Bonus Post: Don’t Play With Time

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a problem with Daylight Savings Time.

Wait, let me rephrase that. It’s not DST specifically I have a problem with, it’s the idea that we can fool around with time at all.

I don’t think humans can be trusted with that kind of power.

I understand that time is an artificial construct in the first place; we made it up. We didn’t The_Persistence_of_Memory[1]do it that long ago, either. Well into the 19th Century, it could pretty much be whatever time you wanted it to be. The only reason we tried to standardize it at all, at least in North America, was so we could make train schedules.

But then around World War I, we made a mess of it by attempting to bend time to our needs. We wanted to save resources for the war effort, so we invented Daylight Savings Time. Throughout the 1900’s and into the new century, we’ve played around with time to save energy, to let there be light when children go to school, to make it safe to go Trick-or-Treating. We’ve changed the clocks once a year, twice a year and never. We’ve even changed the dates when we change the time.

Daylight Savings Time isn’t even nationwide. Some states don’t have it. In fact, even in states that do have it, some counties don’t have it. And get this: on one side of the Kentucky/Tennessee border, there’s a place that has permanent standard time, and just on the other side is a place that has permanent DST, so that you can drive a few miles and experience a two hour time difference!

That’s insane.

There are many people who believe we should pick one time and stick with it, but they can’t agree on which time it should be. And I’m bothered by that idea, too. Let’s say we turn the clocks ahead tomorrow and then we decide, enough of this stupidity–we’re staying with DST. Well, what the hell happened to that hour? Can we just throw time away like that? It’s like the New York-New Jersey tolls that charge nothing when you go into Jersey and double when you go into NY. While that is entirely appropriate from a value point of view, it means you cheat the system if you drive into (and, I hope for your sake, through) NJ on your way to somewhere else and never come back.

And what if we did it the other way around? Come fall, we turn the clocks back and that’s it for evermore. Didn’t we just add an hour to our lives? I’d feel terrible if they didn’t decide to freeze standard time until a few weeks after changing the clocks; I’d probably have wasted my extra life hour sleeping or something.

They’d have to tell us in advance they were going to do it so we could use our hour wisely.

Any suggestions?

See you soon.

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One Response to Bonus Post: Don’t Play With Time

  1. phlbrwn says:

    Actually, if you were to travel west on the GWB at the speed of light, and circumnavigate the globe, you could really re-enter the bridge again earlier than when you left it. No need to adjust your clock at all!

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