DAVID'S COLUMN Daylight Savings Time and The Fine Print
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Daylight Savings Time Say What?
This concept has always got me. At first, you'd like to live in the security that time is a constant, immutable, unshakable commodity. We rely on it for so many things. Lunch dates, morning rituals, and starting wars on time. Twice a year, though, this unsettling thing happens when we "borrow time" or "pay back time" as if it were some kind of financial commodity.
As if Time were handled by some kind of Savings & Loan or something.
Now, this gives me cause for concern. What is the interest on an hour borrowed over the course of six months? And when we "reset" our clocks, aren't we just returning to the status quo as opposed to actually "paying back" the hour? Am I gonna get some kind of cosmic bill from the Time Karma Gnomes for "hours borrowed"? Or will Death just show up at some point and say, "Well, I was scheduled to come three months from now, but you kept "borrowing" hours so your time is due NOW. Sorry."
I understand Death is very apologetic about that kind of thing. He's just doing his job.
First of all, I'd like to know where I signed up for this "borrowed time" thingy? And to know what exactly was in the fine print. I sincerely hope it wasn't tied up in some kind of "Time Shares" thing, as well, where the time I "borrow" gets enjoyed by some other clod named "Herman" who is "Sharing" my "hour" on some "tropical" "beach" somewhere.
And I think it is insidious that they do the time change thing in the middle of the night or very early morning. Like you wake up the next morning and suddenly an hour has been robbed from you, or an hour has been added but "Surprise!" you slept it away, pal. Better luck next time, eh. Don't feel too bad, you can call Herman and hear all about it, he put your hour to really good use, didn't he?
What if we did a sort of "Year On/Year Off" kind of thing, where one year we were ALWAYS askew one hour, and the next year we went the other way. We'd cut our clock/wristwatch adjusting by half, and we wouldn't have to worry about this mid-year time-tax thingy.
I just don't like this whole thing about time being so easily manipulated, as if we all just have to agree that time is something else and suddenly it IS. That's just downright scary! I mean, it was bad enough with the whole Gregorian/Julian Calendar thingy which some people are STILL squabbling about; not to mention "Leap Years" which adds a buzz of confusion every time it comes around, and when we vow not to be taken by surprise we lax our guard when it (heh) leaps out at us again. Ummmm, it's next year, isn't it???
Criminey. One of these days we're going to have some sort of Time Borrowing/Leap/Adjustment crisis and we'll break the silly thing, and THEN where will we be?
Let's just not mess with it, that's what I say….
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Hello David, Enjoyed this piece, too. Here in Western Australia the general populace does not appreciate the current "trial" with Daylight Saving. Think your article would go down well in our State Newspaper. Sure most would agree with you. Did you know that when it first began in the Eastern States here, people worried that their curtains would fade with the extra hour of sunshine. True. I was the one, who suggested you might like to consider speculative fiction. Remember? Hope you are well and happy ... and perhaps are even considering reading Doris Lessings 'Shakista'. The genre does give room for you to exercise our mind towards the possible outcomes of present and past. Intriguing and useful. Both. For now, keep up the good work, Jude