I Couldn’t Resist

The clocks in the various classrooms at our law school have not been in sync for a number of days, differing from one another only in matters of a handful of minutes. We were notified by e-mail, today, of both the causes and the planned corrections for this problem. The e-mail read: “The classroom clocks all communicate with a master controller to maintain accurate, synchronized time. That master controller has failed. We have performed the two user serviceable options to repair the controller with no success. The controller will need to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair. They have told us that it usually takes three weeks to turn these around. Until the controller is returned the classroom clocks will be close but not completely accurate.”

I responded to the faculty as follows: “One more example of the failure of centralized ‘master controllers’ to establish and maintain order. I am reminded of the lament of 16th century Emperor Charles V: ‘To think that I attempted to force the reason and conscience of thousands of men into one mould, and I cannot make two clocks agree.'”


6:23 pm on January 29, 2013