Thursday, February 24, 2005

Man Invented Time, Seiko Perfected It

I often awake with several blog topics on my mind. (Am I descending into blogomania?) One of today’s was the above advertising jingle from the 1980's. The stupidity of it invites philoso-kvetching.

Miguel de Unamuno liked to say that there is no Man, only men. So which man invented time? And when did he do it? Was it before his coffee break, or after? How long did it take him to invent it? An hour? What was he doing before he invented it? Was he thinking about inventing it?

Perhaps no one person invented time; perhaps it was a committee effort. That might explain some its unpleasant aspects such as the celerity with which it passes, or the way it consigns the past to a kind of nonexistence. Were the committee members civil, or did they all talk simultaneously?

If the good folks at Seiko Watch Co. perfected time, then time was imperfect before they got to work on it. But as far as I can tell, the ontological deficiency of all temporal items remains with us.