Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time throws a gasket

The more complex something is, the more confusing and uncertain are its glitches and minor breakdowns. If my shovel fails to work in my garden, what went wrong with it is immediately apparent. My foot slipped, or the rotted handle broke in two, or I scooped right into a large rock. I do not turn to someone and ask "We're you having any troubles with this shovel? It's acting funny." But something more complex, like a car, elicits a more uncertain "Do you hear that noise too?" It creates a sense of insecurity because understanding is a bit further away. But many a decent mechanic, and plenty of very amateur ones, can suss out a problem in a car, and rare are the issues that have no real answers. To take it a level further, a computer gets considerably more complex than a car. Computers swarm with such mystifying innards that things go wrong and get fixed based on actions people rarely understand, even those doing the repair. Glitches seem like hallucinations and need constant verification, corroboration, and description. Solutions, at best, must be accepted as such because they are rarely answers.

So imagine when things go strange with something a thousand times more complicated than a computer. Imagine how uncertain everything becomes when one imagines something going wrong with time.

I may be losing a piece of my mind, but I could swear that lately time has been slipping an hour. How, I don't know. Where all those hours go is beyond me. All I know is that over and over in my currently overwrought life time has been dropping a lost hour like a distracted baby with a pacifier. I keep picking up the hour only for time to just drop it again. I repeatedly find myself certain that it is one in the morning, for instance, only to discover it has somehow instantly become two in the morning. I could swear on my life it is four in the afternoon just as the clock mysteriously turns to five. Is this just me? Have you noticed these curious cracks and breakdowns? Is there anything to be done about it?

My fear is that with a mechanical thing one fixes it by knowing what went wrong, with a technological thing one fixes it without knowing how or why, but with a metaphysical thing all one can do is be mystified. That with the bizarre breakdowns of the abstruse wheeling of the cosmos all one can do is marvel, and rage, and endure.


  1. I was sitting in my office a few weeks ago when a friend called. I saw his name on the ID thing on my phone. I answered. He didn't understand why it was me. He had not called me at all, and after our conversation, he double-checked to see if he has misdialed or something, but no. It was the number for another person, and my phone rang.


    1. Exactly! There has been something fishy going on for the last few billion years or so, though I can personally only speak to the more recent end of that time period.


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