Time for a change? Scholars say calendar needs serious overhaul

Dec 27, 2011

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to make time stand still -- at least when it comes to the yearly calendar.

Using and , Richard Conn Henry, an astrophysicist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering, have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity.

Under the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, for instance, if Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2012 (and it would), it would also fall on a Sunday in 2013, 2014 and beyond. In addition, under the new calendar, the rhyme "30 days hath September, April, June and November," would no longer apply, because September would have 31 days, as would March, June and December. All the rest would have 30. (Try creating a rhyme using that.)

"Our plan offers a stable calendar that is absolutely identical from year to year and which allows the permanent, rational planning of annual activities, from school to work holidays," says Henry, who is also director of the Maryland Space Grant Consortium. "Think about how much time and effort are expended each year in redesigning the calendar of every single organization in the world and it becomes obvious that our calendar would make life much simpler and would have noteworthy benefits."

Among the practical advantages would be the convenience afforded by birthdays and holidays (as well as work holidays) falling on the same day of the week every year. But the economic benefits are even more profound, according to Hanke, an expert in international economics, including monetary policy.

"Our calendar would simplify financial calculations and eliminate what we call the 'rip off' factor,'" explains Hanke. "Determining how much interest accrues on mortgages, bonds, forward rate agreements, swaps and others, day counts are required. Our current calendar is full of anomalies that have led to the establishment of a wide range of conventions that attempt to simplify interest calculations. Our proposed permanent calendar has a predictable 91-day quarterly pattern of two months of 30 days and a third month of 31 days, which does away with the need for artificial day count conventions."

According to Hanke and Henry, their calendar is an improvement on the dozens of rival reform calendars proffered by individuals and institutions over the last century.

"Attempts at reform have failed in the past because all of the major ones have involved breaking the seven-day cycle of the week, which is not acceptable to many people because it violates the Fourth Commandment about keeping the Sabbath Day," Henry explains. "Our version never breaks that cycle."

Henry posits that his team's version is far more convenient, sensible and easier to use than the current Gregorian calendar, which has been in place for four centuries – ever since 1582, when Pope Gregory altered a calendar that was instituted in 46 BC by Julius Caesar.

In an effort to bring Caesar's calendar in synch with the seasons, the pope's team removed 11 days from the calendar in October, so that Oct. 4 was followed immediately by Oct. 15. This adjustment was necessary in order to deal with the same knotty problem that makes designing an effective and practical new calendar such a challenge: the fact that each Earth year is 365.2422 days long.

Hanke and Henry deal with those extra "pieces" of days by dropping leap years entirely in favor of an extra week added at the end of December every five or six . This brings the calendar in sync with the seasonal changes as the Earth circles the sun.

In addition to advocating the adoption of this new calendar, Hanke and Henry encourage the abolition of world time zones and the adoption of "Universal Time" (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time) in order to synchronize dates and times worldwide, streamlining international business.

"One time throughout the world, one date throughout the world," they write in a January 2012 Global Asia article about their proposals. "Business meetings, sports schedules and school calendars would be identical every year. Today's cacophony of time zones, daylight savings times and fluctuations, year after year, would be over. The economy -- that's all of us -- would receive a permanent 'harmonization' dividend."

Explore further: Christmas cracker pulling: How to send everyone home a winner

More information: View a website about the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar here: henry.pha.jhu.edu/calendar.html

Read Hanke and Henry's January 2012 Global Asia article about calendar reform here: www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13940

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User comments : 142

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hyongx
5 / 5 (22) Dec 27, 2011
interesting, maybe even practical.
won't happen anytime soon.
NeptuneAD
4.6 / 5 (10) Dec 27, 2011
Like most things, it's not how good it is, the only thing that matters is the acceptance factor, which can be manipulated via marketing, being better isn't enough.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
1 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2011
If it starts at Thursday, but I guess people from other countries will have different opinion.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
3.2 / 5 (13) Dec 27, 2011
Moreover it would require change in all the computers, software, and also significant changes to database functions. Now I see, that this is simply unfeasible.
TrinityComplex
3.4 / 5 (7) Dec 27, 2011
Practicality is not a public strong point, that's for sure, but I would love to see this happen. The universal time would be an interesting change, but there would still need to be some system to determine what time, relative to normal waking hours, it is for any given location. Were I to call someone on GMT 0 time right now I'd be waking them up, while it's about the middle of the day for me.

Actually, Neurotic, it would be a fairly easy fix for any software that receives regular updates. Legacy software might just have to be left alone, but there's no reason this this would have to be implemented immediately. It could easily be set to begin in 2017, giving time for all new software to make the switch in preparation.
corymp
3.2 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2011
Software companies could issue an update to correct the dates easily.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
4.9 / 5 (8) Dec 27, 2011
TrinityComplex: In a world of databases changing the date time format, and also the functions to manipulate it, is not something to be taken lightly. It wouldn't be easily set in 2017. In a world of IT this creates so many inter-communication problems, it is unimaginable. Not worth it at all.

You would have to be able to communicate with older format as well as newer formats of either date, and time. Replace conversion functions in programming languages, systems.

You cannot do this as a mere update for the software. Maybe for some tiny utility.
MorituriMax
4.7 / 5 (14) Dec 27, 2011
It will be simpler to strap engines on the Earth and adjust its orbit so the years is exactly 360 days long. Then adjust the planet further so the day is exactly 36 hours long, etc.

That will be more likely than what is proposed above, unfortunately.
plasticpower
4.9 / 5 (10) Dec 27, 2011
That would truly be awesome. Do away with daylight savings, timezones, weird calendar. But hey - never going to happen. In the US we're still clinging to our non-metric measurements..
Shootist
3.5 / 5 (22) Dec 27, 2011
I prefer a year of 12 months/30 days each with a 5 or 6 day long Festivus at the end of each year.
Vendicar_Decarian
1.5 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2011
Weeks should be 6 days long so that Sunday can be abolished entirely.

Work weeks should be 2 or 3 days long and work days 8 hours.

Nik_2213
4 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2011
Easter, tied to lunar cycle, would still jump about, no ??
Squirrel
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2011
Dating is one of the most conserved behaviors of the human species. Day and month names are not both anarchic but also highly offensive in their origins to most religious people yet survive unchanged (Sunday derives its name, for example, from when our ancestors had a solar deity) .
hcl
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2011
I prefer a year of 12 months/30 days each with a 5 or 6 day long Festivus at the end of each year.


Best proposal/comment on Physorg.com ever.

And throw in Feynmann notation for trigonometry during the readjustment period.
Grizzled
2.2 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2011
Didn't the French revolutionaries try to do the same?

Maybe not at that level of sophistication but the idea was the same. Ended in a complete flop (as anyone alive today surely knows:-)

There were numerous attempts before to tweak the calendar. The only one that stuck so far was the change from Julian to Gregorian calendars (and even that only if you disregard all other calendar systems).

Historically, there were both missed and duplicate dates (when some monarch wanted to celebrate his birthday twice in the same year). If you deal with historical dates, you have to be very, very careful about them. I know 'cause, once upon a time, I was involved in a software project which dealt with those dates. Calcultating the time span between two arbitrary dates quoted from different countries a few decades apart was a NIGHTMARE.
hcl
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 27, 2011
It will be simpler to strap engines on the Earth and adjust its orbit so the years is exactly 360 days long. Then adjust the planet further so the day is exactly 36 hours long, etc.


I don't think this is a good idea for various reasons...

Humans aren't evolved for 36-hour days. And droughts would greatly exacerbate. And other unpleasantries.
ahroogahh
4 / 5 (9) Dec 27, 2011
In the U.S. we can't even manage to switch to the metric system, so I'm not holding my breath.
hcl
1 / 5 (23) Dec 27, 2011
Metric system caters to the 1% of math geeks and scientists (which is fine), but terrible to 99% of daily users who require natural units.

I can't measure the objects in 3-spatial dimensions around me in centimeter and meter... too long and too short.

Gallon, quart, and pint - not to mention cup - so much better than 'liter'. I don't drink a liter of anything.
ryggesogn2
Dec 27, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
FainAvis
1 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2011
This would be about as unifying as Unity.
dweeb
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 27, 2011
hmmm, and forgiveness of debts on the extra week every 5 or 6 years , lol
Silverhill
4.8 / 5 (17) Dec 27, 2011
hcl:
Metric system caters to the 1% of math geeks and scientists (which is fine), but terrible to 99% of daily users who require natural units.
Natural units, you say? How natural is a yard? (It's *about* half the full armspan of an above-average-height man, but not reliably.) What about an ounce (437.5 grains (WTF?)--for an avoirdupois ounce, that is. 480 grains for a Troy ounce. And though binary divisions of length and weight (1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc.) have their own appeal, since they can be simply achieved, why then have 12 ounces in a Troy pound?
How natural is the British stone (14 pounds)?
How natural is 231 cubic inches per gallon (liquid, that is. Dry gallons are, of course, different.)

...continued...
Silverhill
5 / 5 (16) Dec 27, 2011
I can't measure the objects in 3-spatial dimensions around me in centimeter and meter... too long and too short.
You could if you grew up with them. Consider using a half- (or quarter-)meter, say. No big problem. And a centimeter is close in scale to an inch. This is not coincidental, either. When the French replaced the yard with the meter, they knew that they should come up with a measurement that was scaled to the human body--as the inch, foot, cubit, and yard already were. They knew that people would not want a length scale that was notably different, but that they would (likely) appreciate one that was easy to compute with.
(How many teaspoons in a gallon?
(6 tsp/oz)(32 oz/qt)(4 qt/gal) = 768.
How many mL in a liter? 1000.)

Gallon, quart, and pint - not to mention cup - so much better than 'liter'. I don't drink a liter of anything.
You probably don't drink a whole quart of anything at one sitting either. That's why we have resealable containers for liquids.
epsi00
4.6 / 5 (13) Dec 27, 2011


I can't measure the objects in 3-spatial dimensions around me in centimeter and meter... too long and too short.

Gallon, quart, and pint - not to mention cup - so much better than 'liter'. I don't drink a liter of anything.


the metric system is simpler. you go from one unit to another by adding a 0 or removing a 0. Try to do that with your gallon, quart and pint.
1000
100
10
1
.1
.01
.001
..........
hcl
1 / 5 (22) Dec 27, 2011
And a centimeter is close in scale to an inch.

I can't even see the centimeter, it's so tiny. And the meter? - Bigger than anything I use in the course of a day.

When the French replaced the yard with the meter...

When the non-Frankish, non-Gaulic revolutionaries in France were attempting to destroy French civilization into the foundation... yeah, no wonder these units make no sense whatsoever.

You probably don't drink a whole quart of anything at one sitting either.


I like my iced tea in pints, my red wine in quarts, and my 100% whole milk in half-gallons at a time. I don't drink in liters (nor 8-ounce cups, either... those I pee into at the doctor's office.)
hcl
1.2 / 5 (21) Dec 27, 2011
the metric system is simpler. you go from one unit to another by adding a 0 or removing a 0. Try to do that with your gallon, quart and pint.
1000
100
10
1
.1
.01
.001


Yes, base-10 works great. But they're not necessarily convenient for the 99% of us who aren't lab scientists, and moreover, they should have chosen a more natural unit of length.

Let's say, an inch and ten inches. How's that sound? WHY THE GODDAMNED METER????
Shelgeyr
1.7 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2011
@MorituriMax said:
It will be simpler to strap engines on the Earth and adjust its orbit so the years is exactly 360 days long.


I think you're correct, however since they'd have to be essentially "retro-rockets", you'd end up with fear-mongers wailing that we'd crash into the sun.

Still, you're on the right track.
Silverhill
4.7 / 5 (13) Dec 28, 2011
hcl:
"I can't even see the centimeter, it's so tiny."

You'd better get your eyes checked, then--or were you thinking of the millimeter? If you can see a 3/8" hex nut, for instance, you can see a centimeter (which is larger).

"And the meter? - Bigger than anything I use in the course of a day."

*You* may not need it, but plenty of people use units of that scale (think about football players, or lawn-care services, for instance).
Silverhill
4.6 / 5 (14) Dec 28, 2011
"When the non-Frankish, non-Gaulic revolutionaries in France were attempting to destroy French civilization into the foundation..."

Good non-sequitur there.

"I like my iced tea in pints, my red wine in quarts, and my 100% whole milk in half-gallons at a time. I don't drink in liters."

You drink wine a quart at a time? You might want to consider AA. (Even so, a liter is only 5% more than a quart. Not a real problem.)

"Yes, base-10 works great. But they're not necessarily convenient for the 99% of us who aren't lab scientists"

You mean people like surveyors, or cooks, or architects, or artists ... all of whom have "survived" using SI units.

"and moreover, they should have chosen a more natural unit of length."

Such as the 21-cm wavelength of hydrogen, perhaps? Or the Planck length? Or...(you have to be at least somewhat arbitrary).

"WHY THE GODDAMNED METER????"

Why the goddamned yard (which the meter was designed to approximate -- see above)?
HydraulicsNath
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2011
i love the organization of the calendar.. if only people could accept it...I know i would!
Ojorf
4.4 / 5 (13) Dec 28, 2011
@ hcl:
Good grief if you cannot see a cm you must really be struggling to type this as the keys on your keyboard are less that 1.5 cm on a side and the lettering printed on it less than 1/2 a cm (never-mind reading the screen or printed text).

I'd also like to know where you get the 99% of people who supposedly use the outdated system you are so fond of. Only the USA, Cayman Ils. and Belize have not officially adopted the metric system. Even if every single person in those 3 countries agree with you that's only about 314 mil. people out of close on 7 billion, less than 4.5%.

But coming back to this article, I agree with most here, great idea, will likely never happen though.
Scryer
1 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2011
There ought to be 13 months in a year - 4 weeks in a month, 28 days in 4 weeks, and the remainder could be dealt with by adding minutes to the 24 hour day or adding an extra day every 10.4 years.
hcl
1 / 5 (16) Dec 28, 2011
Silverhill et al.:

The METER was imposed upon the world by autistic geeks.

Autistic geeks do not see the human scale.

You say the centimeter "almost" substitutes for the inch - but too small.

You say the meter "almost" substitutes for the yard - too large.

And nothing foot/feet inbetween.

Geeks do not design for convenience - at least not prior ergonomics.

Mathematical "elegance" to them is everything, your daily inconvenience in 3 of 4 dimensions nothing.

In the area of fluids, the same problem. The metric system doesn't even have a 'cup' or gallon - only one unit at the human scale, the liter.

The pseudo-base-2 system of cup, pint, quart, gallon has its own natural logic to it. I might want TWO beers or FOUR cups for each member of my family, but not HUNDRED beers or negative-TEN beers.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
4.3 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2011
I can't even see the centimeter, it's so tiny. And the meter? - Bigger than anything I use in the course of a day.


How about decimetre (dm)?
NeptuneAD
4.4 / 5 (13) Dec 28, 2011
We seem to have changed subject to the imperial-metric debate, better add my two cents then.

The metric system is a natural evolution of the measuring system, to deny it because you are used to the old system is fair but to argue that the imperial system is better is plain ignorance.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (10) Dec 28, 2011
The METER was imposed upon the world by autistic geeks.

Autistic geeks do not see the human scale.

And you know what? In countries where these units are in use there are no problems whatsoever. Quite the reverse (or do you know - off the top of your head and without looking it up - how many inches there are in a mile or how many cups in a gallon? No? That should give you an indication of how useful such a system is.)

I guess for a someone who hasn't been used to it a changeover would be a bit of a relearning experience. I cn relate to that (when the Euro was introduced it took most people a few years not to do the conversion back to the original currency in their heads whenever making a purchase).

But now everyone is comfortable dealing in Euros.
hcl
1 / 5 (12) Dec 28, 2011
And you know what? In countries where these units are in use there are no problems whatsoever. Quite the reverse (or do you know - off the top of your head and without looking it up - how many inches there are in a mile or how many cups in a gallon? No? That should give you an indication of how useful such a system is.)


The metric zone has invented nothing since 1945, the pounds-feet-Fahrenheit zone everything. [b]Moreover, I do not object to having a base-10 system.[/b] Not at all. I'll explain a sample system in next comment.
hcl
1 / 5 (12) Dec 28, 2011
In unit of length, it was natural-ergonomic and backward-compatible to select the inch or ten-incher as base unit. (The 4-incher 'DM ruler' suggested above... uh, no...)

In fluids, it was natural-ergonomic and backward-compatible to select the 8-ounce cup or gallon as base unit. In this way, the base-2 cup/pint/quart/gallon would retain high utility.

And the liter's too large as a single serving ("a liter of coffee, please" - not), too small as family-size or social group (e.g., 2-liter soda or gallon of milk.) No-one uses a 1-liter for anything.

It's possible to have both base-10 units and natural units altogether. Instead we have this screwed-up, autistic system imposed by anonymous.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (11) Dec 28, 2011
The metric zone has invented nothing since 1945, the pounds-feet-Fahrenheit zone everything.

Urm...Maybe you should pick up a history book. Possibly not one written by Americans for Americans.
Going
5 / 5 (3) Dec 28, 2011
If the sun / calender adjustment is only made every 5 to 6 tears then the solstices and equinoxes must drift around by about a week. This is unacceptable. The calender mediates man's relationship to nature not just business. Keep the link to the sun.
Kafpauzo
4.4 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2011
Here in Sweden we're always using the deciliter and the decimeter. The dl is about half an official US cup, or about the contents of one of those small old-style china coffee cups. The dm is about the width of a hand, not including the thumb, i.e. the width of the palm.

Therefore, this is fully "natural", and very convenient.

Strangely, I get the impression that these convenient units haven't caught on in all metric countries. This might mean that "natural" isn't all that crucial. But they do exist in the metric system, available for anyone to use. And note that, even if you never hear of them in some countries, the words decimeter and deciliter are understood by anyone in any metric country.

The centimeter is about the diameter of a pea or peanut, or the width of the pinky fingernail. The meter is about the width of a doorway, depending on the size of doorways where you live. These sizes do exist around you and are fully "natural".
Denny_Richards
1.5 / 5 (4) Dec 28, 2011
I vote for 26 months of 14 days each.
That way, we can kiss April 15th goodbye.
[Admittedly this only benefits those governed by the US] :)
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2011
I vote for 26 months of 14 days each.

I vote one day at a time. No months, no years, no weeks. Just number them consecutively. What could be easier than that?
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (11) Dec 28, 2011
I vote for 26 months of 14 days each.

I vote one day at a time. No months, no years, no weeks. Just number them consecutively. What could be easier than that?

Why bother with months?
It is called the Julian day calendar.
http://landqa2.na...dar.html
And lets all adopt IRIG time: YYYY:DDD:HH:MM:SS (Zulu)
One world, one clock, one time.
hcl
1.5 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2011
I vote one day at a time. No months, no years, no weeks. Just number them consecutively. What could be easier than that?


Why not date in units of seconds since BB, and erase the whole social construct of month, year, week, and day?

Afterwards, you may take a hike to the North Pole and explain to Eskimos the logic of one word for 'snow', the illogic of thousands of years of cultural evolution of nuance of language.
CHollman82
1.9 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2011
I vote for 26 months of 14 days each.

I vote one day at a time. No months, no years, no weeks. Just number them consecutively. What could be easier than that?


Gotta have years, but other than that it sounds like a good idea.

Today is 362, 2011.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2011
Afterwards, you may take a hike to the North Pole and explain to Eskimos the logic of one word for 'snow', the illogic of thousands of years of cultural evolution of nuance of language.

For this I would refer you to here:
http://en.wikiped...for_snow
The "many words for snow" is an urban myth.

As for tradition: Tradition is fine when there is still a reason for them to be alive.
But to quote Gustav Mahler: "Tradition is the passing on of the flame - not the worship of the ashes"

The seven days cycle had its meaning (probably related to some norse gods religious cycle or some astrological cycle). So did the months. Those meanings are long gone.
(As an aside: E.g. The romans had an eight day week; in gealic culture they had 3,5,10 and 15 day periods; etc. )

But once the ultimate reason for a tradition is gone that tradition should be ditched (or at least critically reexamined).
Dichotomy
1.4 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2011
OMG! This has gone so overboard it lost its humor 1/2 way through. Seriously retrorockets on the planet!?! and this debate over the metric system. This calander concept just needs to be brought to the U.N. voted on and be done with.
jdbertron
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2011
"remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity." except on those years when they have to add 5 or six more days...
What a joke.
CHollman82
1.2 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2011
"remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity." except on those years when they have to add 5 or six more days...
What a joke.


Yeah, the length of the year varies by 5 or 6 days now does it?
stevefoerster
5 / 5 (3) Dec 28, 2011
Dichotomy, despite their best efforts, the UN isn't a world government and isn't in charge of this sort of thing. And that's a good thing, since they couldn't find their ass in the dark with both hands.
MorituriMax
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 28, 2011
Weeks should be 6 days long so that Sunday can be abolished entirely.

Work weeks should be 2 or 3 days long and work days 8 hours.
You don't have to abolish Sunday, just make Monday twice as long. So we'll still suffer but we can get rid of the actual day.
tadchem
3.5 / 5 (4) Dec 28, 2011
It appears to be an almost definitive characteristic of "progressive" thinkers that they become so enamoured of the 'beauty' of an idea of their own conception that they become completely oblivious to the likely responses of everyone else who does NOT share in the parentage of the idea.
Astronomy has this one down and under control. For geocentric observations they simply use the Julian Day Number (the interval of time in days and fractions of a day since January 1, 4713 BC Greenwich noon, Julian proleptic calendar)and "Terrestrial" (aka Greenwich Mean) Time, and leave the fretting over the year numbers, the named months and named weekdays to the various religions and civil customs.
The Julian date for CE 2011, December 28, 00:00:00.0 UT is
JD 2455923.500000
Tom327Cat
5 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2011
Humans abhor change, but it is the rule, not the exception. Someone will figure out how to update the software, that person will become your boss, he will be younger than you, and get better benefits and have more time off.
nkalanaga
4.3 / 5 (4) Dec 28, 2011
Actually, the US has officially adopted the metric system. Every one of our traditional measures is defined by the metric equivalent. We may not USE metric daily, but it is the legal measuring system of the US.

My only real criticism of metric is the Celsius degree. It's larger than a Fahrenheit degree, meaning whole-number measures are less accurate, and trying to read tenths of a degree on analog thermometers is impractical.
FrankHerbert
2.8 / 5 (105) Dec 28, 2011
Yes, let's please switch to this. Also let's change the year to the Human Era format to get rid of the silly BC/AD crap.

http://en.wikiped...calendar
Kafpauzo
4.6 / 5 (9) Dec 28, 2011
It appears to be an almost definitive characteristic of "progressive" thinkers that they become so enamoured of the 'beauty' of an idea of their own conception that they become completely oblivious to the likely responses of everyone else who does NOT share in the parentage of the idea.


This is not limited to progressives. For instance, there are cases where conservatives get enamored of their ideas about moral, and want to impose them on everybody else.

It's probably a general human thing. If you think something is good, you want to share it with others. Some try to share it by proposing it to others, and some try to share it by forcing it on others.
Argiod
2.5 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2011
We all know the banking and finance sector will never allow this sort of thing to happen; it would undermine their ability to use 'creative bookkeeping' to fine us into poverty.

Of course, this is just my opinion; I could be wrong.
Loxmyth
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2011
Classic scientist vs. engineer debate. The scientist proves it possible and better and considers the job done. The engineer has to ask whether it's actually worth doing.

I'm an engineer. It isn't worth doing.

Anyone who really cares about the calendar is already using Julian day numbers or some equivalent thereof, and doing the math to convert to and from human-friendly forms when necessary. Anyone who really cares about time is already using UTC, and converting to local timezones when that helps the users.

The rest are reasonably happy with what we've got now. Nobody really cares about the fact that their birthday moves from one day of the week to another -- in fact, most of us like that since it gives everyone a fair chance at a weekend birthday.

Cute solution -- to a "problem" nobody really cares about, and certainly one that nobody will make any effort to solve.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (1) Dec 28, 2011
antialias:
The seven days cycle had its meaning (probably related to some Norse god's religious cycle or some astrological cycle). So did the months.
I know that the months are based on the lunar cycle; I strongly suspect that the weeks are also, since one quarter-cycle is just about one week's time.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2011
hcl:
The METER was imposed upon the world by autistic geeks. Autistic geeks do not see the human scale.
These "autistic geeks", as you so glibly (and incorrectly) label them, conducted a careful survey across much of France in order to get a very good idea of Earth's curvature. This careful plan of constructing a unit that was still of the proper, human scale was not done arbitrarily, with no regard for what the common man would need -- it was done FOR the common man! This is not the mark of the intellectually isolated autistic; it is also not the mark of just any geek. Geeks wrote the programs, and invented the computers, that enable you to post here. They did it WITH regard to the casual user, such as you.

You say the centimeter "almost" substitutes for the inch -- but too small. You say the meter "almost" substitutes for the yard -- too large.
Too small, or too large, for whom? Are your personal standards to be the world reference, then? (Ain't gonna happen.)
Silverhill
5 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2011
...continued...
And nothing foot/feet in between.
Half-meter. Quarter-meter. Decimeter. Whatever subdivision you want. (Even one-third meter. Even though it would not be an integer fraction of a meter, it could still have its uses.)

Geeks do not design for convenience - at least not prior ergonomics.
So the ergonomically designed chair/keyboard/etc. that you (might) use, designed for convenience, could not have been done by geeks? Poppycock!

In the area of fluids, the same problem. The metric system doesn't even have a 'cup' or gallon - only one unit at the human scale, the liter.
So what? Use fractions: half, third, quarter, tenth (remember those?), and multiples: two, three, four, ten, whatever. Your thinking is much too limited.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2011
...continued...
The pseudo-base-2 system of cup, pint, quart, gallon has its own natural logic to it.
As I already said: this is because it's easy to divide a length or a weight into two parts, using a string or a balance, respectively. It's when you start compounding those divisions arbitrarily that you run into needless difficulty, resulting in units with pseudo-base-4, -8, -16, etc. If you use ONE base instead of a scattering thereof, things are generally much simpler.

I might want TWO beers or FOUR cups for each member of my family, but not HUNDRED beers or negative-TEN beers.
And those TWO beers might be in TWO half-liter glasses; those FOUR cups might be FOUR quarter-liter cups. Still no problem here; why do you persist in believing that there is, or would be, an insuperable (or insufferable) difficulty?

You would need 100 beers only to serve a large crowd; you need -10 beers only to look foolish (which you certainly do).
Silverhill
5 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2011
Moreover, I do not object to having a base-10 system. Not at all.
Your strenuous objections, so far, belie this.

And the liter's too large as a single serving
So what? Serve more than one person from it.

too small as family-size or social group
So buy as many as you need -- no more, no less.

No-one uses a 1-liter for anything.
The soft-drink industry's success with 1-liter bottles proves you wrong yet again.
Nyloc
5 / 5 (1) Dec 29, 2011
I can't believe how the suggestion to revise the calendar degraded into rants about the metric system! If anything, it shows how even the (relatively) intelligent readers of this scientific website can get irrational. If rational people can't accept a sensible suggestion, how about the average Joe and Jane!
As for adjusting to the metric system, in Canada it was hardest for old people. The young and youthful transitioned just fine! (but Canadians learned the hard way to NEVER make such a change during a recession)
hcl
1 / 5 (7) Dec 29, 2011
@Silverhill

No-one ever cooed, "pass the quarter-liter". It's "pass the CUP." One syllable not four (catching on yet?)

(1) I did not argue Imperial XOR base-10, but rather have advantages of both insofar as possible.

(2) For welfare benefits of natural system; e.g., cup-pint-quart-gallon evolved for COMMUNICATIVE EFFICIENCY of daily life.

(3) To choose a natural unit in preference to meter - which is neither Fundamental nor natural.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (7) Dec 29, 2011
A cup can have a quarter-liter capacity and still be called a cup. Cups of many different volumes, from the demitasse to the coffee mug, still get called cups without having to have only one designated volume. Catching on yet?

(1) Mixing systems tends to lead to unnecessary confusion. Remember the old puzzle: "Which weighs more, a pound of gold or a pound of lead?"

(2) Old names -- names of things that have been around for a long time -- tend to be short (monosyllabic, mostly), for the sake of convenience. If you think that "liter" is too long a word, what about "gallon"?
("Centimeter", now, is a bit long, but one could come up with an abbreviated form easily enough for use in casual circumstances.)

(3) "Natural", eh? Remember that the yard was once defined as the distance from some king's nose to his middle fingertip. What about a short king, though, or a tall one? Which has the more "natural" length, and which the more arbitrary?

Also, base 10 *is* natural: consider fingers.
MarkyMark
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2011
@Silverhill

No-one ever cooed, "pass the quarter-liter". It's "pass the CUP." One syllable not four (catching on yet?)

.

I found this one funny, you really do seem to like avoiding the obviouse dont you? Say i and say my father was sharing a Quarter-liter cup of drink its quite natural to say pass the cup as thats what the cup is called still dont change the fact its a quater-litre. So technically you are right! But your reasoning is sloppy.

Another example would be a bottle filled with say two litres of Coca-Cola even tho it holds Two litres we dont say " please pass the two litres of Coke", rather we say "pass the BOTTLE over please"

To put it simply you were implying that those not using your outdated system cant for some reason say cup but rather HAS to say Quater litre. Well i will stop here i am sure you will find ome argument against hat i say that avoids omething obviouse and naturall..
MarkyMark
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 29, 2011
Ahh nevermind i see silverhill beat me to it ;)
Shakescene21
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2011
I spent 39 years with the Commerce Department, which has been coordinating the voluntary conversion to the metric system since 1971. We've actually come a long way. In 1970 Big-3 cars were almost entirely SAE in design, but nowadays the only non-metric part of a US car is the painting on the speedometer/odometer. The key boosters of metric conversion were the multinational corporations, because this makes it easier to source and sell globally. Unfortunately, this process cuts both ways, and the Big 3 aren't so big anymore.
Shakescene21
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2011
I'm surprised that no one on this forum has suggested overhauling the archaic measurements of daily time that we use.

Instead of 24 hours per day, why not 100 centidays per day?
Instead of 60 minutes per hour, why not 10 millidays per centiday?
Instead of 60 seconds per minute, why not 100 centamillidays per milliday.

The calculations would be much easier, and the centamilliday is shorter than a second, allowing for more precision.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2011
The 24 system or base 60 system the Egyptians used have their advantages for time. They are more easily divisible into equal parts.
(60 minutes can be divided by 2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20 and 30 while a 100 'minute' sytem could only be divided in 2,4,5,10,20,25 and 50.
24 hours can be divided into 2,3,4,6,8,12 equal parts whereas 10 hour systems could only be divided into 2 and 5 equal parts)
)

If we're talking truly 'natural' systems then we should all adopt a binary code. but that is just impractical for most purposes.
Noumenon
2.7 / 5 (108) Dec 29, 2011
@AntiAlias,

It may be too late if he sees this (he been following me around rating me all 1's today), but look at my profile activity.

Yesterday "Apoagogic" rates me all 1's.",.. but there is no "FrankHerbert" rating me 1's Yesterday.

Where as today, there is "FrankHerbert" rating me 1's, but no "Apoagogic" rating me 1's.

FrankHerbert is Apoagogic.
antialias_physorg
3.8 / 5 (10) Dec 29, 2011
Who. Cares.

Report it. What are you whining here for? And why to me? I'm not your dad or a moderator.

There's really no point in polluting EVERY thread with this crap.
Noumenon
3.5 / 5 (73) Dec 29, 2011
Only, because you took the time to suggest Apoagogic was me. That is all.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2011
Are you really so dense?
I repeated this about 5 times: it doesn't matter who it is.
If you find it, report it. What dou you care what I or anyone else thinks? Is anyone of us going to be able to provide any proof one way or the other? Only the moderators can do that.

Jeez.
FrankHerbert
2.8 / 5 (101) Dec 29, 2011

Yesterday "Apoagogic" rates me all 1's.",.. but there is no "FrankHerbert" rating me 1's Yesterday.

Where as today, there is "FrankHerbert" rating me 1's, but no "Apoagogic" rating me 1's.

FrankHerbert is Apoagogic.


Cute. This will be the last time I address this in this topic because I don't want to feed Noumenon's constant spamming of disinformation on this site.

It's obvious Apoagogic gave Noumenon all 5's then ghidon came through and voted them all down, resulting in all the 3's you see. You suck at disinformation Noumenon.

Also just google Apoagogic. It is a philosophical term. It has no common usage, much like "noumenon".

Noumenon's other, ADMITTED sockpuppet account "erscheinung" is german for noumenon. See a pattern here?

I won't respond anymore because it will result in a Pirouette-esque posting fit that is detrimental to this site. If Noumenon wants to flail around he can do so by himself.

Also Pirouette hasn't posted in a couple days. Odd. Is he banned :)
kaasinees
1.5 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2011
Really? We have the stock markets, bonds, investors, corporations ,religion etc. systems which cause many problems for many people and even kills people and they are worried about a lousy calender system? WTF man, what is wrong with this world?
Noumenon
3.2 / 5 (89) Dec 29, 2011
Noumenon's other, ADMITTED sockpuppet account "erscheinung" is german for noumenon. See a pattern here?


You created that pattern on purpose, numbnutz, just like you did with "Pirouette2". Why would I pick a similar name if I didn't want anyone to know it was me.

My profile lists all of your other sockpuppets, most of them a play off of other members names, which in one way or another you admitted to me via PM.

Erscheinung is my ONLY other screen name,... fully admitted to by myself during it's FIRST use to you and Ethelred. I was away and didn't have my original password.

No Pirouette is not banned.
rwinners
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 29, 2011
Variety is the spice of life.
hcl
1 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2011
@Silverhill

You are the Procrustean, autistic, one-itis victim I had referred to initially. Optimizing in a real-world scenario isn't you, but you can have the Meter alone in the lab. One day you'll figure out why the management gets paid so much more than your types.
hcl
1 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2011
anti_alias said:
The 24 system or base 60 system the Egyptians used have their advantages for time. They are more easily divisible into equal parts.


Whoa! Did you catch that, Silverhill? careful not to overheat the brain cells with such multivariate complexity!

The base 60, 24, and 10 systems *altogether*, linked via the almighty Second.

Two interoperatible systems in parallel. Backward-compatible. Natural.

Because base-10 leapfrogs over the small range of human existence, in single bound, in insufficient resolution.

"No further arguments, your honor. I rest my case." See ya on another thread.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2011
Erm...that's actually an argument for the metric system - because it is much easier convertible between the various magnitudes. Going from inches to feet to miles is just crazy. No one can do it in their heads. Or can you convert 4.567 miles in feet and in inches in your head? But taking 4.567 meter you can very easily convert to kilometers, centimeters, or whatever else.

Silverhill
4 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2011
hcl:
You are the Procrustean, autistic, one-itis victim I had referred to initially.
Procrustean? Wrong. I prefer to "shave with Occam's Razor", that's all.

Autistic? Wrong again. Do you even know the meaning of the term? You use it so easily, but apparently with so little actual knowledge. (Hint: I am not on the autistic spectrum. My social, intellectual, and other aspects are all in the normal-to-above-average realm.)

Optimizing in a real-world scenario isn't you,
And you know this, how? (You don't, actually. I am known for real-world optimization in certain areas. You are simply, and prejudicially, wrong yet again. Perhaps you enjoy it?)

but you can have the Meter alone in the lab.
Perhaps this might describe some introverted (autistic?) geek; I'll see if I can find one for you to study.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (3) Dec 29, 2011
hcl said:
anti_alias said:
The 24 system or base 60 system the Egyptians used have their advantages for time. They are more easily divisible into equal parts.
Whoa! Did you catch that, Silverhill? careful not to overheat the brain cells with such multivariate complexity!
I never said that I thought the 60/60/24 system was absolutely to be preferred; you are letting your imagination overheat your brain cells again.

However, a nonphysical quantity such as time is less of a problem when people decide how to partition it. Physical quantities need easier-to-handle units.
(Adding 13:37:52 to 17:03:28 *is* difficult, though...perhaps we need decimal time? ;-) )
Silverhill
5 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2011
Two interoperatible systems in parallel. Backward-compatible. Natural.
Just as natural as using all 60 of your fingers to count with, just like the Sumerians, eh?
(BTW, the word is "interoperable".)

Repeating, for the hard of thinking: ALL units of human measurement are arbitrary! The only decision to make is, "How *much* arbitrariness shall be used?"

Because base-10 leapfrogs over the small range of human existence, in single bound, in insufficient resolution.
Try again. Your thoughts had insufficient resolution/resolvability.

"No further arguments, your honor. I rest my case."
At last! You'll cease your arbitrary/misinformed foolishness, then.

See ya on another thread.
I DO hope not....
spacealf
5 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2011
While they are at it, why don't we slow down the clock or speed up the clock by either having the 18 hour day or the 30 hour day?
It works!

Were these scholars bored when they came up with this?
I see no need for a new calendar unless you forgot to think far into the future and still know the current calendar will still be off, and so will this attempt at a newer calendar.
Perhaps humanity should wait and think about it for another 1000 years first since the current calendar goes by astronomical reasons and not business reasons.
spacealf
5 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2011
For those who can not fathom the 30 hour day, you speed up the clock so 5 seconds on the new clock is the same as 4 seconds on the current clock. Therefore, I guess work is 10 hours long (each 60 minutes yet of the new clock time) and the rest of the time you can think about anything else that comes up. (Of course the new 60 minute hour is actually 48 minutes of the now current clock).
Look at all the time you would have then.
Same way with the 18 hour day if you slow down the current clock.
Wound up?
Maybe the clock should be changed and the calendar kept the same.
You would have more time zones, and more time.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2011
IMO, both methods of measurements are good. Preferences of one method over the other is usually the result of one's earliest schooling, in the country you were reared. Different professions use one or the other, sometimes both methods. I learned fractions of an inch, inch, foot and yard and mile. I and millions of others had no say in what we were taught in school. Only in certain high school subjects and college courses were we introduced into centimeters and liters. Some of us had to struggle to convert a yard to a meter in our heads, but it soon got easier. I'd imagine it was the same struggle for a student raised in England or Europe to convert meters to yards also. The terminology is also somewhat different, such as an American wrench is a British spanner. But both get the job done anyway no matter what you call it.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2011
Just curious. . .what is a 'sock puppet account' and where do you get one?
Silverhill
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2011
Some of us had to struggle to convert ... but it soon got easier.
Are you listening, hcl?

=====================
NamVet666: A sock puppet is an alternate persona, presented via a different user name attached to a different account.
Some people use them to appear to give support (or opposition) to points that they themselves make; it's considered childish and/or dishonorable by many.
I don't know if PhysOrg allows multiple user names for one account, but it's easy to supply a different e-mail address so as to make more than one account.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (8) Dec 30, 2011
Sock puppet sounds like a lot of trouble to go through to support or pretend to oppose oneself. That part is very dishonest. Almost like ballot stuffing at the voting booth, right?
Would you say that the person doing sock puppets could be suffering from some form of insanity? It seems similar to Congressmen and women doing "insider trading" to make millions of dollars on Wall Street when that kind of thing would be a criminal offense if an ordinary citizen did it, although I sure hope our politicians aren't insane. OK, it's not quite the same thing as a sock puppet, but it's just as dishonest as one.

How can you tell if someone in a thread is a sock puppet? What do you do if that sock puppet is abusive or lies about a member, as someone in this thread has suggested?

Oh BTW, I notice that Physorg is not allowing posting until 60 minutes has passed. This doesn't seem fair, does it? Is anyone else experiencing this?
Silverhill
1 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2011
I am aware of a minimum 3-minute gap between postings, but nothing larger than that.

From what I've seen in some of the comments -- I believe that if one is a paid member here, that certain information is accessible, such as: what address is associated with a user name; who gave a rating (1-5) on a given posting; etc.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (10) Dec 30, 2011
Sock puppet sounds like a lot of trouble to go through to support or pretend to oppose oneself. That part is very dishonest.
Yeah whats YOUR problem?
How can you tell if someone in a thread is a sock puppet?
They dont smell right.
What do you do if that sock puppet is abusive or lies about a member, as someone in this thread has suggested?

Oh BTW, I notice that Physorg is not allowing posting until 60 minutes has passed. This doesn't seem fair, does it? Is anyone else experiencing this?
Theory: Pirouette got banned and just had to come back as another transparent sockpuppet in order to keep posting crap. Why dont you go and reup dweeb?
paid member here, that certain information is accessible, such as:
Paid? What are you talking about? what address is associated with a user name; So if I pay money I can find out where you live??
who gave a rating (1-5) on a given posting; etc.
Dude, click on things. This is free and EASY to find.
Arf_Arf_Arf_Arf_Arf_Arf
1 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2011
They dont smell right.
This is correct. Sockpuppets reek.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2011
If God had wanted the metric system he wouldn't have invented the cubit.

"In the U.S. we can't even manage to switch to the metric system, so I'm not holding my breath." - Whomever
Vendicar_Decarian
2 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2011
"The key boosters of metric conversion were the multinational corporations, because this makes it easier to source and sell globally. Unfortunately, this process cuts both ways, and the Big 3 aren't so big anymore." - Foofie

See.. That damned socialist metric system killed them just as the Republicans predicted.

NamVet666
1 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2011
I am aware of a minimum 3-minute gap between postings, but nothing larger than that.

From what I've seen in some of the comments -- I believe that if one is a paid member here, that certain information is accessible, such as: what address is associated with a user name; who gave a rating (1-5) on a given posting; etc.


@Silverhill, how do you find out your rating? Also, does it show what the number was that the person who rated you gave you? Someone seems to be angry at my questions. That's very strange. Is everyone on Physorg that way?
jsa09
5 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2011


"I like my iced tea in pints, my red wine in quarts, and my 100% whole milk in half-gallons at a time. I don't drink in liters."


You drink wine a quart at a time? You might want to consider AA. (Even so, a liter is only 5% more than a quart. Not a real problem.)


I am not sure if you are right - where I come from we changed from pints to 600ML because a pint was 585Ml approx.

Which makes a quart a lot larger than a litre. Oh just remember the American pints gallons etc were a different size than ours.

At least the Litre is the same size in all countries.
Kafpauzo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2011
where I come from we changed from pints to 600ML


What we in Sweden call 6 deciliters. Much easier to relate to. Why hasn't this caught on?

Uh, wait a moment. I now see that I misread what you said. You changed from pints to 600 megaliters. I'm afraid not even the AA can help you.
Kafpauzo
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 31, 2011
how do you find out your rating?


Click your username link beside a comment (or else go to the top of the page and choose Account->Profile, which gives a different page). After doing either of these two, click "Activity".

Someone seems to be angry at my questions. That's very strange. Is everyone on Physorg that way?


People here are very, very different. Some are just like regular, normal, grown-up people. Others are stunningly childish. They'll explode in anger for no detectable reason, accuse each other of this and that, stalk each other with meaningless comment ratings, sock-puppet just to annoy each other, accuse each other of sock-puppeting, discuss who is a sock-puppet for who, and so on and on endlessly.

I find that most discussions are quite enjoyable if you just shrug and skip past and ignore the comments that seem to come from the children's sandbox, and also completely ignore all comment ratings. What remains after that is usually interesting and rewarding.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (8) Dec 31, 2011
I got a PM from a FrankHerbert this morning. This guy must be a nutcase. He thinks I'm someone else.

FrankHerbert 6 h 45 min ago

Hi Pirouette. How was your ban?

Anyway, it seems that Samoa has changed their calendar. Don't know if anyone else saw this.

http://media.bris...824.html

NamVet666
1 / 5 (8) Dec 31, 2011
Thanks Kafpauzo, I will keep all that in mind. I'm on vacation right now for the last two weeks and have to go back to work next week, so I won't be on as much. It's an interesting website and some of the people I've talked to are nice. But I don't understand why I am singled out for "demolition". LOL
I think I'll send a PM to this Pirot person and get the lowdown on what happened.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 31, 2011
Thanks Kafpauzo, I will keep all that in mind. I'm on vacation right now for the last two weeks and have to go back to work next week, so I won't be on as much. It's an interesting website and some of the people I've talked to are nice. But I don't understand why I am singled out for "demolition". LOL
I think I'll send a PM to this Pirot person and get the lowdown on what happened.
Funny it seems like your 60 minute posting delay cleared up pretty quickly... at least for this sockpuppet.

Or perhaps the penalty for lying, flooding, law enforcing, satanic cong-killer ufoloving ballerinas is only ephemeral? I bet if you were FDNY they would waive it altogether.
exprnc
not rated yet Dec 31, 2011
Some comment that they cannot deal with decimals ---- does this explain why so many folks have banking problems and do not understand the difference between a and - ?
NamVet666
1 / 5 (8) Dec 31, 2011
This GhostOtto person has a mental problem with my posting. It looks like he has seen my profile and added it to his little bag of tricks.
Does he do this to ALL new members who have just recently joined Physorg? Being a new member, I didn't know that GhostOtto was into saying nasty things and telling lies about those who just joined. Maybe I should get a sock puppet and satisfy his wet dream.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (8) Dec 31, 2011
how do you find out your rating?


Click your username link beside a comment (or else go to the top of the page and choose Account->Profile, which gives a different page). After doing either of these two, click "Activity".

Someone seems to be angry at my questions. That's very strange. Is everyone on Physorg that way?


People here are very, very different. Some are just like regular, normal, grown-up people. Others are stunningly childish. They'll explode in anger for no detectable reason, accuse each other of this and that, stalk each other with meaningless comment ratings, sock-puppet just to annoy each other, accuse each other of sock-puppeting, discuss who is a sock-puppet for who, and so on and on endlessly.

@Kafpauzo
I see what you mean. Thanks for the warning.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 31, 2011
This GhostOtto person has a mental problem with my posting. It looks like he has seen my profile and added it to his little bag of tricks.
Does he do this to ALL new members who have just recently joined Physorg? Being a new member, I didn't know that GhostOtto was into saying nasty things and telling lies about those who just joined. Maybe I should get a sock puppet and satisfy his wet dream.
Funny it seems like your 60 minute posting delay cleared up pretty quickly... at least for this sockpuppet.

Or perhaps the penalty for lying, flooding, law enforcing, satanic cong-killer ufoloving ballerinas is only ephemeral? I bet if you were FDNY they would waive it altogether.
Hev
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2011
pathetic -
the metric system came in before the end of the 18th century - USA still hasn't fully caught up with Europe with it except for their currency and can't spell metre properly -
that must be one reason the 0 longitude goes through Greenwich - could have been Paris - but no one considered it going through Washington - and the standard metre is still in France -
so we get the right time here - no problem
Silverhill
5 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2011
(Even so, a liter is only 5% more than a quart. Not a real problem.)
I am not sure if you are right - where I come from we changed from pints to 600ML because a pint was 585Ml approx.

Which makes a quart a lot larger than a litre. Oh just remember the American pints gallons etc were a different size than ours.
1 U.S. pint = 16 oz. = 473 mL = 95% of 1/2 liter.
If you mean the Imperial pint (19.2 oz), it's 568 mL = 114% of 1/2 liter.
Silverhill
not rated yet Dec 31, 2011
how do you find out your rating?
Click your username link beside a comment (or else go to the top of the page and choose Account->Profile, which gives a different page). After doing either of these two, click "Activity".
Thanks, Kafpauzo -- it wasn't as obvious as (I feel) it needed to be.
meBigGuy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2011
The measurement system doesn't matter, just so there is only one world wide. The metric system is more logical than any of the others since decimal is so widespread (as are ten fingers), so I vote for it. The idea that any measurement system is "natural" is ludicrous. The idea that one trained in one system cannot easily adapt compeletely to any other is idiotic. You can change the lengths to anything you want, but make the system decimal. For example, for all I care you can make the "peter" the basic measure, based on the Davids penis length. millipeter, kilopeter, megapeter. Just make it decimal.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2011
Does he do this to ALL new members

Nope. Just the ones that pretend to be new. Sockpuppet.
Au-Pu
1 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2012
Please Physorg put in some form of control.
This started as a debate about changing the calendar.
It then degenerated into a squabble about the metric system versus the imperial system.
The next degeneration was into a slanging match between idiots who are incapable of staying on topic.
I find it irritating to see all this juvenile garbage allowed on Physorg.
Surely there will be a way to exclude off topic posts.
I sincerely hope so.
meBigGuy
3 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2012
I realized after posting that I had gotten sucked into the off- topic metric debate. So, to make up for that I'll misspell the word calender twice in this post. Calender. Does that help?
Aargau
not rated yet Jan 01, 2012
The gist of this article is that computing schedules and differences in times and dates are hard to do.

Yet the one thing that increases in science over time is computational ability.

It almost seems like these proponents are stuck in a paper-calendar and slide-rule past.

I can already go to wolframalpha (or use Siri on the iphone) to ask how many days until next Halloween. I can even get the result in base 8 if I so desire. Robust system designs deal with inconsistencies, rather than attempt to remove them.

This is the same failure that proponents of one world language face. Instead of forcing everyone into an arbitrary simplified language which loses all cultural nuance, we should instead work on improving computational translation.

Finally, forcing people to rename noon, to midnight, when on the other side of the world, is just lunacy (or should I say solarcy).

Moebius
1 / 5 (3) Jan 01, 2012
Simple, logical and efficient. Therefore it has no chance of ever happening. Damn we're stupid.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 01, 2012
"Some comment that they cannot deal with decimals ---- does this explain why so many folks have banking problems and do not understand the difference between a (plus) and - ?"

It is clearly related. I regularly encounter Americans who can't add or subtract, and they are the ones I most commonly see whining about their national debt.

Other spectacular American failures is their near universal inability to distinguish between debt and deficit.

I regularly see American television news reports in which the federal debt is referred to as the deficit and the federal deficit as the debt.
ComputerWiz
not rated yet Jan 01, 2012
"Our plan offers a stable calendar that is absolutely identical from year to year and which allows the permanent, rational planning of annual activities, from school to work holidays," says Henry, who is also director of the Maryland Space Grant Consortium. "Think about how much time and effort are expended each year in redesigning the calendar of every single organization in the world and it becomes obvious that our calendar would make life much simpler and would have noteworthy benefits."

A long time ago, I volunteered for such a committee. I soon realized that there are only 14 possible calendars, since there are only 7 days of the week (and thus only 7 possibilities for when Jan 1 occurs) and only 2 possibilities for whether the current year is a leap year (thus deciding the rest of the days for the year). Easter was a bit of a challenge, until I learned about the 'Paschal Full Moon' table. Once I knew all that, I determined a perpetual calendar for them. Where is the problem?
TheQuietMan
2 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2012
This is pure ivory tower, a few trying to dictate to the all.

The current system works. The bugs are completely ironed out, and it is accurate for our year. It may not be perfect, but the effort to change one working system for another is not worth it.

I tend to agree we need to go metric. I would be left behind because I'm old enough to have trouble adapting, but it is an age thing. Kids don't really care, they would pick it up and never look back.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 01, 2012
I fail to see why anyone cares if the calendar loses phase with the natural seasons. Worrying about such things is idiocy.

364 days = 1 calendar year. 13 months 28 days each.

Problem solved.

Want better phase coherence? Add one day to the year = Festival.

Problem Solved.
Kafpauzo
5 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2012
This is pure ivory tower, a few trying to dictate to the all.


Why is it that some people feel that any idea, any proposal, means somebody is trying to dictate how things should be?

Proposing and dictating are very different. When people think that they have good ideas, speaking about their ideas must be allowed.

It's fortunate that these dictate-fearing people don't rule the world, or we'd still live in caves. A proposal for better housing? Stop him, he's trying to dictate how we all should live. Cultivating grain? Stop him, he's trying to dictate how we all should get our food.

Not that I think this calendar idea has any chance of getting traction. But proposing it must be allowed. Without people accusing the originators of trying to dictate how things should be.
Kafpauzo
3 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2012
This is the same failure that proponents of one world language face. Instead of forcing everyone into an arbitrary simplified language which loses all cultural nuance, we should instead work on improving computational translation.


You have completely misunderstood what the proposals for world languages are all about.

I'm a fluent Esperanto speaker, and it's fabulous fun. Nobody is forcing anyone, why would they? What a silly idea. Nobody is proposing to remove any language either.

It's for crossing frontiers, and it's fabulous for that. You become fully fluent far, far sooner than with any other language. This means that very soon you're enjoying the company of other people with all the rich nuances and fine details of real, human interaction.

Translation by computer? Why settle for poverty when full richness is just a small effort away?

Stop fearing Esperanto. It's not a threat, not in any way. It's just great fun. Real, human conversations with all the rich nuances.
pubwvj
1 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2012
Less accurate. No thanks.
Kafpauzo
3 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2012
You become fully fluent far, far sooner than with any other language.


Oh, I forgot to mention that the reason you become fluent quickly is that you don't spend most of your effort on a grammar full of intractable irregularities.

The grammar costs little effort, so instead you spend your efforts on words. On nuances. On fine variations of expression. On saying what you actually want to say, rather than making do with some crude approximation, like you have to do when essentially all your learning effort is spent on grammar irregularities.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2012
I like the idea of one language like Esperanto spoken everywhere. There are too many languages and dialects and going to different countries necessitates learning at least a few phrases just to get by. Most people will more likely learn 5 languages fluently if they're motivated enough, but Esperanto would eliminate that need.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2012
I'm not saying that all other languages should be eliminated. But Esperanto as the Lingua franca would unite all people with a common language, especially for commerce.
ZachB
1 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2012
I don't know how I feel about this... Wait. I do. I want whatever tax dollars I paid back from that navel rubbing circle jerk.
Kafpauzo
not rated yet Jan 01, 2012
I'm not saying that all other languages should be eliminated.


Esperanto speakers tend to be strong defenders of everyone's right to use their own language.

They tend to frown strongly upon cases where local languages are suppressed or children are not taught their local language in school. There's a strong, outspoken awareness of the importance of our many languages, with their cultural heritage and personal importance to everybody.

This isn't really surprising. After all, people who are indifferent to language issues are less likely to choose to learn Esperanto.

Also, Esperanto is descended from other languages. It's built out of loan words. The loans carry with them a rich cultural heritage that helps build nuances and expressiveness.

The regular grammar can take some getting used to, but once you're used to that, it becomes truly beautiful, in part because it's quite a thrill to learn to understand and express nuances rather than focus on declensions.

http://lernu.net
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 01, 2012
"But Esperanto as the Lingua franca would unite all people with a common language, especially for commerce." - NamVet

But the Christian God has forbidden such a thing. Remember the tower of Babel?

The Christian God demands that man be feeble and ignorant.

Shakescene21
1 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2012
@antialias physorg - I just realized that Star Trek (2009 movie)has adopted your proposal to dispense with months and simply number the days. Thus, yesterday was 2011.365 and today would be 2012.1 . I think you're on to something.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (9) Jan 01, 2012
I for one, don't have a direct line to the Christian God, so it's impossible for me to say with much conviction what, if anything, he wants. But a good language like Esperanto, however artificial, would make things much easier. That would mean that translators would not be needed at the United Nations and anyone could walk into any neighborhood, no matter what ethnicity, and speak with the locals in a language everyone can understand. I think Esperanto should be taught in the schools as a second language besides the language spoken in the country of origin. I'm with Kafpauzo on the beauty of Esperanto as a common language for the common people.
NamVet666
1 / 5 (10) Jan 02, 2012
Checked my PMs today and found two PMs from a FrankHerbert. He's got me mixed up with someone else named Pirout for some reason. i have never been in a jungle, I flew planes. Any more PMs from this nutjob and I will have to write a letter to the editor of Physorg.

FrankHerbert 12.31.2011 14:46

Are you gonna be a pussy and hide like you did in the jungle?
FrankHerbert 12.31.2011 04:24

Hi Pirouette. How was your ban?
Kafpauzo
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 02, 2012
Any more PMs from this nutjob and I will have to write a letter to the editor of Physorg.


When people act like this, it's almost always a much better strategy to ignore them completely.

Or else, if for some reason that isn't suitable, and you really want to react in some way, it's almost always better to ignore the fact that they act strange, i.e. pretend that you don't notice the childishness, and respond with exaggerated politeness, exaggerated friendliness.

That's because his aim may be to taunt you. If so, whenever you show that he annoys you, this is satisfying for him, he finds that his taunts are successful. If instead you either don't react at all, or react with exaggerated politeness, he'll find that his taunts aren't getting through, that he can't get at you. This way, after a while he'll probably find it more and more boring.

Writing to Physorg sounds like a bad idea. With so many children here, I bet they are very, very tired of such things.
spacealf
1 / 5 (1) Jan 02, 2012
First humans have to be around to have a calendar. Second there seems to be more nut cases in the world nowadays. And there has to be a future if anyone survives whatever the future can bring.
Sorry, but no new calender is needed. And whoever is left if bad things should happen, probably won't care about either calendar or will just continue on with what they think they need.
Foolish1
not rated yet Jan 02, 2012
New calendars can be produced at no cost using simple computer programs. Its hard to see how the benefit outweighs cost.

There are still months with alternating 30 and 31 days so complexity surrounding mortage, subscriptions and proration do not go away with the new system.

This calendar invents a serious new problem of an extra week in December every few years. How does that work? Do we all get a free extra week on our Mortgages or Phone? Are no events to be planned in this extra week? Does the extra week not have secondary effects on event planning on other events happening beyond into the next year requiring scheduling changes?

With regards to UTC vs local time UTC is already used as the basis for international scheduling where appropriate.

Removing timezones to benefit business optimization is unhumane and unjustifiable. Either globally standardized wrk hours change producing the same problems local time UTC already solves or half the world lives their day in the dark.
Mastoras
not rated yet Jan 03, 2012
I am surprised seeing so many people impressed in favor of what is presented as stantardisation and practicality.

Is the purpose of our life not to waste a minute?

What will happen to military spending? Will it remain unchallenged? It is ridiculous to propose a new calendar on the ground of claimed practicality, but never give a thought to military spending and corporate profits that are also wasting social resources.

**** ****

Right. So..., if standardisation is a Good Thing, let us also improvise one unique design for homes all over the world.

And one unique design on how to assembly these houses into villages, town and cities.

Um, no, no villages, towns and cities. Instead, there will be cities of one size. And distances between villages, towns and cities should also be standard.

And stop laughing at the above proposal. If you think it is imaginary..., well, we already have one presidential candidate here who proclaims exactly that. (keyword for your searches: Outopos).
-.
SteveMerrick
5 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2012
I *like* the way that Christian and Moslem festivals take place at times dictated by the cycles of the MOON! It adds to the variety of life. A predictable calendar is efficient, but do we live our lives for the sake of efficiency? Not me. Sorry.
Xbw
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 03, 2012
I say we get rid of Monday and replace it with Funday, a 3rd weekend day. The verse "On the Funday the Lord played Bingo and Yahtzee with Jesus." was stricken from the Bible you know. I say we bring it back!
dave1sfx
Jan 10, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Blakut
not rated yet Jan 10, 2012
GMT time forthe whole world sucks. I already know GMT. I use UTC for work related stuff anyway (astronomy).
BTroibayn
not rated yet Jan 18, 2012
Well...I'm not opposed to the idea of this kind of change to our calendar...but I am curious as to why some people were posting comments about how it would make a unified time zone. Do people not realise that just because the days of the week change, the sun will still rise and set at the same time? The point of time zones is to keep days relative to where you are in the world. This would not change by changing the number of days per month.
dumbolstayathomemom
not rated yet Jan 18, 2012
So.....what happens to the person born on January 31st? Or May 31st?? They just get to celebrate on June 31st or possibly they're expected to celebrate on September 31st?? Oh wait, I know, since there's an extra week every few years-they can just have that when it comes around...
Viln2332
not rated yet Jan 20, 2012
There are good arguments for predictability and facilitating scheduling for project, events, et al; but how absolutely boring would it be to know what day events will always be on. What about those who have birthdays on crappy days i.e. Monday-Thursday. They can not go out and enjoy themselves. Yes, we do always get that extra day for the four major holidays, but I reiterate: HOOOOOOW BORING!!!!! You have good years and bad years. Deal with it.
In concession though, the present calendar is antiquated and does not seem to fit with our modern perception and understanding of time, space and planetary movements. Maybe it is time that we should move on to something improved and streamlined.
Maybe streamlining the calendar is ideal for scientists, mathematicians, economists and all others who prefer a predictable path because it is easier. Thankfully, that is not what life is about. Nothing is certain. And, it should never be.

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