Category Archives: Psychology

The great watch conspiracy

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…or what happens at 10 past 10?

…or a celebration of conformity in the PR-business?

Search for any image of watches… chances are 90-99% of them show the time 10:10.

Why is that? Conspiracy? (Illuminati?!) Brain washing? Lack of imagination? EU/US standards? Laws against unjust competition? Fear of competitor advantages? Fabric settings?

I have no clue… But I do have 50 images of watches, all set to somewhere from 10:05 to 10:15… most almost spot on 10:08 or 10:12.

There are a few “wild” ones out there going as far as 10:20… but that’s Nike… and look… Diesel also goes to 10:20… Both are digital… New conformity?

Then we have the (not so wild) wild ones, (Adrenaline) that set their watches to ten to two…

Searching the web (mentalfloss, Google Answers, and petapixel) gives the following bits of info:

  • It was not the time of death of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King
  • It was not the time when the atom bombs were dropped, either on Hiroshima nor on Nagasaki
  • It is about aesthetics; the hands are symmetrically placed, which makes the clock look nice (and not broken or unbalanced – something you’d probably not want from a clock)
  • It is also about practicalities; the hands are not on top of each other, on top of the company logo, or on top of any date displays or other extra features (however the last one can be disproved by several of the above-depicted clocks – e.g. the Calvin Kline clock would show more extra features if it was set to 09:15.)
  • It is also to make the clock look happier, you could achieve the above by setting it to 08:20, but then the clock would seem like it’s frowning

That’s all good and well… but… the digital clocks…? None of the above reasons are valid for them… other than the fact that setting them to 10:10 or similar follows some company policy. Timex sets their clocks to 10:09:36 exactly, just to mention one such company policy.

Random thought: Extreme situations

One of the more deadly things you can do is to act normally in an extreme situation.

This goes for extreme weather situations, being taken hostage, living on a planet that may be dying, etc.  etc.  Basically, I believe panic will make you react in a predefined way while keeping your cool will make you react according to the situation.  A few times panic might save you (running from a violent person instead of trying to talk sense to them) while in most cases not panicking will probably get the best result.

Interesting thought: aren’t we presented with “extreme” situations now and then, and once we’ve managed through them, they’re not extreme anymore.  Take for instance, first day at school, first love, first day as a parent, first day of retirement, or being a victim of a crime, being in a car accident, or other accident, being falsely accused, getting fired and being unemployed, etc. etc, there are a bus load of extreme situations out there.

So, the thing is to keep from getting pissed at  your boss for firing you, and trying to get a good letter of recommendation out of it (after all, who say’s you’re getting kicked cause your boss dislikes you?)  Or to stop being a kid yourself once your little ones are on their way, or to get out of that car wreck, and try to get everyone else in it along, before something worse than a roll and a spin happens.

So, it’s all about controlling panic then… or?  Hmmm…