A waste of time

Another daylight saving, another round of adjusting myriad clocks and devices, and dealing with the disruption to our children’s sleep schedules.

Why do we still put up with this farce?

Let’s just leave our clocks alone. The issue is that there isn’t as much daylight (where I live, this time of year, there’s about 11.8 hours of daylight, per the almanac). But mucking about with the clocks doesn’t manufacture daylight. What’s the benefit to morning daylight for people who don’t need it? Some people I know like it light in the evening, some the morning — you can’t have both (there just isn’t enough daylight), so some people are going to be upset.

Instead of tedious and disruptive adjustment of clocks, how about this simple workaround: If you want morning daylight, get up when the sun rises. In theory it’s the farmers who want morning daylight the most. Fine — hey farmers, set your day according to when the sun rises, ok? If that means telling your workers to set the schedule to have the day start at 7am half the year and 8am the rest of the year, what’s so bad about that?

My kids thank you. In turn, that would make me grateful by not being up at 3:30 because their schedule is all messed up.

Ban clock adjustment. It’s a stupid, time-consuming, disruptive exercise that has no place in the 21st century.

5 Responses to “A waste of time”

  1. Brian Johns Says:

    You can’t have it both ways, but the energy savings to society by giving people more evening daylight are undeniable. (Which is why we just added more time to daylight savings last year.)

    Sure – we could do that same thing by having people just start their day earlier so they get home from work earlier and go to bed earlier which would mean people would need less artificial lighting during their evenings, but isn’t it much easier to go through all of this daylight-savings hoopla than to make Americans do ANYTHING any earlier?


  2. Stephen Says:

    Undeniable? Source please. Where’s the proof of that? You’re not generating daylight out of nowhere by mucking with the clock — there’s less than twelve hours of daylight this time of year no matter what you do. So it’s a zero sum game when you change the clock. People are awake 16 hours and so 4.5 of them are going to be dark. Where’s the proof that the energy savings from an hour more evening daylight is more than the energy loss from an hour more morning darkness?

    We can do research, find the average waking/working/home times, and we could look at the entire year (as a whole) and set the time to maximize morning/evening daylight, and stop wasting time with this spring forward/fall back nonsense.

    The hoopla has costs too:
    * Labor cost in people adjusting all the clocks
    * Engineering effort from all the CEs and developers who have to program time functions
    * Countless episodes of people inadvertently arriving an hour early or late (sometimes disastrous)
    * Lost productivity from sleep issues in people whose pattern is disrupted
    * Stress from the havoc it can cause for children’s schedules
    * Hassle in dealing with scheduling issues for night workers

    I want to see the proof that the savings are worth it. Since we adjusted the clock specially last year, the adjusted month in 2007 should have less energy cost than that month in 2006, right? So let’s see the data. Burden of proof is on the government that messes with our time (and steals an hour of sleep from us).

  3. Rob "first post" Christ Says:

    Ars has this article which references a reuters article which no longer exists.

  4. Madddog the driving cat Says:

    I’m pretty sure the change in DST was a push from the watch/clock manufacturing complex, in a blatant move to get people to buy new timepieces that can handle the new time switch. Don’t let them get to you. In fact, you should buy all the clocks and watches that have the ability to detect the new time change, and then destroy them. That will show them.
    [This message may or may not be sponsored by Casio]

    I also think we shouldn’t switch back in the fall. We should move ahead again, until all darkness has been destroyed forever.

    Vote Bush, 2008

  5. Stephen Says:

    Ironically: I posted this at 3:30am, but it’s tagged as 2:30am because I didn’t adjust the GMT offset in the blog settings (and this version of WordPress isn’t smart enough to figure out DST automatically).

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