In a recent post, I talked about the fact that time is the one resource that proves the most valuable and most elusive.

It’s amazing to think how much our lives are governed by time.  Work, transport departure times, classes, meetings; they’re all governed by this ever-present dimension.  It’s not always been that way, and we take for granted now how difficult it has been to measure time accurately.

But here’s something to ‘wreck your head’, as the Irish may say.  There was a chap two-and-a-half thousand years ago who reasoned that time was infinitely divisible, which effectively makes it indivisible.

His name was Zeno, and his ‘Achilles and tortoise’ (for which these days read hare and tortoise) paradox is perhaps his most famous.  Achilles is faster than the tortoise of course, but he never gets past the tortoise.  He never gets past the tortoise because in that second he has moved, the tortoise has also moved a small distance, which he still has to recover.  Take the measurement down further to a split second, a nanosecond, or even a picosecond, and in that minutest of time, the tortoise has still moved a fraction further that Achilles still has to cover.

Confused?  There’s perhaps a better explanation here, but what this paradox points to in my view is how, in an effort to control time and not let it control us, we divide it up into smaller and smaller pieces, only for it still to exert the same pull on us.

And what I’m most conscious of is this.  The time it took you to read this post – you’ll never get it back.  I hope you found it a good investment.

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