[time-nuts] A Time-Nut's Worst Nightmare

Bill Hawkins bill at iaxs.net
Sat May 11 12:48:40 EDT 2013

It appears that this was exactly the wrong group in which to
discuss Lord Vetinari's clock. People keep asking why. Here's
a brief answer, but first some background.

Lord Vetinari, aka The Patrician, is a fictional character in
a series of books by Terry Pratchett (q.v.) that stretch the
imagination with fantastic characters who highlight the foibles
of human behavior. There are very few fantasies that I enjoy, 
but I've read every one of his books, learning something new 
from each.

Imagine that you are the undisputed ruler of a large city.
Remaining in that position is a tricky balancing act against the
many that think they could do a better job. Vetinari keeps people
off balance in various ways, such as knowing what they are going
to say before they say it and making them wait in a room that has
a clock whose second hand appears to move in random increments.
So, Sara White defined its purpose quite well.

No two people are alike. I intend to buy the kit. I'm not one of 
those people who like to play tricks on their friends (if indeed
they have any friends). A recent encounter with cancer has
convinced me that my time is limited, so I rather like the idea
of an element of randomness in the wall clock, masking the
inexorable passage of real time.

Bill Hawkins

-----Original Message-----
From: Didier Juges
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2013 7:55 AM
To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] A Time-Nut's Worst Nightmare

I checked the web site. As far as I am concerned, the novelty factor
died after about 5 seconds.
I can barely understand why would someone actually spent the time to
write code doing that for himself for fun, but making it into a
commercial product?
How many do you think will be in a landfill before the battery dies?

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 2:06 AM, Sarah White <kuzetsa at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 5/10/2013 9:52 PM, Ed Palmer wrote:
> > Part of me thinks it's cute, part of me wants to kill it.  :-)
> >
> > https://www.tindie.com/products/akafugu/vetinari-clock
> >
> > Ed
> Agreed...
> I'm just thinking: "Ahhhhh noooooo. Oww oww oww oww ma brainz!!!"
> Just the thought of being off by 250ms is upsetting for me...
> I can't imagine anyone wanting a clock which will be inaccurate by 
> something like a second or two or perhaps more than that.
> WTF!? Why?!
> --Sarah

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