Friday, April 15, 2011
Well, Hello Dali
"When Salvador Dali created his masterpiece The Persistence of Memory some suggested he was making some kind of statement regarding Einstein's newly published treatise on Special Relativity - that the melted clocks represented a surrealist meditation on our notions of a fixed cosmic order. In fact, Dali just thought the melted clocks looked like slabs of camembert left out in the sun too long.
The truth is, time is an illusion - lunchtime, doubly so. We perceive time as a sequence of events in a progressive chain of cause and effect. Were we to lose our perspective of cause and effect, time would lose meaning entirely, and it would seem to sag and melt like soft cheese - metaphorically speaking, of course.
So when performing truly boring tasks, for example: work, we require time pieces to remind us that the passage of time persists without us even being aware of them. Clocks on the walls, in our computers, or in digital watches (which is a pretty neat idea). They show us the passage of time, but they don't show us the ooey-gooey consistency of time that has stretched out into something barely recognizable.
This clock, however, succeeds where those others fail. Here we can accurately see the passage of time whilst being reminded that time drips and flows like fatty rotten milk. Don't worry, though - even if the clock is stretched and pulled like taffy, it still tells accurate time... unless you're spiraling towards the event horizon of a black hole, or traveling at relativistic speeds where time tends to slow and stretch. Hmm... maybe Dali was thinking about special relativity after all?"
Found at ThinkGeek.