is the moment at which “time” outgrew itself. Originally merely a man-imposed mechanical method for segmenting tasks and sleep/wake/work cycles as a mode of instrumentality, with the electric clock, which requires no winding, no visible mechanism, no maintenance, and no necessarily regularly recallable energy source, “time” became subject to both social convention and coordination and to transcendence of any human routine, taking on a life of its own, becoming something outside society, outside men.
We created time, and now time will outlive us; after the nuclear winter or the great biological holocaust or the inevitable environmental collapse strikes, there will be clocks that will continue to run without us, solar-powered or powered by lost remnants of the power grid of which there will no doubt be a few, caught beneath waterfalls or amidst wind currents forever generating the arrow of measured time, a human time that outlasts us and at such a point exists merely to provide context to the narrative of our demise.
Visitors who succeed us will come to see the world already ordered according to a timescale and timeflow created by mankind, who can be positioned in it even if he is no longer present.
After all, once defined, presence is forever articulated by surrounding absence. With the invention and externalization of regular time, man cements his own immortality but also the endless tragedy of his own inevitable absence within it, time itself being the soul and the marker, the avatar and endoskeleton of presence that continue long after he is gone.