Time is measured differently these days.
As many Americans are in self isolation or at least following the stay at home guidelines that are encouraged by the majority of health officials, it should come as no surprise that the typical weekday is no longer the same. Students who are learning from home, connecting with their teachers over the internet, do not necessarily have to get up so early. Those teachers who once thought there school days were already pretty long now find that they have little balance between when it begins and when it ends. The emails from frantic parents who are struggling themselves to work from home while also supervising the teaching of their children arrive early in the morning and late at night, and the educators are doing their best to make sure that they are meeting the needs of their students during these most challenging of times.
Wifi digital wall clocks can indicate to a family what the actual time of the day is, but with the schedule disruptions that most Americans are facing, the use of synchronized time is different.
Network Time Servers Continue to Monitor Traffic
If you want a totally different kind of way to understand how timing is different during the pandemic, you need to look no further than the software and support companies that mange banking tasks across the nation. This week, unlike anything ever seen even during the biggest of Black Friday shopping events, banking software saw peak numbers that nearly brought these systems to a standstill. As Americans across the nation worried about their finances after layoffs, furloughs, and other challenges, many were checking their online banking apps to see if the much awaited stimulus checks had been deposited. Checking multiple times in a day, and sometimes multiple times in an hour, there online interactions reached five minute highs that were at some instances 10 times higher than other peak numbers that had been previously recorded.
Synchronized time still matters in many parts of the economy, but for many the ways to get from one hour to the next is more and more challenging. Clocks that use Wifi that once helped move students from one class to the next now advance in empty rooms inside silent buildings, while parents attempt to manage the time in a day when both they and their students are working from home. And synchronized time clock servers monitor numbers of reported cases of Covid-19, deaths, and many other very harrowing statistics. When this time in the world’s history finally passes, future historians will be looking at not only the months, weeks, and days that were wasted in preparation, but also the hours and minutes that it took for doctors to understand their new normal.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the many ways that synchronized clocks help maintain the economy and the world that we rely on, as well as the history of the use of time as a way to measure our days:
- The term “stratum” refers to the closeness to a high quality time server. The stratum indicates the place of a particular time server in a hierarchy of servers. The scale goes from one to 15, with one being the most accurate.
- Humans have been keeping time for 5,000 to 6,000 years. The ancient Egyptians, in fact, were the first to tell time by using obelisks as primitive sundials, while the first mechanical clocks were invented in Europe in the 14th century.
- The smallest unit of time is ‘Planck time,’ which is the time it takes for light to travel Planck’s length, approximately 3.3 x 10 to the -44 power of a second.
- In spite of all our efforts, of course, time is relative. For example, the Soviet Union tried, and failed, to enforce five and six-day weeks between the years 1929 and 1931. After the French Revolution, in contrast, French revolutionaries tried to institute a 10-hour clock.
- Today, Precision Time Protocol (PTP) is used to synchronize clocks throughout a computer network. It was originally defined and standardized by IEEE in the year 2002, but has since become a valuable monitoring system.
When the use of synchronized time finally falls back into place, it should come as no surprise that these days fo the pandemic will still be remembered.