America’s Broken Temporal System: Here’s How to Fix Daylight Savings Time

Gabriel Mathy

Gabriel Mathy

Gabriel Mathy is an Assistant Professor of Economics at American University

Related Post Roulette

11 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Also, it’s foolish that “standard” time is the one we have for only four months of the year. Daylight Savings Time should be renamed to Standard Time, and the current Standard Time to Daylight Squandering Time.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Ah, The Energy Policy Act of 2005. The idea was to extend daylight saving time and thus save energy. Win-win, right?

    Well, it didn’t. There were results that seemed to indicate that increased A/C usage balanced out the “natural light” benefits and even the benefits that showed a small improvement were within the margin of error.

    This might have made sense back in the days when people had animals that expected to be fed at the same time every day and farmers needed to show them who was boss.

    But it doesn’t make sense in a world of global interconnected capitalism.Report

  3. Avatar Road Scholar
    Ignored
    says:

    You’re not thinking ambitious enough. I’m constantly crossing time zones (trucker), in fact I just did so this morning driving from Ohio to Chicago. And I live on the Great Plains just about where you want the dividing line to be. I would suggest that time zones should be continent-wide things. So North American time, European Time, Australian Time, etc.

    Alternatively, and probably easier for people to accept, would be the continental time zones as overlays to the current setup for commercial purposes.

    And for FSM’s sake ditch the stupid DST thing.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t know, do we really want to give people on the East coast even more of a reason to be smug about people on the West coast (those west coast people don’t even start their day until noon!)?Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s why you center it in the Great Plains, tacitly acknowledging that the coasties are weird. More seriously, that’s why I suggest the creation of commercial time zones as overlays. My pickup and delivery appointments could be specified in North American Commercial Time so I don’t have to figure out what the hell time it is where I’m going. Same deal for teleconferencing, airline schedules, etc. Sorta like the way GMT works for astronomers.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      Everyone assumes that regulations just appear by magic, like there’s a bureau of regulation somewhere that makes them up and distributes them for no good reason. The problems caused by the equivalent of a county-by-county system were real, and everyone was overjoyed when the railroads adopted four-zone standardized time in the 1880s. Most states and municipalities quickly adopted the railroad system.

      It’s clear you don’t care about the middle of the country, but a three-hour time change between Denver and Kansas City is ridiculous.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar
        Ignored
        says:

        I must not have been clear: I live in western Kansas and I totally agree that a three-hour time change between Denver and KC is ridiculous. That line is about two hours drive west of my home. So I’m not supporting the OP’s suggestion. People LIKE having their clocks (roughly) correspond to solar time.

        What I’m suggesting is to just leave the current time zones alone and add another time zone designation, North American Commercial Time, that corresponds to Central Time or maybe splits the difference between Central and Mountain that would be used for interstate business purposes like transportation or setting up teleconferencing. You would know what the difference was between NACT and your local time but you wouldn’t need to know, or care, what the local time for Buttscratch Indiana was.Report

  4. Avatar lyle
    Ignored
    says:

    First a nit the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of mexico not the Pacific.
    Secondly we have a world wide time system both in Aviation, as well as hiding inside most computers and smart phones. If you delve into how they work they keep their time in Coordinated universal time, with the display making the needed offset to it for the local time zone. Much of what you ask for can be accomplished by using computer based calendar appointment calendars, with a modification to allow you to set the time zone for an appointment or else specify the city of the appointment, and from that get the timezone. .
    As a brief example (although windows actually runs on local time at its base, it is possible to show these on the windows task bar. Google Calendar can ask now for location, and it could be modified to ask, if the appointment is in your local time or the event location’s time or allow you to specify which time zone the event given in. . Microsoft exchange also keeps time in CUT. There do exist a lot of apps to show world maps with time zones also.

    A better modification of the idea might be to disregard that the clock is set to noon at intervals divisible by 15 degrees of longitude and make the center at 82.5 and 112.5 i.e. using a time that is 6.5 hours behind CUT for the eastern part, and 8.5 for the western part.
    So the issues can be solved with computers or smart phones, if you keep your calendar on a computer or smart phone.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *