The sun dial worked during daylight, but how did people agree on what time it was at night before clocks were invented?

  • ZephrC
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    4 months ago

    Honestly, even in the world after the invention of clocks knowing the time down to the minute isn’t very important for most people most of the time. Sure, it can be useful on occasion, but people put way too much emphasis on way too small of time units way too often.

    • PilferJynx@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      The only thing is that it severely limits the options to meet somewhere when all you got is dawn, noon, and dusk.

      • ZephrC
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        4 months ago

        Sure, but pretending you’re all going to meet at exactly 4:37 or whatever is just lie. Nobody is actually accurate down to the minute in their casual lives, and using units that are more precise than they are accurate is just lying about your accuracy. You can use modern clocks without pretending that single minutes matter. That’s why some people still talk about things like quarter hours even when using digital clocks. That’s a much more human kind of timescale.

          • kent_eh@lemmy.ca
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            4 months ago

            Matters for public transport tbh

            Which didn’t operate on that strict a time schedule (if at all) in the time period OP is asking about.

            • Flax@feddit.uk
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              4 months ago

              Fair. I’d hate to show up to my bus 5 minutes early just to realise it left 10 minutes early, though

          • ZephrC
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            4 months ago

            Hey, if you live in a place where the public transport actually shows up when it’s supposed to that’s nice for you, I guess, but where I’m from pretending that the public transport is accurate down to the minute is also a lie.

            • Flax@feddit.uk
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              4 months ago

              I do, if it’s early it just waits. Although tbh usually it’s 1-2 minutes late which isn’t a big deal

        • PilferJynx@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          Yep, quarter hours are how we normally function today. Which is fine and I wholly agree. You still need the second for that system to function though, as you can’t get that without measuring time.

          • ZephrC
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            4 months ago

            I mean, the actual length of a second is pretty arbitrary. We could use a different basic unit of time and still be fine, but I get the point you’re making. I was never trying to argue that the invention of the clock was a bad thing, just that modern society has a problem with overly precise “measurement” of things that themselves aren’t actually as consistent as the measurements.