Time for a Change

Bob Dylan released the song “The Times They Are a-Changin'” in 1964. For those of you who remember the song, you may recall that it is a protest song with a kind of Irish feel that captures the mood of the 1960s where people were looking for true change in society. For those of you that don´t know the song or Bob Dylan, I strongly suggest that you give it a listen. I promise you that it really is worth the effort.

I am fascinated by time. In the evening, I never fail to look up to watch the arc of the moon across the sky. Or to stand in the sand on the beach and watch the ebb and flow of the tide when I´m fortunate enough to be at the ocean (cold beer in hand, of course). I equate both of these images to the passage of time.

My preoccupation with time was probably fuelled by one of my favourite books called “The Discoverers” by Daniel J. Boorstin. The first part of the book is dedicated to the “discovery” of time by various civilisations where Mr. Boorstin gives us a glimpse into the origins of our definition of measures of time. For example, his conjecture is that the Egyptians had a 360 day year which was calculated using the Babylonian sexagesimal system based upon multiples of sixty. Everyone should know these things if only for the reason that rattling off this kind of information can be a great pick up line at social gatherings. But don´t try it in a biker bar please; you need to know your crowd.

Every civilisation has recognised the importance of time and the need to measure it in a quantitative manner. The first 24 hour clocks were invented when it was discovered that time could be measured by allowing weights attached to a cog to fall at regular intervals. The weights, in a sense, were allowed to “escape” and this is the origin of the term “escapement” which is still a component in modern mechanical watches. Once this innovation became available, public clocks were made to provide the public with a common reference to time.

You may have guessed that I am also passionate about watches. While most people associate fine timepieces with the Swiss, one of the most famous watchmakers of all time was an Englishman named George Daniels. He is credited with inventing the coaxial escapement which was first mass produced by Omega in the 1990s and is still manufactured and used today in their collections. Mr. Daniels wrote a book succinctly entitled “Watchmaking” in which he describes all of the calculations and mechanisms necessary to build a watch.

As interesting as these concepts may be, the reality is that they are generally commercially motivated and with every discovery we make, practical inventions and applications quickly follow. By quantifying time, the measurement of latitude and longitude became a possibility and allowed accurate navigation at sea which, in turn, made efficient trading routes possible for merchant vessels. Believe it or not, all of this was only formalised in the 1500s when mechanisms capable of accurately measuring time became available. It is a very real possibility Christopher Columbus told his wife he was just going out to buy a pint of milk when he disappeared to the Americas for four year not really knowing where the corner store was physically located.

The point of this is an expression you have heard many times before often attributed to Benjamin Franklin in its modern form; “Time is Money”. This is certainly nothing new, but as we enter more competitive environments it takes on a more imperative connotation, particularly in view of the present global economic climate.

As a company CES has always valued and respected our Client´s time. Our philosophy has always been to provide products and services as quickly and efficiently as possible without compromising our commitment to quality and reliability. It is for this reason that we have recently moved our Service Desk to a cloud based system. With no geographic boundaries you can log your Service Request on our portal through this web page and we will respond to you within the periods indicated in your Service Level Agreements. You will also be able to measure the metrics of our response times directly on the portal.

At CES, we are always changing with the times to serve you better.

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