The fact that the scientific measurement of time is
approximate rather than precise results in uncertainty. Therefore, we cannot
achieve the same certainty in time that we have in mathematics. The way in
which Horn precisely quantifies and then loosely qualifies the images of water
in the photo-lithographs when she numerically orders and then footnotes the
photographs (Tate, 2009) assist us in understanding that the experience of time
is overwhelming, and therefore cannot only be described in numerical data.  

This is why although science and mathematics attempt to
describe time quantitatively, data is lost because time eludes metrics. When we
attempt to describe time through science, we are not describing duration.
Bergson considers the numerical description of time:

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I follow with my eyes on the dial of a clock the movement of the hand which
corresponds to the oscillations of the pendulum I do not measure duration, as
is seems to be thought; I merely count simultaneities, which is very different’
(Bergson, 1910, pp.107-108).


measurement of time has been attempted in a number of ways, all of which are
known to be not exactly precise due to a number of factors. The sundial was the
earliest device for measuring segments of the day. A sundial works by observing
a cast shadow (which occurs due to an upright marker) as it moves due to the
position of the sun in the sky as it rises and sets (Brunton, 1979). Ancient
Egyptian obelisks (instruments that measure the position of the shadow) were
constructed circa. 3500 BC (Brunton, 1979). Sundials, which although are
relatively accurate, only work during the day time. At night, time was kept
using a merkhet, which was a device that ‘could check the transit of selected
stars across the meridian to calculate the hour of the night because of the
position of a ‘clock star’ in the sky at night’ (Brunton, 1979, p.107). Hence,
the scientific measurement of time depends on the position of the earth against
the sun and the stars.

In the essay ‘The Measure of Time’ by Henri Poincare found
in ‘Time and the Instant’ (2000) by Robin Durie, our inaccuracies in measuring
time are highlighted. Poincare asks the question: ‘can we transform psychological time, which is
qualitative, into quantitative time?’ (Poincare, 2000, p.26). He looks at the example of the pendulum to
measure time to attempt answering this question. A pendulum is a timekeeping device that uses a weight to swing
freely as it is suspended from a pivot, each swing of the pendulum calculates a
segment of time (Milham, 1945). Poincare notices the assumption ‘that all the
beats of this pendulum are of equal duration’ and that ‘this is only a first
approximation; the temperature, the resistance of air, the barometric pressure,
the place of the pendulum may vary’ (Poincare, 2000, p.26). Hence, we cannot
receive accuracy because there are a variety of factors that can cause differences
in the beats of the pendulum. Thus, there are factors beyond our control that
affects our ability to measure even scientific time accurately. These factors
reflect the richness and diversity within time in that the components cannot be
separated to be discounted, and for time to measured accurately, this
separation is necessary.

In ‘A Thousand Plateaus’ (1999) by Deleuze and Guattari,
they introduce ideas of the smooth and the striated as a conceptual pair as a
way to think about space. They describe smooth space as the nomad space, and
striated space as the sedentary space (Deleuze and Guattari, 1999). This means
that smooth space is a space which refuses to be separated, such as a desert or
water. They cannot be detached or sectioned because there is no order and they
are constantly shifting. A striated space is the opposite of this, for example,
a structured city, which is something that can be easily divided. This draws
parallels with contemplating time; the smooth can be thought of as qualitative,
and the striated quantitative. Examples of attempts to striate the smooth can
be used to answer Poincare’s question.

Deleuze and Guattari use music to explain the smooth and
striated. Pierre Boulez considers the oppositions and loose relations between the
two types of spaces. He says of them that the striated,

 ‘is that which intertwined fixed and variable
elements, produces order and succession of distinct forms, and organises
horizontal melodic lines and vertical harmonic planes…the smooth is the continuous
variation, continuous development of form, it is the fusion of harmony and
melody in favour of the production of properly rhythmic values, the pure act of
drawing a diagonal across the vertical and the horizontal’ (Deleuze and
Guattari, 1999, p.477).


 Here we see Boulez
beautifully compare the smooth and the striated to music. He makes the
understanding that the striated is very complex yet still structured, like that
of a quantitative multiplicity. And of the smooth he realises that it is a
continuous line, refused to be separated by the diagonal line. Just like with
time, the diagonal line represents this non-separation between the past and the
present, and the way in which it is infinitely divisible and therefore not
actually able to be put into a numerical structure.

The Maritime Model is also
used to begin to understand the smooth and the striated, and the way in which
we quantify time even though it is a qualitative multiplicity.  Deleuze and Guattari note that,

‘of course, there are
points, lines…in the striated space as well as the smooth space (there are also
volumes…). In striated space, lines or trajectories tend to be subordinated to
points: one goes from one point to another. In smooth, this is the opposite…the
points are subordinated to the trajectory’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 1999, p.498).

This means that in
striated space lines travel in a linear direction, however in smooth space it
is non-linear and much more complex in sense of direction. 


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