sun 18 feb 2007 14:19:49 raamgracht
back when people around the world were not connected -- when distance really mattered to communication and mentation -- we all operated by local celestial time. in the course of the proliferation of railroads, time became standardized across nations, and during the 20th century we ended up with international time zones.
even so, in 1975 i missed a train in switzerland because i'd just crossed the border from italy and hadn't reset my watch -- an official on the platform looked at my watch and said "you have italian's time." it wouldn't occur to me that two places on the same longitude might be operating on different times.
and even today we're still parochial about time.
for our age, i think local time is a hindrance. as long as the sun comes up, i don't know why people should care if it rises at 07.03 or 19.43. if we're going to have a phone meeting at 14.00, why do we have to go look up what time that is in all the different locations of the participants? why can't it be 14.00 everywhere at the same time? i mean, the numbering of time is arbitrary anyway.
when i mention this to my friends, they don't seem to understand. out of habit i guess, they seem to feel there would be something *wrong* if noon came at 02.17 u.
but heck, we get used to lots of stuff that makes us lose old habits. what's so hard about world time? adjusting to world time would be much easier than adjusting to driving on the left or right, using meters or feet, or even migrating from mac OS 9 to OS 10 (even i could do that!). with time, the units of measurement stay the same, we would just need to give up on the idea that the celestial and the numerical should be locked together.
i'm reminded of this because apple just asked me to install several updates to my mac operating system -- including 9 MB of something called "daylight savings time update". what they could be doing with nine megabytes to figure out daylight savings time is a bit baffling. maybe it comes with lots of pictures and sound effects. yeah that must be it -- daylight savings porn.