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Memories of the 28th Century

Better time

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Itís getting near that time when the government dictates that the hour of the day change. Yes, they are doing that again, even though it is disadvantageous to everyone. If we have to change the clocks again, then it should be for a better system. Perhaps we should question the whole system of hours, minutes, and seconds. And we certainly should wonder why it is claimed that midnight is the beginning of the day; we, except for the Bureau of Standards which thinks that the day ends immediately after midnight. But according to them (Bureau of Standards), midnight is erroneously referred to as 12:00 AM. Even worse, Noon is referred to as 12:00 PM, when it is not post meridiem at all; it is meridiem, Noon, and midnight is twelve hours after Noon (that's post meridiem). It isn't ambiguous; the standard is just wrong.

While we are straightening that out, we might also revert to days ending at sunset. After all, when a day ends, it ends. It is quite simple. I have looked for when the beginning and end of days was moved to midnight, but I haven't found anything definite about it. I believe that starting days immediately after midnight was quite recent, because the timing of midnight was imprecise, and most people didn't have clocks at all (fortunate people). The general beginning of the day was when the Sun rose and the day began; that makes some sense also. When clocks, schedules, etc. became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries Sunrise became less important. And the the train schedules demanded standard time, so everyone went ono standard time.

There never was a need for standard time, except for the railroads and other things that keep tight schedules, but most people have trouble keeping tight schedules or any kind of schedule. And even though most people don' think about it, most people do live by the Sun, waking when it becomes bright and starting to think about settling down for the night when it becomes dark.

These days with many people carrying cell phones we could easily go back to the regular way, and have the days start at Sun rise, and that could be worked into the programming of cell phones, because the standard Sun rise time is an astronomical calculation. You can look it up online. And this would allow us more completely to get away from the error of calling midnight 12:00 am.

Correcting that mess would make it easier to eliminate the idiocy of so-called Daylight Saving Time, unless it is being retained to take advantage of the population reducing tendency for people to have more accidents shortly after the clocks are reset. Standard time is bad enough, but the misguided attempt to get people to rise earlier in sunnier times is a bit too extreme. Unfortunately, cell phones automatically reset (most of them do), so I can't even protest by staying on standard time year-round.

There are other corrections and improvements that we could make to the units and methods by which we track time, but just straightening out the hours of the day would be a significant improvement. The elimination of weeks and days of the weeks, months and dates of the months, and years can wait for now; although it would be easier to introduce a simple count of days and fractions of days in place of the present madness all at once.

It truly is easier. Right now it is Julian Day 2,457,821.8. Or call it Star Date, if you prefer.

Updated 03-09-2017 at 09:16 PM by PeterL

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  1. Magnocrat's Avatar
    Most of us are settled in a happy confusion , scientific accuracy is not always what its cracked up to be. Look at the mess and chaos over metrification and it still lingers on. Perhaps we should do away with base twelve and have ten hours in the day and one hundred minutes in the hour and one hundred seconds in the minute.
  2. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnocrat
    Most of us are settled in a happy confusion , scientific accuracy is not always what its cracked up to be. Look at the mess and chaos over metrification and it still lingers on. Perhaps we should do away with base twelve and have ten hours in the day and one hundred minutes in the hour and one hundred seconds in the minute.
    I used o favor the 100 hour day for people who never have enough hours, but then I realized that it was simply converting the day into decimal fractions, so why bothering hundredths (or tenths as you suggest) hours. Let's just the fractions what they are, tenths, hundredths, etc.

    It will probably catch on about the same time as the so-called metric system comes to be generally accepted, you'll also have to worry about pig droppings on your roof then.
  3. Magnocrat's Avatar
    The Babylonians knew a thing or two when they decided on twelve. It has more factors and divisibility. Degrees in a circle 360 what could be better? Pennies in a pound 240 what a wonderful number. Eight half crowns is one pound. Twelve inches one foot. How splendid.
  4. PeterL's Avatar
    Yes, and
    17 sickles= 1 galleon
    29 knuts= 1 sickle
    (493 knuts= 1 galleon)

    That's if you handle money, and in the system I suggested, one day equals one day.
  5. Magnocrat's Avatar
    I have nothing against the metric system but it is a scientific system not a practical one for everyday use , so why try and use it for everyday purposes.
    Plywood 1220x2440 mm!