You’ve been told (more than once, I believe) that the clocks are wrong. I think you’ve also been told that this is a much larger problem than it sounds, but no one has yet explained why.
Let me start by saying that I was skeptical in the beginning as well. After all, people aren’t idiots. People can make a guess at what time it is. People know approximately when stores open and close. People can put brownies in the oven for around twenty-five minutes without timing it to the second.
That’s all true. The problem is that people aren’t the only ones that use time.
Computers use time. Time breaks: Computers break. Computers break… well, I’m sure you can guess that that looks like. It’s not an enviable situation.
There will, of course, be certain people who view time as some magical, metaphysical structure (my husband is one of them. Ralph. He teaches Philosophy, so it’s his job to make ordinary things seem important) but the truth is that time is important for practical and downright boring reasons.
For example: You lock your car at 2:45 and go into the store. While you’re in the store, the car’s clock jumps back to 2:40, when it was unlocked. Anyone could break into your car at that moment, and it wouldn’t even set off the alarm.
And that’s a tame example. Supposing your bank account jumps back to before your salary was deposited, but your company’s bank doesn’t? Your money is gone. Just gone. Eaten by cyberspace, and there’s no way to get it back.
They say it’ll get fixed, but so far it’s just words. The rumor around the lab where I work is that the scientist who made this whole mess is in hiding. He has completely vanished from society. Doesn’t sound like a guy who has everything under control, if you ask me.
I apologize if the letter sounds negative. If you want someone to tell you what a grand adventure this whole mess is, talk to my husband. The truth is, we’re in trouble, and if you were here, you’d be scared too.