1061: "EST"

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J Thomas
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby J Thomas » Mon May 28, 2012 1:23 pm UTC

radtea wrote:First, anyone proposing a "simple" solution to a problem that has remained irritating and unsolved for decades is missing something.


Often what they're missing is a historical accident that resulted in self-defeating criteria.

So for example, most people didn't care about synchronizing clocks until the railroads came in. People liked the idea of having 12:00 noon come when the sun was highest, wherever you were. But railroads wanted to run schedules that would work across the country, and they wanted to be able to tell people in each railroad town when the train would leave. They each used their own time system. In the USA somebody who was in a central position for communication among railroads suggested a system they could all follow, and enough of them did that everybody else fell into line. Having time zones 1 hour apart meant that nobody had to have 12:00 noon be more than half an hour off, in theory. It was an ugly compromise that worked adequately. Then state governments got involved, etc.

Any time system that tries to provide consistent times and yet also match the days and seasons, must have ugly compromises. And that's why the problem has been irritating and unsolved for decades.

There is a simple system available to provide consistent time all around the world. Set an arbitrary beginning point and then count seconds. The size of a second is also arbitrary but you can use a second that is in common use. Count up seconds until you get an overflow, then start over. A clock that can keep more bits will be different in the high bits that you don't care about. There's no particular reason to ever have a leap-second.

If you care whether it's night time where somebody else is, then figure out the difference in longitude. It has nothing to do with the clock.

If it's sunrise now and you want to know when sunrise will be tomorrow, it might be convenient if the number of seconds it takes for that is approximately some nice round number. But it isn't a great big deal.

Why not do something like that? Because what we already have is clumsy and inconvenient, but not bad enough that we feel much need to change it. China covers 5 times zones but they say they are all the same time. It only causes them inconvenience when bureaucrats insist on uniform behavior. There's no particular necessity for a department store in Urumqi to open at 8 AM Beijing time, unless somebody says it has to.

Second, only that very small fraction of computers connected to the 'Net are addressed by your scheme, leaving out all the vast multitude of embedded systems, including the ones in watches.


Those are sunk costs. Use your wristwatch until its battery goes bad. Then throw it away.

I'm generally in favour of 12 months of 30 days each with a 5 day Saturnalia at the New Year, but I recognize it's never going to happen. Calenders have almost nothing to do with time--which is handled quite nicely by Julian Day Number--and everything to do with human convenience, and "what we have now" is almost always more convenient than "what we would really like to have plus all the work necessary to get there."


Yes. But after some giant catastrophe, or after the revolution (practically the same thing) would be a good time to change. They did it after the French revolution. We might as well spread the ideas now, in case some survivor remembers.
Last edited by J Thomas on Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby perlhaqr » Mon May 28, 2012 1:31 pm UTC

How this will play out as a meme:

Sometime in the next 6 hours, someone will write an app that will allow your smartphone and facetwit to tell time in XKCDEST.

This will be very popular in a very limited set of people for the next week, during which lots of people will be momentarily very confused by the overloading of "EST".

A year from now, one lone hypernerd will still be using this. One nerd to rule us all, and in the darkness bind us.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, too. It may be that this is a heisenmeme, and having spoken about it, I've destroyed it before it can take root! Mua ha ha ha ha ha!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go patrol 4chan...

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Ekaros » Mon May 28, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

So we just need to fix Earth's rotations and Earth's and Moon's orbits. Then we could move to 10 based system for seconds in day and days in year. It might need some extra work fine tuning power output of sun, atmosphere of earth and some geology to fix climate patterns, but hey is that too much for proper reasonable calender/time system?

Also we could move to one time-zone with this system. Just cause we always woke up at 7 doesn't mean we always have to...

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Arthur Dent » Mon May 28, 2012 2:43 pm UTC

caractacuspotts wrote:The correct number of days in a civilised week is 6.


I could not agree more. I move that we drop Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Haylo27 » Mon May 28, 2012 2:59 pm UTC

Leap days, hours, and seconds are very well for longer periods of time, but for individual days I would like to propose instead the WTH (Weather Time Heuristic), designed to break up each day into the time available to get things done. Based upon the weather predictions prepared the previous day, each day is divided into a variable number of “clear hours” during which at least 50% of normal sunlight levels are available and the complimentary number of “dark hours” with too little light to work outside.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon May 28, 2012 3:05 pm UTC

Glorious nonsense. This calender sounds fun.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby sla29970 » Mon May 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:There is a simple system available to provide consistent time all around the world. Set an arbitrary beginning point and then count seconds. The size of a second is also arbitrary but you can use a second that is in common use.

Even if we disregard the legal systems of the world, two IEEE standards (1003.1 and 1588) have chosen different sizes for the second, so their counts differ
http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/leapsecs/epochtime.html
Worse is gravitational redshift by which the cesium chronometers on different floors of national labs run at different rates, all much faster than my second at sea level, and all much slower than the second that's right for tracking satellites.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby tsarna » Mon May 28, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

My modest proposal for decimal time (which will become mandatory when I'm Earth Emperor... but I've already said too much)

10 hour days, 100 minutes to an hour, 100 seconds to a minute. New seconds are .864 of a current second. This keeps the units very roughly ballpark to the current units (in the same sense that kilogram vs pound, meter vs yard, inch vs cm, etc are very roughly ballpark and can be used to measure the same sorts of quantities.)

There will be 10 months: Monember, Divember, Trivember, Tetrember, Pentember, Hexember, September, October, November, and December. (The last four month's names make sense again!) At the time of the switchover we'll align Monember 1st with the winter solstice.

Schoolchildren will learn the rhyme:
37 days has Monember,
Tri, Pent, Sept, November.
All the rest have 36
Except Tetrember,
which has 37 in leap years

Or just use the easy to remember rule: odd months have an odd number days and even months have an even number of days, except that the fourth month has an extra day every four years (modulo the century and 4-century rules)

See, it's all so simple!

Interested? Join us Hexember 34th at 5 O'clock Noon for a luncheon / reeducation camp.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby pbnjstowell » Mon May 28, 2012 4:13 pm UTC

Aw darn. I was born in the month-that-must-not-be-named.
Is it still assigned an ordinal number? (That could really make filling out forms difficult.)

At least we're synched with Narnia. Now, if I could just find a way to get there...
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Uzh » Mon May 28, 2012 4:13 pm UTC

Most of the calendars people introduce in this thread, remind me of the various revoutionary calenders. For instance the French Revolutionary calendar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_Calendar). It had ten days a week, ten hours a day, where the hour conisted of 100 minutes à 100 seconds. Although the 12 months first had simply numerous names like the days (first day: primidi, second day: duomidi..., first month: premièr - verbose: the first -, second month: second, troisième...) the made a tribute to the non-rational people by naming the months after the climate: nivôse (the snowy) and so on. The winter months had names ending -ôse, the spring months had -al, the summer months -idor and the autumn months -aire (remember the 18. of Brumair VIII!). The whole calender lasted about ten years.

There was a soviet revolutionary calender as well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_calendar) which had six days a week with five weeks per month. It lasted eleven years (with one reform after three years...)

Which brings me to my grandfather. He was pastor. His Father-in-law, who was mathematician, was not too satisfied with the job of his son-in-law: "If there's a god he should have given us 12 fingers. So we would have a duodecimale system, which is much easier to calculate. You can divide ten by 2 and 5. You can divide 12 by 2, 3, 4, 6..."

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Scars Unseen » Mon May 28, 2012 4:20 pm UTC

We should start putting this into all of our space probes so that if a potentially hostile alien race discovers it, they'll see how we track time and decide to stay the hell away from us in case our race's stupidity is contagious.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby orthogon » Mon May 28, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Scars Unseen wrote:We should start putting this into all of our space probes so that if a potentially hostile alien race discovers it, they'll see how we track time and decide to stay the hell away from us in case our race's stupidity is contagious.

No need. We've been broadcasting our existing calendar into space for some time now. Clearly it's stupid enough to have the desired effect.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby tsarna » Mon May 28, 2012 4:47 pm UTC

tsarna wrote:My modest proposal for decimal time...


I wasn't sure I wanted to reveal the last piece of the system yet, because I realize this is where it's going to start to get a little controversial, but what the heck...

To boost economic output and the education system, the new calendar moves from 7 day weeks to (mostly) six days weeks. This works out nicely with the 36 or 37 day months: Six weeks of six days each, and the weekdays don't shift around -- the 1st is always a Monday, for example.

The days of the week are named Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Holiday. Holiday occurs only on the 37th of the month, and subsumes all previous holidays -- no more Monday / weekday holidays. Monday through Friday are always work days, and Saturday is the day off.

Although there are less days off in the new system, as a sign of my benevolence, I am reducing the standard work day from 8 of the old hours to only 4 of the new hours. The special Tetrember Holiday, which occurs only in leap years, will celebrate this, and will be the new Labor Day.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Snark » Mon May 28, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

Is anyone else actually fond of Daylight Savings? I'm fond of winter nights getting darker faster than summer nights.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon May 28, 2012 5:31 pm UTC

Haylo27 wrote:Leap days, hours, and seconds are very well for longer periods of time, but for individual days I would like to propose instead the WTH (Weather Time Heuristic), designed to break up each day into the time available to get things done. Based upon the weather predictions prepared the previous day, each day is divided into a variable number of “clear hours” during which at least 50% of normal sunlight levels are available and the complimentary number of “dark hours” with too little light to work outside.


As an Oregonian, I look forward to having no more than a one hour workday for six months of the year.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby jpers36 » Mon May 28, 2012 5:38 pm UTC

CALENDAR

That is all.

Sometimes my autospellcheck brain puts me into distress. Sorry.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby RogueCynic » Mon May 28, 2012 5:51 pm UTC

rundlesm wrote:Yeah. "...clocks run backwards" made me laugh.
Why? If you stand on a platform above the earth, you will see the earth rotates counterclockwise.
randomguy3 wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I thought the 7 days comes from the moon, not the bible; 28 days in the moon cycle, half that is a fortnight, half that is a week.


The ancient Babylonians had a seven-day week, named for the sun (Sunday), moon (Monday) and five planets (that they were aware of) that together they believed controlled fate (cf astrology). Consider the French days of the week: Tuesday is Mardi (Mars-day), Wednesday is Mercredi (Mercury-day), Thursday is Jeudi (Jupiter-day), Friday Vendredi (Venus-day) and Saturday/Samedi is obviously Saturn-day.

Don't forget the Jews were captives of Babylon for a time.

Other cultures have had different week lengths - 8 for the Romans, for example. 9-day and 9-night weeks (dividing a sidereal month into three) also crop up occasionally.
You forgot Lundi (Moon day). As to the clocks running backwards, my battery powered alarm clock was off four hours a few times over the weekend. I guess I am currently on the new system.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Tynach » Mon May 28, 2012 6:16 pm UTC

So good to NOT live in a state with DST! The blazing hot weather is a plus for me as well, though not for most people.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Eikou » Mon May 28, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

If we're really looking for a time measure that's universal, I propose redefining the length of a second as a beginning (since, to the best of my knowledge, our current measure of 1 second was reverse engineered by dividing up the length of time it takes the earth to make a complete revolution around its own axis). Another civilization from another planet would never come to the same conclusion on their own, which is kind of what I base my pointless argument around.

Instead, I propose the unicond (I dropped sec and added uni for reasons that will become clear) the amount of time it takes a proton to vibrate at its resonance frequency 4,294,967,296 times (2^2^2^2^2 times), so chosen because it removes concerns about using a base 10 number system, which even other earthly civilizations have historically not used and may potentially even not use today (a wiser man than me probably knows), while still being a large enough number that it still carries a similar meaning (a length of time that is short enough to attempt to count inside our attention span). The unicond would be about 3 seconds.

Presumably, protons exist everywhere, and a Hydrogen atom has the same resonance frequency everywhere. Perhaps a physics expert would say "actually....", but this is all just to the best of my knowledge with not much research.

We can make more units of time by expanding to more powers of 2 (dicond, tricond, etc) and cutting out powers of two (um... some linguist could probably help me out here in designing a better system of words for this). I can't really imagine a need for a measure of time that's less than the time it takes a hydrogen atom to vibrate twice.

This system also takes out relativistic concerns. You count the length of a hydrogen atom in your same inertial reference frame. So, in another galaxy that's theoretically shooting away from or towards or parallel to (you get the idea) ours at a relativistic speed, we would still count the hydrogen atom vibrations in our frame, and use a conversion to discuss times in their frame.

Our current units of measure would still work with the unicond; they would simply come to decimal numbers sometimes. We could still call a year the length of time it takes earth to make a full revolution around the sun, and a day the length of time it takes the earth to turn once fully around its own axis (which strictly, would be more accurate than the way we currently measure them). We'd just calculate the number of uniconds it takes for those things to happen and convert by saying "1 day = ____.____ uniconds" or "1 unicond = .____ days".

So there. Way too much thinking about something that could very possibly never matter in anyone's lifetime and almost certainly will never matter in my lifetime. Truly in the spirit of xckd as I've experienced it. Hope I didn't make my first post anything that makes me seem too dumb or weird xD.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby J Thomas » Mon May 28, 2012 6:28 pm UTC

sla29970 wrote:
J Thomas wrote:There is a simple system available to provide consistent time all around the world. Set an arbitrary beginning point and then count seconds. The size of a second is also arbitrary but you can use a second that is in common use.

Even if we disregard the legal systems of the world, two IEEE standards (1003.1 and 1588) have chosen different sizes for the second, so their counts differ
http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/leapsecs/epochtime.html
Worse is gravitational redshift by which the cesium chronometers on different floors of national labs run at different rates, all much faster than my second at sea level, and all much slower than the second that's right for tracking satellites.


"A man with one clock knows what time it is. A man with two clocks is never sure."

Clearly, you have too much time on your hands.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Whys » Mon May 28, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

DST is the worst joke of all. Doesn't even save energy!

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby dendodge » Mon May 28, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

Okay, how's this for a system?

The base unit is the SI second (s). You can use SI prefixes to specify times within a day, and durations of time, to the required degree of precision. The time as I write this, for example, is approx. 68.4ks.

There are 86.4ks in a day. I could make it a nice round number by changing the length of a second, but I don't want to have to go around changing every scientific constant and all the clocks on the planet.

There are then 6 days in a week, named Monday, Diday, Triday, Tetraday, Pentaday, and Hexaday (mainly because the Greek prefixes are prettier than the Latin ones). Monday to Tetraday are the working days, and Penta/Hexaday are the weekend.

Then there are 5 weeks in a month (30 days), and the 12 months are grouped into three-month seasons. 1 January falls as close to the winter solstice as possible.

At the end of each season is an "adjustment day", considered to be outside the calendar and used to line the calendar up a bit more closely with the solar and/or lunar calendars. To make up a little for the lost working weekday, the adjustment days are considered working days (and working hours the rest of the year may increase a little too). The lengths of adjustment days will follow a formula worked out by an astronomical committee, in order to allow computers to work it out automatically. These adjustment days fulfil the role of leap years, and are when people with mechanical clocks are encouraged to adjust them.

At the end of the year is New Year's Day, which can be used for other, less predictable, adjustments. For example, when the number of required leap-seconds reaches 1000, an extra kilosecond is added to the calendar. These are announced at least 1 year in advance; any clock connected to the Internet in that year is given exact instructions, and instructions on how to adjust clocks manually are also given on this date. However, most years its length is 86.4ks, the same as any other day.

It sounds complicated compared to what we're used to, but it's actually relatively simple in its implementation.

Wow, this took way longer to work out and type up than I expected from the half-baked idea in my head...

EDIT: Oh, and no DST! :D

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby J Thomas » Mon May 28, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

dendodge wrote:EDIT: Oh, and no DST! :D


You can't keep governments from legislating whatever they choose to legislate.

However, you might somehow arrange for them to legislate that businesses have to open 3000-40000 seconds early in the summer, rather than try to make everybody change the clocks. Or if you can persuade them to let well enough alone, that's even better.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby bmonk » Mon May 28, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
radtea wrote:First, anyone proposing a "simple" solution to a problem that has remained irritating and unsolved for decades is missing something.


Often what they're missing is a historical accident that resulted in self-defeating criteria.

So for example, most people didn't care about synchronizing clocks until the railroads came in. People liked the idea of having 12:00 noon come when the sun was highest, wherever you were. But railroads wanted to run schedules that would work across the country, and they wanted to be able to tell people in each railroad town when the train would leave. They each used their own time system. In the USA somebody who was in a central position for communication among railroads suggested a system they could all follow, and enough of them did that everybody else fell into line. Having time zones 1 hour apart meant that nobody had to have 12:00 noon be more than half an hour off, in theory. It was an ugly compromise that worked adequately. Then state governments got involved, etc.


Actually, the Railroads already messed with the simple idea. In many places, they arbitrarily moved the time zone ends to simplify their own system, so that, for example, a division would not be split into two time zones. However, that often meant that the time zone shifted where there were lots of people, so the state governments tended to shift the dividing line if possible, often to the west. Which created other problems. . . .
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon May 28, 2012 8:36 pm UTC

Ekaros wrote:So we just need to fix Earth's rotations and Earth's and Moon's orbits.

Indeed, if we could slow the moon down by just a day and a half (ish) off each synodic period, and slow the earth down by just a day and a quarter (ish) off each orbital period, we could actually salvage something vaguely sensible out of the nonsense we have now: four standard weeks would fall evenly into a true synodic month, thirteen of those would fall evenly into a true solar year, and we'd never have to add any funny days here and there to keep things from drifting. Every month and every year would begin on a Sunday and end on a Saturday, winter solstice would always be New Year's Day, and the new moon would always be on the first; solstices and equinoxes in general would always be on weekends, as would full moons and half moons. Only real tomfoolery we'd have to do is naming the new month (and losing the nice round number of months, but we're already using a weird prime number of days in the week so why not; besides, lucky seven deserves unlucky thirteen in the same calendar).

Then we could move to 10 based system for seconds in day and days in year.


tsarna wrote:My modest proposal for decimal time


WHY, WHY would you want to destroy the nice convenient system we have based on multiples of sequential primes (2*3=6, 2*3*5=30, twice 6 = 12, twice 30 = 60) with one based on the random number of fiddly bits on the ends of our noodly appendages?

Sure, it's great to have all your units of measurement in the same base, but if anything, we should move all of our counting to a base 6 system. It's even easier to count on your fingers; I can count 100(base6) base6 numbers on my fingers; each hand can represent 0-5, and I've got two hands for two heximal places.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby jtalle » Mon May 28, 2012 8:51 pm UTC

I've been fascinated with the realization that if we went to 28 day months, all the months would be equal, monthly appointment schedules would be regular, not staggered, and Leap years would be pointless. 28 x 13 = 364

I rather like the way they've done it at

http://www.13moon.com

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby gauss256 » Mon May 28, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

I still prefer the 25 Hour Day proposal.

http://brucesharpe.blogspot.ca/2004/09/modest-proposal-25-hour-day.html

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon May 28, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

Snark wrote:Is anyone else actually fond of Daylight Savings? I'm fond of winter nights getting darker faster than summer nights.

It makes sense in it's irrationality and humanlike nature, I'm tired of people talking about efficientness when we can give the finger to nature and act like people.
Also with the computer age people's internal clocks drift up to two hours every time so that the DST shift resets peoples clocks.
That sounded confusing:
Here: by the time daylights savings time comes around I go to bed at 1 when I should at 11. Waking up an hour early is enough to make me tired so as to sleep at 10. And much less irratable.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Tynach » Mon May 28, 2012 9:18 pm UTC

Snark wrote:Is anyone else actually fond of Daylight Savings? I'm fond of winter nights getting darker faster than summer nights.


That's not due to daylight savings time. Winter nights get darker faster because of the way the Earth moves in space, nothing more.

I live in Arizona, where we have no DST. Gets darker earlier in the Winter because of nature.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon May 28, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

Tynach wrote:
Snark wrote:Is anyone else actually fond of Daylight Savings? I'm fond of winter nights getting darker faster than summer nights.


That's not due to daylight savings time. Winter nights get darker faster because of the way the Earth moves in space, nothing more.

I live in Arizona, where we have no DST. Gets darker earlier in the Winter because of nature.

It gets darker earlier ensuring that you wake up when the shower won't freeze you members off.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby ahammel » Mon May 28, 2012 9:39 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Sure, it's great to have all your units of measurement in the same base, but if anything, we should move all of our counting to a base 6 system. It's even easier to count on your fingers; I can count 100(base6) base6 numbers on my fingers; each hand can represent 0-5, and I've got two hands for two heximal places.

You could get up to 1024 if you used binary.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby StClair » Mon May 28, 2012 10:31 pm UTC

Whys wrote:DST is the worst joke of all. Doesn't even save energy!

It used to, but that was back when the rhythms of civilization, and the patterns and forms of its energy usage, were very different.
(Think "two centuries ago.")
Last edited by StClair on Mon May 28, 2012 10:33 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon May 28, 2012 10:32 pm UTC

DST favors morning people and so is a major pain in my ass as an evening person, because there is no way in hell I'm ever going to be awake early enough for it to maybe be still dark out if the clocks weren't pushed around an hour, but pushing clocks around an hour, together with the natural shortening of the days, means that in winter I basically never see the sun except from my car on my way to work in the morning. Without DST, I could at least catch the sunset after work.

Even if I was a morning person, I would much rather have more sun after work when there's time to relax and enjoy it, than before work when I'm in a rush to get ready for the day. Who ever lounges around in the morning to kick back and watch the sun rise?
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby whateveries » Mon May 28, 2012 10:47 pm UTC

given that the boffins are trying to alleviate the kilogram from the burden of being a physical object, it seems clear the the pathway is being prepared for all kinds of standard shennanigans.
it's fine.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby chenille » Mon May 28, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

tsarna wrote:There will be 10 months: Monember, Divember, Trivember, Tetrember, Pentember, Hexember, September, October, November, and December

You're mixing Latin sept- and nov- with Greek. Really, the -em was part of the Latin names of numbers, which is why it's missing from October. If you wanted to be consistent and stick with them, you would have Uniber, Duiber, Triber, Quattuorber, Quinqueber, and Sexber. They did really have month names based on 5 and 6, though: Quintilis and Sextilis.

Of course counting means you miss out on so many choices for more poetic names - February, Thermidor, Fogarious...

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby xtifr » Tue May 29, 2012 12:31 am UTC

The biggest problem is trying to link our time system to astronomical events as viewed from a single planet. That's just silly. Decimal time becomes so much easier if you stop trying to cram in the cycles of the Earth and Moon. Why should Earth be special and all the other planets suffer? Just because we originally came from Earth? Utter silliness.

(Note: I don't insist on decimalizing time, but I would like some consistency here. Either all our units should be decimalized, or all should be based on another system, like multiples of 2, 3, and 5. This mix-and-match stuff, where meters are counted in tens, but seconds are counted in sixties, is a headache.)
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Tue May 29, 2012 2:17 am UTC

Arthur Dent wrote:
caractacuspotts wrote:The correct number of days in a civilised week is 6.


I could not agree more. I move that we drop Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

But Thursdays are when I had my p chem labs. Those were some of the best ones.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Tevildo » Tue May 29, 2012 4:14 am UTC

We should all refuse to use any scale that isn't based on Planck units, so when we encounter other intelligent life we'll be doing keg-stands by day 3 instead of trying to figure out what a bleptominute is in Zeta-Ridiculan time.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Story » Tue May 29, 2012 4:22 am UTC

simanthropy wrote:If you 'guess' that 1 EST year = 1 year, and then keep on feeding the remainder back into google calculator, you get that an EST year is 93.549449 milliseconds longer than a regular year - so a second will have to be subtracted every 10 years or so. This is actually MORE accurate than the system we have at the moment (leap seconds are inserted slightly less than once per year on average).

Pretty good achievement.


Why should you have to guess anything? You do know basic algebra, right?

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby gormster » Tue May 29, 2012 5:45 am UTC

caractacuspotts wrote:I think Randall missed the biggest calendrical problem of them all here. Weeks. The fact is a 7 day week is exactly the worst of all possible numbers of days. 5 days of work is too long and 2 days is too short a weekend. So we all walk around stress all the time and that's why we're so mean to each other.

The correct number of days in a civilised week is 6. Then you can have 4 days of work and a 2 day weekend - not stressful at all. You can even break it up into 3 day mini-weeks - 2 days on, 1 day off. Or if you're doing shift work you can do 3 on 3 off and your business doesn't need to have people absent on weekends at all - just stagger the work week. All of which is infinitely preferable to 5 on 2 off.

And then the calendar is really easy to do. 5 weeks in a month makes 30 days. 12 months makes 360 days. And you do a 5 day holiday called Yule at the end of the year. Slap in a 6th Yule day every 4 years instead of hacking February.

What a beautiful world we would live in if only a week was 6 days long. It would be a paradise. And such a simple change ...


Except for the twenty additional days of annual inactivity that crash the world's economy.
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