Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Slavings Time

This morning I forgot about the clocks. I should have remembered, since David at the ABC, the man with the infinite capacity for remembering names, drinks, faces, reminded me and pointed out it was George W. Bush's fault it came so early. Here is a prime example of your government working you harder folks. Get the workers up earlier with the excuse of energy savings. Also an example for everyone of how time is just a construct of corporations. The War Machine. The Retailers. Time serves the economy, not you. Remember when you were little, and DST had this flavor of being utterly scientific? Before you understood the actual science of these things, and you thought the government was regulating the rotation of the earth? Remember the hopelessness and cog-in-the-machine feel, parched and restrained, when you first learned that DST was pretty much standardized so they could save coal in the world wars, and give people longer daylight hours to shop?

I am tired and a little bitter. If you couldn't tell.

But I'm trying to erase some bitterness with the sweet candy of Australian scientific papers published in 1898. When DST was conceived with the benefits of mankind in mind. Oh Victorian innocence of the leisurely. You couldn't have known that there would come a time when poor people didn't have time for stirring walks at 5am before work. Or that someday 30 year olds would regularly be sleeping in till 11am on Sundays because they don't believe in God and don't have 14 babies.

"“In order to more fully utilise the long days of summer, it is proposed on the 1st October of each year to put the standard time on two hours by making 12 (midnight) into 2 a.m., whilst on the 1st March the time would be put back two hours by making 2 a.m. into 12 (midnight), thus reverting to the present time arrangements for the winter months. The effect of this alteration would be to advance all the day's operations in summer two hours compared with the present system. In this way the early-morning daylight would be utilised, and a long period of daylight leisure would be made available in the evening for cricket, gardening, cycling, or any other outdoor pursuit desired. It will no doubt be urged that people are at present quite at liberty to make use of the early-morning daylight in summer without any such drastic alteration in the established order of things as is here suggested. To this objection it may be pointed out that, living as we do in a social community, we are unable to separate ourselves from the habits of those around us. We cannot individually alter our times of going to bed or getting up, but must fall in with the habits of the majority—at all events, to a great extent, Again, under the present arrangement, those who desire to utilise the early-morning daylight are compelled to take some of their recreation before their daily work and some afterwards, which in many cases results in their having to forego pursuits that they would be enabled to follow successfully if their daylight leisure were continuous."

George V. Hudson "On Seasonal Time"
All he wanted was some more time in the evening to collect bugs.
Fuck you Hudson.

"I therefore venture to propose that at 2 a.m. on each of four Sunday mornings in April, standard time shall advance 20 minutes; and on each of four Sundays in September, shall recede 20 minutes, or in other words that for eight Sundays of 24 hours each, we shall substitute four, each 20 minutes less than 24 hours, and four each 20 minutes more than 24 hours. (Another means of arriving at approximately the same end would be to alter the clock thirty minutes on only two or three Sundays.) This is the whole cost of the scheme. We lose nothing, and gain substantially. Having made up our minds to be satisfied, on four occasions, with a Sunday of 23 hours and 40 minutes, the advantages aimed at follow automatically without any trouble whatever; everything will go on just as it does now, except that as the later hours of the day come round, they will bring more light with them. Those who have travelled by sea east or west, will remember how easily they accommodated themselves to the frequent alterations of time on board ship. They simply adjusted their watches, attended to the engagements of the day in correspondence therewith, and quickly dismissed from their minds all recollection of the alterations which had been made. If this can take place at sea day after day for several weeks without discomfort, may not a similar operation be possible on land?"

William Willet's 1907 The Waste of Daylight
If the sailors can do it, why can't we? And oh my god, 4 sundays? Seriously? Are you trying to throw the incompetent and unproductive off sync with the rest of the world, so we can go off in a corner and die? Like, if you spin the world fast off, we'll just tumble off?
Fuck you Willet.

I used to admire Indiana, for having the guts to stand up to the rest of the American Time Construct, and do their own incredibly complex and cryptic to the rest of the country thing. But then they folded a few years ago, and we all go gamely along. So fuck you Indiana too. Cowards. Now I have to admire Arizona, and we all know that isn't going to happen.

I should just go back to bed.

One marginally cool side effect: Twitter just told me it was not working because some users were experiencing "frozen timelines". Alright. I'm down with that.

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