Lewis Mumford's Technics and Civilization

Topics: Clock, Time, Culture Pages: 2 (612 words) Published: October 16, 2012
In the section The Monastery and the Clock, in Lewis Mumford’s Technics and Civilization, the clock is regarded as the key-machine of the modern industrial age. How such a machine managed to change the way we live out our existence is phenomenal. First used in seventh century monastery’s to keep a rule of order over the monks and to ensure that events take place regularly. Now the clock is an integral part of civilization. Since its creation it has prepared mankind to be compatible with future machines. But what is a clock and what does it do? A clock is something that measures time and time in my definition is the duration of a day and the events within the day. Time is something we humans created, an artifact, to measure and keep track of the events in our day. With it we hold more value in our day and the time we have. The clock, over centuries, indeed has changed the way we view our days, our lives. The emergence of Western Civilization has been marked by the clocks abilities. It was the modeled machine that set the foundation for future machines. Machines nowadays require frequent maintenance and the ability to run alongside other machines. This is made possible by the clock, which allowed people to interact with the machines regularly and at appropriate times. Mumford states that the clock “marks a perfection toward which other machines aspire. Without it the technology we have to today may have never been around. The clock has such significant value because it has influenced many aspects of mankind’s life. Without it, the things we value, for example, the time we get to spend with our family, would be different because we would have no idea how long or short that period was so we may not value it as much. Time is something I believe we value more than ever before because our time is limited in a day and in a broader sense our life span. There’s so much to do and for some there may be not much time left. Also, some people who hold money and wealth as...
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