Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Government United States EU

Are The Alternatives Even Worse Than Daylight Saving Time? (chron.com) 322

The New York Times notes an important caveat to Florida's recently-approved law observing daylight savings time year-round: it specifies that their change will only go into effect if "the United States Congress amends 15 U.S.C. s. 260a to authorize states to observe daylight saving time year-round."

"In other words: Even if the governor signs the bill, nothing will happen now... States can choose to exempt themselves from daylight saving time -- Arizona and Hawaii do -- but nothing in federal law allows them to exempt themselves from standard time." Meanwhile one California legislator exploring the idea of year-round standard time discovered that "youth sports leagues and families worried that a year-round early sunset would shut down their kids' after-school games." But the Times also acknowledges problems in the current system. "In parts of Maine, for example, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the sun sets before 4 p.m. -- more than an hour earlier than it does in Detroit, at the other end of the Eastern time zone." So is there a better alternative?

An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider: Standardtime.com has a unique suggestion. Their proposal has only two time zones in the continental U.S. that are two hours apart, which The Atlantic calls "a simple plan to fix [DST]"... Johns Hopkins University professors Richard Henry and Steven Hanke have come up with yet another possible fix: worldwide adoption of a single time zone. They argue that the internet has eliminated the need for discrete time zones across the globe, so we might as well just do away with them...

No plan will satisfy everyone. But that doesn't mean daylight-saving time is good. The absence of major energy-saving benefits from DST -- along with its death toll, health impacts, and economic ramifications -- are reason enough to get rid of the ritual altogether.

The article associates Daylight Saving Time with "a spike in heart attacks, increased numbers of work injuries, automobile accidents, suicides, and more." And in addition, it also blames DST for an increased use of gasoline and air conditioners -- adding that it will also "rob humanity of billions of hours of sleep like an evil spacetime vampire."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Are The Alternatives Even Worse Than Daylight Saving Time?

Comments Filter:
  • Thats just stupid, I am sure a lot of people won't be able to sleep when its daylight outside...

    • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @04:56AM (#56241825)

      And not even that.

      If you have to call someone on the other side of the globe (and trust me, a LOT of businesses have to do that), now you can't even do simple math to say, "Oh hey, California is nine hours ahead of me, and now it's noon for me. Maybe I shouldn't call right now." Instead you are going to HAVE to have a program or similar that'll show you what kind of sunlight people have where you're about to call, because you can't actually use the time for anything.

      The internet has NOT done away with the circadian rhythm. Until it does, a single worldwide time zone is an even stupider idea than DST.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @06:59AM (#56242027) Homepage

        If you have to call someone on the other side of the globe (and trust me, a LOT of businesses have to do that), now you can't even do simple math to say, "Oh hey, California is nine hours ahead of me, and now it's noon for me. Maybe I shouldn't call right now." Instead you are going to HAVE to have a program or similar that'll show you what kind of sunlight people have

        Uh, what? Nine hours ahead is nine hours ahead, all you'd have to consider is where you'd be in nine hours. If that would be after business hours for you it's after business hours for them. It's not like they'd magically cease to actually be 9 hours ahead just because we change the notation unless we made everyone work at the same time. Right now you translate the meaning with math, use UTC and you'd translate the meaning without math.

        Like say everybody works 9-17 in current terms, well 9-5 but you'd have to lose the AM/PM business. In California (PST = -8 UTC) that'd be 1-9. In New York you'd work 4-12, UK 9-17, Moscow 12-20, Tokyo 18-2. If you want to schedule a meeting it's the time that actually overlaps. If you have an event like say a SpaceX launch it's at 13:00 (UTC). If you're traveling things would happen at "odd" times but on the other hand there's no chance of confusing times. You lift off from London at 8:15, land in California 17:15, eat some breakfast at 00:15 and report to work at 01:00 because that's when the Californian workday begins.

        I think the shock of the body's rhythm changing is much bigger than the mental translation that noon here is 04:00 and midnight at 16:00. If you're travelling a lot maybe your watch would have a small static "noon/midnight" arrow you could set to remind yourself. That way you could easily "anchor" yourself and effortlessly schedule a meeting after lunch to be at 05:00 when you're in California, 08:00 when you're in New York and 13:00 when you're in London. The workday would always be noon-3 to noon+5. It's just the understanding of where noon is on your watch that'd change.

        • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @07:51AM (#56242123)

          You're just using time zones but specifying times in a reference zone. Lots of people already do that:

          "Let's meet at 8 am UTC!" "Yeah, no."

          This suggestion always makes me smile. You're absolutely free to do it any time you like. Americans, just set your clock to UTC. Very few people do this, because there's no point, unless you frequently interact with people in other time zones, in which case you have to do the math whichever way your watch is set.

          • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @09:03AM (#56242273) Homepage

            You're just using time zones but specifying times in a reference zone.

            No, I'm suggesting all clocks are set to UTC thus no time zone conversion ever and UTC becomes redundant while "noon/midnight" becomes a variable concept that occur at different times for different people instead of 12AM/12PM.

            But if you're driving from San Francisco to New York you clearly still want to know when stores start to open at 01:00 UTC, 02:00 UTC, 03:00 UTC or 04:00 UTC aka 9AM PST, MST, CST, EST and for all sort of practical purposes like quiet hours, extra pay for night work etc. you need a formalized transition, which would naturally require "night" in SF to have a different definition than "night" in NY. It would be extremely unpractical to make this a continuous change where every location has to look up their latitude/longitude and start paying extra night shift pay from 23:34 in one store and 23:37 in another or the bar has to close at 01:13. And not having it change at all would be even less practical.

            So yes, I'd keep the hourly zones but I'd re-purpose them to be like an "solar cycle zone" or something like that. So when you cross a zone it's still the same time but practically you can expect opening hours to be an hour earlier/later when you cross and all sort of statutory rules shift by an hour. To me that'd make much more sense today when we use precise mechanical/electronic timekeeping devices while sundials and high noon is rarely used as reference points in any but the most informal sense. Time is best left travelling at one second per second everywhere you go (at non-relativistic speeds anyway), not jumping by an hour. Or even a whole day if you cross the dateline, which wouldn't exist anymore.

            • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @09:26AM (#56242325)

              I repeat, you're still using timezones, but setting your watch to a single standard like UTC. People's schedules are what they are because of the nature of society, circadian rhythms, and the Earth's rotation, not what their watches say. You would still have the same jumps between timezones where political entities on the edge chose to align their customary time with their closest trading partners. Basically, everything would look like it does now, except people would wander around with different numbers on their watches.

              Except they wouldn't. There are people who keep UTC or some other timezone on their watches now. But not many. It's very convenient to have a common numerical system for keeping time. When you travel to a new place, all you have to do is adjust your watch to local time, and most of your knowledge about general schedules works fine: when stores are likely to open and close, when meals are likely to be served, when daylight is, etc.

              I suspect this UTC suggestion is more likely to be made by people who don't travel much. Wouldn't it be great if the whole world just used the same time (read: my time) and nobody (read: I) had to worry about adjusting for timezones?

            • Well, 12:00am and 12:00pm would be variable concepts, but noon and midnight are based upon where the sun is and that would vary, just like morning and dusk vary.

              Or do I need to bring out the time cube to try and explain this to everyone?

            • You are ignoring the fact that most people still funciton within one time zone. There is absolutioly no gain for them in changing to UTC (or any other standard time).

              And there is no chance at all that all the world would accept UTC time. So this may be a more or less interesting thought experiment, but in real life, it is a non-starter.
        • by orlanz ( 882574 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @08:23AM (#56242155)

          Let's address the REAL problem. THE SUN.

          Put a solar cell that casts a shadow on the earth and mirrors all around. When it's "sun up" we flip the switch and the mirrors rotate giving everyone a waxing sun in the sky. No more time zones, no more odd sleep cycles, etc. 9PM means 9PM activities everywhere!

          Think of the secondary benefits! Asteroid deflection, global warming solved, unlimited power, world peace, alien invasion deterred, safe tanning locations, and no more Slashdot discussions on DST!!!

          Ok, maybe that last one is far fetched, but we can dream!

        • Imagine a place where office starts at 8pm. I wouldn't like the idea that I go to office on one day, and return on the other. It would be a nightmare to track work as well.. we normally track work by day, now half the work is being done on one day and half on the other. It would be hard to reference work as well.. "we got this order last thursday".. now are we referring to thursday 12am slot or when we come back to work next time at 8pm? Or maybe we'd have to reference work days as Wednesday/Thursday or Thu
      • undoing stupid mod
      • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @06:17PM (#56244339)

        And the biggest problem with a worldwide time zone is that in many time zones the day/date will change in the middle of the day. We label days and dates to correspond with the period of time we are generally awake (Okay, I frequently stay up past midnight, but I'm generally not doing business.) So with one world time zone, your kids might go to school on Monday morning and come home Tuesday afternoon. How would holidays work? Do you go by what day it is when the school/work day starts or ends? What if the day changes, say, half an hour after the school day starts? When do you get off for Thanksgiving? The school day that starts on the Wednesday and then half an hour into the day changes to Thursday, or the day that starts Thursday and and changes to Friday half an hour in? (Yes, I know many schools get Wednesday off too, but the same logic applies.) This, I think, is the biggest obstacle to a single worldwide time zone.

        And note, that in situations where time zone changes would create a bigger headache, UTC can be used. Airline pilots and control towers use UTC for all their communications, for instance, so UTC is always there for those who need a worldwide time.

    • Thats just stupid, I am sure a lot of people won't be able to sleep when its daylight outside...

      Of all the time related dramas people come up with, this has to be the dumbest one I've heard. I hope you live on the equator because damn you wouldn't cope in Vancouver, let alone somewhere in Lapland.

    • Timezones and Daylight Savings Times are subjective and a personal preference. Some folks work best early in the mornings, others late at night. Now matter what system you come up with, it will annoy a significant number of people.

      We live in the Internet age, where everything can be tailored to our personal preferences. So why not give everyone in the world their own Timezone and Daylight Savings Times option . . . ? If someone wants to schedule a meeting with me, a simple Web Service call would sync up

    • Thats just stupid, I am sure a lot of people won't be able to sleep when its daylight outside...

      Yeah, I guess you're right. The entire state of Alaska stays awake for 3 months every summer.

      If only we stupid humans could invent something that would blind or shade light...

    • It is not like this has not been tested, China is bigger than America and works on a single time. Does it work well? I have no idea, but I am sure that data is easily available.

      • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @09:07AM (#56242281)

        Accurate data from China is never easily available.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        China is bigger than America and works on a single time. Does it work well? I have no idea, but I am sure that data is easily available.

        Everything works perfectly, exactly well in China! No one complains! Well, there were those millions executed for complaining, but they aren't complaining now, are they? Nope! Perfectly well, exactly well.

    • I thought the plan is that we keep the daily ryth everywhere as it is, and just change the clocks. So we go to bed at 10am at the opposite of the globe.
      If you work with inernational partners you still need to know their working hours. But you don't need to google anymore what they mean when they say that they work from 9pm.
    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      How about if we just say it's 0 O'clock everywhere, all the time? Instead of having to deal with timezones and DST and leap years/seconds, time_t would just be a constant. That would save lots of time.
    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      A single time zone has nothing to do with sleeping during the day. It just means the "time of day" that day time is different in different parts of the world. "Noon" would be about 6am for me and Sun rise would be about 12am. Basing time on where the Sun is in the sky is stupid for a global time system and completely idiotic for a universal time system. Changing the definition of time is ludicrous. Ignoring relativity, time should be linearly monotonic moving forward.
  • Nothing provokes the typical Slashdotter's rage quite like the transition into - and out of - Daylight Saving Time.

    BTW what exactly does that whole "Maine sunset versus Detroit sunset" have to do with any of this? In any of these solutions - including the wacky ones - there will be far-apart locations with vastly differing sunset times.

    • Timezones can die in fire.

      • They will, once the Sun expands sufficiently at one point in its stellar evolution.
        • That's one part of the Y5B problem [y5b.com]. (That's a nice 90's website!)

          More accurately, the Sun is slowly becoming hotter, and so in perhaps 1,000,000,000 years life on the surface of the Earth will be impossible. The Y1B problem?

    • by E-Lad ( 1262 )

      The point is to provide some semblence of consistency and easily-calculated time expectations between people who are in different places. Timezones, except when they occasionally change, provide this. If I live in NYC and I travel to Tokyo, I don't need to ask the locals "what time is lunch here?" because the answer is the same - it's at 12pm local time. What time do people pack up and leave for home? 5pm. No guessing or gross unfamilairity. If I'm in Tokyo where it's 1pm and need to call someone in Frankfu

      • Exactly. You set your watch once when you arrive and reset it when you leave (or you set an alternate time zone on your watch/phone) instead of having to do mental arithmetic every_single_time you want to catch a train, go to work, etc.

    • Because, as noted, they are in the same bloody time zone, but by all rights shouldn't be. Indeed, there was a post here not too long ago about Maine seeking to switch to Atlantic time if the rest of New England would.

  • ... Wat? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by locater16 ( 2326718 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @04:54AM (#56241817)
    I tried reading the whole summary. I don't understand what's trying to be said. It looks like English, a language I swear I can read. But the words, and the way they're put together, just don't make any sense. Either it's in a foreign language or the entire thing is utter nonsense, assumedly ginned up as a joke using a neural net, as no human could possibly type so many words just to spit out utter nonsense.
    • I've been there. Had a co-worker who was horrible at writing. In effect, it made me much better and careful when I read and write.

  • by Craig Cruden ( 3592465 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @05:10AM (#56241847)
    What Florida is voting for is to move from EST/EDT to AST (no daylight savings). They are not exempting themselves from Standard Time, they are voting to adopt a different standard timezone. They are voting to eliminate daylight savings time. Standard time in most of the world follows political borders not some raw calculated mean position every 60 minutes apart.
    • I understand wanting to do away with DLS time, but why do they want to change time zones?

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Standard time sucks - it gets dark too early after work. What's easier, changing the time zone, or changing when everyone starts/stops work?

    • by clovis ( 4684 )

      What Florida is voting for is to move from EST/EDT to AST (no daylight savings). They are not exempting themselves from Standard Time, they are voting to adopt a different standard timezone. They are voting to eliminate daylight savings time. Standard time in most of the world follows political borders not some raw calculated mean position every 60 minutes apart.

      I've seen other posts saying the same thing about this (actually they're moving to Atlantic time), but the wording of the legislative act is about daylight saving time.
      Go read the actual legislative act, HB1013.
      http://www.flsenate.gov/Sessio... [flsenate.gov]

      short title; providing legislative intent regarding
      the State of Florida and its political subdivisions
      observing daylight saving time year-round under
      certain conditions; providing an effective date.

      WHEREAS, the State of Florida is known as the "Sunshine
      State," and WHEREAS, as the "Sunshine State," Florida should be kept
      sunny year-round, NOW, THEREFORE,
      Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

      Section 1. (1) This section may be cited as the "Sunshine
      Protection Act."
      (2) If the United States Congress amends 15 U.S.C. s. 260a
      to authorize states to observe daylight saving time year-round,
      it is the intent of the Legislature that daylight saving time
      shall be the year-round standard time of the entire state and
      all of its political subdivisions.
      Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.

  • And just like ground hog day, twice annually, slashdot gives us our DST story. Is it original this time, and no duplicate?

  • How can it be worse to totalky ditch the day?

  • How about, instead of time zones swerving around certain cities (causing a jagged vertical 'line'), and being in discrete 1-hour increments, we have continual time adjustments based on one's coordinates? As one moves, the time gradually changes by seconds, adding to minutes, eventually hours; it can be calculated down to Planck seconds if you wish; but there's no sudden jump.

    Or, ya know, we could all use UST for anything involving a network, like the Internet, or financial markets, or phone-based activities

    • by Clomer ( 644284 )
      That would just reintroduce the problem that creating discrete time zones was intended to solve over a century ago. That being that when each locality has it's own clock, it becomes virtually impossible to coordinate scheduling between them (back then it was railroad schedules that were affected). Only now, in the 21st century and the amount of long distance and even international coordination that takes place via the internet, scheduling anything over a distance would become a nightmare in the system you
    • we have continual time adjustments based on one's coordinates?

      There's a simple problem with that: Coordinating activities between distant locations.

      Let's say I work in Chicago, and I want to schedule a conference call with people in New York, Los Angeles, and London. I say, "Let's have the call at 2pm." Ok, so what time 2pm Chicago time in these other locations? Instead of just knowing a small number of time zones, you have to know the longitude of each location and then do math to figure out what the time difference is. Also, the time differences aren't likely t

  • "...except there was a typo and it says DJT. So I'll have to escort you out of the building, Mr. President."

  • Let's not over-complicate this. The main alternative to DST is standard time (no DST). Arizona does it and it works just fine. It's not worse, it's better.

    • Let's not over-complicate this. The main alternative to DST is standard time (no DST). Arizona does it and it works just fine. It's not worse, it's better.

      Yes, if you are from a state closer to the equator, I suppose Daylight Savings time seems like the dumbest idea ever to come down the pike. Then again, the further north or south of the equator you go, the better DST sounds.

      In the summer, we're looking at some incredibly early sunrises, There can be 4 hours of daylight before the alarm goes off. And in the winter, you have the opposite problem.

      This is a latitudinal time shifting mechanism, employed for the same reason we have the longitudinal time shif

      • by Ashtead ( 654610 )

        UTC or Zulu is great for data-logging and timestamping things, for later retrieval and reference. And also as a basis for figuring out when someone else in another time-zone is likely to be available, given the difference between UTC and their local time, as defined by the timezones. For scheduling any activity that involves people in different parts of the world it makes it unambigious when this activity is to take place. This is actually even more useful during the periods in spring or fall when the Dayl

    • For them...

  • How about simply adjusting clocks based on longitude? Then the suns rises and sets for everyone at the same time. We carry tracking devices that report our whereabouts to our corporate masters. It should be easy to use the GPS data to tweak the clock settings in real time.

    What about when something is scheduled at a distant location, such as a train or flight? Sure, it's 10:30 here, but what time is it there? Arrivals and departures will always be specified in local time as they are now. No problem.

    • Because this changes with the seasons, for one.

      Times zones came because of train accidents where local stations had their own rough idea if the time and then, em, mistakes were made. Involving colliding trains. With people in them.

      • The last time I looked, longitude didn't change with seasons.

        "their own rough idea" is very different from atomic standard time adjusted based on longitude. The "roughness" is measured in billionths of a second or less. The last time I saw a train schedule, it listed hours and minutes, not billionths of a sec.

  • We call it daylight savings, but we aren't actually saving anything. The solution is both simple and obvious - we start actually saving daylight. Contrary to popular belief the sun dosent actually turn off at night so we could just fly giant Mylar sheets into space and presto, we actually have more daylight! Since more daylight is what people want this should make everyone happy! What could go wrong?
  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @08:28AM (#56242171)
    I agree the shifts are a disaster. We're not really saving energy anymore with DST, and it's killing people, causing depression and economic losses, etc.

    But... I'm near the eastern end of EST. Near the summer solstice, with DST in effect, it's light out from about 4:30 AM to 9 pm. Honestly, I'd be better off if there were a 2-hr DST shift - I don't get up before 5:30 AM, 5:30 to 10 pm would be much better, which is what they get at the western end of EST and what I grew up with.

    WIthout DST, we're looking at it being light out from 3:30 AM to 8 PM. To me, a 3:30 AM sunrise with the modern fixed work/school/daycare schedule is just inhumane. And what a waste having all that daylight waaay before time to get up, and then get dark at 8 PM.

    OK, so getting rid of DST makes summer suck. So we could just do DST all year like Florida wants to?

    Well, Russia tried permanent DST, and depression and morning traffic accidents is winter went up. Near the western edge of EST, winter solstice sunrise is already 8:20 AM. Permanent DST would make the sun come up at 9:20 AM - about two and a half hours after most people get up for work/school. That is depressing. I remember waiting for the school bus on frozen, dark snowy days well before civil twilight even began, but with permanent DST, we'd be talking about getting to school and classes starting way before civil twilight. So people get depressed and have accidents now for a week on either side of the time change... but if we get rid of it, I'm not sure we aren't just trading it for another set of problems - insomnia in summer, less summer sports and exercise, and trading two weeks of depression and accidents in the spring/fall for three months of depression and accidents in winter.

    A single world time zone doesn't help with any of this. It's not like everyone will just run a nocturnal schedule in the part of the earth that gets midnight at what's now noon and vice/versa. If you have to call someone around the world, the question would just shift in semantics from "what time is it there" to "what time do people get up there?" And having a single time zone with no DST doesn't help with it being light too early in summer or too late in winter. Companies, schools, etc could be free to shift the time on their own, but for anyone with complicated schedules, having different organizations make different decisions about whether to shift or not just makes everything worse.

  • So if you're working in New Zealand, the night shift is 9am - 5pm ? Yeah, that's going to work.
    • And the day shift crosses the calendar date. Which is really not a good idea for about a zillion reasons.

  • by Lord Bitman ( 95493 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @09:05AM (#56242277) Homepage

    It baffles me to no end that it is apparently easier to convince people that the entire world should operate on a different schedule, than it is to convince people that individual buildings should have opening hours that make sense based on their requirements.

    • You're talking about a society made up of different groups of people with different requirements that are only linked by a common concept of time, and you're surprised that the best way to change anything in this diverse group is to adjust the only handle that is common to them all?

  • What we need is too times. Any and all single solutions simply do not work.

    Daylight savings time is designed to fix a broken system, and it makes it worse. All it does it complicate matters. It means that for some businesses that take advantage of the sun, they have to change their schedules twice as often. You just start beginning work at 8am in winter and then suddenly you go back to 7am. At least for a few weeks before you are back to 8am. For people where the sun is unnecessary and irrelevant, daylight

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @09:53AM (#56242379)

    The shock of the spring time change (it's mostly on the spring forward side) is easily alleviated by planning a week in advance. (Check your local government: you might even be able to pencil in next year's time change into your calendar already; who says government is never on the ball?)

    Starting Saturday morning, a week before time springs forward, get up six minutes earlier than the previous Saturday. Progressive offsets relative to established routine on standard time, by day of week:

    F -00 just a normal workday
    S -06
    S -12
    M -18
    T -24
    W -30
    T -36
    F -42
    S -48
    S -54 first morning on DST
    M -60 first standard workday on DST

    This program alleviates almost 100% of the "shock" (I quoted a big chunk of the literature is a previous DST post). Note that if your established routine is to sleep in like crazy on the weekend, I haven't changed anything. Give yourself exactly the same social jet lag as customary, but this time on a 23h54m circadian day.

    What to do in the morning on the catastrophic three days where you are getting up 30+ minutes earlier (relative to social time) than normal? Maybe show up at work 30 minutes earlier? Walk the dog? Make a Facebook post? Pay a couple of bills? The possibilities here are as endless as they are universally appalling.

    People love to quote the car accident and heart attack statistics, but they won't lift a finger to fiddle with their alarm clock ten times in a row to wipe these gruesome statistics down to zero.

    Stupid, lazy, unmotivated, inveterate complainers.

    Even people who use their cellphone as their alarm clock seem unwilling to lift half a finger, just to procure an app to manage this ten-day progression automatically.


    Here's my situation.

    My natural, adult body clock runs 25h25m.

    Not that long ago, I free-ran for a three-year period. For 1001 days, I woke up 85-minutes later, day after day. Try it sometime, it's a total blast, and you'll be the life of the party among friends & family for the whole while.

    The yowls and howls of protest over what could be managed as a painless 10 x -6 minute cumulative progression simply blow my mind.

    Over the past three years, I've managed to control my condition with melatonin almost perfectly. No dose of standard melatonin can achieve this, I tried every possible dose over years and years, until I became so frustrated I punted melatonin into the void, to try my hand at free-running. After slogging through this for what seemed like eternity, by happenstance I got my hands on a sustained-release formulation (never tried this before), and decided to give melatonin one last shot; turns out there is a successful dose—just barely—with 97+% dose-schedule adherence. Ultimately SR was the magic bullet in my case (a last straw viewed from one side is a magic bullet viewed from the other side—yet people persist in thinking that subatomic physics is weird).

    If I miss just one pill, it takes me a full month to recover my previous alignment. My record-shortest circadian day is presently 23h58m sustained for a couple of months. Not a bloody large margin of error, so I freak out over remembering to take my pill at precisely 15:00 every damn day. Pebble watch vibrates while I'm removing something hot from the oven? Oh, well, I can clean the floor later. No, not quite, but I certainly give it a moment's sober consideration.

  • As a boy in Eastern Massachusetts we tried not going back to standard time and stayed on DST. I think Nixon was president?

    With a group of other elementary school age children we waited for the school bus in the pitch dark. A car came by and badly made the corner we were standing on. Looking back on it, probably somebody doing the Drive of Shame home, still half in the bag.

    There were lots of complaints and we went back to the spring/fall change.

    • Abolishment of DST should be accompanied by a state-wide adoption of dual timetables for each schools and offices, which states a earlier starting time for summer and later starting time for winter.

      Then each schools and offices can then make decisions later on, whether that two schedules should be exactly 1-hour apart, if additional fine-tuning is even better, or merging them into one, all in a case-by-case status. There can be even schools that use 1 timetable and schools that use 2 sitting in nearby comm

  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @10:31AM (#56242471)

    ...the less your opinion about daylight savings matters.

    There was a Roman essayist called Hadrianus who observed that the more comfortable peoples' lives are, the more they are compelled to twist minor issues into catastrophes.

    • There was a Roman essayist called Hadrianus who observed that the more comfortable peoples' lives are, the more they are compelled to twist minor issues into catastrophes.

      I’ve spent most of my adult life working in academia and interacting with faculty, and can say with certainty that Hadrianus was 100% correct.

  • Clearly the daytime is a racist xenophobe. We need to take over the earthâ(TM)s rotation so everyone has the same amount of daylight and everyone can have their ball games before dark.

  • Changing a state to follow the DST time zone year round is saying that you want 1:00 PM to be close to solar noon, not 12:00 PM. So 1:00 PM just becomes your new clock noon. And the sunset time difference of greater than 1 hour between Maine and Detroit is completely expected. If time zones were evenly distributed and did not follow geopolitical borders, then locations inside the same time zone but on opposite sides would have sunsets exactly one hour apart on the clock. So it doesn't take much fudging of
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @11:18AM (#56242587)

    There are a lot of ways to reform timekeeping and calendars, the problem isn't finding a better solution but making changes. So much is culturally embedded, especially if it affects religious observances) that changing is probably impossible, at least in any agreed upon fashion.

    The only way I can see any kind of reform happening is if a company like Amazon gets into so much of the economy (beyond retail and computing), including travel and other cross-zone and scheduled activity that they decide to switch to a new system for their own purposes and people switch to it because they consume so many services.

    But if a change was made, I hope it would rationalize not only timekeeping but the calendar, too, which is a train wreck of historical anachronisms.

    I'd go so far as to say we ought to consider a decimal timekeeping system and the international fixed calendar, too. A lot of the reform problems seem to incorporate a bunch of kludges to accommodate related anachronistic time and calendar measurements.

    Time zones are still a problem but probably the one necessary evil for common timekeeping we can't get rid of because they allow people to relate time of day to daylight hours. If you switched to decimal time (10 hour days), you might consider 20 global time zones with half-hour differences but more closely rationalized by longitude so sunrise-sunset might be slightly more uniform.

    • But if a change was made, I hope it would rationalize not only timekeeping but the calendar, too, which is a train wreck of historical anachronisms.

      You're not the first to wish this. There are several proposals. Here's my favorite [wikipedia.org]:

      The calendar year has 13 months with 28 days each, divided into exactly 4 weeks (13 × 28 = 364). An extra day added as a holiday at the end of the year (after December 28, i.e. equal December 31 Gregorian), sometimes called "Year Day", does not belong to any week and brings the total to 365 days.

      Yes, it handles leap year also. Details at the link.

    • People who advocate decimal time are like freshly-minted programmers who declare that all existing code sucks and must be immediately replaced.

      The ancients didn't deviate from basing time on finger-counting on a whim. 12 and 60 are Superior highly composite numbers [wikipedia.org] and are thus divisible into useful sub-units without resorting to fractions. Quarter-hour, twelfth-hour, third-hour. This is a natural fit for circular phenomenon that roll over. The full scale value they chose provides enough granularity wit

  • We could get rid of time changes and time zones completely. We have the technology.

    When most people are carrying around a phone or some other device with GPS and significant computing power, it should be easy to create an app that calculates local solar time anywhere on Earth that you go. You can display it graphically, showing sunrise, sunset, day length (not to mention moonrise and moonset, why not?) somewhat after the fashion of a Yes Watch.

    Then we would only need TWO times: local time and universal t

  • Keep EST/DST for north, allow to keep one T all year around for south, like in Arizona.

  • ... They argue that the internet has eliminated the need for discrete time zones across the globe...

    This looks like a whole discussion in and of itself...

  • While I find the having to turn the clocks back mildly irksome it is merely because it is an added task. Personally it doesn't make much of any difference to us and we barely notice because we don't do most of our work by the clock but rather by what needs to be done, the season and the light. We farm. We raise pastured livestock and fortunately, by choice, don't milk so we're not tied to someone else's time clock other than when we have to interface with other people but that's what appointments are for an

  • Having DST in 2018 is like requiring all cellphone and smartphone manufacturers to include PULSE DIALING on their phones, and an RJ-11 port, just in case, you know, you ever want to plug it into a POTS wire and use it like it's a landline?

    Here's a simpler solution. Put everyone on GMT/UTC/ZULU time for coordination, (so you might hear someone say, "the plane departs at 0235Z,") and let each city or town determine its own local time based on SOLAR NOON, which is how they did it in the old days, back when
  • Daylight saving - not savings - may be a lost cause. But could you at least decide which one is your local standard and do it consistently throughout the summary?

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein