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I’m reading Leslie Lamport’s white paper, “Time, clocks, and the ordering of events in a distributed system”. His explanation for total ordering has me a bit confused in the following excerpt.

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  1. I've interpreted this as if event x's timestamp is less than event y then x happened before y.
  2. If x's timestamp is the same as y's timestamp then use the process name to determine who comes first.

I'm confused because if x is less than y then there are two possibilities to my understanding; either x happened first or x and y are concurrent. It seems like he's always assuming the former and never the latter.

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