Hackernoon logoIs Daylight Savings Time Stupid? - Explain it Like I’m 5 by@Limarc

Is Daylight Savings Time Stupid? - Explain it Like I’m 5

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@LimarcLimarc Ambalina

Hacker Noon's VP of Growth by day, VR Gamer and Anime Binger by night

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This Slack discussion by richard-kubinaDaneLinh, Arthur, and I occurred in Hacker Noon's official #slogging-beta channel, and has been edited for readability.

The lead image is via Aron Visuals on Unsplash.

LimarcNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

Is daylight savings time stupid? Explain it like I’m 5

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

I think I'm in the minority here but not only do I think daylight savings time is stupid, timezones are also stupid.

In the distant past, it was very useful to have the expectation that it's dark at midnight and sunny at noon. This allowed people to communicate and coordinate using no technology and rough approximations.

Meet me at the salon at noon tomorrow
.

A system designed to be local and approximate is now obsolete. What we really need today is a system designed around precision and consistency. 5pm in China should be 5pm in Colorado.

One potential way to break the expectation that noon is day and midnight is night could be to move to something that more closely resembles a 24hr clock than a 12hr clock.

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

There could be interesting side effects of creating a globally shared time.

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

break the expectation that noon is day

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

BTW, I'm not a parent and I have no idea how to talk to a 5 year old. I usually talk to them like they are mini adults to varying degrees of success. 😉

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

richard-kubina I think we should throw away the idea that 12pm should be the time the sun is at it's highest position. That convention is no longer useful.

Nov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

The notion that everybody works the same "8 hours" means that there would be people around the world who have to tolerate sleeping in the daylight and working in the dark year round. You have to take into consideration that we have a biological clock that also evolved to want to be awake in the day in a sleep at night. There is a small percentage of people who live in places like Iceland where they have to tolerate months of dark and months of day. but that is a very small percentage of the world population.

The original question was about daylight savings time. It used to highly annoy me that we switched our clocks but I've come to the conclusion of, who cares. I actually like the daylight saving times hours as they align to the daylight. so if I had to choose one I would choose the daylight saving time configuration over the configuration we just slipped into again this weekend. But I realized it's just a strange thing to be so upset about. It takes me literally 10 seconds to change my clocks when we switch our time.

I will agree that the reason for it is obsolete. It used to be to allow farmers more daylight time in the summer. So I agree it's not necessary. If we were to get rid of it it really wouldn't be a big deal. I just also came to the realization that it's kind of not a big deal that we still engage in it. It does optimize the daylight hours for the morning during the winter and optimize the daylight hours in the evening for the summer which can be pleasant.

I don't know why we make such a big deal about it.

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

agreed, i'd still refer to "the time the sun is at it's highest position" as noon though

ArthurNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

I'm pretty used to sync my brain with Colorado time. But I'm very bad with scheduling meetings. This is why startups like Calendly is growing.

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

I think it's a bad thing that the global economy tends to sync with the US economy. With a global clock, we could break the expectation of working only during a narrow window each day that introduces huge inconveniences for most of the world. A more flexible work day benefits everyone.

Nov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

Dane a flexible work clock would definitely be a good thing. I think that's already happening to a degree anyway. A lot of people do work "odd" hours as part of their work week. If we could continue encouraging the idea that the point of the work week is getting your work done.. not the hours you work... I think that would be a net positive. The one thing that's important those people need to be able to talk sometimes via zoom or chat or whatever so there has to be some core hours where we can get ahold of each other.

My concern is just locking in the 8-hour day around the 24-hours in the world... because you are then basically relegating certain people in certain countries to live at night time and sleep in the day and people are not going to go for that.

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

I'm absolutely not suggesting everyone syncs with the US daytime. Companies should embrace more async communication so people are more free to choose their hours.

Zoom meetings are tricky but I think we could figure out better ways to have syncronous meetings that aren't disruptive to personal schedules. I think a big part of that is pushing all discussion that can be async to async channels. Then having very short face-to-face meetings throughout the day.

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

I suppose there is nothing stopping us from just ignoring time zones and saying "UTC" at the end of every time of day mentioned or scheduled, ey Dane?

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

I'll be sure to bring it up at the next 'all hands' 😉

Nov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

Dane for sure it makes sense. I think we can leave it up to individuals to book meeting times that work for them, and maybe for larger meeting settings there could be some agreed upon hours that we know we can book those kinds of meetings-- and be done with it. Covid-19 has allowed for a lot more flexibility to evolve naturally so I'm hoping that is one good outcome out of this frustrating and sad time we are living in!

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

richard-kubina I'm all for going UTC if the team is up for it!

DaneNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

A more flexible 24hr schedule would be a good way to fight COVID-19. Just imagine if fewer people assemble for lunch at a certain time of day. Spreading out schedules would result in fewer human clusters.

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

It would also be nice to get rid of rush hour, it's another curve that could use some flattening. I wonder what the impact on emissions would be, to have less cars piled up, going nowhere for hours.

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

So how'd we do explaining it like you were five Limarc? 😆
I am a parent of 8 and 4 year olds and I think I also tend to just speak plainly and figure they will just ask more questions and grow into it.

Anywho, I do feel like changing the clocks twice a year is needlessly complicated. It definitely leads to software bugs in my experience!

Some states/territories here in the USA, like Arizona and Hawaii already don't bother with it.

Maybe a compromise of meeting in the middle, a half hour off of where we are now and leaving it be would be one solution worth considering.

LinhNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

i can’t explain it to you like you’re 5 since i do not understand it. never have. never will.

richard-kubinaNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

one other comment: it is actually 'daylight saving time' 🤓

LimarcNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

Hey you definitely didn’t explain it like I’m 5, but I learned a lot and I assume Hacker Noon’s audience is not primarily 5-year-olds 😄

ArthurNov 3, 2020, 6:06 PM

Having one timezone will destroy a lot of PHP code

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