There is something that strikes me as sinister – conspiratorial if you wish – about Daylight Savings Time.
This weekend, as you know, we are “falling back” – such that on Sunday morning at 2 AM it will instantly become 1 AM and we will be back on Standard Time.
It’s one of the few nights during the year that being a barkeeper would be a problem – and then, only in a few states. But would you close at the first 2 AM or the second?
And might it also be a window during which police officers would be particularly diligent, as well? “Suspect crawled out of the window carrying the stolen goods at 1:33 AM (the second one).”
Or, consider the problems of a doctor in a trauma setting having to “call it” for a time of death.
Oh, and let’s not forget the astrological footwork for the babies born in the second 1 to 2 AM zone! Your whole life would be spent with questions like “If I’m doing my horoscope and it says I was born at 1:15 AM – and it was on the day that Daylight Time changed…but during that year, the time change took place on…” You see the problems. Especially when the change falls on a different weekend some years in some place…A rare form of Vedic madness?
Like anything, there’s an economic angle to the Time Scam, too. You know how we are around here: Follow the Money and Everything is a Business Model. The Wikipedia quotes on point:
A 2008 study examined billing data in Indiana before and after it adopted DST in 2006, and concluded that DST increased overall residential electricity consumption by 1% to 4%, due mostly to extra afternoon cooling and extra morning heating; the main increases came in the fall. The overall annual cost of DST to Indiana households was estimated to be $9 million, with an additional $1.7–5.5 million for social costs due to increased pollution
In 1984, Fortune magazine estimated that a seven-week extension of DST would yield an additional $30 million for 7-Eleven stores, and the National Golf Foundation estimated the extension would increase golf industry revenues $200 million to $300 million…
These are just a few of the “facts” of the Time Scam.
But this morning I’d like to toss yet another log on the fire of burning public debate: It’s the idea that people are about to have their very sense of time screwed with immediately before an election.
The way I figure it, by letting people get an “extra hour of sleep” just before elections in the US, the incumbents will get a very slight statistical edge.
In fact, I proved this (at least to my personal satisfaction) this week when I took a collection of 10 lab rats and told them I would let them sleep for an extra hour two days before voting for Chief Lab Rat. Oh, it took a little work to figure the mechanics of it out, and a couple of pounds of cheese, but in seventeen independent trials, I documented a 0.5% advantage to an incumbent rat if elections were held within 5 days (margin of error: 13.2 months) of a particular date.
Elaine and I keep planning to go somewhere in the old airplane…and thankfully, the skies are safe even on weekends when grounded people are cleverly manipulated. Be reassured the laws of physics won’t be broken because pilots live and fly by Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich doesn’t get “saved.” (Except in Connecticut, but to every rule there are…)
I’m perplexed what time to publish my column come Monday of next week. We always try to have it up around 7:55 AM and occasionally we have been as late as 7:59 AM. But Monday? That column could appear just damn near any old time.
Obviously, some of this is tongue in cheek. But not all. We come to the serious part:
Imagine a fine new industry that would make sense for the whole world to adopt, post haste.
I call it simply Modern Time.
It throws away Daylight Time and some of Old Time, and evolves a new Modern Time.
Here’s the way it works:
We all know that the 24-hour day is not particularly good idea to live by.
The reason? Lots of medical studies have documented the importance of living your life in a manner that is in concert with your body’s circadian rhythms.
My late father noted that if you look at all the High Cultures around the world they almost always happened in temperate zones. The people at the equator – where life was pretty easy and abundant until we screwed it up with 6.5-billion too many people – did not evolve high cultures..
Those tended to band from 20 to 60-degrees north of the equator.
Pappy’s theory was that this had something to do with seasons. “If you have four distinct seasons, you tend to hustle more. You have to get ready for a long winter, and so on,” he explained. And that is absolutely true.
But it turns out there is even more to the equation: These people (prior to Bad Clocks and Bad Timekeeping) used to rise with the dawn and sleep when darkness fell.
And it didn’t fall the same way all the time (so to speak). People would get lots of sleep in the winter and less sleep in the summer.
If we step out of The Ruling Paradigm, we can see how this was absolutely the healthiest way to live: In winter, when many people got 12-hours of sleep (depending on latitude, of course) the medical effect would be their bodies were well rested. This increased their immune system response to disease. But in summertime, when work was abundant to prep for the following winter, what was there? Plenty of light.
Although my personal heritage is Danish/Scottish, if I had to pick a nation of naturally “smart people” it would be Ukrainians. Recent events aside, every Ukrainian I have ever met was exceptionally smart. And it may have something to do with living an agrarian lifestyle and living by the Natural Time rather than by clocks.
Ukraine residents who live rural, keep to the old ways, and eat yogurt and a high fiber diet, are also some of the longest-lived people in the world, too.
What ends up happening – as a result of the invention of clocks – is that we are living on Fake Time when people who live the longest live on what is scientifically called Sidereal Time. In other words “Sun Time.,” Wiki it and you’ll find me (as always) telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but (except for the occasional rat story):
Sidereal time /sa??d??ri?l/ is a time-keeping system astronomers use to keep track of the direction to point their telescopes to view a given star in the night sky. Briefly, sidereal time is a “time scale that is based on the Earth’s rate of rotation measured relative to the fixed stars.”
From a given observation point, a star found at one location in the sky will be found at nearly the same location on another night at the same sidereal time. This is similar to how the time kept by a sundial can be used to find the location of the Sun. Just as the Sun and Moon appear to rise in the east and set in the west due to the rotation of the Earth, so do the stars. Both solar time and sidereal time make use of the regularity of the Earth’s rotation about its polar axis, solar time following the Sun while sidereal time roughly follows the stars. More exactly, sidereal time is the angle, measured from the observer’s meridian, along the celestial equator, to the great circle that passes through the March equinox and both poles, and is usually expressed in hours, minutes, and seconds. Common time on a typical clock measures a slightly longer cycle, accounting not only for the Earth’s axial rotation but also for the Earth’s annual revolution around the Sun of slightly less than 1 degree per day (in fact to the nearest arc-second, it takes 365.2422 days to revolve therefore 360 degrees/365.2422 days = 0.9856 degrees or 59 arc-minutes, 8 arc-seconds per day, i.e., slightly less than 1 degree per day).
A mean sidereal day is about 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.0916 seconds (23.9344699 hours or 0.99726958 mean solar days), the time it takes the Earth to make one rotation relative to the vernal equinox.[clarification needed] (Due to nutation, an actual sidereal day is not quite so constant.) The vernal equinox itself precesses slowly westward relative to the fixed stars, completing one revolution in about 26,000 years, so the misnamed sidereal day (“sidereal” is derived from the Latin sidus meaning “star”) is some 0.0084 seconds shorter than the Earth’s period of rotation relative to the fixed stars.
The longer “true” sidereal period is called a stellar day by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS). It is also referred to as the sidereal period of rotation, or simply as the period of rotation or the rotational period.
So there it is: The ANSWER!
We don’t need to have false flag attacks to justify making up industries. All it would take would be an open-minded re-examination of the data to discover that the RIGHT time to follow is the one that is shown in the sky every day.
Clock processors to whatever you want…but meetings in the winter ought to be 40-minutes of old time, and time at work ought to be 6 hours, not 8, as measured by old time. Now we’re talking some real (not self-delusional) energy savings.
Can you imagine the massive employment opportunities this would bring? OMG, everything would change. Just designing the algorithms for alarm clocks would employ huge numbers of people. And appliances…network television shows….my list is long and worthy!
Timekeeping has been used as a way to control the Earth’s population for a long time. My friends Chris Tyreman and Brad Vornholt write about how the “time deception” works at other levels in their book The Destruction of Sabbath: Tracking the History of Deception.
One again, we see how a natural timepiece (the lunar cycle) which was used as a monthly timekeeper for the work 6 days and rest of the 7th, supplied some leftover days which were festivals and party times in days of yore. Festivals? Fine idea….
I would have thought that when you have a book with simple instructions (rest on the 7th day) and living by the Sun’s rise and set that was almost universally agreed upon by both Christians and Jews alike, that adopting sidereal time would have been OBVIOUS. Apparently, it ain’t that obvious.
Yet what better (subtle) tool could there be to keep large masses of people just slightly off their game most of the year? Have then undersleep in winter and oversleep in summer. Ignore what their bodies really want and need.
What shocks me is how solid the evidence for “fake time kills” really is:
“Disruption of circadian rhythm increases the risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease
Incidents of non-communicable diseases (NCD) like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease have increased dramatically and are currently the leading causes of death worldwide. Their rising incidents coincide with the dramatic changes in industrialization
and development of societies over the past few hundred years. Therefore, current lifestyle practices should be further explored to uncover novel risk factors for certain cancers (i.e. colon, prostate, and breast cancer), metabolic syndrome (i.e. diabetes and obesity), and cardiovascular disease (i.e. coronary artery disease). This review discusses how a disruption of the “biological clock” or circadian rhythms could be involved in the development of these diseases as circadian rhythms control multiple physiological processes such as wake/sleep cycles, hormonal levels,
body temperature, metabolism, and immune system.
Several environmental factors that disrupt circadian rhythms can be identified including exposure to artificial light and electromagnetic (EM) waves, unbalanced diet and night shift work. The mechanisms of how these “chronodisruptors” are associated with NCDs will be discussed.
Furthermore, the involvement of genetic factors in the disturbance of circadian rhythms and predisposition to NCDs will be highlighted.
Overall there is strong evidence from animal models and epidemiological studies underlining that circadian disruption is a significant player in several diseases particularly the multifactorial
diseases that pose a significant public health challenge in contemporary society. A circadian disruption-based model of cancer, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease etiology can be proposed. But, to fully understand the complex interactions of the different components in the
network of disease development due to disruption of circadian rhythms, more investigations are needed to unravel the causal relationship between modern lifestyle, circadian rhythm disruption and complex disease. This summary will help to better understand the mechanisms and aid the
development of new methods and policies to lower incidence/death rates.”
Yet with all our technology – and with the screaming need for economic stimulus, we just can’t seem to put our finger on the obvious: Yet here it comes this weekend without so much as a second thought – the Time Scam.
As the Tyreman/Vornholt work claims, and as evidence of circadian disruption causing major health issues proved, the Big Lies about Time run rampant.
So if you’re a little more susceptible to disease than you should be, and if you’re feeling just a bit “off” when comes time to vote Tuesday morning, just remember that it’s all a collusion of high-level forces to keep as many humans as possible living sub-0optiomal lives.
Isn’t it about time we grew the up and stop kidding ourselves? Oh, wait…that’d be un-American. Sorry to have brought it up.
Write when you break-even… (and yes, I overslept this morning – may change my last name to Van Winkle…)…