Date and time system

Tags: datetime.
By lucb1e on 2011-11-20 02:27:56 +0100

I remember asking my mom once why there were 60 minutes in an hour, or 60 seconds in a minute or something. I think I was about 8 years old, and didn't understand why they didn't take a round number like 50 or 100. It would make calculations with time at elementary school so much easier. She answered it otherwise wouldn't work or something... Whatever it was, there wasn't time to discuss the matter much further.

Nowadays I know the answer: Because it can be 60. It could also have been fourty-seven point twelve, but the old and oh-so-wise Babylonians were unfortunately (or fortunately, concidering my alternative of 47.12) obsessed with 60.
So, our current date and time system sucks. We are all used to it by now, but think of what we are doing. Today is November 20th, what does that tell me? Well it's getting colder outside, yesterday it was November 19th and tomorrow it will be the 21st of November. That's about everything. If I want to know which month-number it is, I either have to learn by heart that November = 11 or I have to count. I can't tell you whether the month has 30 or 31 days without either learning that by heart too or counting on my knuckles, nor do I have any idea if it's a monday or a saturday.
Well the answer is sunday. Say I want to plan a meeting in 4 weeks, when is that?
If 4 weeks was a month, the calculation would be easy, December 20th. But unfortunately, it's not. I'll have to calculate (or look in an agenda). Let's see, 4 weeks times 7 days is 28 days. 20 + 28 = November 48th, that doesn't exist, so how many days into December is it? That depends, is November a month with 30 or 31 days? Let's use my knuckles... Ok it's 30 days, so that means it's December 18th.

Let's try that again, in O'Harean time.
Today is Vigeo 10:1. I want to plan a meeting in 4 weeks, when is that? Answer: 14:1. Wow, that was easy (yes, I still am surprised by it every time I use it). How did I know? Simple, 10:1 is the 2nd day of the 10th week, so in 4 weeks it will be 14:1.

So I was complaining I can't really deduce a lot from November 20th, what can I tell from Vigeo 10:1? It's the second day of the 11th week, it's gets colder and colder outside. I can not only tell the dates of tomorrow and yesterday, but I can also easily tell without really counting that a week ago it was Vigeo 9:1 and in a week it will be Vigeo 11:1. It will be Vigeo until the 15th week of the season. What is the last day? Vigeo 14:5 (there are 6 days in a week, 0-5, and the week numbers go from 0 trough 14, so logically 14:5 is the last day of Vigeo). For December I know because I've seen "December 31st" so often and because I just learned that November got 30 days. But except for Februari I don't know how many days there are in each month, I'd always have to count or learn it some day.

Number of days in a week? 6. Why 6? It's not a prime like 7 (6 is divisible by 2 and 3, we can really have "half a week" now), and with 4 seasons of 90 days it forms nearly a year.
Currently we have 7 days a week, which doesn't make much sense either. I bet that if we had 25 days a week, the story of creation would support that being the time God took to create life, the universe and everything.

Now how about time? Currently we have 24 hours in a day. Why 24? Well maybe because there are 24 beers in a case, but I suspect not.
Actually we got the 24-hour system from the Greeks.
Then there are the minutes and seconds. 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute. What brilliant mind thought of that? The babylonians, apparently. But babylonians also had 60 hours in a day, yet we rejected that. I don't see how 24 is so much better. 60 is divisible by more numbers than 24, and it's easier to calculate with (24 times 4 is, uhm -counting-, 96. 60 times 4 is 6*4=24 plus a 0, so 240). Well 60 hours would be a bit too much to fit in a day I think, the seconds would be quite short and hard to count, but for example 30 is perfectly doable and has the same advantages over 24 as 60 has.
After seconds, what do we do? Let's take an example, a 100 meter sprint. The current world record (for men) is 9.58 seconds. What's that for number, first something which goes from 0 to 60, then after the decimal dot a hundredth of a second—something which goes from 0–100? Right, the pinnacle of logicness.

The O'Harean time fixes this, too. There are 20 hours in a day, 100 minutes in an hour, 100 seconds in a minute. This too makes a second short, like 60 hours in a day would (although this is slightly longer; 60 hours/day, 60minutes/hour and 60seconds/minute would give seconds as long as 0.4 times a current second. The O'Harean time gives 0.432 times a current second, but that's only a 32 thousandth longer).
The advantage is obvious though, calculating with it is clear as day. Our entire society is working with base-10 systems, 100 works just as well. 60 however...
So for example, how many seconds are there in a day? Easy: 200,000. With our Georgian calender, you would have to do 60 * 60 * 24, which is 3600 * 24 or (*me takes calculator*) 86400. Right.
A bit more practical, how many seconds is 3 minutes and 55 seconds? In O'Harean time it would be easy: 355. With our current system, it's 180 + 55 or 235.

Daylight saving time creates more confusion than advantages nowadays. That's thrown away.

Timezones, always seems to be difficult for most people (yeah it's hard if you can tell you live in GMT-6 and I say I live in GMT+1 and I say "it's at 22 'o clock"... Substracting 7 from 22 appearently isn't one of American's many talents). It's made less confusing in O'Harean time, there are 7 timezones now. I think more people will try to understand if we would use that instead of the current 24-timezones system. Don't ask me the logic behind 7 different timezones though, I think it's just the fewest we can get away with.

So I've made a lot of comparisons by now, but how does the O'Harean system work exactly? There is a lot in the text already, but here is the full description:

Are there disadvantages to the O'Harean time? Yes, a few. But they are mostly uninterresting details or will disappear in time:
- Everything will have to be reprogrammed;
- After a while nobody will understand the old system (and they will find the old system retarded);
- I find the name annoying to write with the apostrophe;
- The name is the last name of the inventor, it would be a bit ego if this would become the new world's date/time system (I don't think he means for it to become that, though).

I'm going to sleep now, I estimate it's about 2.50.

Just checked, it's 2.40.25. That's a difference of 7 minutes, not bad for a first time (I really looked into the system for the first time today and never estimated the current time in o'harean before). The system is actually pretty easy to get used to. It probably takes a few days, but I bet if everything was suddenly in O'Harean time you'd get used to it in no-time.
Another post tagged 'datetime': Why we can change calendar systems alright

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