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Time is a river with no banks

By Cheng, Ran + Shen, Qianshi

For numerous years, the river has been passing through the city. Waves roll back with strengths and run eastwards along the ship’s rail. Business expands by the docking of the ship. 

On Qingfen Street in Hankou, the infants are calmed by the heat in the air and the old men, comfortable in long sleeve tops, wake up and fall asleep to the water sounds. What is the difference between today and tomorrow? Anyone who earns it, knows well that time passes like the river. A person can only grab the present. 

I rent three LED screens and control them via a five-year-old Mac with an electric watch besides. The first screen flashes once every second, and the second starts to flash on the sixtieth flash of the first screen and continues flashing once every minute. Likewise, the third screen begins to flash on the sixtieth flash of the previous one and goes on flashing once every hour. The start and end of a second is timed to an electronic watch that does not necessarily match the Chinese Standard Time (CST), with every single flash lasting for one-fifth of a second.

Even though the electric watch matches the CST, its precision could decay due to fluctuations of the urban voltage, mechanical aging, and delays in signal transmission, let alone the reliability of the method above in visually displaying the passage of time. 

On second thought, does this whole scenario give birth to a singularity or an illusion-within-an-illusion?

And if not, what is there to sigh for?





文/程然 沈乾石