize activities by the time. History is described in terms of time, although events were spread out over space too; yet, influencing each other to varying degrees, historical events are described in terms of when they happened, even the end of the dinosaur's as large beasts walking the earth is said to be 65 million years ago; their flying cousins live on, however, as birds, two of which are in my care a few feet from me right now, 65 million years after that "K-T" boundary event. Timing and events forming history of people events and electron flow, is used mostly so as to predict future events; the past is gone, the present is playing itself out unchangeably this instant, but the future seems still subject to our influence. And humans are all about influence, from who mates with whom when and where, to who is boss here and who is subservient to the rule of the boss, all in the future near or far. Synchronizing by use of clocks and knowledge of schedules in common usage, such as bus schedules, is quite understandable by me. That which is mysterious, however, is as if some other people know my schedule of opportunities and actions even though I am not aware of the schedules, but just follow a purposeful path through my day ... and sometimes get surprised by totally improbable activities by other people, which would surely have had to set their corresponding activities long before the crossing point with my activities as I struggle through my day. Sometimes it seems as if this is a stage where there are producers, script writers and directors, attempting to make something look like something else to hypothetical audiences. It is not an activity to determine truth; it surely instead is to provide a false impression of me, in this seemingingly impossible and extraordinarily useless endeavor not worthy of others' activities. Yet, I'm not cognizant of all others' purposes and values, so I cannot fully evaluate what others would find valuable enough to expend such resources. Thus it all falls in the "mysterious" catagory for me. Possibly it is related to a meditative process in which I attempted to participate decades ago, a part which I did not seem to be able to do, although I could do the other processes OK I thought; this meditative process involved visualing one's "timeline" and envision things happening along it. Such envisioning processes were a frustration to me, attempting to participate and learn how to do it as the others seemed to be doing; for what purpose I do not know. Several times in present situation for me I have encountered such reference for a "timeline" too. Time has been described as the 4th Dimension, and is useful in describing physical processes as a dimension like measurable in space with a tape measure. The sense of time supposedly has changed over the eons of human history, along with our ability to describe it to others. A "day" can include a "day" plus a "night"; "day" still can refer to an era such as in one's own life, thus spanning era years and not well-specified, for it has vague start and stop points. Timing has been a somewhat mysterious thing to me, and I hope my time spent in creating this cluster vignette will help me better merge what I know about time, into a less mysterious realm. 

By James E. D. Cline on 20080213 at 1512 hrs, in Ephrata, WA 98223-1713

Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.