We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Early in their conversations in Barcelona, Huber, Erker and their colleagues realized that a clock is anything that undergoes irreversible changes: changes in which energy spreads out among more particles or into a broader area. Energy tends to dissipate — and entropy, a measure of its dissipation, tends to increase — simply because there are far, far more ways for energy to be spread out than for it to be highly concentrated. This numerical asymmetry, and the curious fact that energy started out ultra-concentrated at the beginning of the universe, are why energy now moves toward increasingly dispersed arrangements, one cooling coffee cup at a time.
Tim (William) Briggs
An interesting take on the fundamental notion of what a clock is.
To be clear, there are no reversible processes in the real world. The idea of reversibility in thermal physics is a conceptual tool that is approximated in reality in the realm of very small changes (e.g., in the pressure and temperature of a gas), but there always a change in entropy involved when we actually do experiments or measure anything.
There is something uniquely Western about clocks and their representation of time that is embedded thread-like in our culture as one of its primary elements, when you think about it.
I've built one clock, from a kit, with my daughter when she is little. It was great fun. I have 3 clocks that I keep wound and I take great, unconscious comfort in their muted ticking and soft chimes, playing counterpoint in the background against the wind chimes outside. Order and Chaos.
Time is how we measure change. we compare the change in objects and compare that to the regular change in other objects -- sun, moon, stars. Time is a comparison of changes.
Jan Peter Blickenstaff
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
—William Shakespeare, "MacBeth"