Perhaps the most important transition in all of this was the lifting of time from the natural cycles of daylight and human or animal work/exhaustion. In its place came an abstract time, the hour was a unit devoid of context and with this stripping of embodied duration came the ability to turn time into a commodity. Time could become money in a simple equation that equated two abstract de-contextualised units (duration and currency). So began wage slaving and the world, our world, has never been the same. Time economies emerged and with it a wave of "isms": Taylorism; Marxism; Existentialism (no, I don't think the last one is a stretch).
Now here comes the interesting point - that same abstracted time was the very lifeblood that allowed the new science of Newton, Laplace and others to recreate both heaven and Earth in the image of a powerful all-encompassing universal physics. The time of celestial mechanics and the time of the mill worker were the same - both new, both invented, both transformative.
Human invention and human discovery. Cultural artifacts and scientific truth. How do these overlap? Does one always lead the other or can they change places like horses on the track?
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