Forum Overview :: Tansin A. Darcos's Alter Ego
Re: Analog Clocks by Do better, Commander 08/15/2022, 8:09am PDT
Tansin A. Darcos wrote:

I am wondering, with the prevalence of cell phones with built-in digital clocks, will the capacity to read analog clocks become a nearly forgotten skill? Those that need an inexpensive stationary clock will use them, because you can buy a cheap bran-new analog clock in IKEA for US$3. A digital wall or bedside clock (or clock-radio) is about US$25.

About 40 years ago, you could go into a stationery store or low-cost store like Woolworth's and purchase a device either made of wood or plastic, with a piece in the middle that moved up and down along the length of the device. There are marks on both the top and botton of the non-moving side, as well as the center moving piece. This was called a slide rule, and by moving the inner slide you could use it to do calculations. These sold for about $2 then, not a lot of money. Portable calculators killed off the slide rule, and the computer killed off the calculator. Today there are people with engineering degrees who have never heard of a slide rule, let alone seen or used one. The art of reading slide rules will mostly be lost. Which is probably okay; the only place you'd need one now is where electrical power is difficult to obtain and batteries are unavailable. And you'd only buy a slide rule if you really needed one, because while you can still buy one, they cost about US$900.00.

I'm wondering if the need for cheap wall clocks mean the skill of being able to read one will still remain, or if it will (mostly) go away, the way the ability to read slide rules has all but evaporated.

Thank you for the above. However, your research shows potential flaws, Commander, and I'd like to challenge you a bit. Specifically, the focus on United States-dollar pricing at IKEA both implies a US-centric focus, and explicitly excludes the rest of the clock-buying and clock-using world. As an obvious example, we see on the site for IKEA's Wembley, UK location, several analog clock options ranging (for wall clocks, as a starting point) from £2.50 through £15-22 (the weighted average) up to a staggering £55 for a clock that, not surprisingly, is noted as being "last chance to buy," i.e. obviously not a seller. The British have a long and storied history with their clocks, almost a love affair, and you should have taken this into account in your discussion, and not diverged so rapidly into a segue on slide rules. (Which IKEA does not, I might add, sell.)

Would the British ever agree to a digital clock on Big Ben? Would that beloved landmark still bong out the hours? I would appreciate a discussion on these points, perhaps backed up by interviews with actual British people, and even going further afield to the clock-related activities of the unwashed French. Thanks in advance.
Analog Clocks by Tansin A. Darcos 08/14/2022, 9:54pm PDT
    Re: Analog Clocks by Do better, Commander 08/15/2022, 8:09am PDT
        Re: Analog Clocks by Tansin A. Darcos 08/16/2022, 12:03am PDT
            Re: Analog Clocks by Yup, it really is you. 08/16/2022, 6:31pm PDT
    It already has by CattleHumper 08/15/2022, 8:45am PDT
        They teach it in elementary school, it's required in 2nd grade where I live. NT by Fullofkittens 08/15/2022, 11:24am PDT
    What's everyone's thoughts about NT by Hourglasses? 08/16/2022, 6:45pm PDT
        Re: What's everyone's thoughts about hourglasses by Tansin A. Darcos 08/24/2022, 1:30am PDT
            It's called a "throbber"? NT by Homina homina 08/24/2022, 9:45am PDT
                Re: It's called a "throbber"? by Tansin A. Darcos 08/25/2022, 4:33am PDT
                    TRUE FACT: hourglasses were once used as “throbbers” by Caltrops Fact Checker 08/26/2022, 12:07am PDT
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