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November 12, 2017

You may have heard some of these, but here's a couple

"Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."

or my favorite:

"Daylight saving time occurs because Chuck Norris hits snooze on his alarm clock."

There are those who think daylight savings time is just a trick and we're the victims. Well, they're only partially correct. The truth is, DST is there to correct the trick. What is the trick that it corrects? The clock. Let me explain...

Before clocks became available to the average man, people kept time by the sun. The day started when the sun came up, and ended when the sun went down. Indeed, those of us familiar with the Bible read how the Hebrews reckoned time by the number of hours since sunrise. The 9th hour, for instance, was sometime around 3:00 p.m. - or 9 hours after sunrise. So, the workday began, depending on your particular activity, when the sun came up, and by the time the sun went down you were through with your daily work and it was time to get ready for bed.

Then came clocks. Now we have a mechanical means of keeping up with time. That was the first major change, and things would never be the same.

At the time, Great Britian was the world power, and since they'd basically invaded every country on earth, they took it on themselves to decide what the time standards were. Even today, the world's times are all keyed to the time in London. Listen to the U.S. Government's time station, WWV, and you'll hear it called "Universal Time". It's also known as Greenwich Mean Time, all based on the time standard in Greenwich England.

However, even back then people didn't necessary become slaves to the mechanical timekeeper, and things still were pretty much sunrise to sunset. Then came Edison, and all of a sudden the lack of light was no longer a limiting factor. But the real gamechanger came shortly after that. It was called Henry Ford. Now, at the time, the change to a 40 hour workweek advanced by Ford Motor Company was a great idea, because the workweek had been somewhere around 48 hours per week, and Ford believed that a somewhat shorter workweek was better for worker productivity. So 8 to 5 - punching the clock, and now we're slaves.

The problem is that the sun still comes up and the sun still sets on different schedules depending on the time of year. To correct this difference between "sun" time and "clock" time, a New Zealander named George Hudson proposed moving the timezone to give people like him more daylight to pursue interests outside of their work schedule. It took a world war and the wish to increase productivity by lengthening the workday by an extra hour to make it what it is now.

Now, remember, by this time we are slaves to a mechanical clock rather than using the "natural" timepiece - the sun. The use of daylight savings time was an attempt to correct that situation. So, it turns out that, in reality, it's that thing you wear on your wrist (or, if you're like me, those digits on your smartphone) that is fake, not the attempt to correct things.

OK, so what? Well, here's the thing. In the days when we were an agrarian society, the clock was not as limiting because most work was done outside and the sun still dictated when the work had to finish. But once we became an industrial society, the work moved inside and the clock took over. But, the sun still goes down on its own schedule. Now, I hate seeing it dark at 5:00 p.m. I'm sitting here right now at 7:00 p.m. and it looks like midnight outside. My eyes tell me it's time to go to bed, but if I do that, I'll toss and turn all night long. The clock doesn't track with the sun, and that really messes with your body.

So here's my proposal: Just rip the bandage off and move the timezone permanently. Stop calling it daylight savings time and just stick with it.

Why this long diatribe? I had nothing else to do and it's dark outside...


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