Monday, January 02, 2006

Time reform

What is the big appeal of the current time system? It is completely outdated, and damn confusing.

First off, I'm not about to say that the year be changed to some sort of metrically significant number of days or anything like that, because I have at least a cursory understanding of how these things work in heliocentric terms.

But come on, let's think of the things that could be changed. For one, time zones. I see absolutely no practical use in time zones, to tell you the truth. Let's go over the advantages of time zones:

  • When talking to someone in a different time zone, you can say "I woke up at 5am this morning", and they will understand that that is quite an early time to be waking up.
  • You can have a New Year's party at night.
What about the disadvantages?
  • Every time you cross time zones, you have to readjust your watch, computer, PSP, iPod, whatever the fuck else you are carrying around with an inbuilt clock.
  • Something else that has to be taught to kids.
  • Describing this method as "time" is technically incorrect, when the "time" is different in different parts of the world. It's just the position of the sun where you are. Time is the same everywhere in the universe.
  • Everybody thinks that everybody knows their time zone. I only know the ones local to me, plus GMT. Sorry, I have no idea what time zone Pacific Time, or Mountain Time, or any of the other time zones are. Just WST, EST and GMT. (That's AWST and AEST.) The fact that you probably don't know what those time zones are, if you're not Australian, indicates that timezones suck. This is easily fixed by referring to your timezone by its number, eg. +8 for AWST, but no, nobody does that.
I'm not proposing anything radical like "you live in this area, so your 9 - 5 work hours run during the night and you sleep during the day". How about we just get rid of the significance of each point in time to the Sun's position (ie. 11am is no longer just before noon) and operate on Greenwich Mean Time or something? I don't live in Greenwich, but I'm not such a patriot that I would take offense to using British time because I want to go to bed at 11 o'clock or something (but I'm sure many people would, unfortunately). Seriously, where is the problem if you now wake up at 11pm on an average day and go to bed at 3pm? Of course, this raises issues with the whole concept of the "day", as your "day" now spans two dates.

Time sucks. I can't be bothered ranting on this topic anymore, but suffice to say that there are much better ways to deal with things without getting into timezones and shit. Bleh.


Martin said...

i agree

Cala Carlot said...

I live at 42457 Commonwealth in Seattle. Been up here before?

flyncooley said...

I can't believe you haven't gotten more comments on this subject. I am in Pacific Time Zone. I talk to someone in Germany all the time, very annoying to relate to time so abstractly so often. I sometimes think that we could change the time of the day that we start to do things. People could get used to waking up at what ever time the sun comes up? Maybe the 'business' day should start before the sun has risen so when work is over there is still sunlight? Perhaps the work day should start around sunset, and work gets done while the sun is down, and people can have time off as the sun rises? Maybe people should do whatever they want whenever they want. I'm sure I'd sleep a lot less during non business hours if it wasn't always dark out. I'm a dayman. I am a fighter of the nightman.