360 seconds in an hour, 360 degrees in a full circle.

12 months in a year, 24 hours in a day.

Tell me where to learn about our construction of time, if you know. I’m suddenly intrigued.

360 seconds in an hour, 360 degrees in a full circle.

12 months in a year, 24 hours in a day.

Tell me where to learn about our construction of time, if you know. I’m suddenly intrigued.

Wikipedia to the rescue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time

‘Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.’ – Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, selected stories and other writings, “A New Refutation of Time”

Well, as far as where all the 60s and 12s came from, that’s almost certainly because those numbers have so many factors. Being able to divide 60 by 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 with no remainder makes splitting time into chunks a lot easier, especially in early Babylonian-mathematics-land.

On the other hand, we never talk about a third, a fifth, or a sixth of an hour. Okay, sometimes we say “20 minutes” or “10 minutes”, but that’s more because of the 10y-ness of it than the slice-of-houry-ness of it. I wonder if people used to do that.

It’s also a little curious that we split degrees into 60 minutes of 60 seconds each, but there are 15 degrees in an hour of sun time.