About Daylight Saving Time…

Now, I know that nobody wants to make sense.  We sure didn’t want to convert to metric measures, when that clearly would have been an easy, smart thing to do (that really would have been good for business on the global market). 

And I’ve been watching the way you vote…


So I’m guessing that you’ll hate the idea I’d proposed years ago for UTC, or coordinated Universal Time. 

And I’m not really “proposing” it now as a candidate for a state executive office.  It really isn’t the job of the Governor to mess with our clocks.  It’s correctly the job of our U.S. Congress to set the standard of weights and measures.

Here’s the way it’d work:

We’d have to take one day, or maybe a minute, depending upon your resistance to change, to get used to the fact that what it says on the clock does not affect the sun, the earth, or, really, you.  A clock is just a gauge.

Now say that all clocks, all over the world, are set to the same time on a 24-hour scale that runs from 0100 to 2459.  There would never again be any confusion about “what time is it there,” or “how many hours difference between us?”  And, certainly, there would be NO STINKIN’ DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME!

What it says on the clock is simply the time. 

All over the world. 

If somebody says you have a teleconference at 1800, then you have a teleconference at 1800.  No racking your brain about, “what does that mean?”  It’s just 1800.  No AM, no PM.  No EST/PST/DST.

It’s 1800 in Bangor, in Boston, in Indiana.

Yes, it’d be past “midnight” in Italy, while it’d be mid-day in Anchorage.  So?  You would know these things already because, if you agreed to UTC, you’re smart.

But you know what?  Smart people are already doing this all over the world.  This secret society of smart people (engineers, scientists, businesspeople) really know what time it is.

Published in: on September 26, 2008 at 9:17 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Archaic typography is great, but use oldstyle figures in text—-the 9 7 , etc extend below the baseline making for easier reading (who reads figures?)

    Check out the French Republican Calendar–The decimal clock is really cool in that you have 10 hour days with 100 minute hours.

    It is 4 Vendemiere CCXVII & it’s currently 4:95:46—-The year 217 is caclulated from the seizure of the Tuileries Palace (and the Ancien Regime)—not the storming of the Bastille—-It mostly went away after the coup détat of 12 Brumaire—Napoleon declared himself First Consul—and what was left of the committee of public safety, or the directory, were advised to leave & behave. During the Franco-Prussian war (Bourbon king was captured at Sedan), the Paris Commune seized the capital (declasse!) & reinstated the Republican Calendar & Clocks for as long as that lasted—-when Gallifet entered Paris, all workers & their families were summarily executed (in the french way—canals hide more than algerians….) They looked for calluses on the hands.

    Why don’t we go with the Mayan Long Calendar? 2012 is the end of a 5000 year cycle and lots of goodies are supposed to happen—there was lots of destruction around 5000 years ago, just not a lot of records left–

    The FRC had 10 day weeks, it took years for the workers to figure out they were getting screwed—-now all that’s left in actual usage is Thermidor, which was a month—and is a lobster dish…..of course in French, when you’re speaking of LEtat (the State) it is capitalized—–Louis XIV said: “L’état, c’est moi.

    Does anyone see any parallels to the above and the present financial, political, etc situation?

    Rand lives (and takes herself too seriously, still)!


  2. compliments on the OSF usage. Remember there is an option to the debacle. One state retains the right to withdraw from the union without war. They’re also building lots of new roads, have accelerated completion on the reactors which will make the state 100% self-sufficient for electricity. And don’t have zoning, an income tax or other such things—-the wealth is in the people & it’s warm there and things get done. They also don’t have a problem with immigration…..re-read NAFTA.

  3. I could see that with uniform worldwide usage of UTC there would be no International Date Line. That would be an advantage, but otherwise I see little else to recommend this proposed practice. Clocks may have become “just a gauge” but the “hours of the day” such as noon, carry with them an inherent reference to (what was) the position of the sun in the sky and much force of tradition. DST wouldn’t work its marketing magic for the Chamber of Commerce if people really treated clocks as being as arbitrary as the argument advanced above suggests.

    Thus I do not favor the idea of adopting UTC for general civil use. Most of us still prefer to use the hours of darkness for sleep and the hours of daylight for work/play. Were we to adopt worldwide UTC I’d think that school and work hours would adjust to fit within the hours of light, which is alright, but then these hours would appear to differ widely across the globe. In order to deal with distant locations we’d end up checking to see what local customs had developed to accommodate sunrise and sunset under UTC for that location. And every time one relocated across the country you would have to learn a whole new set of local customary times for breakfast, lunch, dinner and business.

    Alternatively, synchronization of activities might come to be enforced across a region to fit the preferred hours of waking and sleeping of the region’s major political center, or possibly of a major economic center. In other words, we’d end tracking what is done in China where the country as a whole operates on one time zone, Beijing time, and everyone sleeps and wakes to accommodate Beijing. In that case, we might call it UTC, but I think we’d end up waking and sleeping to fit when those things are done in Washington. That might not be too bad in Indiana, where sunrise and sunset only trail sunrise and sunset in Washington by 40 or so minutes. But on the west coast it would prove highly dislocating.

    Rather than worldwide UTC I would suggest considering returning to the practice of local mean time (LMT). LMT was widely used in the 19th century, with astronomical observatories selling communities accurate fixes of their local time, which they distributed by signals across electrical telegraph systems. The railroads displaced this system with the zonal standard time system as a simpler way of coordinating operations of their systems. However, with cell phones, internet access, network computer systems, on demand video, etc., returning to LMT might now be rather practical. The Internet and the cell phone systems could be used to distribute accurate LMT anywhere in the world, even if those systems were operating on a universal system.

    Consider that customary business times are fairly uniform across the country. Using LMT for a local market center would allow communities to keep familiar times for work, sleep, etc., and with an excellent fit to sunrise and sunset. When dealing with different market center it would be a simple matter to feed target locations into a handheld device and get the LMT for those communities. For a given latitude sunrise and sunset would occur at the same time LMT clear across the country. I wouldn’t have to adjust my habits to match when light or darkness was available.

    If I wanted to arrange a telephonic conference I could provide a local time into an intelligent device and have the time adjusted to target locations LMT for people at other locations. For example, 1519 Fort Wayne Mean Time would be about 1600 Philadelphia Mean Time and 1302 Carson City Mean Time. I could tell at a glance that the hour selected for a telephonic conference was within customary business hours for all locations. If I had to relocate across the country or was visiting another community I wouldn’t have to relearn the UTC time for when people did things locally. And the day/night cycle would fit people’s lives almost as closely as using solar time.

  4. Some people confuse behaviour with time, for some reason. I’m suggesting that the time on the clock could be de-coupled from our behavior in such a way that we eat lunch when the sun’s high, and go to bed when it’s dark, no matter what time it says on the clock.
    Having worked remotely for a couple of decades has taught me the value of global time. There’s practically no adjustment to make. It’s easier, in fact, than going metric.
    …which is another thing we ought to do.

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