A permanent solution for conflicting time zones

by Suw on May 29, 2004

I remember reading once that we humans live on a 25 hour long circadian rhythm, which we are constantly re-adjusting to fit into our 24 hour day.
Now, consider the whole time zone thing. Time zones are a real drag. I have a little clock sitting on my desk which is set to PST (-8 GMT) so that I know whether my PST friends should be in bed or not and, therefore, how much coherence I should expect from them.
(Although most of them actually live on PVT – programmer variable time – which is calculated using a complex equation combining T (local time), D (time to impending deadline) and C (volume of caffeine consumed). I've given up trying to rationalise PVT to GMT. Doesn't work.)
Anyway, the frustrating things about time zones is that the people I want to talk to are often asleep when I want to talk to them. So I'd like to propose something which would, I think, solve the problem quite elegantly.
If we reset every clock to be on the same time and we redefine a day to be 25 hours long, then everyone would be up and awake at the same time. The 25 hour long 'iDay' would 'move' in relation to the 24 hour 'natural day', and so everyone would take it in turns to be up during the night. For example, today it might be 10am and light here in the UK, and 10am and dark in San Francisco, but later on it would be the other way round.
Of course, every 25 days we'd be back where we started so we could have new 25 day iMonths. Our circadian rhythms would be happy with a 25 hour day, so it'd be easy to slip into this new system. The draw back is that we'd have 14.6 iMonths in an iYear, but I think that's a small price to pay for not having to worry about time zones anymore.
I would like to suggest that one of the new, as yet unnamed iMonths be called Suwary. I think it should be slotted in between the new iJune and iJuly. The other new iMonth could be named in a public competition, and the spare 0.6 of an iMonth would be a worldwide extra public holiday, just because I think we really do all work too hard.
So, who's with me?

Anonymous May 29, 2004 at 11:17 pm

*raises hand* I think it sounds brilliant, love.
But that could be because it's quarter past midnight, I'm slightly feverish, and my caffeine consumption has been nil today. ;-)
Kate

Anonymous May 30, 2004 at 4:08 am

I actually lived on a schedule such as you proposed in college. There were some drawbacks. Figuring out what I should eat when I got up was a problem (the sun is going down, so do I eat dinner? or breakfast?), I used a lot more lightbulbs (and annoyed my roommate no end), it was harder to shop at night (lots of stores were closed), and my teachers kept complaining that I missed class alot.
I think it would be even worse for people who like the sun, or people with pets (or livestock). Sure you could change your schedule, but how do you change the schedule of your cows? People that need the sun (like those who live off of solar cells) would have a hard time too.
Other than that, I can't think of any problems.
–woolstar

Anonymous May 30, 2004 at 8:00 pm

Well, I never said it wouldn't create more problems than it solves… ;-)

Anonymous June 1, 2004 at 3:53 am

I'd love it.
My employer would object.
As would my #1 blonde.
Malach

Anonymous June 1, 2004 at 5:29 pm

Right on!

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