#363 - Time & Date

3 minute read

Motto: This Column was Meant to be about Many Topics

I have been thinking some about how stupid our conventions are for times and dates. I wonder if I could come up with something better. This Column is basically a thought experiment, as it progresses.

The year is (roughly) 365 and 1/4 days long. We break that up into 52 weeks, each 7 days long. 

52 x 7 = 364

So inherently we've got a flaw there. 

The prime factorization of 365 is 73 x 5. So we COULD do 73 weeks, each 5 days long. Of course, then our structure for "weekday" and "weekend" would be all messed up. People would either have to work 4 days a week (8.6% more than a standard work week now) or 3 days a week (11.4% less). Also any sort of social structure that's set up to operate "every other day" would have a weird time dealing with weekends.

BUT! A year isn't 5 x 73 days long, either. It's more like 5 x 73 + 0.2422 days long.

So, no set number of days would make a year whole without having to fudge around with concepts like "Leap Years". So maybe we could just embrace that concept, and give ourselves a dedicated weird "Leap" portion of the year each year, to allow ourselves to have something that makes more sense for the rest of the year.

Date proposal:
  • 6 days a week
  • 5 weeks a month
  • 12 months a year 
  • The remaining 5.2422 days aren't in a month - they are called "Leap week", which fluctuates between 5 and 6 days every 4-ish years and occurs at the end of the yearly cycle

This keeps our day-to-day in the realm of base 12, which we use for time. It also keeps us in the realm of our currently-existing time-frames. Weeks and months would be roughly the same length they already are. Benefits are - now each month begins on a Monday, it's possible to do "every other day" or "every 3rd day"-type recurring events and maintain days of the week. It makes date math much easier, provided you're not going over Leap week at the end of the year.

In terms of time... I have fewer complaints. See the Top 5 for a few of them. But if I could change something, wouldn't it be nice if we just kept base 24? 24 hours a day, 24 minutes an hour 24 seconds a minute? Each second would be equal to 6 1/4 seconds in our current timing scheme. You could then enact thirds, which would be about 1/4 of our regular seconds.

Fun fact, if you didn't already know "Seconds" are named "seconds" because they are the second division of the hour by 60. Hence me mentioning thirds above.

Alright, rather than talk about anything else with this - here's a picture to go out on of the calendar I made that fixes all the world's problems:

Top 5: Time and Date Conventions I Wish We Could Change
5. Each day of the week & each month of the year should start with a different, unique letter.
4. AM and PM should die, all time should be military time. 6AM and 6PM have nothing in common.
3. Dates & times should be written in a standard format; preferably something that starts general then gets specific - e.g. right now = "2019.02.24|09:51"
2. We should redo the structure of the year. 52 weeks, 12 months, each month has between 28 and 31 days in it. Each week is 7 days. Each day is made of 24 hours, each of which is divided into 60 seconds. Our date & time structure is reminiscent of Harry Potter money.
1. Daylight saving time shouldn't exist

"A duck with glasses represents a smart duck - a.k.a. a brain"
- Nick, posturing a solution to the problem of his inability to draw brains as well as he can draw ducks -