For as long as anyone could remember, there was a clock mounted high up on the tallest building in the town. As people would go about their business throughout the day, they would periodically glance upwards, and then automatically check their own watches. Sometimes there would be an inconsistency, and then they would reset their watches to the correct time.

But times change. A murmur of discontent was heard in an element of the population.

“Why can’t the clock be lower down, at eye level, more accessible?”“The clock is so high—it’s a pain in the neck (quite literally!) to always have to look up at it. Why can’t the clock be lower down, at eye level, more accessible?”

“What if the clock is wrong? It’s practically impossible to change it. Now, if it were installed on a lower building, it would be so much easier to fix.”

The locals were vocal, and the vocals were local. A town meeting was called; a decision was made. The clock was lowered.

Then a funny thing started happening. When people noticed a discrepancy between the town clock and their watches, more often than not they would now adjust the time . . . on the town clock. “After all, I know that I have the right time . . .” Then someone else would come by and readjust the clock . . . Within a short period of time, the clock had been fiddled with so often that it broke down. The consensus was that it was no longer relevant, not worth fixing—and the clock was consigned to the trash heap.