Let's end the archaic management of time
Every once in a while, twice a year to be exact, I am forced to go through the house and change the time on all the clocks, and other appliances that have clocks. The atomic clock in the kitchen doesn't need to be changed, my cell phone is ok, and computers auto-adjust, but I still have to make the rounds for the other devices. When we are an hour early or late on our first trip after such time-changing events, I also realize I need to change the clock in the car. Growing up in Indiana, this wasn't as much of a problem, as we didn't change our clocks. The only impact was that TV shows started an hour early (or late) half the year.
Fellow Jolt judge, David Dossot, reminded me of "beat time" from the late 90's. It never caught on, but what a concept? Could one time zone for the entire planet be possible?
I have heard all sorts of explanations as to why we have to change our clocks, but that is just half of the problem. The other half is the concept of time zones. We have four time zones in the continental United States. Russia has many more than that. Any gues as to how many time zones in China? Ten? Twelve? How about one? That's right - ONE time zone. I remember how great it was to know that if I was taking a train from Xi'an to Guilin, I could immediately know how many hours it would take. I didn't have to adjust for any of this time zone nonsense.
Now I've heard from many people who think that it is a good idea, and the reason in every single case is the same - "I want to know that sunrise is around 5 to 6 am." In other words, everyone wants to have their own 6:00am. They think it would be too strange to get up at 2:00pm while someone else, at the same time, is getting up at 6:00am. We have become so mentally attached to a number on a clock being associated with the relative position of the sun in the sky. Sure, you can throw biorhythms in there as well, but that seems to be of lesser importance. Let's not even bother to bring up the fact that this crazy sun of ours keeps changing the time that it appears in the morning, and seems to have absolutely no respect for our concepts of tracking time.
Imagine, if you will, a world where you could schedule a meeting with someone for 18:30 (let's just assume 24 hour time while we're at it) and neither one of you have to do a calculation to figure out what time zone is for which person. Imagine that you can take a flight from Chicago to Hong Kong and not have to deal with local times to figure out how long the flight is.
For all the reasons to hang-on to this outdated imperialist dogma of time zones and savings time, there are far more reasons to let it go and embrace one time zone for all. Some day... some day...