"If victory over nature has been achieved in this age, then the nature over which modern man reigns is a very different nature from that in which man lived before the science revolution. Indeed, the trick that man turned and that enabled the rise of modern science was nothing less than the transformation of nature and of man's perception of reality. The paramount change that took place in the mental life of man, beginning during roughly the 14th Century, was in man's perception of time and consequently of space." (Weizenbaum, 1984, p.21)

Mumford (1967, p.286) throws light on this:

"The mechanical clock dates from the 14th Century... The machine that mechanized time did more than regulate the activities of the day: it synchronized human reactions, not with the rising and setting sun but with the indicated movements of the clock's hands: so it brought exact measurement and temporal control into every activity, by setting an independent standard whereby the whole day could be laid out and subdivided.

"The measurement of space and time became an integral part of the system of control that Western man spread over the planet. Karl Marx was one of the first to understand the place of the clock as the archetypal model for all later machines: in a letter to Friedrich Engels in 1863 he observed that 'the clock is the first automatic machine applied to practical purposes; the whole theory of production and regular motion was developed through it'."

Fuller's unawareness of the "history of time" is symptomatic of his underestimation of the value of critical insights from history and sociology.

See Machines.



Paul Taylor 2001