Our troubles started when time was first sliced into tiny artificial units, and we have been subject to their increasing tyranny ever since. Medieval clocks divided the day into mere hours, but by 1700 most timepieces had minute hands, and the second hand was turning up regularly a century later. We found ourselves handcuffed to time by the late 19th century, when wristwatches were provided to German naval officers. They soon became essential for the rest of us, and now we are colonised by clocks, on our bodies, phones,computer screens and the walls of our homes. We are addicted to knowing the time and forget it’sa modern invention: Leonardo da Vinci was not checking his watch while painting The Last Supper.
Also reminded me of this