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Argos
2011-Dec-28, 03:42 PM
Using computer programs and mathematical formulas, Richard Conn Henry, an astrophysicist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering, have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity.

LINK (http://releases.jhu.edu/2011/12/27/time-for-a-change-johns-hopkins-scholars-say-calendar-needs-serious-overhaul/)

Swift
2011-Dec-28, 05:47 PM
An interesting idea. The calendar isn't a bad idea, but I'll bet you it won't happen, at least anytime soon. And everyone going to UT time, never - people are not going to want the date changing at some other time than local midnight, or going to work at 15:00 UT because the live on the east coast of the US.

Tog
2011-Dec-28, 06:25 PM
I also don't see the point of a leap-week as being better than a leap-day. What about all the people that get paid monthly who will have one extra week between paydays at the end of the every 5th or 6th year?

Then there is the motivation for coming up with this: to make it easier for international business to get times right. I call blergh.

I game with people from every times zone in the US, Newfoundland, London, and at point, Sweden. That's the closest to international business I'll ever get where the hour will matter. The bulk of the world won't care about international business agreeing on a time if it means sunset can happen at 3 AM. That's just too hard to wrap your head around. Midnight and noon will stop meaning anything.

I rest secure in the knowledge that even if the rest of the world accepts it, the US will stick to our antiquated method. If we didn't accept metric, we're not accepting this.

Argos
2011-Dec-28, 06:46 PM
I agree with both of you. Down here the problem will be having people accept New Year´s eve on a Saturday forever. :).

Extrasolar
2011-Dec-28, 07:50 PM
I am all for a logical overhaul of the worlds time keeping practices (and the standardization of measuring practices in general, internationally). I doubt a transition to such a state would be smooth though, largely negating the effects of increased efficiency in the short term. However, long term is what is important. I don't think the plan goes far enough though. 7 days, 24 hours, 60 minutes. It's all random, arbitrary, and counter intuitive to the human counting system of 10s. As is the US measuring system of miles, feet and inches. Imagine 50 years from now when everything built today is outdated for the most part anyways. Do we really want to be adjusting forever as a society to different nomenclature and conversions? I think it is a requirement of becoming a type I civilization.

Nowhere Man
2011-Dec-29, 01:22 AM
Meh. Several calendar reproposals have been made, from JRR Tolkien to the Principia Discordia. I have one myself: Every odd month (Jan, Mar, etc.) has 30 days, and every even month except December has 31, except in leap years when Dec 31 is the leap day. Start with January 1 on a solstice. So what if you still have years that start on different days of the week. I'd also tie Easter to the first Sunday of April, to make it easier to figure out when it is and to more closely tie it to the (northern) spring equinox, like the fertility festival that it is.

This new calendar will go nowhere.

Fred

grapes
2011-Dec-29, 02:26 AM
And the economic impact of all those hardened schedules disrupted every five (or six!) years by an extra week?

Jerry
2011-Dec-30, 06:18 AM
International Beer Week:)

ggremlin
2011-Dec-30, 09:21 AM
The metric system still hasn't been adopted everywhere yet after some two hundred years (pick any calendar system) and it was created to make measurements easier. A new calendar system doesn't stand a chance.

Me, I would love to see a new calendar based on home use, like ON THE MOON. A true lunar cycle :)

cjameshuff
2011-Dec-30, 06:05 PM
Calculating dates and times is a huge pain and source of many bugs and little unexpected differences in behavior due to the various simplifications people make...a more regular and simplified system is definitely needed.

I say we do something completely different. Drop leap-whatevers completely, make all months 30 days long with a ~5 day variable new-years period before the next sequence of months, start the month sequence at a specific point in Earth's orbit...solstice or something. That's your seasonal calendar. A separate civil calendar goes in periods of 4 weeks (28 day "months"), 12 weeks (84 day "quarters"), etc (or some decimal system if you like, the regularity is more important than the exact divisions), and is used for actually specifying times and dates. No attempt is made to keep the two in sync...if you're interested in time periods or exact dates, you use the civil calendar, if you're interested in time of year, you use the seasonal calendar, and neither is mucked up with complexities and compromises from attempts to make it do the other's job.

The exact amount of time between two civil dates is trivial to compute, just a matter of some modular arithmetic. A given day of a civil month is always the same day of the civil year, because you don't have things shifting around. Since the real length of a seasonal calendar period is fixed, computing the start time of a seasonal calendar and the seasonal date corresponding to a civil date is similarly trivial, just a matter of using a single conversion factor, rounding up or down to the nearest day start, then doing the same modular arithmetic on the 30-day seasonal months. No absurdities like inserting/removing days or trying to remember how long a given month is.

Ah...and drop leap seconds, too. Just make clock time be real time. Clocks running on standard time will eventually become skewed from solar time, but given how slowly this will happen and how people put up with the nonsense of Daylight Saving Time twice a year, I don't think this is a problem.

whimsyfree
2011-Dec-31, 03:28 AM
It's just a version of the 30/30/31 calendar with weird leap weeks, which are apparently needed so religious people can keep the sabbath day. That seems like a good reason to reject it.

Swift
2011-Dec-31, 05:45 AM
It's just a version of the 30/30/31 calendar with weird leap weeks, which are apparently needed so religious people can keep the sabbath day. That seems like a good reason to reject it.
Let's leave the religion comments, either pro or con, out of the discussion.

danscope
2011-Dec-31, 05:47 AM
If you want to live like an ant, streamline your life away. But...I'll keep Sunday the way it is. Just "Who" wants to
work for the Pharaoh 24/7 anyway? Hmmmmm........

EDG
2011-Dec-31, 07:33 AM
The metric system still hasn't been adopted everywhere yet after some two hundred years (pick any calendar system) and it was created to make measurements easier.

Actually, metric pretty much HAS been adopted everywhere else in the world. The USA is the only notable holdout (the other two are Burma and Liberia, who don't really count for much on the world stage). So it's only about 300 million people being too lazy to change their measurement system who are holding everyone else back, and only because they happen to live in a particularly influential country. ;)

eburacum45
2011-Dec-31, 11:53 AM
I quite like the Tranquility Calendar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tranquility_Calendar
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/48c6d4c3d54cf

Perikles
2011-Dec-31, 11:59 AM
Actually, metric pretty much HAS been adopted everywhere else in the world. The USA is the only notable holdout Hey - We are slowly inching towards it in the UK, as well.

pumpkinpie
2011-Dec-31, 02:55 PM
I think any proposed change that takes more than one short sentence to explain would be just as complicated as what we have now. If the original proposal was primarily to ensure every day is on the same day of the week year to year, hat seems like a problem tha doesn't need to be corrected. I've never heard anyone complain about that.

Sorry for typos..I'm on a smart phone that decides for itself where to put the cursor, making it hard to correct anything.!

neilzero
2011-Dec-31, 03:39 PM
:rolleyes:Throw out everthing except the second. I'll be at your office at 2.3317 times 10^39 describes era, date and time. You will love the improvement. Neil

whimsyfree
2011-Dec-31, 11:17 PM
Let's leave the religion comments, either pro or con, out of the discussion.

Religious considerations are the only thing that distinguish the calendar from alternatives, and are highlighted as its advantage in the article linked by the OP, so I don't see how it can sensibly discussed without metnioning this aspect. Of course discussions on BAUT are often not sensible.

Solfe
2012-Jan-01, 04:39 AM
Religious considerations have been co-opted, removing the corresponding holidays would damage economies.

Take toys for example. The top selling periods are Christmas, Easter and Halloween in that order as of this moment. Other industries chase these dates too. Those are all based on religious holidays. Events that occur between Jan 1 and Easter determines sales for the year.

This is a world-wide phenomena and has been so for the past 70 years.

By way of example, Fisher-Price was officially closed to the toy industry during WWII. In those days FP became a supplier of wooden military products such as airplane control surfaces and medical supply boxes. All resources were turned to these efforts. Assembly lines were retooled and purchases of wood was limited to war supporting products, employees were required to work a certain number of hours to support the war.

No new products could be designed over those years so there are no "catalogues" for those years, no January Toy Fairs, or any other sales support because it simply was not a priority. The staff at FP still found ways to make toys for the holidays from scraps of wood, with no tooling or official planning. They hit key goals such as Easter and Christmas (Halloween was not a sales period back then).

While I have gave information only about Fisher-Price, I assure you, their competitors were not sleeping during the War years. They were doing the same thing and making the same effort.

Those "religious" holidays are way more important than you can imagine.

Hornblower
2012-Jan-01, 01:25 PM
If the cost of dealing with the effect of the present Gregorian calendar on anniversary-based holidays and various monthly deadlines was a major portion of the total cost of doing business, I would expect business and government officials to be clamoring for a reform. People are not machines, and businesses have to deal with economic ups and downs that occur despite our best efforts at monetary and fiscal policy, not to mention the impact of natural disasters and untimely illness or death of critical employees. These events are unpredictable and in some cases catastrophic. The task of projecting calendar dates into future years is mathematically explicit and is fixed as long as we stick to the same agreed-upon calendar. The writing of a computer program for it is not a trivial exercise for someone like me who has done only occasional, baby steps programming, but I would not expect it to be difficult for a skilled professional software designer.

I think the researchers here are being narrow-mindedly cerebral about a relatively minor issue and are proposing what amounts to a solution in search of a problem.

antoniseb
2012-Jan-01, 01:33 PM
... I think the researchers here are being narrow-mindedly cerebral about a relatively minor issue and are proposing what amounts to a solution in search of a problem.

I agree. With technology the way it is today (and tomorrow), there has never, in the history of international commerce, been a time when the need for a new calendar is less than it is now. Ironically, we will only get better at figuring out what would have been a better calendar if adopted thousands of years ago.

Jeff Root
2012-Jan-01, 02:29 PM
The one piece of software I wrote that would have had a
calendar in it was never finished. It was for comparing light
curves from variable star observations, so the date and time
of each observation was critical. The calendar was the main
thing I left unfinished. But it looked to be quite straightforward.
Getting the date and time correct mainly depended on the
user inputting the correct Julian date and UTC. What would
be problems-- which I would not have been concerned with
in that application-- would have been dates before the use
of the current calendar (as recent as the 1920's in Russia)
or times precise to the second, rather than the minute.

Of course, any calendar you might want has already been
programmed by somebody and is available somewhere...
probably on the Internet.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

grapes
2012-Jan-01, 05:04 PM
Religious considerations are the only thing that distinguish the calendar from alternatives, and are highlighted as its advantage in the article linked by the OP, so I don't see how it can sensibly discussed without metnioning this aspect. Of course discussions on BAUT are often not sensible.Religion, per se, is discussed on BAUT, but your comment went beyond discussion, to criticism. There are a gawdzillion other places to vent opinions about religion, politics, or philately--BAUT is not the place for that.

Swift
2012-Jan-01, 05:53 PM
Religious considerations are the only thing that distinguish the calendar from alternatives, and are highlighted as its advantage in the article linked by the OP, so I don't see how it can sensibly discussed without metnioning this aspect. Of course discussions on BAUT are often not sensible.
I would further add that this is arguing moderation in thread and is also against the rules.

Hornblower
2012-Jan-01, 07:45 PM
If the cost of dealing with the effect of the present Gregorian calendar on anniversary-based holidays and various monthly deadlines was a major portion of the total cost of doing business, I would expect business and government officials to be clamoring for a reform. People are not machines, and businesses have to deal with economic ups and downs that occur despite our best efforts at monetary and fiscal policy, not to mention the impact of natural disasters and untimely illness or death of critical employees. These events are unpredictable and in some cases catastrophic. The task of projecting calendar dates into future years is mathematically explicit and is fixed as long as we stick to the same agreed-upon calendar. The writing of a computer program for it is not a trivial exercise for someone like me who has done only occasional, baby steps programming, but I would not expect it to be difficult for a skilled professional software designer.

I think the researchers here are being narrow-mindedly cerebral about a relatively minor issue and are proposing what amounts to a solution in search of a problem.

Let me add that with the present calendar, the formula for identifying leap years is simple. Within a century, if divisible by 4 it is a leap year. For the century years, if divisible by 400 it is a leap year.

The proposal calls for five leap years every 28 years, with some additional add-on needed to delete three every four centuries. I don't know how to find a simple memory jogger for this.

Trakar
2012-Jan-01, 08:02 PM
<Deleted>

((This thread is getting touchy and I don't want my "pharaoh derangement syndrome" attempt at
aside humor to be misread as political commentary.))

astromark
2012-Jan-01, 09:59 PM
I will to avoid any controversial term use a different term; That being 'cultural sensitivities..'

That avoids any misunderstandings I think..

So the want to ad-hear to a cultural celebration upon a certain day or date..

Does impose a difficulty that is not insurmountable.

Tolerance and understanding are NOT to much to ask are they ?

But then ' If it ain't broken, don't fix it.. comes to mind..

I agree that a coordinated time zone could be good idea.,

But it flies in the face of what we are accustomed to..

It might be a good idea... but change for the sake of change.

Without a better need established to make a change. A change will not happen.

The calendar is however a good idea.

Unfortunately being a good idea is not a good or great enough idea to motivate change.

Could one be changed without the other..

I would think ' International coordinated ' time would be a great step forward..

Just how you convince the masses to change what they are comfortable with ... sigh.. good luck.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-01, 10:18 PM
I kinda like the idea of movable feasts, which would still happen for days of celebration and remembrance that are tied to either Earth-solar or lunar cycles. So, you'd have multiple calenders in use. Even now we have multiple several calenders in use that don't always align: the normal calender, several liturgical calenders, financial years, and astronomical cycles.

Trying to tie astronomy and seasons together doesn't work either, since the solstice is a couple weeks different from perihelion. Orbital mechanics also shows that the equinoxes would not align to produce yearly quarters of equal time either.

I don't like the idea of universal time being mandatory since most of human activity is local and relative to the diurnal cycle. It makes even less sense to change the format of hours and minutes and seconds. Lots of science and technology and related systems are based on the current definition of the second. Due to the normal and natural division of days into light and darkness, it makes sense to divide the day into halves. Due to the normal and natural tendency of human activity to cycle between work and sleep and play, it makes sense to keep them divisible by thirds. That leaves us with three 4-hour blocks, which is good for general activity blocking, but is much greater than humans can pay attention without breaks. We tend to divide things into quarters, so that brings us back to 12 hours per half, or 24 hours.

I think a better option might be to make 91 day quarters with 90-91-90 day months, and then have an extra day between years every year. For Leap years we can either make that inter-year period two days long or have a second inter-day between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The extra days would just be bonus and act like business holidays.

cjameshuff
2012-Jan-02, 12:43 AM
Trying to tie astronomy and seasons together doesn't work either, since the solstice is a couple weeks different from perihelion. Orbital mechanics also shows that the equinoxes would not align to produce yearly quarters of equal time either.

My suggestion was just to use one of the solstices as a reference point to lock the seasonal calendar to Earth's orbit. The division into seasons from there on is purely arbitrary, and needn't depend on the equinoxes or location of perihelion.



I don't like the idea of universal time being mandatory since most of human activity is local and relative to the diurnal cycle. It makes even less sense to change the format of hours and minutes and seconds. Lots of science and technology and related systems are based on the current definition of the second. Due to the normal and natural division of days into light and darkness, it makes sense to divide the day into halves. Due to the normal and natural tendency of human activity to cycle between work and sleep and play, it makes sense to keep them divisible by thirds. That leaves us with three 4-hour blocks, which is good for general activity blocking, but is much greater than humans can pay attention without breaks. We tend to divide things into quarters, so that brings us back to 12 hours per half, or 24 hours.

Drastically changing the definition of the second would be hard to justify, though it might be nice if c equaled exactly 3e8 m/s. As for universal time, it's not like there's any fixed relationship to solar time anyway...we already arbitrarily shift the clock around on a regular basis. What's particularly wrong with local noon always happening at 7:00? Time zones would determine business operating hours instead of clock indicated time, and nobody would miss scheduled events due to mistakes applying the time zone correction or communicating the wrong time zone.

EDG
2012-Jan-02, 01:29 AM
I like the idea of a new calendar. I always thought it'd be nice to have 12 months of 30 days, with a 5 day holiday at the end of each year (or 6 day long, if it's a leap year). I guess one could have the 7 day week still, but maybe it'd be better to just have a 6 day week (so there's always 5 weeks per 30 day month). You could still have a two day weekend in every week and have about the same number of working days per month too. (EDIT: if you're really fussy about it, call Day #6 the "Sabbath". And edit the bible ;) )

That sort of layout would end up being pretty much the same every year too, and i don't think anything would end up going out of sync with seasons or anything else (would it?).

I don't see the point of a 'global common time' though. I can see the logic, but I don't think that would work and the calendar would have better chance of being adopted if that wasn't part of the package. That said, given that we still have this ridiculous +/- 1 hour for Daylight Savings Time and there's always handwringing about whether we should or shouldn't get rid of it every time the clocks go back or forward, and nothing ever happens to get rid of it, I'm not hopeful that any bigger calendar changes would be adopted.

Jeanny514
2012-Jan-02, 12:45 PM
I have been curious about finding the most accurate calendar. The British and American colonies started using the Gregorian calendar around 1752 . It is hard to imagine that up to that time Americans celebrated the New Year in March. There are about 40 calendars in the world; and about 6 main ones in use today. There are 3 types of calendars: solar calendars (designed to maintain with the tropical year like the Gregorian), lunar calendars (follow the lunar phase cycle with no regard to tropical year) and the lunisolar calendar (based on lunar phase cycle with a month intercalated every few years to bring the calendar back in phase with the tropical year, like the Hebrew and Chinese calendars. In societies calendar reforms would be an extraordinary event. I read that the United States does not specify an official national calendar. :)

whimsyfree
2012-Jan-04, 11:27 PM
I like the idea of a new calendar. I always thought it'd be nice to have 12 months of 30 days, with a 5 day holiday at the end of each year (or 6 day long, if it's a leap year). I guess one could have the 7 day week still, but maybe it'd be better to just have a 6 day week (so there's always 5 weeks per 30 day month). You could still have a two day weekend in every week and have about the same number of working days per month too. (EDIT: if you're really fussy about it, call Day #6 the "Sabbath". And edit the bible ;) )


Better not say that! Endorsing such blasphemy is surely criticising religion.



I don't see the point of a 'global common time' though. I can see the logic, but I don't think that would work and the calendar would have better chance of being adopted if that wasn't part of the package. That said, given that we still have this ridiculous +/- 1 hour for Daylight Savings Time and there's always handwringing about whether we should or shouldn't get rid of it every time the clocks go back or forward, and nothing ever happens to get rid of it, I'm not hopeful that any bigger calendar changes would be adopted.

We already have global common time. It's called UTC. It's not often used locally, but is often used for coordinating things a long way apart, such as astronomical observations and calls to relatives. If everyone could change their habits and get used to the Sun rising at 15:00 (or whatever) then it could be used universally, and that would have some advantages as mentioned up-thread and no real downside. UTC is an Earth-centric time system, of course. To use it on, say, Mars, one would have to get used to the Sun rising an hour later every day.

Jens
2012-Jan-05, 01:58 AM
I have been curious about finding the most accurate calendar. The British and American colonies started using the Gregorian calendar around 1752 . It is hard to imagine that up to that time Americans celebrated the New Year in March.

I agree it's an interesting issue, but I'm not sure what's surprising about celebrating the New Year in March. There isn't really any reason that the year has to begin in January, is there?

With regard to the thread as a whole, I like many others find this to be a solution in search of a problem. Kind of like the occasional threads on "why the moon doesn't have a proper name."

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-05, 04:06 PM
I agree it's an interesting issue, but I'm not sure what's surprising about celebrating the New Year in March. There isn't really any reason that the year has to begin in January, is there?Yes, the year has to begin at some point, and it's common to begin reckoning at the nadir of a cycle ("What goes up, must come down."), and January 1 is between perihelion and the winter solstice, both of which are low points.


With regard to the thread as a whole, I like many others find this to be a solution in search of a problem. Kind of like the occasional threads on "why the moon doesn't have a proper name."But the problems have already been stated, in two threads about this. One is unequal time periods for monetary distribution (quarterly reports and monthly salaries).

Ara Pacis
2012-Jan-05, 04:17 PM
What's particularly wrong with local noon always happening at 7:00? Time zones would determine business operating hours instead of clock indicated time, and nobody would miss scheduled events due to mistakes applying the time zone correction or communicating the wrong time zone.It's unnatural. As I stated, most of human experience and interaction is local and relative. So, if you want to talk to someone long distance, instead of trying to just figure out the local time there, you need to figure out what the local time translates to their schedule, which is in no way intuitive. Those who deal with international business can use UTC all they like, but why bother everyone else with it. After all, using local time helps promote the concept of multiculturalism, whereas universal time promotes the sense of monoculture and authoritarianism, and all the problems that implies.