Sometimes it seems that the relatively benign force of gravity has taken a mischievous turn, harking back to the incident of its scientific discovery, the slightly painful collision of an apple with Isaac Newton's head. Occasionally, a single day presents more spilled cups of coffee, more papers falling to the floor--minor scrapes with the laws of physics. But it's possible that we'll have more than our usual share of bad gravity days this month, because we are suffering from communal jet lag.
In recent weeks we've leapt an hour and a day within a very short period of time. If my retro digital watch (lacking any network connectivity or the sophistication of a finely hewn mechanical clock) is any indicator, it's tough to keep up with all that change. The poor little LCD display blinks sadly in resignation when I reset the date yet again.
If only we could be readjusted so easily. Instead, we trudge along, trying to catch up with the corrections we must make because our calendars and clocks operate on a different scale than the astronomical events which mark the changing of our seasons. It's a fairly jarring experience, but one that we have to endure if we want to keep pace with the universe around us.
Today it's not merely the moon and sun that outpace our human concept of time. As technology infiltrates nearly every aspect of our lives, it can often seem like we need a leap day, or week, or month to keep up. Around the clock, someone is working somewhere on something that you will need to understand at some point.
It's no major revelation that events have sped up to a degree of acceleration beyond our reach. But maybe as you're bumping around, trying to keep up with daylight these next few weeks, you can think about a question posed by our "The Way They See It" interview subject this month. With 40 years in audio behind him, David W. Robb wonders if the new generation is experiencing the same thrill he found in not knowing everything there is to know about technology. The fun, he suggests, is in figuring it out. He asks those new to our business, "Do you still see the industry as racing along at breakneck speed and you're trying to grab on, or is it boring?"
Robb's never-ending quest for understanding is what has kept his career interesting (read more about it on page 28). Even now, he confesses to waking before dawn, excited to go to work. So, rather than seeing the tremendous amount of change around us as an impossible stumbling block, we need to be thrilled with the enormous potential ahead of us. After all, science chose to label normal 365-day years "common years". Why not take advantage of this exceptional one?