The clock.... the clock is helpful for pacing. Any more than 4 beers an hour can have adverse effects on our ability to tend to the smoker and can result in a state rendering the cook in a dreamstate.
The temp probe in the meat can help prevent an extreme overcook should the cook forget to check the clock that is so vital to his ability to pace his consumption and he renders himself incapacitated. In In that event an alarm indicating that the meat has reached a certain temperature where one should at least be concious an alarm can wake the sleeping cook so that he can resume his attentive prodding and/or bone pulling processes.
And that is how clocks and thermometers can be important although possible not necessary implements in the barbeque process.
I understand what you are saying barbefunkoramaque but at the same time there are some general temperature zones where I think I am glad I was paying attention when I first started. For example even though I have learend to fine tune when to pull, early on getting the butt to about 200 put me in the zone of what to look for in general. Had I not had that as a guide in the early days I would have probably pulled way too early several times and ended up with a lesser product. If anything when I first started it definately kept me from peeking too often. Now after being at it for a while I just kind of understand when it's time and that it is in fact done when it's done.
In the end it's beer that is the problem in my experience and the consumption of too much of it.