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About measuring and communicating time

2021-w37-2 356:47

I think that for many humans, _time_ is an amazing concept, maybe overwhelming. And making a whole world, or even a small community, to use same 'units', timezones, and standards, is even something aspirational.

The day (earth completing 1 rotation around its axis), and the year (earth moving around the sun), sound like a constant we cannot change. But why we split the day in 24 parts, and then into 60?

60 again and we have:

[Second ...] The time duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the fundamental unperturbed ground-state of the caesium-133 atom.

All the humanity has been using same system from, maybe, 1582 with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar. The day was defined by 24 pieces due to convenience with pendulum clocks. In 1792 a decimal time was proposed, but didn't last. In 1998 the Internet Time was proposed, splitting the day in 1,000 parts and not having timezones. Was good for videogames, but nothing else...

So... Is it time for a change? (Pun intended)

Maybe not, but you know, stupid scientific and innovating feelings of challenging the status quo.

It's common to see proposals to change the way we are measuring and communicating 'the time'.

A few examples

Arvelie - Alphabetic date format
Neralie - Decimal time
Decimal time from France on 1792

The most important side of it is having more than 1 human understanding how it works, and actually using it.

Are there any problems with current time systems?

I think there are not so many with the system, more with the language of it. If I say 04/09/21 8:19, maybe you already know that is 4th of September of 2021. Or maybe it was 9th of April 2021? Or 21st of September, 1904 perhaps...

Yes, current simplifications takes to ambiguity. Was it 8am or pm?

Luckily if we use standards, like we do in our studio, the same system works better.

04/sep/2021 8:21am (CT)

But we still have a few problems, which CT is it? From my country, from some other. Daylight saving changes at random dates in the year are a problem by itself.

What I don't like so much is that the system is really unpredictable for work reasons. Usually we work from Monday to Friday, so, is the month going to start on Monday?

My proposal

Gemu Clock - What we 'use' to work here

When I knew the ISO calendar, what a few Geman companies use, was somehow difficult to grasp but useful. (Yep, corporations looking to improve processes, for reasons...). You split your year in 52-53 weeks. Every week starts on Monday. So basically the months disappear, or at least the sense of it.

We measure our projects in blocks of 4 weeks (sometimes 5 if there were many holidays, and to adapt to months). Often we start in the first Monday of the month, and finish on the last Friday. Works well to measure a project in 20 exact working days, not from 1-31 of October, for example, that has, we don't know how many working days.

So today is


Year 2021, Week 37, Day 2 that is always Tuesday


14/sep/2021 (tuesday)

Good thing is that calendars show both week numbers and months in the same view, so is an 'easy' conversion'.

The decimal clock is not so easy to use. There is not a simple conversion between a day of 24 hours and 10. I tried to use it for a few weeks, but I came back to the traditional clock, with a few tools to adapt to multiple countries where I should take videocalls with.



8:31 AM (In MT MX)

Nop, not an easy conversion. It's like pounds, farenheit and feet. I simply don't get it when someone from USA talks to me in those terms, I need to take out a calculator.

So basically is 'Call me at 9am (my time, MT MX)' and your calendar software do the conversions automatically with your timezone...

A few interesting references

Wikipedia - Day
Wikipedia - Hour - Antiquity
Wikipedia - Internet Time
ISO Time - A date and time representation used in computing



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