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[P]
An Intellectual Exercise in Decimalizing the Year

By circletimessquare in Culture
Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 12:14:56 AM EST
Tags: year, month, day, time, decimalization (all tags)

It is obvious that the entire world should go metric, it is a superior system to archaic and arbitrary measurement systems. Eventually of course, the world will also adopt a uniform currency, motivated purely by cost savings. We see this already beginning in the world with the creation of the Euro, and the coalescing of regional economic units, such as NAFTA and ASEAN, that will someday adopt their own uniform currencies.

And the world is also on the same calendar, mostly, motivated by synchronization of business work. But unlike the metric system, the Gregorian Calendar is a hodge podge of historical and whimsical adjustments. Days of the week don't correlate with months, or years, and I still need to look up how many days there are in a given month now and then. You need to be an autistic savant to tell what day of the week a given month and year falls on. That's nonsense. The year can be divided in a lot simpler way than the anachronistic monstrosity that is the bastardized Roman Calendar.


Now I'm not saying it's easy or even possible, in fact I would peg the honest chances of a superior time system being adopted at 0%. The cultural inertia and business costs associated with the change would be practically insurmountable. But the ease of use improvements one can make on the calendar are spectacular, such that if the change were ever possible, the business costs saved, and the mental improvements in how time is metered and calculated and planned out for the average Joe, would be vast.

In decimalizing time, the Chinese did it along time ago, and the French even tried it once (although these systems mostly had to do with dividing up a day, not a year). So here we have just an intellectual exercise, inspired by a thread involving mostly delirium and myself.

The most important bedrock issue is that 365 days in a year is a hard unchanging fact of the solar calendar, and must be worked with. Not much to do with base 10 there.

Ten months of 36 days (or alternating 37 days)

To decimalize that then, there should be 10 months of alternating 36 and 37 day months: 365 days total. Or perhaps ten 36 day months, and a 5 day "special" week at the end of the year. The special week could be all holiday, or a 4 day work week with only 1 day off at the end of the week instead of 2. The leap day every 4 years should always be tacked onto the end of the year as a special holiday day off.

Each 36 day month could be comprised of six 6 day weeks. the work week would be 4 days, instead of 5, and you would still have 2 days off from work at the end of the week. Or, with a 36/37 day alternating month model, the extra last day of every other month could be a "special" holiday day off.

The biggest plus of this system right off the bat is the most important bonus: the normalization and synchronization of years, months, and weeks:

  1. The beginning of the year and the beginning of the week always coincide
  2. The beginning of the month and the beginning of the week also always coincide
  3. Months always have the same number of days (unless you are with the 36/37 day model, in which case, they are uniform in their simple variation of every other month)

Another bonus of using a 36 day month is that certain subdivisions of the year still remain possible that a 12 month year allowed: thirds and fourths. 10 months of 6 weeks means you have 60 weeks in a year to play with and divide into seasons or business quarters or even thirds, as you wish. The seasons would merely fall midmonth here and there, as they already do now in the Gregorian Calendar anyways.

A 6 day week, with only 4 week days, means that only 2/3 of a year is spent at work. This is an improvement in the concept of how much work should be expected in society, a concept of less work for all that has been advanced in the West as it moved into, and out of, the industrial era. This has culminated in a rich number of vacation weeks in Germany (4) and France (5!) and Denmark (6!!), but not yet realized in the USA, still stuck in a Victorian mode of thinking about how much time should be spent at work.

Now, if the 10 months of 36 days model is considered, and if the work week begins on Monday, January 1st every year, then the last workday of the year is now always what is now December 24th. How do i get at that?: with ten 36 day months, you have one 5 day special holiday week of leftover days, which would run from what is now December 27th to December 31st. And therefore the Saturday and Sunday of the last 6 day work week would be the 25th and the 26th. What's the point of making this observation? Well, in the Christian world, this would mean that the special holiday extra long vacation week at the end of the year would always start on the religion's most important holiday. That's just a bonus for getting support for this decimal calendar: the Vatican would love it.

Ten months of 35 days (plus a half month)

However, bringing up religion brings up a huge obstacle, perhaps more insurmountable than business or cultural considerations. Sunday, or Saturday, or Friday even, are considered holy days. Messing with the 7 day week then is basically picking a holy fight with the entire branch of Abrahamic religions.

So, if the attachment to the 7 day work week is so strong (which it would be also from the headquarters of industry, who might not like their workers going from 5/7 (71%) of the year working down to 4/6 (66%), even if the switch was mandatory for their competitors too) then it is however still possible to decimalize the year and retain the 7 day work week. Just go to 10 months of 35 days instead, each month comprising 5 weeks of 7 day weeks.

This would leave a special 15 day period at the end of the year. That could be composed of two 7 day weeks, and a bonus holiday day. A sort of half month at the end of the year. That's a disadvantage, and ugly. Additionally, the disadvantage of this system is now you have a 52 week year (plus 1 day at the end, or 2 days at the end during leap years). Now unless your attachment to a deck of playing cards is very great, 52 is obviously inferior to a 60 week year, and the divisional superiority of that number.

However, retaining the 7 day week does make transitioning from the old Gregorian Calendar system of dividing the year to the new system the least psychologically, culturally, religiously, and economically painful. All one would have to do, assuming enough governments agreed to the superiority of the system, is plan ahead (for software code updates, for example), and pick some year in the future, 10 or 15 years hence, where Monday and January 1st just happen to coincide.

This day would be the first year of the new system. By making the transition this way, the procession of weekdays would remain completely unchanged. Next, simply drop two "unpopular" months, say February and November, and leave the other 10 months unchanged in name and sequence. Merely give them 4 or 5 extra days, so they would all be 35 day months uniformly. The special half month period at the end of the year could be a special religious holiday season. This would ensure the support of the Abrahamic religions and the average Joe (if not the business community).

Decimalization, Schmecimalization

Delirium brings up a good point: there really is nothing much decimal about these proposals. In fact it is the uniformity: the meeting of the years, months, and weeks in a regular simple pattern, that is most important here. In fact, if there were 7 months in the year, or 20 months in the year, or whatever, it doesn't matter: it would still be superior to the current system if it introduces harmonization between the weeks, months, and years.

So say we keep 12 months in the year, and normalize all months to 30 days, or 5 weeks of 6 day weeks. This proposal would need a bonus 5 day week tacked onto the end of the year. Or, to preserve the 7 day week structure, have 13 months of four 7 day weeks, for a total of 28 days per month. This system would need just 1 day tacked onto the end of the year during nonleap years.

Now please don't say that the chance of these vastly superior ways of organizing the year has zero percent chance of being adopted. That's obvious. This story is just an intellectual exercise, a fantasy. But of course you can appreciate the superiority of these more uniform hypothetical time systems, and that is my only motivation here: an interesting intellectual exercise, no more.

Perhaps you have some ideas for subdividing the year in a better way yourself... or the day. I didn't even address the decimalization of the day into new hour/ minute/ second units. But, with the rise of China on the world stage as the new 800 pound economic gorilla, perhaps I won't have to. Perhaps the decimalization of the day will be imposed on the world the same way the Gregorian Calendar got imposed on the world: cultural and economic imperialism, influence, and inertia.

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Related Links
o the Gregorian Calendar
o an autistic savant
o the bastardized Roman Calendar
o In decimalizing time, the Chinese did it along time ago, and the French even tried it once
o mostly delirium and myself
o the solar calendar
o that has been advanced in the West as it moved into, and out of, the industrial era
o Germany (4) and France (5!) and Denmark (6!!)
o Delirium brings up a good point
o Also by circletimessquare


Display: Sort:
An Intellectual Exercise in Decimalizing the Year | 91 comments (83 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Meh (2.77 / 9) (#1)
by gndn on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:13:16 PM EST

The most important bedrock issue is that 365 days in a Year is a hard unchanging fact of the Solar calendar
Yeah, except that it's actually something like 364.25, which introduces stupid shit like leap years. I hereby propose building huge mountain-anchored rockets to speed up or slow down the Earth's rotation until we have an exact, even number of days per year. Let's say, I don't know, 10 days in a week, 10 weeks per year, and fuck months altogether. Shorter, more rapidly changing seasons might present a challenge to plant and animal life that has become accustomed over time to the current system, but evolution will eventually kick in and the fittest (i.e. most adaptable) will survive. My suggestion is about as practical and realistic as yours (i.e. not at all), so let's get on it.

that's stupid (none / 1) (#2)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:18:09 PM EST

  1. it's 365.25, not 364.25

  2. it's a problem with every single calendar system you could ever imagine, the need for leap days. so therefore, it is neither an argument against, or for, a new calendar system. nor is it an argument for, or against, keeping the current system

basically, the point you just brought up is useless


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Lol, can you read? (2.33 / 3) (#5)
by gndn on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:23:25 PM EST

  1. who gives a shit
  2. It's a problem with every calendar I could ever imagine, eh? Seems to me I just fucking imagined a calendar that has no need for leap days, albeit via the use of fictional planetary adjustment rockets.

Seriously, though, I think you underestimate the awesome power of backwards compatibility. People (collectively) tend to viciously resist change in things that are well-established, so your idea of changing the calendar system is a non-starter, no matter how well thought out your argument. Given that, complaining about me bringing up a useless point in a useless debate is itself useless.



[ Parent ]
i said that already (none / 1) (#8)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:55:44 PM EST

please read next time, then post. it helps to reply to what someone actually says, rather than what your retarded kneejerk loudmouth prejudice says

zzzz

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

How did you do that, (none / 0) (#81)
by fn0rd on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 05:47:13 PM EST

make your comment swallow its own tail that way? It's almost eerie.

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

Not a problem for the Islamic calendar... (none / 0) (#47)
by claes on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:45:10 PM EST

it floats free as a bird around the year, simply counting 12-full-moon islamoyears from the hijra or something.

Obligitory Wikipedia Link

[ Parent ]

I'm pretty sure that the islamic world (none / 0) (#77)
by Wen Jian on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 01:57:55 PM EST

Mostly has 2 seasons - wet, and hot. Sometimes not even wet!
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
We have that. (none / 0) (#70)
by localroger on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 06:36:28 PM EST

It's called the Moon, and it's constantly slowing the day down; if you wait long enough you will experience a year that is exactly 365 days long. IIRC you will have to wait about 10 million years. Only problem is it will keep slowing down, so this moment of even-day calendrical bliss will only last a few hundred years before you have to start adding noticeable leap time again.

alexboko: I think, how do animals view our behavior?
Sgt York: Opening
[ Parent ]
Huh (none / 0) (#75)
by gndn on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 10:58:36 AM EST

I thought the moon was slowly pulling free from Earth's gravity and will eventually fly off into space within the next few million years. Can't remember where I read that. Doesn't matter though - my idea is cooler. Instant gratification!

[ Parent ]
The moon is pulling away too (none / 0) (#82)
by localroger on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 05:55:32 PM EST

...but it won't ever fly away. Tidal pull transfers Earth's rotational momentum into lunar orbital momentum, lifting it higher. However, this won't go on forever; I think the Sun will actually turn into a red giant first, but at some point the Earth will be tidally locked to the Moon as the Moon already is to the Earth, the Moon will then be a little more than twice as far away as it is now, and the resulting orbit will be stable except for the effect of solar tides. Asimov wrote a really cool essay on that back in the day.

alexboko: I think, how do animals view our behavior?
Sgt York: Opening
[ Parent ]
The Jews used a lunar calender (3.00 / 5) (#3)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:19:08 PM EST

DON'T BLAME THEM.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

We got it from the Babylonians. \\ (none / 1) (#16)
by rpresser on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:39:19 PM EST


------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
YALLZ UNORIGINAL {[nt (none / 1) (#28)
by Stick Apart on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:04:12 AM EST


-------
> "I think it could easily be around 200 million people dead because of gun control." - V

SUPPORT A TEXT-FRIENDLY INTERNET
[ Parent ]

so what? (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by khallow on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:22:18 PM EST

My take is the only measurable change of your system occurs when you go from 7 to 6 days weeks. Then your worker productivity will change depending whether they work 4 or 5 days per week. I don't see a good reason to bother considering it. It's something like conjecturing what would happen if we had an extra finger on each hand or not. Ultimately, there won't be any major changes occuring so we're reduced to muttering about leftover weeks and such.

We already know the Muslim and Chinese worlds use a different calendar. They aren't that different from us. Placement of holidays is a little different but the effect is the same.

As I see it, the division of the calendar into days and years is natural. The cts calendar doesn't change that. Weeks and months are artificial (the lunar cycle while obvious, doesn't matter to humans unless they're astronomers or doing something at the beach like dock a ship or surf continuously for a few months).

My take is that once you leave Earth, then decimalization of the second is a more natural unit. I understand that the human sleep cycle is around 100,000 seconds in length in the absence of a day/night cycle.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Obviously you are single and male. (none / 0) (#17)
by rpresser on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:41:29 PM EST

(the lunar cycle while obvious, doesn't matter to humans unless they're astronomers or doing something at the beach like dock a ship or surf continuously for a few months)

No, women aren't in lock-sync with the moon; but the average female cycle is indeed 28 days, and that can't be a total coincidence.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

sure, it can (nt) (none / 1) (#22)
by khallow on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 07:58:53 PM EST


Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

but it's not (none / 0) (#24)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:03:29 PM EST

Linky Linky

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
[ Parent ]
based on what? (none / 1) (#34)
by khallow on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:48:48 AM EST

According to this study, there's no obvious linkage. Funny how it's the same study you linked to.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

The article I linked to wasn't a study (none / 0) (#37)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:47:20 AM EST

it was a review of many studies.  Perhaps you should re-skim the link?

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
[ Parent ]
ok (none / 1) (#40)
by khallow on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:11:50 PM EST

A review of studies. I stand corrected. It still supports my side.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

How so, dear sir? (none / 0) (#51)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:40:16 PM EST

It looks to me that some studies show a correlation between menstruation and the lunar cycle, and some don't.

Either way, it's a reasonable hypothesis, i.e. human circadian rhythms being affected by light.

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
[ Parent ]

as follows (none / 0) (#52)
by khallow on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:15:46 PM EST

It looks to me that some studies show a correlation between menstruation and the lunar cycle, and some don't.

One would expect spurious correlations given enough studies. However, I grant the correlations may not be spurious given your following theory.

Either way, it's a reasonable hypothesis, i.e. human circadian rhythms being affected by light.

Ok, I can see how such a cycle would develope then. On a moonless night, the tribe would need more guys on lookout for predators. So less night time sex would occur during a new moon. Which in turn means it's a great time for a menstrual cycle. Something similar probably holds for humanity's primate ancestors.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Well, there's two ways to look at it. (none / 1) (#56)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:33:55 PM EST

Actually, you even have a selection mechanism, which is more than I was thinking.

I was simply thinking about the fact that a long circadian rhythm will probably be tied to some outside stimulus to keep it steady, and the fact that the human body is full of processes which are tied to light cycles anyway.  If you think of it from a design standpoint, if you have to have a reliable process with a period somewhere between, say, 20 and 40 days long, it would take less "circuitry" to use the 28-day cycle given to you by the moon.

You would expect the tendency to be much less pronounced today, since for anyone living in even a slightly urbanized area, there isn't much of a difference between new and full moon.

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
[ Parent ]

Both of you are focusing on the wrong thing (none / 1) (#66)
by boxed on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 03:51:11 AM EST

The length of the cycle and the synchronization of mentstrual cycles among females in our species do not sync up with the moon. The point of the syncing, non-obviousness of which phase of the cycle they are in, and the fact that they have sexual needs during the entire month is becaues we have evolved with a strong selection away from polygamy. Compare with chimps and gorillas where all these things are reversed. And let's all remember that all three species live under the same moon.

[ Parent ]
er no (none / 0) (#71)
by khallow on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 10:51:51 PM EST

The length of the cycle and the synchronization of mentstrual cycles among females in our species do not sync up with the moon. The point of the syncing, non-obviousness of which phase of the cycle they are in, and the fact that they have sexual needs during the entire month is becaues we have evolved with a strong selection away from polygamy. Compare with chimps and gorillas where all these things are reversed. And let's all remember that all three species live under the same moon.

Eh. I don't see a lot of relevance in your post. By that, I mean it doesn't contribute to determining whether there is a mechanism for synchronizing menstruation to the lunar cycle.

And you neglect that the main reason for non-obviousness of menstruation is to hide cheating on a male and doesn't indicate how many other females that male has. I doubt there is a strong selection away from polygamy in many human societies.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Synchronization with the moon... (none / 0) (#72)
by boxed on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 03:59:17 AM EST

...has no real support in studies. Some studies show a correlation, some show a negative corrolation, which is the normal case for a set that does not sync. Furthermore there is no lunar synchronization among any of the other primates, which makes the case even weaker.

In any case, hiding cheating is not a problem for chimps where menstruation cycles are very obvious. They have about the same amount of offspring not of their spouse as humans (~30%).

The selection against polygamy is simple: since womens menstrual cycles sync they are at their optimal fertility at the same time. If a single male has 10 women it becomes hard to hit that peak and thus the birth rate per woman goes down. So a group of (more or less) monogamous humans outproduce a polygamous group in number of offspring. More than that though, the odds of producing a male goes down the further from the ovulation the sex is, so the polygamous group produces a higher amount of females than the monogamous group. In early societies were warring was common this was especially fatal.

[ Parent ]

Synchronization studies in this day and age (none / 0) (#85)
by rpresser on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 04:55:13 PM EST

are relatively worthless thanks to the ubiquity of artificial lighting.  Do some studies on Neolithic peoples.

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
well then (none / 0) (#86)
by boxed on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 03:08:45 PM EST

in that case your point is moot because we have ubiquitous lighting :P

[ Parent ]
Astronomers, women, farmers, physicists.. (none / 1) (#69)
by tantris on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 04:23:45 PM EST

Leaving witches, Christians, Zorroastrians and all these cults aside: Astronomers, women, farmers, physicists could tell you how boneheaded that change would be.

  1. There isn't a nice, round number of solar days in a year.  Every calendar has to take that into account. - Unless you want the seasons to wander through the year.

  2. There isn't a nice, round number of moon-months in a solar year. While the Gregorian calendar messes this up, a week is at least about a 1/4 of a moon-month. The female cycle is about 28 days and without artificial lights at night adjusts itself to the moon, pregnancy lasts about 10 moon-months.

  3. A year has about 365 days and a circle has 360 degrees. Each day the sun travels about 1 degree on the zodiac circle, every hour it moves about 15 degrees.

  4. And for why the day is divided into 24 hours.. see above.

And finally: 24/7/28/365 is the best set of fractions to put all these relationships into a single calendar.

The only option one could consider is to change to a more moon based calendar. That means, either have the holidays wander through the solar year (there are people right now, who are doing that..) Or come up with something like 13x28 + party month about every 28 years and have the seasons only move around by a month.  

[ Parent ]

Wow. Did you read the article? (none / 0) (#90)
by arouse on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 08:24:55 PM EST

The proposal dealt with all of the points you mention. Like point #1.

But not the moon fixation (#2). No, that's something you can just deal with on your own. Actual moon based calendars (like the muslim & jewish ones) SUCK. You did point out the necessity of a leap day once in a while right? Do you know that moon based calendars quickly drift because the moon cycle does not divide well into the solar cycle? The jewish calendar inserts a whole month sometimes to keep pace!

Here's something I found on the web about the drifting of Ramadan (which is a month btw):
2006 First Day: 09/23/2006  Last Day: 10/22/2006
2007 First Day: 09/12/2007  Last Day: 10/11/2007

The point is: as far as the moon is concerned, get over it! (Reread your own first sentence)

Point #3. 360 degrees? So what. How many radians? How many grads? I find radians more natural. There are 6.283 of them in the sweep of a circle. So how about 6 months of 60 days each with a 5 day long mini month? Hmm?

Point #4. What? It's explained by all that preceeding mumbo jumbo?

Ooooh. I get it. My bad. You are a moon troll.


[ Parent ]

Celestial reasons for 7 day weeks (3.00 / 5) (#6)
by michaelmalak on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:25:28 PM EST

holy fight with the entire branch of Abrahamic religions
And ancient India, which arrived at 7 day weeks independently.  The reason is that there are seven heavenly bodies in motion visible to the naked eye -- Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.  And seven evenly divides the 28 day cycle of the Moon.  It's as though the Creator ordained that we would have seven-day weeks (which, as a Christian, I happen to believe).

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
What worries me most about the above poster (2.78 / 14) (#10)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 02:00:20 PM EST

is that he might actually be serious. rusty's K5 pacification has gone to such lengths that it is imaginable that a delicate flower such as Mr michaelmalak would dare to raise his head, after being mostly quiet for longer than almost all of us have been here.

--
It's hard to be humble when even Mr Bigballs rates me as #1 Kuro5hit.


[ Parent ]
about the zero (3.00 / 4) (#44)
by blackbart on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:59:33 PM EST

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but you're still MMM.

"I use this dupe for modbombing and impersonating a highly paid government worker"
- army of phred
[ Parent ]

LOL (none / 0) (#83)
by fn0rd on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 06:28:12 PM EST

(which, as a Christian, I happen to believe)

sucker.

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

If you switch to 6 day work weeks, (3.00 / 6) (#7)
by yuo on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:36:24 PM EST

then you have to get rid of one of the days. I vote for Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

I wish I had thought of pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants.

i was going to say that! (2.75 / 4) (#9)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:57:18 PM EST

every day has value, or meaning to me, except thursday. thursday has no value in my brain. so hurah, you've seconded the motion: fuck off thursday, you're toast


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
And if we are capping two months... (none / 0) (#88)
by Fuyustuki on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 03:41:48 PM EST

In a 10-month system, 2 months have to take a hit, but they can't be any of the last 4 months because those are actually descriptive.  This way December can actually be the 10th month as it was intended.

If your theory requires it, I recommend we get rid of July and August.  They were named only for the family of Caesar, and frankly those are bullshit months anyway.

But a more meta question is...why do we need months at all?  Months were originally set to correspond with a lunar calendar.  Lunar calendars are completely retarded.  Anyone who has lived longer than a few years can easily see how the cycles of the moon have nothing to do with the revolution of the Earth around the sun.  Lunar events are still interesting, but they're not worth using to measure the passage of time.

But an even more meta question is...why are we trying to go decimal anyway?  What the hell is so good about the number 10?  It's evenly divisible by exactly 4 whole numbers: 1, 2, 5 and 10.  And that's it.  It doesn't give you very many options in terms of dividing up the year into sections.

A full geometric rotation is measured in 360 degrees, and 360 is an incredibly useful number.  It's divisible by 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 72, 120, 180, and 360.  With 360, you have many more options for carving up the year damn near however you want.

How convenient - our year is divided up into very nearly 360 days.  We'd have 5.24 days or so left over, and speaking as an overworked American, I'd be more than happy to allocate those 5.24 days as a time period utterly exempt from the normal divisions of time, and ideally used as a holiday.

---
Religion is best defined as the one thing that keeps the poor from killing and eating the rich.
[ Parent ]

how is this decimalized? (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 02:22:17 PM EST

Ten months in a year is actually the only part of your system that's decimal, which hardly makes it decimalized.

You propose:

  • Months of 36 or 37 days
  • 6 weeks per month
  • 6 days per week
And don't propose decimalizing the 60-second minute, 60-minute hour, or 24-hour day either. So your system is approximately as undecimalized as the current one. It just has more consistent month lengths, and shorter weeks.

good criticism (none / 0) (#15)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:38:28 PM EST

and i'll take it. uniformity, you're 100% right, is more important than decimalization. consider me a victim of trendiness... maybe i should change the text above...


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
That's confusing as all hell (none / 0) (#12)
by fluxrad on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:42:00 PM EST

Plus, it's not really decimal at all, aside from the notion of 10 months.

Also, you don't have to be a savant to figure out what day it was (or will be) on a random date. In fact, there's a relatively easy doomsday calculator that you can memorize. I had it down once, but forgot the specifics since I didn't see the urgent need to know what day September 22, 1934 was.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
if it's confusing (none / 0) (#13)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:37:14 PM EST

what the heck do you consider the current system? ;-P amost ANY variation of what i wrote above is orders of magnitude less confusing

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
"That's confusing as all hell" (3.00 / 4) (#25)
by Blond Treehorn Thug on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:04:44 PM EST

THIS IS SURELY THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS BEEN TRUE OF A CTS STORY

I am amused by the simplicity of this game. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.
[ Parent ]
Calculating day of week can be done in your head. (none / 1) (#14)
by rpresser on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:38:19 PM EST

Even if you're not a savant.

See Conway's Doomsday method.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty

yes (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 07:32:10 PM EST

i can also find my way around boston, if i devote years of effort to absorbing the tangled nonsense of its street layout

meanwhile, living in midtown manhattan, i am on the same footing in terms of knowing the street layout as a tourist who has been here 15 minutes: streets are numbered going north, avenues running west. a german tourist who has been here 10 minutes and me, who has been here 10 years, has an equal ability to be able to go from 34th street and 3rd avenue to 42nd street and 6th avenue

that means something. same with weeks and months and years

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Point taken, although you're exaggerating. (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by rpresser on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 07:50:44 PM EST

The Doomsday method takes exactly one afternoon to master.  Try it. It is well worth your while, since your calendar reform plan will never pass -- if for no other reason than that people are too stubborn.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 1) (#65)
by white light on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 03:01:21 AM EST

tron culture is cool


..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
[ Parent ]
Throw ALL the units out. (3.00 / 4) (#18)
by rpresser on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:42:39 PM EST

No years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes or seconds.  Measure everything in jiffies multiplied by some suitable power of ten.

In fact, screw the powers of ten. Use powers of two.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty

what's the conversion rate to LOCs? (none / 1) (#19)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:46:56 PM EST

(library of congresses)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
didn't the Jacobins try to redo the length of the (2.50 / 4) (#23)
by insomnyuk on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 08:37:24 PM EST

week?

Trying to restructure society around the arbitrary whims that you simply declare to be the accepted truth will end in tears. You are a utopianist, a fool, and a potential murderer.

When I am king you will be first against the wall.

---
"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken

yes, they wanted a 10 day week (none / 1) (#60)
by Delirium on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:55:28 PM EST

Since that's nice and decimal. However people didn't like the idea of an almost 50% longer week.

[ Parent ]
ATU (3.00 / 5) (#29)
by buford on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:16:33 AM EST

I suggest my time unit, the only one you'll ever need, the Arbitrary Time Unit.

eg.
'When are you going to graduate?'
'Pretty soon, just a few more ATUs.'

'Will you get here soon?'
'I'm only one ATU away!'

Your ideas also do strike me as being somewhat similar to the ideas of another...

if a man zeros you, he is a spastic with the scroll wheel, and should be pitied.

Ah, I know what you mean. (none / 0) (#41)
by vectro on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:12:34 PM EST

Perhaps you are referring to the <a href="http://www.sf-worlds.com/galactica/time-chronology.html">centon</A>?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
that asshole isn't here yet? (none / 0) (#45)
by circletimessquare on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:10:07 PM EST

(looks at watch)

that buford and his fucking ATUtude

and ps: thanks for comparing me to time cube guy. he's my hero of all time. no joke


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

-1, this troll only works on school kids$ (none / 1) (#30)
by GrubbyBeardedHermit on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:00:40 AM EST


GBH

And French Revolutionaries (2.00 / 3) (#31)
by Hiphopopotamus on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:09:22 AM EST


_________________

I'm In LOVE!
[ Parent ]

Zut alors! (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:22:22 PM EST



--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
There is a simpler change that can be made (3.00 / 7) (#32)
by boxed on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:30:10 AM EST

...in Sweden it is quite common to count weeks instead of using that really strange month/date combo. The week number is a simple unit to work with: there are just 52. Furthermore, "tuesday week five" is easier to remember than some arbitrary number that you still have to look up in your calendar to check which day of the week it ends up on.

Pros: can be gradually adopted, is 100% compatible with current systems, is already present in a lot of software (and programming languages/libraries), week is unaltered.
Cons: well, it would require people to gasp change.

On another note I would like to point out the stupidity of "the tenth month" is month 12 in the gregorian system, and 8-ober is month 10. Julius and Augustus are to blame for that fuckup.

I got an idea (3.00 / 5) (#33)
by rhiannon on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:40:48 AM EST

5 day week, you can count it on your fingers!

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
MTV, -1, circletimesquare. (nt) (2.00 / 3) (#35)
by vivelame on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:04:08 AM EST



--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
We need shorter `years'. (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by seanhbanks on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:17:31 AM EST

According to Google, there are 31 556 926 seconds in a `year'.

Let's round that off to 30 000 000s/a.
That's 300 x 100 000s, or 300 metric days.

Obviously, that's wrong. That `year' is three times too long, so let's cut it by a factor of three.

10s = 1 moment
100s = 1 minute
1 000s = 1 hour
10 000s = 1 shift
100 000s = 1 day
1 000 000s = 1 week
10 000 000s = 1 year
100 000 000s = 1 deck
1 000 000 000s = 1 age

I agree. (2.83 / 6) (#39)
by daveybaby on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:53:12 AM EST

The obvious solution to all of this is to change the orbit of the earth and its rotational speed.

[ Parent ]
While we're at it (3.00 / 5) (#38)
by daveybaby on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:50:30 AM EST

It really bugs me that in some parts of the world its daytime, while in other parts int nighttime, and in some parts its summer, while in other parts it's winter.

Yet the days of the week still line up (well, as much as they can due to the day/night differences). This is just plain stupid.

Can we please fix it so that it's always saturday night somewhere in the world?

You should be charged $10 for your next account (1.80 / 5) (#43)
by Hiphopopotamus on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:41:57 PM EST

and anon'd for what I can only assume is the utter stupidity of this article, since I didn't read it.
_________________

I'm In LOVE!

Some more proposals... (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by claes on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:51:44 PM EST

28 days tracking the female menstrual cycle. The small but synchronous driving force will eventually cause all females to synchronize their menstrual cycles, making it easier for guys to figure out why the hell they're so damn pissed off.

Why stop at the calendar? Metric time! 10 hours, 100 minutes an hour, 100 seconds a minute.

Also, you need to regularize the month, since that's where you have to divide a lot. Plus the week. A 10 day week, with 3 off. Each month has 40 days. 9 months a year (not that hard to divide) + 5-6 woopie days at the end for drinking.

Here you go: (3.00 / 5) (#57)
by fyngyrz on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 04:05:59 PM EST

Each month to have 30 days and start on Monday.

Four seven-day weeks of Monday to Sunday; followed by two days of Holiday (not Monday, not Tuesday, Holiday.)

All non-individual celebrations are moved to the Holidays at the end of the month. No more work weeks with holes punched in them by celebrations; you want to celebrate, that's what the end of the month is for.

This accounts for 360 days.

In non-leap years, at the end of December, there are five additional Holidays. During leap years, there are six. This provides a convenient interval for families to get together, religions to schedule their various bacchanalia, flagellations, and meditations, and of course for the sensible among us to sleep in. Note that since this extra spate of Holiday days comes at the end of December, the two that are part of December are also inline, which gives you seven or nine contiguous Holidays.

Similar to that, the fourth week of every month ends with Saturday and Sunday, to which you get to add the two Holidays, so for normal working stiffs, there are four days off at the end of every month. A nice little recovery opportunity.

Benefits include every month starts with Monday; Pay periods are normalized; billing periods are normalized; the ridiculous and confusing spattering of celebrations all over the calender is eliminated: You want a celebration, use one of the Holidays at the end of a month or the year. That could mean that Halloween is the same day as Columbus day, or one could be on the first October Holiday (always the 29th) and one could be on the second (always the 30th.) There is a major benefit to this, and that is those people who really don't give a flying fig about your celebration aren't inconvenienced by it because all Holidays are standardized anyway, and you don't have to concern yourself with what people do on them. The 12-month system is maintained for the vast majority of the year, all months are the same 30-day length (though we probably would need a new name for the spate of Holidays at the end of the year... perhaps "Remember" or "Renew.")

For the majority of people, life and all calender related activities would be enormously simplified.

Every month:

MO TU WE TH FR SA SU
-1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7
-8 -9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

H1 H2
29 30

End of Year (right after December 30th, H2):

H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8... leap years only
-1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6

Payday would always be the same date and day; bills would always be due the same date and day; the 11th would always be Thursday (as every date would always be the same day of the week... think of the implications... no more figuring that nonsense out!); Your birthday would always be the same day; no more celebrations that wander around the calender; a vastly improved sense of what day and/or date it is, because (for example) there are only four Mondays in the month, and if you know it's Monday, you probably know what date it is; and if you know the date, it's always the same day anyway, so you would know the day right off (after you got used to it, of course.) The math to calculate a date would only have to worry about H8 on leap years. Everything else falls out the same, every year.

And yes, if I were emperor of the world, I'd enforce this. :-)


Blog, Photos.

How about.. (none / 0) (#87)
by emmons on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 03:52:07 PM EST

How about we speed up the rotation of the earth so we have 1000 days per year.  Then we can truely go metric and count milliyears instead of days, etc.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
Idiotic (none / 1) (#58)
by stupidpuppy on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:08:57 PM EST

Ten months with thirty-six days each is not Metric.

Thirty-six months of ten days each is way more Metric.

The problem with the current Gregorian calendar (none / 1) (#59)
by IHCOYC on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:50:13 PM EST

The problems with the current Gregorian calendar stem largely from its use of sequential numbering of days per month, and its abandonment of the proper Roman calendar that used the Ides, Nones, and Kalends as its milestones.

Thus what is "September 18" (or worse yet, "18 September") in the bastardized notation ought to instead be expressed as "ante diem XIV Kalendas Octobris". XIV because the Roman way of counting was inclusive; the target date was included in the tally. The whole business of labelling the first day of each month as "1" and then counting ahead is æsthetically unsatisfactory, and not the way things were designed to work.

If greater astronomical precision is required, we could simply return to the wholesome practice of calling the lunation when the vernal equinox falls as "March", counting forward to December, originally the tenth month, and then treating the two or three lunations that will intervene between the end of December and the new moon that marks the beginning of March as unaccounted time. Nobody should schedule anything for that time in the year anyways, so why encourage it? This way, the Ides would mark the full moon, as they were intended to.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit G

People would pay $5 for this (none / 1) (#61)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:45:29 PM EST

Am I really grandfathered in?  I feel like getting this for free is somehow cheating.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Does a Chinese have ten fingers? (none / 1) (#62)
by United Fools on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:54:36 PM EST


We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
similar to this: (none / 1) (#63)
by tsunami on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:36:37 PM EST

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6835.html


--------------
I also saw a madman crazily pumping this polygon thing to roughly the same timing as a functional wank. - A Trolled An Anonymised Englishman
i will not tolerate jibber jabber in my courtroom! (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by zombie Colonel Kurtz on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 12:40:11 AM EST

i certainly will not.


-1, dump it. (none / 1) (#67)
by vivelame on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 06:41:02 AM EST

  1. it wasn't invented in the US.
  2. we all know what happens to anything not invented here.
  3. it was tried by the french, FFS!
  4. you spineless cheese-eating surrender monkey.


--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
And then everybody's birthday... (none / 1) (#68)
by LodeRunner on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 12:02:52 PM EST

...would always fall on the same day of the week? Having it sometimes on weekends and sometimes on weekdays does bring some interesting variety to life.

Not saying that outweighs the benefits; just a thought.

---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner

Why not 5 seaons of 73 days each? (none / 1) (#73)
by Xoder on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 09:28:46 AM EST

http://principiadiscordia.com/book/41.php is a lovely demonstration, albeit with silly names.

Lately I've been hearing that god's on our side But rumor has it, there's one on their side too So what I'd like to know is, when it comes down to it, can my god kick their god's ass or what?
Suggested names for the seasons: (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by Enlarged to Show Texture on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 10:05:23 AM EST

Winter
Almost Construction
Construction
Construction Cleanup
Almost Winter

Wait. That would generate seasons of unequal length...


"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Isaac Asimov
[ Parent ]

They should be locally named (3.00 / 2) (#76)
by rusty on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 11:24:45 AM EST

Here it would be something like:

Winter
Winter
Mud
Winter
Winter

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

nyc version (none / 0) (#78)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 02:03:38 PM EST

brown ice season
hoodies season
smog alert season
rainy and can't catch a cab season
dog electrocution season


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Awkward names (3.00 / 4) (#79)
by rusty on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 03:13:51 PM EST

They really have to be one word. I propose:

Shitslush
Hoodie
Smog
Driptide
and Spotzap

Sugested usage: "I can't wait till Hoodie. It seems like this Shitslush has gone on forever."

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

awesome rusty ftw nt (none / 0) (#80)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 03:14:57 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Handjobbing Rusty for YOUR win (none / 1) (#89)
by Hiphopopotamus on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 11:28:50 AM EST


_________________

I'm In LOVE!
[ Parent ]

then we can tackle our anachronistic alphabet (none / 0) (#84)
by azool on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 03:18:48 PM EST

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/75/75rdecabet.phtml

How about... (none / 0) (#91)
by Pnarp on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 11:44:38 PM EST

...ten months of ten days? They just have to be really long days or otherwise this won't work.

∼ Phillip Norbert Årp
Powered by the love of the voluptuous insect goddess, Strahazazhia Kalamazoo-Kintaki-Meeps, She of the six-legged delights.


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