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From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: Re:  (urth) Inire's...Things
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 12:25:34 

CRCulver@aol.com writes:
>Mantis said:
><But there is the "isochronon," a gift to the autarch from the ruler of some
>other planet (III, ch. 34) which might be a nightwatch robot or just a
>mechanical clock.>
>I always thought it was the water clock mentioned in another part of the text
>(no citation at the moment, I'm afraid).

I don't think so.  Water clocks have been around for a long, long time, but
they're not terribly useful by modern standards.  The flow rate of the water
tends to vary with the supply pressure, i.e. the amount of water remaining
in the supply vessel, and other factors like temperature.  Silt or dust can
also affect the flow rate.

Water clocks are, in other words, not isochronous.

(There are at least two references to water clocks in The Book.  In Dr.
Talos's play, a demon provides an inverted explanation of the clepsydra
Jahi hides behind:  "knowing what time it is, [you] can tell by that how
much water's flowed."  And Thecla substitutes a water clock into Kepler's
clockwork universe:  God has built it, but who will refill the supply?)


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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