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Happy Canada Day

File in the "something else I don't like about Canada" department: Sir Sandford Flemming, a Canadian, invented time zones. (Thanks, sidelobe for alerting me to this fact.)

When I'm supreme benevolant dictator of the world, one of the first things I will do is abolish time zones and Daylight Savings Time.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
rhiannonstone
Jul. 1st, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
Hm. Daylight Saving Time pisses me right the hell off, but I sort of understand time zones. They seem to make a bit of sense in that (in most places) they make the hour correspond to the time of day, so it's light at 9am, dark at 9pm, etc.

Of course, there are places where this doesn't hold true, and southern hemisphere already defines what we see as Summer as Winter, so why couldn't they redefine times of day, too?

This bears thinking about some more. Except that if I do it'll make my head explode because time is arbitrary and senseless anyway. :)
meep
Jul. 1st, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC)
so... how are time zones oppressing you?

i don't want to go back to local time. That would be so confusing. I don't want to say to Ma - "Hey, I'll call you at 7" and when it's 7 at my home, it's 7:15 there.

rhiannonstone
Jul. 1st, 2004 01:36 pm (UTC)
Oh no, how does that work? I confess to not knowing much at all about the history of time standardization. I guess "local time" means "however the locals happen to define time?" I guess I was thinking that getting rid of time zones would mean that when it's 9am here, it's 9am everywhere, but now that I think about it, that doesn't make much sense, does it?
meep
Aug. 3rd, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
Well, as Greg said, we could use universal time. Problem is that you can't go to another place and assume lunchtime is at a particular time. It would be a bitch for national chains -- everyone's used to Barnes and Noble being open from 10am to 10pm, say - but to do something equivalent in different locales - one would have to use different universal times. There's a very good reason time zones got enacted (railroad schedules) because everyone was on local time - but universal time doesn't really fill a human need of having understandable times. Everyone may now work 9-5 (or whatever), but if one moves, one would have to learn the new universal times for stores being open, blah blah blah - and one would have replicated either local time or time zones.

sorry, greg - it's just not going to happen.

Now, getting rid of Daylight Savings Time is more doable, I think.
drmellow
Jul. 1st, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, no. I won't go back to local time. I'll go to UTC (or something similar) -- at any given point in time, it will be the same time on the entire planet.
meep
Jul. 1st, 2004 02:33 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, actually, that's an idea. Still don't think it will fly. People like the idea of noon and midnight, morning and afternoon.
drmellow
Jul. 1st, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know people won't like it, which is why it will take a supreme benevolant dictator of the world to implement it.

But it'll make a lot of things a lot easier. What time does your favorite evening drama come on TV? None of this 10, 9 central crap -- it comes on at 0300 UTC (or whatever). Scheduling meetings across time zones is much easier.

Like any good politician, I've put very little thought into this idea and found that it looked good on the surface, so I'm sticking with it. I've been anti-time zone and anti-DST for a while now.
meep
Jul. 2nd, 2004 09:08 am (UTC)
Ah, but many programs ARE on at a different time UTC in California than in New York. They're not going to run =Friends= at 9pm eastern, 6pm pacific. There's a different feed. They still need to indicate the different times it runs in the west.

We have only 4 time zones, and generally one doesn't regularly deal with all of them, so it's not like the confusion here is that pronounced. Making it UTC can mask that you're scheduling something at an insane local time, and could engender resentment. You'd have to think, now, 1700 UTC, is that lunchtime in California? I forget.

So though UTC wouldn't have much effect on American life, it would make globalization easier. One World Govt! Think on that.
drmellow
Aug. 4th, 2004 02:25 am (UTC)
And making it easier for globalization is what I'm all about in my bid for Supreme Benevolant Dictator Of The World.
(Deleted comment)
drmellow
Jul. 1st, 2004 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not as sure about that one. To do it right, we'd have to get rid of 60 minute hours and 60 second minutes, as well. Unfortunately, I don't think we can really do anything about the 36x day year, 'cause I'll keep a year being tied to the earth's revolution around the sun and a day will still be the earth's rotation on its axis.

Anyway, like I said, I'd have to think about the 24 hour day some.
(Deleted comment)
drmellow
Jul. 1st, 2004 05:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not claiming to aspire to supremacy over physical laws. But as far as man-made laws go, I want to be in charge of all of that.
caryabend
Jul. 2nd, 2004 06:19 am (UTC)
Been there, tried that.
This was once proposed in France, the birthplace of the Metric System. You can see how well it went over there.

Battlestar Galactica used a modified version, and none of the viewers could figure it out.

Donald Kingsbury makes a fascinating argument about the effects of measuring systems and calculations of time on societies in Psychohistorical Crisis. It was a good read.
gorski
Jul. 10th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Been there, tried that.
It's a right shame France uses the metric system for everything else though.

I mean, think about it: When's the last time you had to divide something a meter long into tenths, or even fifths? Now, when's the last time you were interested in dividing something a foot long into thirds or fourths?

Metric is a bunch of hogwash. Fifty-four gallons of it, maybe.

peace,

--me


Yeah. Greg, when you're benevolent supreme whatsits? Maybe you can fix that too.

Now to go convince Stacy of this too. (:
tldz
Jul. 1st, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
If memory serves, China lives on one time zone. Might be wrong though. I personally don't like the all-on-one time possibility and local apparent time is just bad news, so that leaves us with time zones. On the other hand, I don't think I could get drunk enough to think that daylight savings time is a good idea.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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