A Better Solution to Daylight Savings Time?

The current Daylight Savings Time system is clunky. Proponents cite the benefit of having more waking hours of daylight. But most people dislike the hassle of changing clocks twice a year and having to adjust their bodies to a sudden 1 hour time shift.

I was thinking about this and I came up with a solution I’ve not encountered before. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present “Short and Long Time”:

After the summer solstice, all clocks will run on “Short Time” when the second hand ticks every ~0.9998 seconds. This makes each day end 20 seconds faster to compensate for shorter days as winter approaches. Over half a year, the change adds up to 60 minutes, or the same shift as our current system, but done more gradually and in a manner that is imperceptible.

After the winter solstice, all clocks will be changed to use “Long Time”, when a “long” second is incremented every ~1.0002 “normal” seconds.

Yes, people who don’t upgrade their clocks will be stuck with a slow / fast clock that needs to be adjusted by about 2 minutes each week. However, with planning and coordination, new clocks that support both old and new standards can be phased in. By the time of the launch, most people will have clocks that support the new system. Besides, we’re in a recession and people needing to buy new things seems like it would be helpful to the economy.

Your PC’s clock and your mobile device can automatically support the new system via upgrade patch, so no need to replace them. As far as twice-a-year reminders for smoke alarm batteries, etc., those can still occur on the solstices.

The result is a sunrise that occurs more consistently at the same time of day and a sunset that swings from later in the summer to earlier in winter. (Actual results depend on your geographic latitude) There’s also no weird time oddities like twins being born “out of order” due to Daylight Savings Time.

Surely you can’t be serious.

Hear hear! Let the farmers wake up an hour earlier if they want so much damn sun!

ETA: Your proposed fix is redunka-dunk-u-lous.

There’s probably a reason you haven’t encountered this solution before…

Oh, to address the OP… Babies don’t give a shit about what time it so even though I was amped this morning because he “slept in” an extra hour (because the actual time was an hour later), now he won’t go to bed.

Fuck DST. I vote to leave the damn clocks alone.

Yep, sure am.

Why do you think that?

Why do you think it’s a bad idea? With my system, the new clocks would self-adjust, so you never mess with them. Also, your baby would like my system just fine.

Ok, I’ll bite. Here’s what I thought of off the top of my head.

  1. By your proposed method, every watch and clock from the past 1,000 years of Western Civilization would become useless. I know you say that new clocks will be “phased in,” but how would you propose to change the mechanism of, say, Big Ben, or my dad’s old Rolex watch?

  2. You’d piss a lot of people off. If your “About me,” is correct, you live in that country that still uses Fahrenheit and miles and inches. Good luck with getting people to change to a new time system.

  3. I fail to understand the inherent merits of the sun rising every single day at the exact same moment. As per my original post, few of us are still farmers, so the practical value of the sun to us is questionable.

  4. For getting rid of “oddities” like out of sync twins, what about all the other screwy crap this would cause? Every 100 meter sprinter would wait for…-checks-…winter? When the seconds were longer, in order that he might break the world record. What about seconds on the clock in any major sporting event? A chess clock? I’m not saying we base our measurement system on these needs, but it’s no more trivial than the example you gave out. Would there be a “standard second” in addition the summer and winter seconds you’ve provided?

  5. Personally, I’d find that very unsettling, knowing that the most basic unit (in laymen’s terms) of tracking the progression of time is fundamentally different in Summer than in Winter. However small a change, that’s altering your own perception of the world in some minute (bad pun) fashion. Freaky deaky.

  6. Explain how that would help the economy. If everyone in the U.S was forced to buy a Hummer, GM sales would go through the roof, and billions of gallons of gas would be bought and burnt. That’s not really creating any new wealth in the Gross National Product, is it? Similarly, making a bunch of new watches and forcing everyone to buy one only stands to benefit whomever makes these new watches.

I might think of more, but my browser already crashed on me once, so I should keep it short. I’m against the second shift! :stuck_out_tongue:

So one week Arizona is 15 minutes ahead of Nevada and the next week is it 17 minutes ahead? I think I’ll stick with the current system.

He is serious. And don’t call him Shirley.

What happens to things that need to be precisely timed?

The point of Daylight Saving Time is to get extra daylight. Shifting the clocks so they run 20 seconds shorter each day won’t help that. I have no idea what the point of your proposed system is.

As to the question, I think we should leave it all alone and stop switching things around twice a year. It’s a pain in the ass and it doesn’t really have a point now that we’re not out working the fields.

No, the point of Daylight Saving Time is to use the existing daylight more efficiently by getting society to wake up earlier in the morning during the summer months.

It doesn’t add a second of daylight to the day - it can’t.

The means of effecting this society-wide change is to alter the clocks and pretend that 12 Noon is 1 PM, making 4 AM into 5 AM and 9 PM into 10 PM. I, personally think this is stupid - wake up earlier if you want to wake up earlier. Open your place of business an hour earlier in the summer, if that’s what you’re after.

They would be precisely timed in normal seconds, just they way it is done now.

I’m not really sure why people still insist on this being a farmer thing. It’s not. That’s been debunked long, long ago.

The current system is fine, and really works out the best for everyone. Of course, that won’t stop people from whining about it.

It doesn’t have a point when you’re working out in the fields, when you’re farming, you get up when it’s light and stop working when the work is done. It has a point for city dwellers, who get up based on when the clock tells them to, go to work when the clock tells them to, go home when the clock tells them to, and who suddenly get an extra hour of sunlight after work is over. While it sounds nice to say “open your business an hour earlier if you want” it’s a bit harder to “tell your boss you’re leaving an hour earlier every day”.

No, I don’t like your proposal. Stop changing the clocks. I HATE DST. It’s stupid. I am not a farmer and something like 90% of the people in this country are not farmers.

It’s not about farming!

Although, that extra hour of daylight must really help the crops.

If we went on DST year round, we could probably solve the world’s food problems.

Why stop there? Use double daylight saving, and you get even more sunlight. Triple, i.e., three hours in advance, and even more. Let’s go all the way to duodecimal daylight saving, so all hour work hours are at night!

I don’t care! I don’t want it! Whatever reason it may be for, it’s not necessary. Set your clocks earlier if you want to wake up earlier.