Is clock collecting (and repair) part of the counter-technology revolution?

Many years ago, social scientists predicted with the onset of modern technology it would sap us of our knowledge. Our brains would simply melt away. Concentration and initiative would be sucked out of us. Why would you need to know anything if it is readily available at your fingertips? How often do you hear the phrase, “just google it”. Sadly, it has become an integral part of our lexicon.

People are embracing old technology and returning to the fulfillment of doing things for themselves

The term counter-technology is not a term I invented. I found it mentioned in a car magazine article some time ago. Many people are collecting and repairing antique cars more than ever. Why? Reliving past memories? Getting your hands dirty. Rejecting the modern world?

Has the analogue world returned? Yes and no. Wine and beer making has become a huge industry and there seem to be mom and pop microbreweries everywhere, antique furniture purchases have increased dramatically, backyard chicken coops are popping up everywhere, fountain pen collecting is a “new” thing, vinyl records are spinning back and stamp collecting is returning with renewed vigor.

Retro is in. But is is not just that! It is a statement. People are embracing old technology and returning to the fulfillment of doing things for themselves. We all know the value and satisfaction of pursuing a simpler way of life but at the same time we still want to feel connected to our busy modern world. We want both. This is our inevitable response to the new digital world. We are pushing back but just enough to satisfy our needs by remaining connected with the past but we still feel the need to be plugged in.

However, every now and then we feel the need to dis-engage. Digital detoxification. It’s a thing. Somehow we want to wash the digital world from our lives, however briefly. I spend summers at our family cottage in Quebec (Canada). There is no Internet and I am totally fine with that. But what’s the first thing I do when I return home? You got it!

You too can be saved
You too can be saved
Simplicity breeds complexity

To truly embrace the analogue world the mechanical clock is my personal statement. Not only do I collect antique and vintage clocks I repair them as well. As readers know I am not a trained horologist but I love the challenge of repairing a clock and I love accumulating knowledge in the pursuit of my hobby. Needless to say I am not always successful and my office has a few notable failures. I am fine with that. Failure breeds learning. It is my response to the increasing pressures of the digital world. It is my response to our increasingly complicated world. Simplicity breeds complexity.

Like the juggler who can keep all the balls in the air at once
It took years to learn the skills necessary to repair this Sessions Westminster A Westminster chime clock
It took 2 years to learn the skills necessary to repair this Sessions Westminster A chime clock

Analogue verses digital. It is a question of balance, like the juggler who can keep all the balls in the air at once. I admire people who have “analogue” hobbies but I especially admire those who remain connected to our modern world by maintaining a delicate balance between both.