In my Commonplace...
“Lewis Mumford, for example, has been one of our great noticers. He is not the sort of man who looks at a clock merely to see what time it is. Not that he lacks interest in the content of clocks, which is of concern to everyone from moment to moment, but he is far more interested in how a clock creates the idea of “moment to moment.” He attends to the philosophy of clocks, to clocks as metaphor, about which our education has had little to say and clockmakers nothing at all. ‘ The clock,' Mumford has concluded, ‘is a piece of power machinery whose ‘product’ is seconds and minutes.’ In manufacturing such a product, the clock has the effect of disassociating the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences. Moment by moment, it turns out, is not God’s conception, or nature’s. It is a man conversing with himself about and through a piece of machinery he created.
“In Mumford’s great book, Technics and Civilization, he shows how, beginning in the fourteenth century, the clock made us into time-keepers, and then time-savers, and now time-servers. In the process, we have learned irreverence toward the sun and the seasons, for in a world made up of seconds and minutes, the authority of nature is superseded. Indeed, as Mumford points out, with the invention of the clock, Eternity ceased to serve as the measure and focus of human events. And thus, though few would have imagined the connection, the inexorable ticking of the clock may have had more to do with the weakening of God’s supremacy than all the treatises produced by the philosophers of the Enlightenment; that is to say, the clock introduced a new form of conversation between man and God, in which God appears to have been the loser.” Neil Postman
2/20/2012 07:47:07 am
Have to find which Postman book that is from!
2/21/2012 08:11:52 am
Hi Bonnie, it's from Amusing Ourselves to Death, page 11.
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A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.
Book Of Centuries
Book Of Firsts