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A Quick Talk With Grandpa

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By Bill Hunting

A little boy has a conversation with his grandfather about time.

"Grandpa, why'd the town build a Clock Tower?"

The old man shuffles his feet.

"So everyone knows what time it is."

"But don't people have their own clocks?"

"Yes, but it's convenient for everyone, including those without a clock to have a central Clock Tower."

The little boy appears confused.


"Improves production. Our surrounding farms can coordinate better with town services..."

A voice carries over from the farm house.

"'s time for breakfast!"


"Grandpa, the watch maker says he's been selling more watches since the Clock Tower was built. He says that "Time is on the mind. What's he mean?"

The old man smiles.

"Oh, he means that people have enjoyed the Clock Tower, found it useful, and now they are finding other uses for time. Services based on time."

"Like what?"

"Oh, like wake up calls or feeding alerts for various animals.... The watchmaker is selling many different watches because there are many uses for time."

"'s time for lunch!"


"Grandpa, why are those government men dismantling the Clock Tower? The towns folk can't see the time."

They wear the plain suits of fine cloth.

"They're interested in building Clock Towers in other towns because everyone loves this one so much. They said that in return for giving up our Clock Tower they'll make sure we get the best of the Clock Towers they make...and for free!"

"Was there something wrong with the one we had?"

"No, but we mustn't be selfish. Others need Clock Towers, too."

The boy turns his eyes to the ground and asks...

"Is it time for supper?"

"I don't know."


"Grandpa, is that the new Clock Tower?"

It casts a long shadow.


"Why doesn't it tell the time?"

"It's broken."

"Isn't this the best Clock Tower the government made?"



"Grandpa, why is the watch maker leaving town?"

The bags burden the horse; yet it walks firmly away.

"He can't sell watches."

"Don't people want watches anymore?"

The boy wishes he'd bought a watch when he had the chance.

"Well, yes, but to reduce the cost of producing Clock Towers for every town; the government passed a new law forbidding competition with the Clock Tower."

"But he doesn't compete with the Clock Tower. He makes watches not Towers."



"Time services."

"Like wake up calls and knowing when to feed the animals?"

"Yes, the government forbids competition with any time services; being related to their Clock Tower Utility."

"But the Clock Tower is broken. How will we know when to feed the animals?"

"We don't need to worry about it anymore."


"We lost the farm. Pack your bags; maybe we can catch up to the watch maker."




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Bill Hunting
Bill writes a lot about pioneering and production. A strong advocate of ones independent means of production.
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