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Stop Using the Daylight Savings Time (stopdst.com)
301 points by pbkhrv on Mar 13, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 153 comments



Maybe it's just me, but the way these statistics are worded is setting off my skepticism alarms:

> Between 1986 and 1995, fatal traffic accidents rose 17% the Monday following the switch to Daylight Saving Time.

Accidents rose 17% that Monday? Does it mean 17% more than any other day, or just that the raw number for that Monday is 17% higher than it used to be? Because they worded it like the latter.

For all this page says, accidents were up 17% every day of the year over that decade.

EDIT: Wikipedia says total US traffic deaths were lower in 1995 than 1986, so I'll chalk this up as poor wording. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_i...


>A 2014 study showed that the hour of sleep lost when switching to DST can increase your risk of a heart attack by 25%

I highly doubt that one less hour of sleep on one day of the year can affect that risk by so much. If that were the case, I assume the risk of heart attack would be much higher than it is now.


It's 25% higher on that day. For all that statistic tells you though, it might just be bringing forward a heart attack you would otherwise have had the following week.


Sure, and going out on a rainy day probably increases your chance of being struck by lightning by 10000%.


1.25*(a really tiny risk of a heart attack on a given day)

This same numerical trick happened when the WHO classified red meat as a carcinogen "in the same category as" cigarettes, and it was stated that it increased your risk of some cancer by ~50% (or something), but the baseline risk is so low that it's a lot less dramatic than it sounds.


This. When I asked a doctor, who was suggesting 'a certain med would reduce chances of some cardio incident by some 10s of percent' (I don't remember, specific details), as to what is the base percent if would be affecting, he sort of evaded the answer.


It's also assuming that people get up an hour earlier. I'm sure a lot of people don't set alarms on Sunday and get a full night's sleep.


A 25% increase of a really low number is also a really low number, and quite frankly these numbers are low enough that it's all probably within a margin of error.


Yes, that's true. Just the way it's stated seems to imply that it's not specifically on that day but for an extended period of time.


Not sure about the 17% in 1986-1995 thing, but here's a study of Colorado when it changed DST policy (I assume the date was changed) that found some effect: http://www.colorado.edu/economics/papers/WPs-14/wp14-05/wp14...


I'm not sure where the 17% is coming from either. The linked study talks about 300 deaths over a 10 year period. That's 30/year which, relative to the 30K or so automotive fatalities in the US per year is 0.01%--i.e. a almost vanishingly small percentage. It's actually not implausible to me that there would be some tiny effect associated with switching time/schedules even if it were only because of "OMG, I forgot to switch my clock and now I'm late for a meeting!" [EDIT: If you apply the 30 annual number against weekly fatalities you can get up into the few percent range. But you're really in the noise with these kind of numbers.]


It's like a case study in cherry-picking statistics.


Exactly. Here's one I cherry-picked showing the opposite:

http://www.degruyter.com/dg/viewarticle/j$002fbejeap.2007.7....


Right, so you found a study that shows there are more accidents at the end of winter when the roads are more icy than they are at the start of spring.

How about we forget the statistics and stop changing our clocks because people don't like losing an hour of sleep and disrupting their sleep schedule?


Or keep changing them because people like more light on summer evenings. :-)

[EDIT: And I would be perfectly fine with DST year-round but I understand why people in northern cities have issues with an extra hour of morning darkness for kids going to school and people driving to work.]


You don't have to change your clock for that. Just leave it on DST the whole year.


Then you have to get ready for work in the dark from October through March.


We have lights for that, and at the beginning Winter the Sun does not rise till 8am for places like Ann Arbor, Mi. So even with the adjustment for Winter you're still getting "ready" in the dark.

I'd rather have the extra hour in the Summer Time and be able to get a full 18 holes in after work everyday


I think that some people feel that way, but certainly not all, and the arguments against are not compelling enough.

I don't mind losing / gaining an hour of sleep. My sleep patterns have never been very precise, certainly not since having kids. I do like DST. That's just my opinion. I get that some people feel the opposite, no matter what your latitude.

I like that the Earth's axis is inclined and that summer is different to winter.


>My sleep patterns have never been very precise, certainly not since having kids. I do like DST.

And because it doesn't affect you it is your reason for imposing it on everyone else? I'm sure a majority of people dislike it. Supposing that everyone else be accustomed to imprecise sleep patterns as you are (which are most likely atypical) is not very fair.


I'm not imposing anything on anyone. I'm expressing my vote to the contrary of someone saying "people prefer it that way".

If you are sure a majority of people dislike it, then go and get it changed. Best of luck to you.

And saying I am "supposing that everyone else..." is a straw man. I specifically noted that other people feel the opposite to me. Back off, man :)


You're right, I didn't read your post fairly. Sorry about that.


Never trust a statistic you haven't cherry-picked yourself.


I was expecting this number to be followed by "compared to the previous Monday" each time it was used. But, alas, it was not.


The paper is actually linked, so I went ahead and skimmed this one.

From the abstract:

> Both models reveal a short-run increase in fatal crashes following the spring transition and no aggregate impact in the fall. Employing three tests, I decompose the aggregate effect into ambient light and sleep mechanisms. I find that shifting ambient light reallocates fatalities within a day, while sleep deprivation caused by the spring transition increases risk. The increased risk persists for the first six days of DST, causing a total of 302 deaths at a social cost of $2.75 billion over the 10-year sample period, underscoring the huge costs of even minor disruptions to sleep schedules.

I still have no idea where the 17% came from or what it's relative to. If anyone else finds it, please fill us in. Am I missing something, or did they borrow a made up statistic out of a clickbait image macro and link to a vaguely related paper as cover or something?


All these articles seem to keep gloss over the actual issue: the switch between standard time and DST twice a year.

People are fine with the time system, especially since timezones themselves are somewhat arbitrary in their regions. DST is actually more comfortable to live with by allowing for more daylight after work hours. It would be better to just switch to DST permanently and avoid the constant frustrating changes.


> DST is actually more comfortable to live with by allowing for more daylight after work hours. It would be better to just switch to DST permanently and avoid the constant frustrating changes.

Is adding a permanent 1-hour offset to all of our clocks really a more sensible solution than convincing employers to shift their schedules one hour earlier?

It just sounds kind of Kafkaesque... your boss has set your schedule too late in the day, so your solution is to trick him by winding all his clocks forward by one hour.


>Is adding a permanent 1-hour offset to all of our clocks really a more sensible solution than convincing employers to shift their schedules one hour earlier?

I think you're analyzing it from the perspective of mathematical logic. In an isolated perspective, one employer (instead of all employers), can arbitrarily change the working time as 7am-4pm instead of 8am-5pm because it's mathematically equivalent to the +1 hour DST.

But society wants to coordinate on a bigger scale than that one employer you were able to convince. (Children's school hours, restaurants, tv schedules, customers calling help desks, etc). Also, the math viewpoint ignores the fact that there are long standing cultural anchors tied to specific times such as 9am-5pm[1].

The bottom line is that it's easier to address the coordination problem by hacking the time via permanent DST rather than adjusting everyone's familiarity around nominal times. Changing out the nominal times displayed in glass windows doesn't look easier than implementing DST. Even changing nominal times in the digital realm is a hassle: think of all the recurring meetings in MS Outlook, Google Calendar, iPhones reminders, etc that say 10am-11am. Millions of people would have to change those times to say 9am-10am. Again, leaving those nominal times the same and fixing it more "globally" via DST seems a lot simpler.

[1]https://www.google.com/search?q=store+opening+closing+times+...


If the timetables are to be changed every March and November, the calendar tool providers will make it easy for people to set up an automatic time slot change.

The point is, for a lot of people (if not most of all), the timetables don't need to be changed. If my working hour is 11am ~ 12pm, DST or no, I will see daylight when going to work and not when coming back. 4am~2pm is likewise.

Your solution sounds like fixing the Y2K problem without updating the software to use 4 or more digit variables for years, rather by making everyone living the 20th century over and over again.


"Easy", "automatic", bah humbug! I take it you have never seen the hoops any date library needs to jump through because of DST. (An example: your scheduled task is at 2:30. When does it run on DST change, and how many times? 0? 1? 2? Guess what: no right answer, just a lot of wrong ones. And that's one of the simplest examples.)


Not just my boss. Every government office, every schedule, every store's hours, every school, every automated job, every scheduled event everywhere.

If you're going to change all the clocks anyways by eliminating DST changeover, you may as well use the better time.


the offset from UTC is arbitrary anyways. it is no more arbitrary to keep it at UTC-7 instead of UTC-8.


> the offset from UTC is arbitrary anyways.

It manifestly is not. Noon on the west coast of the continental US happens about 8 hours after noon in the UK. That's why it's nominally UTC-8, not UTC-5 or UTC+12.

And regardless of how you define time relative to UTC, a permanent DST is a permanent 1-hour difference between solar noon and clock noon.


Timezones are for humans, not to align scientifically with actual sun progress. Many would much rather live with the DST offset permanently.


I really don't understand what people think they're gaining with a permanent DST offset. It's not going to increase the amount of sunlight in each day.

If you don't like the timing of your job (e.g., you feel like you don't get enough sunlight after work), the correct thing to do is talk to your boss or find a different job, not to make people put offsets in their clocks to fool your boss.


Like it or not, there are many things in society that happen at particular clock times and can't easily be changed. I can change my working hours however I want, but I can't change when my kid needs to be at school, for instance.


It's not about the amount of total sunlight during the day but rather how much sunlight is available to you during hours that you are "free" and not working or otherwise busy. It's far easier to just change the standard once than all the numerous activities that an individual might be bound to during the course of the day, especially many that they have no control over scheduling.

For many people (like in government or blue-collar jobs), it's just not as simple as talking to the boss or finding a different job. However I see no reason why they don't deserve a better level of comfort that works for everyone.


it's not about the timing of my job. i could wake an hour earlier and leave an hour earlier.

but then, the rest of the world will have an extra hour in the evening (assuming they continue as they were before), while i sleep.

i am essentially saying that the world should rise and fall based on my preference for where sunlight falls. and the other side would say the same, naturally.

early risers vs night owls. and no solution can make everyone happy.


> And regardless of how you define time relative to UTC, a permanent DST is a permanent 1-hour difference between solar noon and clock noon.

A fact that means absolutely nothing to pretty much any modern person ever. I don't care when solar noon is. I've never met anyone who cares when solar noon is. I don't even know why people would care when solar noon is.


Most everyone thinks of noon in terms of solar noon - they just don't know it. Solar noon is when the sun is at it's highest point in the sky for a given location. So their point was that noon would no longer be aligned with that intuition.


No, they don't. No one cares what position the sun is in at noon. Noon is "the middle of the workday", or "lunchtime", neither of which has anything to do with the position of the sun in the sky.

Solar noon is an outdated concept that is completely meaningless to the vast majority of the modern world. There's no reason we should tie our modern workday to solar noon any more than we should tie our software launches to the lunar cycle or our bathing schedule to the tides.


> No one cares what position the sun is in at noon. Noon is "the middle of the workday", or "lunchtime", neither of which has anything to do with the position of the sun in the sky.

people aren't robots. having lunch outside on a warm day feels good.


That's sort of true. It gets sketchy around the time zone boundaries. Idaho, for instance, is pretty screwy. The west half should arguably be in PST, but instead it is the same as the eastern side.


If we get rid of DST shifting, we should set up the time system such, that across the whole time zone the offset between the astronomical and local time is minimized, perhaps with some bias in the direction of the DST zone. It is worth discussing, whether for example the US should have 2 or 3 time zones.


Don't we currently have four?


Six: one for Alaska and one for Hawaii, and four continental ones.


That's what we've done in Russia several years ago. Initialy, after discarding switches, we used summer time, but after two (or more?) years switched back to permanent winter time. Both changes caused lots of glitches in android devices (:


> DST is actually more comfortable to live with by allowing for more daylight after work hours.

Or we could just work slightly different hours? But I guess we're more comfortable altering the definition of time itself...


> Or we could just work slightly different hours?

Sure, if you can convince every single employer, store, school and numerous other places to coordinate then that'll be great. Otherwise changing the timezone setting once is far easier. We do it 2x a year right now anyway.

> But I guess we're more comfortable altering the definition of time itself...

Nobody is altering the definition of time. The dictionary entry for that remains the same. What I'm saying is we set the time once and forget about it. We ALREADY do this 2x a year, so this is actually a big improvement on the effort and negative results involved in switching the time.


I meant the legal definition of time, not the dictionary definition.


It's the switch that everyone hates. Instead of ending DST, can we agree to stop using Standard Time?


Agreed! I'd rather have sun in the evening when I can enjoy it than when I'm sleeping or working. DST year round would be fantastic.


That is blaming a symptom for a problem. The fact people "expect" the sun to rise between 4-6am and go down between 6-9pm is just a product of a broken timekeeping system from two hundred years ago.

"Time" is not a thing that cares what side of the planet you are on, and it makes international scheduling and communication literally hell when you have to calculate time zones.

If we are going to fix time, we should switch everyone to UTC time. If you want to go to work in the dark and leave when the sun rises, have your company schedule hours accordingly. Changing DST now doesn't change that, your business is still setting hours arbitrarilly based around an archaic model of "wake up at 7 work 9-5 go to bed at 11" no matter where you are on the planet. It just makes no sense, and is simply culturally normative so people expect it and structure their internal model of time around it.


Switching everyone to UTC isn't a panacea. See "So you want to abolish timezones" (http://qntm.org/abolish).


Except that isn't realistic at all to how people would behave without time zones.

For one, there is no permutation of the multiverse where after abolishing time zones people keep the cancer that is DST.

For two, nobody today just randomly calls other people they are familiar with during arbitrary hours dictated by social normative time frames without expecting conflict. You "thinking" I'll be available from 6 to 10 local time every night does not account for individual behavior. Some people do work night shift. Some people get up earlier, or later, or they go out at night. You can always call people at inopportune times, and it takes personal familiarity with someone to understand their personal time in the first place.

Additionally, you need a conversion right now to call someone on the other side of the world. That conversion is from your current time zone to theirs. It would be obviously expected people in post-TZ world would do the same calculation for unknown points of contact - plug in their longitude and yours and the difference is the hourly offset from your "daylight hours" on average.

Time zones, as they exist, are wholly arbitrary and do not accurately reflect universal daylight hours globally to begin with. You are as often wrong as you are right when you assume their time zone correlates to your waking hours and culturally normative scheduling because the time zones themselves remain arbitrary.

In the real world, post TZ, people would regularly communicate the best times to call you. You know, like you already do now. And for those you are unfamiliar with, you do the same calculations anyway - you find the difference in daylight hours between you both to find the difference in expected scheduling. That never changes, and if anything the math required is less obfuscated without time zones because you don't have all the edge cases when the time zone lines fail to accurately represent daylight hours (as is the case in all the DST conflicts between countries and time zones that obey it or not).


I went to a school that had different timetables in winter and summer, so I think that is a counterexample to the assertion that people wouldn't do DST without time zones.


> Changing DST now doesn't change that, your business is still setting hours arbitrarilly based around an archaic model of "wake up at 7 work 9-5 go to bed at 11" no matter where you are on the planet. It just makes no sense, and is simply culturally normative so people expect it and structure their internal model of time around it.

It actually makes a certain amount of sense. There are people who have to work in the daytime, e.g. because they work outside. Farmers, construction workers, etc. Then their administrative staff needs to work at the same time as the outside workers, and their customers and suppliers need to work at the same time as the administrative staff, etc. So everybody works 9-5, where "9-5" is some approximation to daylight hours.

But changing clocks twice a year is still stupid.


Except you are conflating "work in the daytime" with "work 9-5". There is absolutely nothing wrong with your sunlight hours where people work being from 1900-0300 rather than 0900 to 1700 hours.

If you made that switch everyone living in an area will get used to the times the sun rises and sets, and the normal work hours of the locale based off universal time rather than arbitrary regional timezones or DST. When you travel, you don't have to have migraines trying to manage the clocks, because your clock is always right. You would still have the same trouble adapting to another regional work cycle than you would now - you just remove the unnecessary burden of arbitrary timezones to make everyones sunrise happen at "roughly the same numerical time but never at the same actual time".


If you're not actually going to change the times that things happen then nothing stops you from using UTC already. The whole problem with daylight savings time isn't that you have to change your clock, it's that you have to change your schedule.

It would be excellent if everybody responded to daylight savings time by scheduling work to happen from 10-6 instead of 9-5, so that nothing actually changed but the clock. But that obviously only works if everybody does it.


Unless international scheduling and communication are plunged into eternal flames and tortured by demons, DST can't really be said to make them literally hell.


Try writing international date & time library support for a client and get back to me on what literal hell is :P


You remind me of my 10th grade English teacher :)


Agree. Or just rejigger North America's time zones generally.

There is no reason why Bostonians should have to tolerate 4:15 sunsets. The most frequent modern objection I hear is that children will have to go to school in the dark, but school schedules aren't orbital mechanics: Shift those around instead.


I don't think shifting school schedules is as easy as you'd think. The start times in my town (and I assume most) are structured to enable working parents to get to work around 9 (depending on their commute) after getting their kids off to school.

Pushing school times back an hour would be a big disruption for a large percentage of the population.


Then start work earlier. Again, not rocket science.


Starting everything "earlier" but not changing the time makes no difference. If I go to work when it's dark, I don't care if we call it 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.


That is exactly what DST does. Once a year everybody shifts their schedule one hour earlier and start working and go to school one hour earlier.


It's not rocket science, but that doesn't mean it's easy.


Much as I'd prefer year-round DST in general (as we once had), I have enough flexibility these days that it really doesn't matter that much. At one level I wouldn't be opposed to moving New England to Atlantic Time where it "belongs." But, if I'm being honest, I have to admit that it's probably not worth putting Boston in a separate timezone from New York and the rest of the East Coast (and creating a 4 hour difference from California).


Not everyone hates it. At my latitude, winter mornings at the summer offset would be terribly depressing and summer evenings would lose much of their appeal without it.

Also I actually enjoy having the yearly ebb and flow of daylight getting spiced up with some predictable discontinuity, but I see how this is a personal preference: It gives me a clear marker for when to stop bothering with the little remaining after work daylight which is less frustrating than being torn on the threshold for weeks.


I see what you are saying but I think it would be better we instead moved the clocks the other way, and by two hours. That way we could all enjoy lazy mornings and more easily pull off late night coding sessions.


While you're at it, I'd be happy to even bump it forward another hour!


How about we split the difference and be done with it. Spring forward 30 mins and leave it.


yes please!


Yes, this.


amen


Both sides of the Atlantic these sort of articles crop up regularly. Move to summer time year round and so forth.

What is always forgotten is latitude, and that we forget to learn from history and experience.

In Southern England, or California I doubt it's much more than an annoying relic of olden days. But I don't think anyone has true statistics on whether it is or not. Go north and it starts to matter and accident rates go up when you don't have DST.

The UK had an experiment of staying on summer time between 1968 and 1971, introducing British Standard Time. At the end of the period, the vote was to restore the old way, by a large cross party majority.

I believe at the start of the expermient it was generally thought it would confirm the sense of getting rid of summer time permanently. Switching clocks twice a year is annoying after all.


Interesting. I would have guessed that it would have been the other way around. Go far enough North, and DST is pointless because they're just isn't enough daylight no matter where you put it.

Also, your comparison on latitude is a bit off. London is at a higher latitude than Seattle, for example. It just doesn't get as cold, because you have the Gulf Stream warming it up.


Wintertime there definitely isn't enough daylight to go around here, but staying on summertime meant that northern England and Scotland wasn't having sunrise until nearing 10am. Dark mornings, it seems, had more effect on accidents than dark evenings.

I just picked southern parts of each nation, rather than checking. It may be that it is more relevant to Canada than US, excepting Alaska. :)

Work and living patterns have changed quite a bit in 50 years too.


China has only 1 timezone, which is based on a city on the east cost. In the west part of the country, the sun always comes up and goes down later than what we east coasters consider as normal. However, they got used to it anyway.

Time zones are artificial and don't make it too complicated. Pick a simple solution and let people adjust.


From what I've heard, in Xinjiang (the westernmost province of China), the locals completely ignore the Beijing timezone rules and work on a local timezone that's two hours off, although that's also in part a (relatively) benign form of civil resistance against the unwanted Chinese government.


Southern England is more north than northern USA (except Alaska).


You realise the UK is further north than the majority of the Canadian population?


The vote to abolish all-year BST was based on politics and idiot campaigning from newspapers that focused on the increase in morning accidents. (Lack of accidents in the evening isn't news.)

There was a government report on accident statistics after the abolition, and contrary to the impression given by the newspapers, the evening accident reduction outweighed the morning accident increase.


As a European that's living further up north than most Americans: Sorry, but no!

I don't want to get up totally in the night in the winter. And in summer I want to be able to use the long evenings with the sun still up instead of getting up too early.

Except one, the cited effects are all about the switch from winter time to summer time.


If you're far north enough (which you would be, if you are "further north than most americans"), DST won't help. Sunrise in winter morning is several hours off. The entire day is distorted. Shifting things one hour is useless.


Europe lies relatively far north: http://www.astro-tom.com/images/latitudes.gif

DST will help: Lastest sunrise in Munich is 8:04 in winter, earliest in summer is 5:13. That would be 4:13 without DST.


> I don't want to get up totally in the night in the winter.

Since DST is not in effect during the winter, it's hard to see how this proposal will help or hurt you here.


Presumably because if the practice of DST ended, there would be an option to either make what previously was known as "standard" or "winter" time permanent again, or switch to "summer time" for good. The person you were replying to was discussing the drawbacks of each of these options.


You could just adapt the time you do things to suit the time of year...


If you live alone and only do things by yourself, then sure.


And yet I have neither of those problems, but somehow still manage to regularly alter the times I do things to suit the current situation.


You realise that the sun isn't dictated by what time we say it is? If you don't think its reasonable to go to work at 8 during the winter then we should change what time work starts at.


From a computer scientist perspective, I would love that we drop DST. But from the social perspective, this would simply shift the problem.

You apparently consider the problem only from the student or employee point of view. What about shops or public office opening hours ? This would imply changing opening hours. See the problem?


> What about shops or public office opening hours ? This would imply changing opening hours.

Growing up in a beach town, it was very common for businesses and churches to have summer and winter hours, despite the presence of DST.


People open when there is business to do. Shops will adjust to changes in footfall. Reaching individuals needs scheduling, and support lines normally cover multiple timezones or 24/7 anyway


DST is about the compromise between two reasonable scheduling systems: in one you use a 24 hour day with a clear landmark (noon, when the sun is highest in the sky). In another model you use sunrise as a natural beginning to the day.

Sunrise is a bit complicated, and in winter it compresses the afternoon more than many people would like. Also hard to build the necessary clocks. So we simplify things and make a compromise between the two systems, and we get DST.


Clearly DST should be improved to better match the sunrise! http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/25.10.html#subj1


I live by Wintertime since a few years now under the motto "if you want to change the world start yourself". So only half a year you have to shift your calendar. Main reason for me is that I can easier read the time from the position of the sun in the sky (I don't use a watch). I've my computer, tablet and phone shifted to mediterranean Tunis as they don't have DST there since 2009. http://www.timeanddate.com/news/time/tunisia-cancels-dst-200...


How do you function in relation to other people?


Half a year all appointments I make with others I translate back and forth, but the technology exists to make it easier. I'm just in a different location and timezone then the rest.


Why can't they just leave the time alone, and change their working hours during summer and winter?


If you are the only person in your life, fine.

If you have kids, or a wife or anyone else that you might like to spend daylight time with in the evening then it starts to get harder to manage.


> If you have kids, or a wife or anyone else that you might like to spend daylight time with in the evening then it starts to get harder to manage.

People always say this like it's a compelling argument. But guess what? People lready work different hours; schools and business ar already open for different lengths of time; different businesses and industries already have different norms. People live different distances from work. I've worked 7-4, 8-5, 9-6 and more, and have had commutes as short as ten minutes and as long as two hours.

And you know what? Things work out alright anyway. A world in which individual organizations determine their working hours is the world we already have.


Who are "they"? If we are talking about the government, they should leave alone both the time and my working hours. Workers and employers should agree on working hours that are convenient to workers and reduce electricity bills of employers. All that government regulation of working hours, minimum wage and timezones are for wartime or socialism.


I'm seriously considering that right now after it was suggested earlier in the thread. Start at 9am during the summer, and then in winter knock it back to 8am and enjoy the extra sunlight in the evening. Although in practice it would likely have little useful affect since the sun sets about 4pm in the depths of winter round here.


That's "Saving" time, not "Savings" time.


Article is correct, only the HN title has the s


I'm not sure which is worse. DST itself, or the fact that the use of "savings" is so pervasive.


While we're at it let's get rid of leap seconds.

... and switch the entire planet to a single timezone (UTC).

... and require everyone use the same text encoding (UTF-8).

... and pick a single format for separating fields in numeric fields (commas for 000s and dots for decimal points).


and \n as the universal line ending? http://utf8everywhere.org/#faq.crlf


Leap seconds sort of exist to keep UTC in sync with reality (UTC may have 86400 seconds per normal day, which is not the same interval during which the planet completes a single rotation - and worse, the real interval is wobbly).


UTC is intrinsically linked to leap seconds, that's why it's called Coordinated Universal Time, because it's coordinated to shifts in the solar year using leap seconds. I do think everyone using UTC + an offset would be a great switch though.


I thought that's what time zones do: "it's UTC on server, the user is in +01,add a hour to current time, format and show it to them."


Also switch to metric system.


I just do my entire calendar in UTC, and keep all my devices in UTC. No daylight savings. I pretty much refuse to use it. It also wreaks havoc on my logs and things.


A recent article in the Washington Post (Wonkblog) making the case for "Why daylight saving time isn’t as terrible as people think". US centric. The argument uses the data of number of days with "reasonable" sunrise and sunset times based on latitude/longitude when using DST or not.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/11/why-d...


My favorite counterargument:

http://www.leancrew.com/all-this/2013/03/why-i-like-dst/

>If we stayed on Standard Time throughout the year, sunrise here in the Chicago area would be between 4:15 and 4:30 am from the middle of May through the middle of July. And if you check the times for civil twilight, which is when it’s bright enough to see without artificial light, you’ll find that that starts half an hour earlier. This is insane and a complete waste of sunlight.

>If, by the way, you think the solution is to stay on DST throughout the year, I can only tell you that we tried that back in the 70s and it didn’t turn out well. Sunrise here in Chicago was after 8:00 am, which put school children out on the street at bus stops before dawn in the dead of winter.

DST is the only sensible option in my opinion.


>Sunrise here in Chicago was after 8:00 am, which put school children out on the street at bus stops before dawn in the dead of winter.

Well, that's no longer a problem because children are never left unsupervised anymore.


I agree, DST causes more problems than any benefits from it.


I guess you don't live far up north. All wake hours in total darkness is quite depressing.


You do realise that DST doesn't actually add any daylight to the day, and that if you get far enough north it'll be dark in the morning even an hour later than usual, right? In fact, if you get far enough north the sun won't rise at all in the winter…


I live in a a pocket region doesn't have Daylight Saving. This year we added the town of Fort Nelson to our little time zone. Nobody concretely seems to remember why we started to do this, but it is generally agreed on that we do it for business reasons. Much of our business is tied to our neighbors to the east in a different time zone. With the winter months typically being more busy. Coordinating resources is much easier given this system. I thought I would throw a counter argument into the ring, although I would state it is an edge case.

Also, I am thrilled about news being at 11 again.


Let's switch to dst all the time. It's really nice to have an extra hour of light during spring and summer but we lose an hour when the days are shortest during winter. (Where I am in California)


Split the difference (30 mins) and be done with it. Please.


I think Daylight Saving Time is a bad idea in the same sense that (abusing) global variables is a bad idea in programming.

In programming, changing a global state in order to achieve something is almost always a bad practice because it affects everywhere and sometimes in unpredictable ways. Instead of abusing global states, we invented object-oriented programming, which I consider as a way to keep states locally (inside objects).

So if someone wants to save daylight, that should be achieved locally for example by changing school schedules.


I think perhaps the global variable in this case is the tilt of the Earth's axis and the Earth's orbital position. The local variable is the offset in your local hemisphere / longitude.


I can't help but think some of these statistics are ridiculous fear mongering, particularly the heart attacks.

"Get rid of DST! If you get up an hour earlier than usual, you might die!"


I've always been curious where the federal government gets the power to define what time it is? If we simply ignored it would there be fines, or does it not have teeth?


You are, of course, free to set your watch to whatever time you like. But if you do that, you can't expect anyone else to agree with your view of the current time.


Educated guess: Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution regarding standards for 'weights and measures'.


There's actually a bill in the California Legislature to present removal of DST to the voters[1], DST was imposed on the state by the voters in 1949, so it must similarly be removed by the voters.

[1] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtm...


I was most interested by how the generated the tweets with my state and county representatives. The scripts is all in js/app.js and uses maxmind's geoip lookup to get back location information. It then uses the Sunlight Foundation's api with the loaction information to pull back the twitter ids for the reps. Cool stuff.


It's a shame the website seems to focus on the U.S. only. I would support it and link it if it were a worldwide effort.


It might seem crazy and impractical, but I feel that daylight savings is treating a symptom and removing time zones altogether would be treating the cause.


Or have massive unintended consequences

http://qntm.org/abolish


So now, rather than remembering what timezone someone/some location is, you have to remember instead what is "normal daytime" for that locale. Everyone worldwide isn't going to operate on the same schedule regardless on the position of the sun.


We have these devices called computers which are quite excellent at this kind of task.

Snark aside, it wouldn't be that hard to have the clocks all set to UTC, and then a second "day equivalent" clock that's used only for translation, but not for actual timekeeping.


Lol... then everyone would be on one global time? <s>Yeah that sounds super awesome!!!!!!!</s>


One global time would suck for AFK life, but something like Swatch beats would be handy for online stuff.

I'm a bit surprised Mojang haven't implemented something similar.


Have you heard about UTC?


Love DLST personally, don't want to get up in the pitch black in the winter, but want long light in the evenings in summer. perfect.


This whole conversation got me thinking... Why not abolish time zones altogether and have the entire US be on the same time zone?


It would screw up high-noon for a lot of people. However, getting the US down to two time zones would be much less problematic, and achieve most of the benefits you'd see from one time zone...

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/11/daylight...


Is 'high noon' that important that it needs preserving?


How else when you know when to duel?

But seriously, look up how time zones work in China. The whole country is on Beijing time so the western areas essentially maintain two clocks because the "official" clock is so far off the day/night cycle.


great article i have seen linked here before: http://qntm.org/abolish


> I want to call my Uncle Steve in Melbourne. What time is it there?

> Google tells me it is currently 4:25am there.

> It's probably best not to call right now.

Probably? He's your uncle..

When does he sleep? How regular does he keep that schedule? These mostly seem like factors relating to his health, lifestyle, and where he lives in relation to his local star. Coordination takes more skill than asking someone for "the time" somewhere.

Also, what do you want to tell him? Can it wait? If it seems urgent, then it might make sense to switch on that plastic thing and wake him up. Better yet, he might figure you'd call and switch off his plastic thing before his foggy eyed nephew could interrupt him, whatever he's doing, whenever he's doing it. :)

j/k, I bet he'd love to hear from you. I hope you guys can find a reliable, regularly overlapping, mutually wakeful part of your days in which to keep in touch. You can likely make it a lot easier by replacing that old way of doing it.


you have to explain how the new way is easier. you can't just laugh off the old one.


It's Daylight Saving, not Daylight Savings.


So far I know that Chine made this choose long time ago.


DST will never ever be abolished in this country. A major part of the reason why is evening sports games become more difficult to schedule.

In the USA, sports aren't just sports. They're more like sacraments, tentpole observances which help to shape the order of society.


Given that evening games are often played under artificial lighting anyway, I don't see what difference it makes in the end.




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