TED Conversations

Reza Ghiabi

Organizer @ TEDxTehran, TEDxTehran


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"Even a broken clock is right twice a day. " Is it really right?

So I posted this quote as my google statues and my friend had an Idea:
"Unless you don't have a reliable standard to compare that clock with, it is useless to consider this fact that the clock might be right 2 times. Clock is a measurement instrument with which you measure something else, so if you wan't to verify it you need another clock which works 100% correct"
What do you think? Shouldn't we consider that maybe others can be right sometimes? How can we define this "standard" that my friend mentioned?

Topics: philosophy

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    Jul 3 2013: Actually, the saying is, "A STOPPED clock is right twice a day." A broken (operating inaccurately) clock is always wrong. No clock is ever right because there are only two conditions for Time; Time yet to come (future), and Time already gone by (past). There is no Now Time because by the time the answer to the question, "What time IS it?" is communicated it is not accurate, valid, truthful information. So, no, a stopped clock is not right twice a day, nor is any other clock whether broken or fully functional.
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      Jul 3 2013: Yea but did you get his point?

      I did but some people are really like the broken operating clock. So I listen with a jaundice perspective and do an initial assessment of whether what they are saying is worth spending any more time on, and admittedly sometimes however rare they do say something which is useful.

      But if I don't do this initial assessment I would spend all of my time on useless posts.
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        Jul 3 2013: 10-4 on that Pat. I had to butt-in and correct the wording (it's one of my many weaknesses) regarding the condition of the clock. Is Reza's point that we should always consider the possibility of another person being right? I don't know.
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          Jul 3 2013: Yes you are correct and right.

          I'm just adding I still have to finish reading the internet so I have to use my time wisely. (8^(l)
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        Jul 5 2013: Thank you for mentioning my point Pat. Yes, by this metaphor, I mean we should see the possibility of being correct in any words, but another point here is that "standard" I mentioned. In the metaphor if we don't have another clock to use it as reference, we can't find out if the clock is right or not. So we can assume that unless we have a reference, it is useless to know that the clock is right twice a day.
        Hence in real life, can we say that "Maybe that person is right?", "It is possible." or etc? or do we need to have a reference all the time?
        And yes Pat, you are right. Time is limited but I think there are certain little precious things that we are missing in our every day life and considering the possibility of others to be right even the ones that we don't like much, may increase our chances to mine this little ideas, thoughts, etc.
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      Jul 5 2013: You are right Edward, in this metaphor I assumed that a broken clock is stopped (although a stopped clock is not necessarily broken).
    • Jul 5 2013: Actually Edward is not 100% correct. Because we can ignore the time taken for the receiver of the question to hear it, as for him the now, and the question, is relative to the asker given the time the sound wave and brain processing takes, and similarly the return journey, further we cant assume that the person answering isn't taking the time to return into account when stating the time. What's relevant here is that the time is relative to the person asking the and person answering, rather like quantum mechanics, in that way.
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        Jul 5 2013: I am correct IF there is no universal simultaniety, which there cannot be if Time is relative to Space and Velocity. If there is Universal Simultaniety then I am disqualified from this conversation.
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        Jul 6 2013: RE: "too many if's. . . " Nothing is expressed with certainty in Science. Natural (scientific) Laws merely describe how nature has behaved within limits and how it is likely to behave within limits again, under similar conditions. We cannot say with certainty that the Sun will rise tomorrow. We can only say IF it continues to behave as it has throughout recorded history it will rise tomorrow.

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