Showing posts from March, 2014

If I Told Me I Wouldn’t Believe Me

When I was a freshman in college, I took a class that covered, among other things, the way human beings measure the passing of time. One method, which in my dimmed memory was called something like “astronomical time” or “real time,” referred to measures of time that are rooted in celestial events. For example, a day is a day because that’s how long it takes the earth to revolve on its axis one time. A year is a year because that’s how long it takes the earth to travel its orbit around the sun. Long before there were people, there were days and years. Some things happen whether or not we’re paying attention. There is another kind of time. I wish I could remember what the professor called it. Human time? Invented time? These are the measures of time that humans create. Epochs and eras, ages and empires, months and hours. Perhaps they are not quite arbitrary, but they are most certainly invented. We think that a year has to have 12 months, but it doesn’t. A day could just as easily b