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Re: Analog and Digital Clocks, Part 2
Posted By: Ellmyruh, on host
Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2001, at 01:49:00
In Reply To: Re: Analog and Digital Clocks, Part 2 posted by gremlinn on Wednesday, October 10, 2001, at 01:00:05:

> > How many people here find it more difficult to read an analog clock than a digital one? I know I can't be alone out there.

I'm the opposite, that's for sure. I can look at an analog clock, and my mind instantly knows what time it is without having to really think about it. However, if I look at a digital clock, it takes my mind a split second longer to think of the numbers in the large scope of things.

> If I look at an analog clock, I first have to look at which two numbers the hour hand is pointing between. Then I have to shift my eyes over to the minute hand and see which numbers it's pointing between AND estimate what percentage of the distance it has covered if the minutes aren't marked off.

I take in the whole clock on one glance, rather than looking at each hand separately. Sometimes I do this so quickly that I have a mental image and knowledge of the time in relation to the rest of life, but some part of my brain doesn't finish thinking about the time. So, when I glance at my watch, someone sees me do it, and they ask me what time it is, I usually have to look down at my watch again. It's not that I forgot the time, or that I was having trouble thinking about the numbers, but I just hadn't put the time into a solid thought. (People usually give me a funny look when I have to look at my watch again.)

> I wonder if some people envision times by a mental image of a clock with an hour hand and a minute hand. To me, that would just be freaky, but maybe that's how it is with some people who didn't grow up with digital clocks around them.

You know, I prefer analog clocks to digital ones, but I don't always picture the hands of a clock when someone tells me the time. Sometimes it's just a number that means something, and my brain figures it out on its own. However, I can also effortlessly picture a clock with the correct time on it if I so desire.

> > It's odd, too; I've always been this way, as far as I can remember. It's not that I *can't* tell time using an analog clock-- it's just that it takes me several seconds to figure out what time it actually is, while most people I know can just glance at the clock and read it immediately.

I think I've mentioned this phenomenon here before, but I have one main problem with digital clocks. You see, I tend to look at the numbers on a digital clock as a ratio, and my brain automatically tries to reduce them to the lowest common denominator. I actually had fun reducing when I was a kid in school, and having numbers right there in front of me made it even easier. It somehow became a habit, and to this day, I can look at a clock reading "10:14" and instantly think of it as "5:7." This gets annoying after years upon years, but I have a feeling it will never really go away.

> > -- codeman"'s about a few little ticks past that thick line"38

Ell"Um, it's 4:13. No, I mean 8:26."myruh

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