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Thread: Decimalising time

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Decimalising time

    I hadn't heard of this before - decimalising the day into 1000 beats would make it so much easier to teach kids to tell the time, calculate speeds and paces on the fly and the applications in scheduling would be really interesting.

    So why do we still use hours, mins and seconds? What the hell are months? Why not kill off daylight saving time and time zones?

    I know automatic watches and (genuine!) innovation don't make comfortable bedfellows but this is a really interesting concept: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Internet_Time

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using TZ-UK mobile app

  2. #2
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    I think it’s been tried before. There is good reason there is 360deg in a circle and in 1hr the sun moves by 15mins. This reminds me of a Dave Allen sketch explaining the clock to a child, “When the minute hand points at 4 that means it’s 20 past etc.”

    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 24th June 2022 at 15:42.
    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. HHGTTG

  3. #3

    Decimalising time

    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    I think it’s been tried before. There is good reason there is 360deg in a circle and in 1hr the sun moves by 15mins. This reminds me of a Dave Allen sketch explaining the clock to a child, “When the minute hand points at 4 that means it’s 20 past etc.”

    15 Degrees/hour.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by martinupnorth View Post
    I hadn't heard of this before - decimalising the day into 1000 beats would make it so much easier to teach kids to tell the time, calculate speeds and paces on the fly and the applications in scheduling would be really interesting.

    So why do we still use hours, mins and seconds? What the hell are months? Why not kill off daylight saving time and time zones?

    I know automatic watches and (genuine!) innovation don't make comfortable bedfellows but this is a really interesting concept: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Internet_Time

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using TZ-UK mobile app
    The beat / decimal idea was posited at the start of the internet revolution. The fact that it hasn't been adopted widely since 1998 means that it's not really needed, or have found to be useful, given that most of us understand the current system. Its universality is redundant given that every internet connected device (and many watches) can display or even tell you the time for every time zone on the planet.

    However the way things are going, we may soon be using water clocks.

  5. #5
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    I owned one of the Swatch .beat watches. Utterly useless and comically large...don't think I ever wore it and even back then it was obvious that the beat gimmick was useless.


  6. #6
    Master
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    The main issue with decimalisation of the calendar is the 365 day year and the 29.5 day (on average) lunar month. Not that the moon is such an issue any more.

    Napoleon proposed a ten day week. As far as I can tell, that meant one day off in ten. Fortunately it didn't last.

    I prefer the idea of an eight day week, where you always have a three day weekend. There are 11 months of 32 days long, with a 13 day holiday over Christmas, which is 220 working days.

    The four day week with a three day weekend seems to be gaining traction, which is only 208 working days, and would be easier to implement.

    You might have more luck decimalising hours, but there may be some way in which an hour / half an hour just 'feels right', for instance as the amount of time to spend on lunch.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Mr Curta is required at the bar, please.
    We need the origins of time as we know it. Maybe starting with why there are 360 in a circle, using the 4 Royal Stars in Persia, 4.5k years ago?
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  8. #8
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Internet Time:

    Advantages of the Internet Time System

    • It uses the normal decimal system, instead of the ancient 24 hour, 60 minute, 60 second system which makes time telling more complicated.
    • .beat time calculations are easy, @345 + 456 .beats = @801, compared to e.g. 3:45:20 + 2 hours, 25 minutes, 45 seconds, where the seconds, minutes and hours must all be added.
    • No need for time zone conversions - the Internet Time is the same everywhere.


    Disadvantages of the Internet Time system

    • The use of the Biel Meridian introduces an unwanted additional Meridian - the Greenwich Meridian is the standard Meridian of the world.
    • Wrong use of mean time - The Biel Meridian is not at exactly 15 degrees east longitude, which it should have been if the BMT (Biel Mean Time) should be 1 hour ahead of UTC / GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
    • The second, and not the beat is the basic unit of time in the International System of Units (and using .beats instead, would complicate the system).
    • The Internet Time system might seem like more of commercial marketing attempt, than a real system.
    • Milliday would be a more accurate name than beat.


    Unlikely to Change

    As the current hour/minute/second system is already widely adopted, it is very unlikely that the Internet Time system will be able to replace it, even on the Internet. There is already a common time system without time zones and daylight saving time in wide use today - UTC, which should be used instead.

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