clocks | marshall mcluhan 3

"The most integral and involving time sense imaginable is that expressed in the Chinese and Japanese cultures. Until the coming of the missionaries in the seventeenth century, and the introduction of mechanical clocks, the Chinese and Japanese had for thousands of years measured time by graduations of incense. Not only the hours and the days, but the seasons and zodiacal signs were simultaneously indicated by a succession of carefully ordered scents."

"In the Renaissance the clock combined with the uniform respectability of the new typography to extend the power of social organization almost to a national scale. By the 19th century it had provided a technology of cohesion that was inseparable from industry and transport, enabling an entire metropolis to act almost as an automation. Now in the electric age of decentralized power and information we begin to chafe under the uniformity of clock-time. In this age of space-time we seek multiplicity, rather than repeatability, of rhythms. This is the difference between marching soldiers and ballet."

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man : Critical Edition