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EU to stop changing the clocks in 2019 (dw.com)
1367 points by joshdance 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 708 comments

I seriously considered taking time off a few years ago to lead a multi-state referendum to get the whole Pacific time zone to join Arizona in opting out of time changes. While researching it, I learned that you can legally either switch to PDT in the summer or remain on PST year-round, but the federal government doesn't allow a state to permanently be in PDT.

So, if the western states opted out of daylight savings time changes, they'd be an hour behind Arizona year-round, which would mean earlier sunsets year-round too. I gave up when I realized the choices were either lobby the federal government to change the regulation or change the entire culture of the western US to start and end its business day earlier.

California is actually voting on it this fall. Although like you mentioned it is dependent on the federal gov allowing it:


Why is permanent DST being considered instead of an absolute abolition of DST?

Because our culture has shifted a few hours later than 'natural' time - for the vast majority of people, midnight isn't nowhere close to the middle of your night, and noon isn't the middle of your day; we stay up long past sunset and (except in northern winters) wake up significantly after dawn.

Furthermore, this time is very "sticky" with all kinds of regulations, processes, organizational practices etc having fixed on a particular start-end time, so one does not simply live according to a natural schedule, and it's much harder to change that than the single centralized decision of the time zone.

Thus, switching to a timezone where middle of the astronomical day is 13:00 means that the people's day is better aligned with the sun.

> Because our culture has shifted a few hours later than 'natural' time ... we stay up long past sunset and (except in northern winters) wake up significantly after dawn.

But wouldn't DST be the opposite of what you want, then? Shifting the clocks one hour forward, as DST does, pushes typical business and waking hours one hour earlier in the astronomical day.

No, that's the whole point, the hours have shifted later, and DST brings them back closer to where they "should" be.

Due to accumulated cultural baggage from earlier centuries where the "habits" were formed in a very different environment with different needs than we have now, currently we (well, most of us, e.g. farmers have different schedules) have unused/spare daylight in mornings and too much darkness in evenings after work, so pushing typical business and waking hours one hour (or possibly more) earlier in the astronomical day is just the thing that we need, giving us more daylight in the evenings (which we all need) at the cost of less daylight in mornings (which most of us waste).

It's just that for the current interconnected set of practices it's a sticky "local minimum" where there's a disadvantage for any person or organization to deviate from the accepted local hours (e.g. businesses can't deviate from habits of customers, schools can't deviate from time needs of parents/teachers, customers can't deviate from schedules of their large employers and kids schools, etc), so we can't expect to ever switch gradually, and the best solution to that coordination problem is a global change for everyone at once like switching a timezone.

isn't the argument against DST the same argument against the above?

If you need to wake up at the sunrise to tend crops, then wake up at the sun's rise regardless of time.

If you like to stay up late, don't let the tine dictate it. Seems silly considering if/once the rest of the country switches as well it would lead to further confusion and already is since AZ has set the precedent for your timezone already

DST feels more natural to me. When the clocks go back in November, the "dark times" begin, and it's depressing as hell.

In my experience, most people feel this way. More daylight after noon is more desirable for the majority of us who work a 9-5 type of job.

I'm curious how many people are confused about which part of the year is Daylight Savings Time. I've corrected people who "hate daylight savings" on a few occasions. They had it backwards.

it's mad to fit our inner body-clock and live around something as arbitary as a 9-5 and the railroad clock...

Millions of years of evolving to fit our environment, and then an asshole invents “office hours” and we’re all screwed. File under “qwerty-level bad choices”.

>and then an asshole invents “office hours” and we’re all screwed

Assholes invent all kinds of things. It's those who enforce and tolerate it at fault.

>File under “qwerty-level bad choices”

Qwerty wasn't actually that bad, and Dvorak was more like self-promoted infomercial-snake-oil-style cargo-cult


That study is disputed: http://dvorak.mwbrooks.com/dissent.html

Moreover, people in modern times have attempted to create improved keyboard layouts (e.g. BEPO, Coleman) which are also better for typing Unix commands, suggesting that such a rearrangement may be helpful etiher for reducing RSI or for increased speed.

I personally use Colemak for comfort and it is great to type on. The key presses just seem to flow from beneath my fingertips without effort. My typing speed isn’t very high, but colemak greatly improves the comfort and accuracy of my typing. I also use an ergonomic keyboard because I’m at risk of RSI, though (my day job is programming and one of my hobbies is alright of hand, both are rough on my hands) and being a programmer, my hands are very, very important to me. I’m surprised that so few programmers take care of their hands.

The Liebowitz and Margolis article doesn't really bring anything to the table; it seems to just be an attempt to showcase market efficiency or something. Take this from someone who is both an economist and have actually tried the Dvorak keyboard: I believe August Dvorak much more than the authors of this piece.

But the nice things about keyboard layouts in the digital age is that it doesn't matter: You can believe that it's all hogwash and continue clunking Qwerty.

Colemak and Workman are on another level. Qwerty should go the way of buggy-whips.

That would be when some asshole invented artificial lighting, surely.

Many people hate it during the transition... when the hour moves forward, and you have to re-adjust. I can understand that.

That’s my experience. I always feel like the clocks move in the wrong direction in November.

this feeling made me realise how clocks and time influence our daily lives, and not care so much for such accurate timekeeping. i think most people would never need to be confronted with such things. it should be transparent to the user so to say... if some business or government processes require it, which i doubt unless they were constructed in a specific way to fit it, they can use their own time juggling devices for that. :s

people are so obsessed about time, all the time! it just cause them unneccesry stress. maybe if these kind of things are changed, people will start to look in other areas how time is affecting them and also make adjustments there to live more free and relaxed.

now i know some things are stuck with specific times, public transport, work times etc., but even there you can make your life so that you don't need to worry about it or have it influence you. i usually get up far before i need to leave for work, so i dont need to worry about catching the train or not, i can just get the next one, or the one after that. subsequently i also don't ever need to worry about that start time of work, because that's tied to the same mechanism. it saves tons of stress in the morning, which makes all days feel much much more relaxed even though i'm doing the same things and not missing time sensitive appointments (not to cause others stress because of their obsession of time!).

time is a funny thing, and one needs to be careful how to use it. it's arguably just a construct of our imagination, so don't let it be a nightmare ;D

I stopped wearing a watch several years ago, and I never really adopted carrying a cell phone with me everywhere, so I started relying on clocks being where ever I would end up needing them. When there wasn't a clock hanging, I would typically find a person to ask, or a computer screen to glance at.

It's amazing how many places would benefit from hanging a simple clock. Airports, for example...

Don't you mean "it's amazing how many times I'd be better off wearing a watch/carry a cell phone"?

I am really confused about the lack of clocks in airports. Train stations usually have plenty, but airports usually close to none. Why?!

Theory: There are arrival/departure time screens everywhere and those have the current time on them?

You'd think, but the really big old ones don't actually have the current time, and the screens in the departure area are usually small and less frequent than I'd like.

Second theory: Planes are late constantly and the airport/airlines don't want to keep reminding people how late the flight is; apart from the obvious intercom announcements, that is.

I think this is a good argument against DST. I realized a few years ago that I don't need to wear a watch because I'm never in any place that doesn't have a clock. Unfortunately, a lot of clock don't get changed promptly for DST.

Here in Seattle, it seems the transit clocks are always changed a month or two (!) after each DST change. Some public clocks never get changed. There's a significant fraction of the year where I simply can't trust any clock I see.

Its amazing how useful a watch is.

you're an adult, you'll live. i still remember how as kids we hated walking to school when it was all dark in the morning. end of summer time was a blessing. so if we really do away with dst i really hope we go for standard time.

I would personally prefer it, just so that it's not always dark before I leave the office. The more daylight at the end of the day the better, IMO.

Because in many places, standard time is the exceptional case. In the US, at least, we spend almost twice as much of the year in daylight saving time than in standard time. For example, standard time during the 2017 to 2018 winter lasted 127 days. Daylight saving time this spring through fall lasts 238 days.

I'm not sure I understand your question? The point is to stop changing times twice a year. If you do that, you have to pick one of two GMT offsets: the one you were using in the summer or winter. Picking either one solves the problem.

Many people intentionally don't want solar noon to match clock noon (permanent DST), apparently because they don't want to update their schedules and have to go up at another clock time. (Seems bizarre to me.)

They want their clocks to be permanently shifted one hour, instead of shifting their schedule one hour.

> Many people intentionally don't want solar noon to match clock noon (permanent DST)

Solar noon matching clock noon would require daily clock shifts as well as differing clocks at each slight difference of longitude. Almost no one wants that, and the various differences people want from that are all about (different ideas of) social convenience.

> They want their clocks to be permanently shifted one hour, instead of shifting their schedule one hour.

No, they want society’s clocks shifted an hour, because that is something practical for government to do, whereas shifting society’s schedules by an hour is not.

Basic time zones makes sense even to me, you don't need to match it perfectly. Just don't make arbitary changes all the time.

It's equally easy to regulate that everybody change their schedules at the same time as you regulate the clock. It's just less popular. Doesn't make it impossible.

> It's equally easy to regulate that everybody change their schedules at the same time as you regulate the clock.

This is absolutely not true. To answer the question "What time is it in my country?", everyone turns to a single national source of time. Changing that central source for time is absolutely trivial.

Changing signs on every door on every business, changing timetables of every train and every bus line, changing opening hours of every school, and changing people's conventions - that is absolutely not trivial.

Especially because business times and social event times are very rigid, even if it's just in people's heads.

I'm assuming everyone here who says you should just change your own time doesn't have friends.

Why would those things have to change? We don't change them when the clocks go back (or forwards), so why would they need to change if we make one of those times permanent? Or have I just got completely the wrong idea here?

I think you missed some context. They're talking about the differences between sticking with summer time vs sticking with winter time but moving things by an hour (so a 9-5 job would be 8-4). In both cases things would happen at the same solar time.

Basically the convo was:

A: People want to change their clocks to summer time instead of changing their personal schedule

B: They don't want to change their personal time but rather society's time

A: They could just change society's schedule, it's just as easy.

C: Nah, you'd have to change a lot of things, signs, timetables, etc...

Ah yeah that makes more sense, thanks. I thought they were just arguing that we should stick with winter time, without moving things by an hour.

Grandparent poster was arguing that it's just as easy to change society's conventions like opening hours and business hours everywhere, as it is to change the time.

I'm saying that that is absolutely not the case, and that grandparent is delusional.

> It's equally easy to regulate that everybody change their schedules at the same time as you regulate the clock

No, it's not, and I think if you spent a little while thinking how you'd write a law or regulation to do each you'd recognize that.

You could just make the law say "at day X when DST otherwise would have taken effect, every business with more then Y employees shifts their scheduled times relative to solar time to match the relative change as if DST would have taken effect"

Small business and other organizations will follow to not be left out. You only need to do this once or a handful of times before society will learn to shift schedules on their own.

And what is gained by doing it this way versus shifting the hour hand?

Clocks update themselves. Store hour signs, bus tables, stickers in windows, business cards, Outlook calendars, etc. They do not.

I don't like changing clocks twice a year; sticking with one time-zone offset is better. But having the entire population shift their working, banking, classroom, and service hours ad hoc is strictly worse than a universal hour shift. Instead of "Open M-F, 9a-5p", you suggest that "Open M-F, 9a-5p, Winter, 10a-6p Summer" is more elegant? Because that's what all vinyl stickers on glass doors would look like.

And it's still centralized and regulated, just like DST is now. So what have we gained?

Also you'd have to agree on how to define "winter" and "summer", just like we now have rules that guarantee that all daylight savings time changes will be on the same date across all US states or EU countries.

Seasonal schedules is already a thing in many places. It's not that hard.

No. But neither is changing the clock. So what’s the benefit of having enforced seasonal schedule changes vs the DST change?

Forcing it would only be temporary to make the transition smoother, getting people used to updating schedules. After the first two years or so, it would hopefully run on its own, people would run on the schedules that makes sense locally.

Asking again: What’s the benefit of having enforced seasonal schedule changes vs. the DST change?

Having a rational clock

There's more examples like this, famously electric negative and positive poles that would have been reversed compared to the current standard if the scientists would have known how things work.

Many current standards have unintuitive quirks that only live on because they're old and entrenched, and that wouldn't have existed if the standards were set today instead.

So let's stop with the dumb quirks before it's entrenched.

Every meeting in every outlook calendar in the country would have to change. Every exchange (equities, derivatives, commodities, etc) would all have to revise their trading schedules and applications, all the trading systems connecting to them would have to change and in some cases the actual laws governing those exchanges might need to be updated. The work contracts or at least the conditions of employment of millions of people would need to be changed. I've worked on applications that need to connect on a schedule to end points in other timezones, and plan and implement time and DST changes. It would be a nightmare.

Decide on the switch a few years in advance. Nobody would need to instantaneously change any schedules, just to remember that after a certain time in the future it will need to be updated.

Noon is not the center of the waking day for most people anymore.

Also, even if you use DST, most people still won't have the sun be directly overhead at noon.

Schedules are social artifacts. If restaurants, bars, workplaces, schools, shops, etc. were available at all hours, caring about clock time might be silly. However, since people's lifestyles tend to be anchored around these institutions, it's easier to adjust everyone's clock than to wait hopefully that each institution you care about adjusts its schedule to suit your needs.

With some planning, you could convince most of them to change schedules at the same time as you change the DST regulations.

With some planning, you could convince most Americans to switch to the metric system as well!

Not gonna hold my breath for that one.

Or, just change the clocks twice a year. Sounds like you are advocating the same end result (one-hour shift twice a year to preserve afternoon daylight time), but simply abolishing the current implementation. The present implementation is well understood, and most importantly standardized and automated at scale. Anything else would require massive effort to switch toward, so can you explain why it is a net improvement to spend that effort?

The improvement is that we won't have a clock that's permanently arbitrarily shifted because of ancient convention.

The time on the unshifted clock is also an arbitrary convention.

In one of them 12noon approximates solar noon better than in the other. Some people object to that because it interacts with the magic social numbers 9 and 5 in a way they find inconvenient.

By contrast, in most places where I've lived, I have found that daylight savings time less convenient than the one which approximates the astronomical situation.

Having lived in Japan that doesn't use DST, it really sucks. In the summer, it starts getting light just after 4am but then it's dark by 7:30pm. The daylight time is wasted.

Ex-pat in Japan, Tokyo area here.

Not having to change clocks is nice. Pressure companies / employers to have flex time to allow earlier starts and earlier leaves. Even though Japan culture tends to lag 10 to 15 years behind, it does change.

Now if the rest of the world (London / New York) would stop shifting clocks around on different dates, it would make global synch ups easier to handle.

How many clocks do people really have to change these days? Everybody has a phone in their pocket that magically has the right time.

Everytime the government changes the rules, people have to modify the firmware of basically any device with a clock, the people have to go around updating those (especially ones that don't have any auto update mechanism). Source: I'm a software engineer and I had too update hundreds of copy machines manually a few years ago.

I replaced all the wall clocks in my house with ones that set themselves from the NIST radio broadcast. My computers (and presumably phone) are all ntp based. None of those require firmware updates. It's quite nice to never mess with the clocks and have everything just be correct.

You may wish to know that the current executive budget proposal would shutter the NIST time radio broadcasts (WWV, WWVH, and WWVB)[1][2][3].

[1] https://swling.com/blog/2018/08/information-from-the-nist-re...

[2] https://www.kb6nu.com/nist-to-shutter-wwv-wwvh-wwvb/

[3] https://www.nist.gov/director/fy-2019-presidential-budget-re...

"Illustrative program reductions in FY 2019

-$6.3 million supporting fundamental measurement dissemination, including the shutdown of NIST radio stations in Colorado and Hawaii"

NTP gives you accurate time in UTC. It doesn't tell you how many hours you're offset from UTC.

Databases like tzdata do that, and they have half a dozen updates every year.

Well yeah, but then you tell your devices that you're UTC-4, and when it receives the NTP update, it just automatically subtracts 4 hours.

Or, like in the case of most phones, GPS-enabled devices know what time zone you're currently in, and then automatically adjust accordingly.

Your device from 2005 that hasn't received a firmware update will show the wrong time if you're in New York.

GPS does not contain your current timezone, like NTP it gives out UTC.

The reason your phone (that's set to use "New York" as a timezone) knows to change the UTC offset from -4 to 05 on the first Sunday of November is because it has received a firmware update at some point since 2006. A standalone device from before 2006 can not know that the spring forward/fall back dates in the US changed, unless it's updated.

Your statement "None of those require firmware updates. It's quite nice to never mess with the clocks and have everything just be correct" seems naive at best.

> The reason your phone (that's set to use "New York" as a timezone) knows to change the UTC offset from -4 to 05 on the first Sunday of November is because it has received a firmware update at some point since 2006. A standalone device from before 2006 can not know that the spring forward/fall back dates in the US changed, unless it's updated.

Fair enough, good point - I didn't think about that.

> Your statement "None of those require firmware updates. It's quite nice to never mess with the clocks and have everything just be correct" seems naive at best.

I never said that, possibly you're replying to a different person than intended.

Right. I'm not asking about changing rules. I'm asking about the burden of keeping the current daylight savings rules. The person I was responding to said "not having to change clocks is nice". I live in a daylight savings region and I already don't change any clocks.

Not having to change clocks is nice, but having a little offset over the sun time is good.

I lived in Japan as a student, and when you wake up at noon to get only 4 hours of daylight it's really depressing, and feels like you've wasted your whole day in bed.

Anyway, prepare to adjust your watch twice a year!


“...wake up at noon ... feels like you've wasted your whole day in bed.”

Well it’s half true

> when you wake up at noon to get only 4 hours of daylight it's really depressing

That's just a normal winter to some people.

The daylight is only "wasted" because you are sleeping through it. Try waking up earlier in the summer months to take advantage of it. I find that I don't even need an alarm to wake up at 4:30 AM when the sun is already up. And early morning is the best time to get out for some exercise in the hot, humid Japanese summers.

Anyway - I don't really think it matters too much whether it gets light at 4:00 AM in the peak of summer or 5:00 AM. People can adapt their schedules to take advantage of the daylight at the beginning or end of their day as needed. What really sucks is having your schedule abruptly changed twice a year for DST - something which people aren't really adapted to handle.

Yes, except that everyone else doesn't shift their schedules to accommodate you. Many people still need to work 9-5. (Or 8-8 or something in Japan...) Also, generally social events around dinner happen at something like 7pm. After dinner events might be at 8 or 9. You're likely to miss out on a lot if you're going to bed at 8 so you can get up at 4.

I’ve gotten friends out early in the morning for outdoor social events like golf, hiking, camping, etc. I play on a softball team that has games at 6 am. Heck, even some of my first dates with my wife were early in the morning. So I disagree that social events need be limited to dinner and drinks in the evening. Oh and I still go out for dinner and drinks too... just not every day and when I do I usually sleep in a bit the next day.

I really don’t understand the resistance to waking up a bit earlier in summer. Btw I don’t even consider myself a morning person really, it’s just that when I moved to a place that gets light early in the morning I naturally started waking up earlier.

All of that would apply more or less equally for a 5:30 sunrise with DST, wouldn't it? You'll miss out on a lot going to bed at 9 to get up at 5, etc.

I wouldn't get up at 5. I'd continue to get up around 8, but I would miss three hours of daylight instead of four.

Yeah, ideally you'd shift to 7am sunrise and 10:30pm sundown, that would be ideal in terms of social events and waking time.

The problem is not so much the lack of DST, but the fact that solar noon is around 11:30am in Tokyo, compared to around 12pm in SF in winter time, and 1pm in summer time.

Totally agree. Japan sticks to a 9-5 but its clocks would work much better in a 7-3 environment. Totally misplaced

No DST means that solar noon is always at 12:00. While useful for figuring out what time it is without a watch that's a less common occurrence nowadays.

DST, on the other hand, pushes daytime later, so if you wake up at say 8 (after sunrise for most of the year) and go to sleep at midnight (after sunset), you see more daylight.

No DST usually means that solar noon is at 12:00 somewhere in the timezone. There are many places in the US of equal longitude but differing timezones.

The timezones are supposed to be small enough to be accurate +/- 30 min of the actual solar noon.

In some countries, even to +/-15 min - Russia comes to mind.

Not necessarily. Lot of places have an offset compared to their ‘natural’ timezone for economical or political reasons.

Just fix your schedule...

Edit: downvoted for asking people to go up at another clock time in order to match the daylight, instead of going up at the same clock time and changing the clock to follow daylight.

Really? What's so important about the number on the clock? Why not just be consistent with daylight, and let the clocks be normal?

> Just fix your schedule...

Clocks are standardized, which means there's a simple point of coordination for fixing them.

Schedules are...not.

> What's so important about the number on the clock?


You may not like it, you may not understand it, but other people like their conventions, and you're simply in a tiny, tiny minority if you don't get that.

The sunlight is the convention I follow.

Right, I'll explain that to my kids school then:

"Hi, our family's switched from observing the clock, like everyone else in school, to operating on a schedule that is in rhythm with the ebb and flow of sunrise through the year. From now on, we'd like our kids' school attendance and lesson times to start and finish on a solar timescale. Perhaps a separate buzzer tone could be set up to convenience any kids who will be running their day according to the sun. We do understand the challenge to teachers in accomodating this natural schedule alongside other students who stick with the more familiar clock-based one, but hey - the sunlight is the convention we follow."

I mean I live in quite a hippy place but that just ain't gonna fly.

> What's so important about the number on the clock?

Because jobs, business hours, travel schedules?

Yes, those places can fix their schedules to follow the daylight. Problem solved. Now you don't need to have permanent DST anymore.

Why again does people want clock time not to match solar time? It's far more sane to change the numbers on the schedule than to change the clock.

If DST was abolished instead of made permanent, what is your plan to make everyone (including businesses, events, transport time tables...) move their hours by one hour earlier?

Making DST permanent "just" requires a singular change of legislation, and basically never switching the clocks back to "normal" time.

As has already been stated twice in a sibling discussion here, "changing an entire culture is hard", but I'm honestly interested in hearing your approach.

How could having every business and school change their hours twice a year as they please be easier than just agreeing on couple of dates and switching everything? Instead of one time zone every thousand miles or so, you're talking about effectively having several time zones per block. That doesn't sound sane to me.

Doesn't everybody already have different schedules? Aren't seasonal schedules already a thing? Just communicate better. You can already find things like updated opening times in Google maps, etc.

"Just communicate better" puts an enormous burden on people. I already know the opening times for places I go regularly. Seasonal schedules are not a thing here, presumably because of DST.

It's ridiculous to suggest that it's easider for every business update Google (and Yelp and everything else) twice yearly, and that everybody check that before they go anywhere. That is way more human labor than daylight savings.

Google could also have the entire year's schedule listed.

Did you notice that you picked the one point you thought you could snipe at, but ignored the rest? Because I sure did. That's the sign of a bad interlocutor.

No, because that point pretty much proves it's possible to solve. You haven't heard of Google Now / Assistant, etc? Your phone can notify you of schedule changes pretty easily.

In fact even my regular calendar app can support this but itself, it can notify me of changes in booked appointments automatically.

And even that's assuming you didn't already know the change in schedule because it was listed right there on the website.

You are not effectively making the case that your approach is simpler or easier.

Currently, clocks automatically change twice a year.

In your proposal, all schedules for businesses, schools, transport, etc need to be entered into multiple online services. Plus each person needs to use one of those services and tell it about all of their plans. Then they need to be notified by that service whenever anything changes, and when hours change in a way that's conflicting, they need to manually resolve that.

As an example, I was just talking with someone who has to pick up kids from two different schools; the route involves two different transit systems. All work meetings must be carefully scheduled to match, and there are inevitably errands that will involve zero, one, or two kids and getting to some place before they close. This is hard enough when hours are stable. Now imagine it with schools, transit systems, stores, work clients, and work vendors all potentially adjusting operating schedules 2 or more times per year.

Google Now can't do that, and probably won't before the Singularity.

Because 12:00 is not the middle of the waking day, at least in western countries. It's closer to the first third or so.

So? I genuinely can't figure out why people keep bringing this up.

If you want clock noon in "the middle of the waking day", for some reason, then by your on admission, permanent-DST (+1hr) isn't going to solve your problem, either.

Once you decouple clock noon from physical noon, I don't see why it has to be 1 hour, or even a multiple of 1 hour.

Probably because states that observe daylight saving time are already on it for eight months of the year. It’s actually a smaller change to stay on it all the time.

Personally, i just recommend were introduce temporal lag. Time moves too fast in general. So we should just slow it down.

Just like the Fed can print more money, the government can just make minutes worth more.

Why do we need 60 minutes in an hour? If we only had 30 minutes in an hour, then we would get twice as much done in half the time!

People here in Southern California exercise and prefer extra sunshine. Farmers here are against the repeal as well. Even popular mechanic endorses DST as a good thing: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a18011/...

Do you have a source for farmers liking it?

Every reference that I have seen agrees with https://agamerica.com/myth-vs-fact-daylight-saving-time-farm... that farmers don't like DST. In fact the original reason to introduce it was to save energy, and it doesn't do that either.

I know that I will vote for the repeal.

I grew up in Saskatchewan, which is the most farmer-focused province in Canada, and is probably more farmer-focused than almost all US states.

Saskatchewan has never had DST.

Technically Sask is always on DST, right? That is, its solar noon is at 1pm, not noon, which compared to time-changing areas is DST (summer hours).

Yeah, late night sun in summer, and watch the sun rise at work in Winter. I want permanent DST.

From Nebraska, not California, but grew up working on a farm and am married into a 5th generation farm family. None of us want DST.

I concede that I cannot fine a solid study regarding farmers opposing, only anecdotal. I am curios and if I may ask, do you engage in any outdoor activities? I do and the people I exercise with do too.

But I did find that crime rates drop: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2015/10/29/figh...

I will not be voting for the repeal.

If you read your article, being on DST permanently should be even better than the current switching.

The California bill is for permanently being on DST. Which is equivalent to the present for most of the year, in my opinion is better in the winter, and avoids the disruption twice a year.

And to answer your question, I do engage in outdoor activities. Mostly hiking and the beach. My preference for hiking is for later in the day because I want to sleep in, and wait for the heat to break.

I think you might be confused. The repeal will switch us to DST year-round, which seems to be what you'd prefer.

"Farmers, contrary to the strange and completely false belief that DST was created for them, actually despise it: Their schedules are entirely run by sunlight rather than the clock..."

Seriously, arguments for DST are absolutely ridiculous. In the summer when the days are longest it kicks in, which is pointless. In the winter when days are shorter it's not active.

Throw DST into the trash where it belongs.

Let's keep DST year round and ditch "standard time"

That's what Saskatchewan does.

Russia said "sure" years ago.

But said "nope" a couple of years after. They are now on standard time year round.

If their schedules are entirely run by daylight then why care at all what the clock says?

Cows can't tell time. Corn can't tell time. I grew up in a farming community. I never understand the "farmers" argument.

You must agree that the timezone you choose has no effect whatsoever on the amount of sunshine there is in a day.

If you want to be outside in the sunshine, you can go outside while it's sunny, whatever time of day that happens to be.

Yes but many if not most people work at certain hours and don't have the flexibility to change those hours. So people can't necessarily just go outside when it's sunny.

Exactly. Changing an entire culture is hard, so you just change the clock. People naturally wake up at some delta from sunrise, so it's inconvenient that we have set times to do things that aren't set based on time since sunrise. Of course the sun rises at different times everywhere, so it wouldn't be very convenient to say that we were going to have a conference call at sunrise+3 hours, when that's not a consistent time for both of us.

Instead we just approximate the correction with a one hour step function every year, and everyone is coordinated on it automatically. If a few programmers have to use more complicated date/time functions, it's a small price to pay for everyone to be able to keep their bodies on a more natural schedule.

"a few programmers have to use more complicated date/time functions"

This is a denial of the actual problem, which is that time zones get separated from times in practice. It's not a programming problem that can be solved by technicians. Blaming them is like blaming shortcomings of the taxation system on the IRS. As you wrote, "changing an entire culture is hard"

Yeah. I suppose it depends a lot on latitude, but where I grew up, businesses and schools would need summer and winter hours so that activity reasonably matches daylight. Having everybody change at once seems much easier than letting everybody do their own thing. Especially given that computers are handling more and more of the clock-changing workload these days.

You think that's bad? Canada is forced to follow the US. Whenever the US moves the dates/times we just mirror them. We want to get rid of the entire thing, but a north/south split would be a huge disruption to air traffic, at least for the passengers.

In the real north, the part with very short/long days/nights, an hour one way or the other really makes no difference.

Actually the impact on nations higher in latitude makes the time change more compelling.

The biggest issue is traffic accidents as a result of commuting directly into the rising or setting sun. It's especially acute if there are children crossing streets to get to school at the same time. It doesn't take many dead kids to make headlines.

If I remember correctly, Chile abolished DST, and then after they have a ton of traffic fatalities, they added it back two years later.

It's not as clear cut as people make it out to be.

This test says otherwise

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11152980 METHODS: Data from 21 years of United States' fatal automobile accidents were gathered. The mean number of accidents on the days at the time of the shifts (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) was compared to the average of the corresponding mean number of accidents on the matching day of the weeks preceding and following the shift. This was repeated for each DST shift. The number of accidents for a particular shift was also correlated with the year of the accidents.

RESULTS: There was a significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift to DST (t=1.92, P=0.034). There was also a significant increase in number of accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift from DST (P<0.002). No significant changes were observed for the other days. A significant negative correlation with the year was found between the number of accidents on the Saturdays and Sundays but not Mondays.

I don't buy this. Sunset/sunrise times change year round. If you shift the time by one hour you are still going to have a few weeks where the sun is in your eyes in the morning or evening, it'll just shift when that happens by some number of days

I found that the change in timezone actually caused me to be commuting into the sun twice as often. I'd go through a period of commuting into the sun, and then the sun would start rising later, and then the timezone changed and I'd be commuting into the sun again.

Saskatchawan has some of the northernmost respectably-sized cities in Canada, and they also have lots of rural farming which means endless long winter drives on snow-blown roads.

They don't do the time-changing thing.

And Saskatchewan is also FLAT. So sunrise/set times line up with the astronomy. Your horizon is a horizon. I'm in BC. Whether I can see the sun in winter has far more to do with mountains than earth's orbit.

"Forced" is a strong word. We do it because it makes things easier for business and commerce to follow the U.S.

It's nothing but a nuisance in Canada now that the DST period has been extended to 8 out of 12 months. Previously when it was shorter it'd have more of an impact during the spring and fall when it was shifting daylight to more "useful" times of day.

A huge disruption? It's managed without a fuss when traveling between the UK and the rest of the EU.

I'm on a team collaborating with branches in CA, IN, and NC. Given the majority of us (including the lead site) are on Eastern time, the CA team tends to dread milestone reviews since they have to be prepared and on the ball by 6am; the first few reviews started 5am PDT, but that quickly proved to be too painful for our CA brethren. If Pacific states decided to drop DST without (at least) Eastern states following suit, collaboration would become that much more difficult.

I feel like Central and Mountain states have the geographic flexibility to decide either way without significant impact to interstate commerce on the whole. From the same lens, Pacific and Eastern states don't appear to have the same flexibility insofar as the potential for a 4-hour gap if Pacific states drop DST while Eastern states perpetuate the status quo. I'm just selfishly thinking in terms of synchronization, overlap, engagement opportunity, jet lag...as if 3-hour gaps weren't already a chore.

I lived in Mountain time for a few years while still working east coast hours. It was awesome. Starting working around 6 meant I was done locally early. And done early was really done because the east coast was shutting down and going home. Much different than when you start around 5-6am and people give you funny looks when you leave around 2pm, or you get dragged into staying late through the day.

Definitely more power to you. Every week, I try to trick my body into waking up at 6am (let alone being at the office at the same time), but my biological clock always finds a way to reject attempts at realignment in short order.

On the flip side, being an early bird on an 8-hour schedule is a non-issue with my current employer. In fact, 5:45am-2:15pm was clockwork for a certain graybeard engineer; if you couldn't schedule and conclude your business with him within those hours, you were simply out of luck, and any manager with a clue of who really transforms shit into green leaves in our branch would be seriously hardpressed to upset this balance.

The secret is there is no trick. I set an alarm and get up. Do that every day, even the weekends, and you'll start going to bed at a time that works.

I love the feeling of getting up early, getting a ton done (gym, errands, personal projects, work) all day, and that night falling asleep in minutes when my head hits the pillow.

If gung-ho on the subject then why not split the difference and lobby the UN or the powers that be to add half an hour to ST in all time zones and eliminate DST? The only ones who might complain are those in Winter who live north of 40N or south of 40S latitude.

I would be in favor of abolishing the Pacific time zone and merging it with Mountain Time to create Western Standard Time. The mountain states can still do DST if they want, but the pacific states can just stay on WST all year round.

Is there a federal mandate that forces us to be in pacific time instead of mountain time?

> but the federal government doesn't allow a state to permanently be in PDT.

I mean this sincerely: I don't understand how the federal government gets away with stuff like this. I don't see where DST is in the constitution. And according to the 10th Amendment[0], that means that decision belongs to the States or the People, right? So the federal government, I suppose, could make the law, but the states should have the ability to say no to anything the Feds say without an Amendment being passed. What am I missing here?

0: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/tenth_amendment

I imagine it falls under the weights and measures clause, considering the clock is how we measure time:

> To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

It is a power granted by the “weights and measures” provision of the constitution (or so interpreted). Read the first paragraph the history section of this Wikipedia article for more details:


That actually makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

Do you think a city should have the power to ignore daylight savings time entirely, or should the state have the power to regulate all its cities? Where do you draw the line?

In practice, I imagine if California passed a state amendment fixing themselves to PST, the federal government would either change the law or refuse to enforce it. Opposing such an amendment would be pretty unpopular.

But in theory, the federal government does have power to "fix the Standard of Weights and Measures" nationwide. I see no reason for a court to rule this as being outside federal jurisdiction.

Many border cities observe the timezone of the closest major metro, even if they are supposed to be on the same time as the rest of the state.

West Wendover, NV (for instance) follows Mountain Time to synchronize with nearby Salt Lake City. So far as I know, they never asked for federal permission.

For what its worth, the relationship between cities and their state is very different than the relationship between the states and the federal government. There has historically been a concept referred to as dual-federalism which has evolved into cooperative federalism to describe this relationship. This is in contrast to the creation of cities and towns, which are entirely creatures of the state governments.

That said, I do agree the regulation of DST definitely falls under the weights and measures clause. We can't have Shelbyville continue to operate on metric time, we here in Springfield gave up on that years ago. One might even be able to successfully argue an interstate commerce argument on standardizations of timekeeping.

No. I don't believe that. I believe that states, not the federal government, are the ones allowed to make those decisions according to the Constitution.

However the weights and measures stuff makes sense and is something I completely overlooked.

Nor do I. But I also have trouble believing that, were California (or any other state) to change timezones, abolish DST, or whatever combination thereof, that the federal government would have any power whatsoever to do anything about it.

Interstate commerce clause. It's been the reason for many the Congressional abuse, and it would be my go-to for any time I ask, "why can't the state(s) just tell the Feds to piss off?"

"Because in some infinitesimally small way, someone might lose money."

I don't personally smoke weed, but I'm still incredibly offended that the Supreme Court ruled that the feds can prevent you from growing your own personal supply because of the negligible impact it might have on interstate prices.

Others have addressed the federal government's legal right to set standards of weights and measures, but I just want to add that there's a legitimate interstate commerce argument as well. Prior to the application of time zones, train schedules were nearly impossible to keep consistent as every town had it's own 'time zone' being aligned to their solar noon.

Time is already crazy for programmers and logistics, but imagine it being essentially a continuously changing band with longitude with slight local variations. The modern economy relies on a sane, more or less consistent view of time.

200 years of arguing about state versus federal power/rights/law?

It's very possible that if a state decided to do this, and the feds tried to stop them, the state would win in court. But court is expensive, and it adds to a long list of "reasons why this might be more trouble than it's worth".

Probably some interstate commerce clause justification.

Time zones were invented in order to standardize railroad time schedules, so that's probably exactly what it is.

Can't you change your time-zone while opting out of PDT?

"Abolishing" DST means that there's no longer any PDT, just PST, MST, CST, EST... But abolishing DST while desiring to move to "summer time" just means, in practice, shifting the state from PST to MST.

> shifting the state from PST to MST

I’m not a lawyer, but from my reading of the respective regulations and the little case law that exists, I believe California has the legal authority to elect to move to Mountain time.

This is what Arizona did. They just went to MST. If California likes PDT, then MST is the exact same thing.

Wouldn't it be PT then?

Also why not just move to one zone west. POE Pacific ocean east time.

The states alone cannot, because the time zones are set by Federal regulation. See https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=6a1a124065df269aff....

Right, just like the states alone cannot make Schedule I substances legal for consumption and sale.

Except, of course, that half the country does it[1].

We are living in a strange country.


That article goes into a long history of the interplay between state and federal authority in terms of time zones - most of it Indiana acting within the bounds set by congress or petitioning congress to give them exemptions.

How does Arizona get away with it?

Could you change to PST for one day in summer and keep PDT the rest of the year?

No, when Daylight Savings transitions happen is federally regulated; you can opt out or opt in, but not customize.

The business will adapt if you fix the clock.

> the federal government doesn't allow a state to permanently be in PDT.

I don't recall this part of the enumerated powers of the federal government from when I read the constitution. Has there been a recent amendment?

> I don't recall this part of the enumerated powers of the federal government from when I read the constitution. Has there been a recent amendment?

No, it's in the bare unamended text:

“The Congress shall have power [...] To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures” (Art. I, Sec. 8; emphasis added)

Wow. Thanks.

After the EU does this, 90%+ of the world population will have abandoned DST changes. The only holdouts will be North America, a few Middle Eastern & African countries, some Brazilian provinces, and 4-5 other small countries or provinces.

Sounds like a repeat of the Imperial vs Metric system divide. Why does the USA always have to be the odd major modern country using obsolete customs? Is there a cultural explanation?

> Is there a cultural explanation?

Yes they're lacking in culture. :P

Seriously though, I think culturally they think whatever they're doing must be "the best", irregardless of whatever the rest of the world thinks. And it caused NASA disasters too!

> they think whatever they're doing must be "the best", irregardless of what <others> think

The word that comes to my mind is "arrogance". Is there a better fitting word? (Honest question, not a native speaker)

I think the proper academic term for it is "American exceptionalism"

Even American chauvinism.

As a fellow non north american, that seems quite fitting.

>I think culturally they think whatever they're doing must be "the best", irregardless of whatever the rest of the world thinks.

Funny, one could say the same about Europeans. And it'd be an equally sweeping and divisive claim.

You've missed parts of Australia and New Zealand, plus the UK (which will have left the EU by then and may keep DST).

DST seems to be one of those weird Anglophone things that we do, I would't criticise the USA directly for this one, they're not alone. As a New Zealander I was actually surprised to learn that DST isn't standard across the globe.

You think UK will keep it after Brexit if EU doesn't? I doubt it. Australia has a strange situation where some states observe DST and some don't. (Or had 10 years ago anyhow)

I don't think it's going to be much of an issue for the UK to keep it. They're not on the same timezone anyway, so it won't change much. So yeah, considering the amount of hassle it would be to change, I wouldn't be surprised to see them stay with it.

> I don't think it's going to be much of an issue for the UK to keep it. They're not on the same timezone anyway, so it won't change much.

But it will change, specifically: twice a year any UK-EU timezone offsets would change, affecting all communication and arrangements between UK and EU. Currently we are all in sync even though we are offset, so it might actually be more hassle to keep it DST if the EU does not.

> They're not on the same timezone anyway, so it won't change much.

It would change the time relative to Ireland, which is in the same timezone as the UK and has very close ties to it. It would introduce timezone differences along the Irish border. It would also change the time difference to every EU country twice a year; those differences are currently constant.

> So yeah, considering the amount of hassle it would be to change

What hassle would that be?

The UK kept the Pound Sterling, miles, and pints when it joined the EU, so I don't see why they'd get rid of DST just because the continentals are.

And the UK support in the survey was an overwhelming 0.02% of the population. Compared to 3.79% of the German population.

Given we couldn't even be bothered to move to a timezone that EU other countries are on (Portugal aside), I can't see there being much appetite for change.

Now, if the EU Commission had said they were forbidding the removal of daylight saving, I think it would be a completely different story...

> Portugal aside

And -the republic of- Ireland! A "timezone" border to be added to the one already introduced by Brexit

Still does - Queensland doesn't observe it, while most of the rest of the country does.

Politically, this has always been a tricky domestic issue, because different countries within the U.K. are affected differently by, and have different political opinions on, daylight savings time. Effectively, changes to the status quo are blocked by differing interests.

Legally, it is almost comical.

The Act of Parliament defining daylight savings time has a significantly different mechanism to how daylight savings time has operated in harmony with the E.U. for the past several decades. It allowed for double daylight savings time, ran over a different part of the year, and had to deal with Easter.

It was modified by an Order in Council in 2002, which removed double daylight savings time and changed the rules for the start and end. This was not the first time that the 1972 Summer Time Act had been modified by statutory instrument for harmonization with the E.U., either.

But that Order in Council was done by the Queen under the authority of the European Communities Act 1972, which is repealed by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. That, in turn, classes the Order in Council as "EU-derived domestic legislation". It retains it, but abolishes the Act that authorizes such orders. Adding to the comedy, the 2002 Order in Council also abolished the original authority to issue statutory instruments that was in the 1972 Summer Time Act itself.

So a different new mechanism has to be created to authorize further orders in council if the 1972 Summer Time Act is to be altered with another statutory instrument. There apparently isn't one in the E.U. Withdrawal Act 2018, by my reading, as "EU-derived domestic legislation" is not covered by the infamous so-called "Henry 8" provisions for dealing with "direct EU legislation". Otherwise and more likely, a full Act of Parliament has to be made to replace the (modified) 1972 Summer Time Act.

However, now look to history. There have been numerous attempts at this over the years, some fairly recent. They have got nowhere. The upshot of the legal tangle and the political will that effectively blocks changing the status quo is thus very likely that the U.K. will keep to the old E.U. rules after the E.U. itself abandons them. This is highly ironic for Brexit.

* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/16/crossheading/ret...

* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/262/note/made

* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/262/introduction/mad...

* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/6/section/1/enacted

* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/6/section/2/enacted

* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/6/section/2

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Summer_Time#Current_st...

May have left the EU. No clear plan for doing this has yet been presented, and doing it without a plan looks like immediate disaster.

> May have left the EU.

Article 50 is quite clear. If you invoke it, you start the timer: "The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, [...]".

Although there is a possibility to extend that period "[...] unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period".

But the word crucial word is "unanimously". It's very unlikely that for example Spain would agree to that.

> No clear plan for doing this has yet been presented,

Yes. But don't underestimate the power of all-nighters. Politicians are at least as good with them as programmers are.

> and doing it without a plan looks like immediate disaster.

Yes. But Brexit is fitting for the crazy times we find ourselves in. So I don't think they will get less "interesting".

No plan for staying either

This is also true. Nor is there any plan for international air travel, the Irish border, Gibraltar, nuclear material including radioisotopes, road freight, food export, farm subsidy replacement, or the 3m European residents of the UK or UK residents of the EU. There will be only one time in the UK: "too late".

Staying wouldn't have required them to do anything different.

AFAIK staying (i.e. cancelling article 50) needs approval of all EU members. So it's quite unlikely to happen.

Yes - the do-nothing situation here is that the UK leaves the EU, it’s international agreements with the EU, and almost all of it’s worldwide international agreements, which are negotiated through the EU. For those who’ve read the term but don’t know what it means, this is “No Deal”.

With regards to cancelling article 50 - there is no precedent for it, but there was no precedent for using it either. It’s considered an ornament. A lawyer who wrote it insists it should be revocable - but nowhere in law says it is revocable. Or irrevocable for that matter. So those who want to reverse it should plan on getting total unanimity from EU27+U.K. because anything else might not be enough.

Setting aside the fact that public opinion is already changing in the US and several states are already voting to do away with DST, do you really think it’s fair to criticize the US for being one of the few countries using an “obsolete” custom when the EU hasn’t even made the transition yet?

There are plenty of valid reasons to criticize the US but this isn’t one of them. And the mere fact that you would read an article about the EU and your mind immediately jumps to what the US will do almost lends credence to the idea that the US is indeed exceptional.

Anecdotes aren't data but everyone I've talked to about this subject in the states is either ambivalent or tired of DST and would not miss it. It's just that in order to make the switch, the whole country has to commit together for it to not be a pain, and that's a big lift for something that the public thinks about twice a year. It'd take some current event or an extended public campaign plus momentum to get over the hump.

Brazil does not have provinces, it has states and territories.

In my experience, americans say “everyone” when they mean “everyone in the country” and “the whole world” when they mean “the usa”. This may shed some light into the psychological context for such decisions (or lack thereof).

Unwillingness to change, plus a STRONG unwillingness to be told to change.

Can we move to UTC exclusively next please? Enough with vague abbreviations only people who use them understand like EET, PST and whatnot.

"I live in UTC+2 and you live int UTC-5, meeting at 15:00UTC?" ain't that easier? I add 2 hours, you take away 5 - math a 6 year old can do. And yet we refer to timezones with some made up meaningless words like Easter European Time - what does that even mean? It's not even accurate description as not all Eastern Europe follows it - pure madness.

> Can we move to UTC exclusively next please

Your phrasing was ambiguous. For a moment I thought you meant https://qntm.org/abolish. Still, you can't remove the past, and since the names carrying disambiguating meaning (notably DST changes, is UTC+01:00 CET or BST?) even if you remove them for the future the past still exists so you still have to handle them.

UTC is explicit, you don't need to know anything than your local number. With current system you need to learn what all of these dumb abbreviations mean and their relations to your dumb abbreviation - it's pure madness and I just can't fanthom how this even came to existance when we had GMT since 1884.

Can you imaging changing date in the middle of the day !

- I'm going to lunch I see you early tomorrow ? - But we have meeting this afternoon ! - Yes tomorrow, should I remind you we are UTC+12 ?

This doesn't remove the problem, only shift it to different place.

From the local perspective: "I always eat breakfast at 8am!" - two people can communicate when they eat (or do whatever). When you move to different country instead of sticking to your routine (minus jet-lag) you have to adjust your brain to completely different hours.

Benefits of using UTC internationally would only be good for companies and people that do a lot of international meetings so using UTC would make their life easier (instead of wrapping their heads around multiple timezones)

I don't think they were advocating for using UTC exclusively, just identifying their own timezone relative to UTC when communicating with someone in a different hour. For example: "I always eat breakfast at 08:00 UTC+01, so I prefer to do that Skype call we planned at 09:00 UTC+01 at the earliest. Is that fine with you or do you have plans in the evening?"

If you're not in UTC+01, it's easier to work out what time that would be for you than if I said I wanted to have a tele-meeting at 09:00 CET.

Can we go back to calling it GMT as well?

UTC and GMT are similar but not the same.

GMT does not observe leap seconds for instance.

UTC only has leap seconds to keep within 0.9s of UT1, which is the mean solar time at 0° longitude (based on Quasar measurements). GMT is essentially equivalent to UT1 (and in modern usage either means UTC or UT1).

UT1 essentially doesn't need leap seconds, because it is the correct mean solar time and not an 1Hz approximation of it (which UTC pretty much is).


GMT and UTC are not semantically the same though. In this case UTC makes more sense as it doesn't depends on Greenwich time.

GMT should be defined by UTC, but not the other way around

Nice, I hope US can do the same one day. DST changes twice a year are an unnecessary burden.

I am also not too hopeful about US changing considering its federal-state model. In EU, multiple countries can agree on a decision, but US states are adept at bikeshedding and not getting anything done :(

This is a bit needlessly cynical, because individual states already have the power to choose whether or not to observe daylight savings time. Arizona and Hawaii already don't, and there are bills in the Florida and Massachusetts legislatures to do the same.

The only federal regulation that applies here is that states wouldn't have the option to choose between summer or winter time as their permanent time, as the EU states can. IOW, US states are allowed to disregard the observance of DST, but they can't change their time zone without federal congressional approval.

Florida's bill passed, but it's conditional to Congress or the DoT's authorization


Note that in this case it's conditional on Congress because Florida wants to move to permanent summer time, which, if we imagine that as of tomorrow DST were abolished everywhere else, would effectively put them in Nova Scotia's time zone ("Atlantic Time").

(I'm personally sympathetic; I live in the northeast US and I'd much rather go to work in the dark than leave work in the dark. Summer time or bust!)

In Maine we passed a bill to move to Atlantic time as well, but it's conditional on Massachusetts and New Hampshire moving to the same time zone: https://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/27/maine-may-switch-to-a...

(I would love this)

Arizona and Hawaii already don't

And Indiana. Except for the part that's part of the Chicago market.

And about a quarter of Arizona actually does change time. The Navajo Nation goes with New Mexico/Denver time.

And the Hopi Nation that is an enclave in the Navajo Nation follows Arizona. That got really confusing when we drove the 264 during our holiday in our way from Grand Canyon to Canyon de Chelly.

Indiana started observing DST across the whole state in 2006.

Ah. Thanks for that. I haven't been up there in a while. Apparently longer than I thought!

I commented on this shift here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18009875

> IOW, US states are allowed to disregard the observance of DST, but they can't change their time zone without federal congressional approval.

Interestingly, that seems to be the exact opposite of EU where countries can choose their own timezones but (currently) have to observe DST.

I lived in Indiana when they decided to adopt DST. The reasoning was that interacting with other time zones which had DST while they didn’t was expensive. It’s bad to not use DST until none (or few) do.

Such a chilling network effect might exist if all the states were equal in population, economic activity, and interstate traffic, but that's not the case here. If California wanted to abolish DST, it certainly has the clout to pull it off--and it may very well force NV to as well in the process (and perhaps even OR and WA). Same for Texas, which could force the hands of OK/LA/NM. The Northeast would be harder; you'd basically need all of New England sans CT to agree to make the switch at once, and then NY+CT+NJ+DE(+PA?) to do so at the same. The problem is far from intractable, though.

You are greatly overestimating the cost of dealing with states that do or do not observe DST. We don’t here in AZ and it barely matters. The worst is that everyone else expects us to move around our daily stand up times twice a year so they don’t have to.

AZ is much larger than Indiana. A large fraction of Indiana is suburbs of cities in other states (Louisville, Chicago, and arguably Cincinnati).

Here in Indiana there was an attempt to go off DST for a long while but it became more of a problem because it was inconsistent with all of the other places nearby and for people going through.

Indeed, small states wedged between big states are going to have the hardest time of it; the best way for Indiana to jettison DST is to convince Illinois and Ohio to. If there's ever going to a movement to abolish DST across all the states, it's probably got to start at the big edges of the country (California, Texas, Florida) and roll its way inward.

Pretty sure you can include Maine in that group of states as well...

Same with leap days and leap seconds, why not just count forward at a consistent rate?

The earth doesn't rotate at a consistent rate, so leap seconds (as determined by astronomical measurements) are necessary to keep civil time in sync with sunrise and sunset.

Have you LOOKED at how much civil time moves around? Heck, the discrepancy changes as you physically move around.

In a few thousand years they can change timezones ONCE to deal with leap seconds adding up. It won't even count as noise next to how much happens for random political reasons.

Right? It would make way more sense to have a "leap period" once every century that calculated for all the leap days, minutes, seconds, OR people 200 years from now, might not care when my sunrise and sunset were.

The federal government did extend the dates of daylight saving time for no particular reason just a few years back. Congress has the power to change it for everyone, there's no reason to blame the federal model.

I know this is against the bandwagon but still: it was just fine the way it was. Changing the clocks (that is, society's timetable) to match the suntime is a good idea. And countries should absolutely have the freedom to choose what suits them best.

Now we're going to have to pick either summer time or winter time, to be on all year. Pick the latter? Bye-bye awesome summer afternoons with the sun setting down at 8:30. Pick the former? Say hello to waking up in darkness with the sun rising at 9 during winter.

"it was just fine the way it was."

I agree. Before the nonsense about turning the clock twice a year was "invented".

"During World War I, in an effort to conserve fuel, Germany began observing DST on May 1, 1916." [0]

See, there was shortage of fuel, and they thought DST would save energy. I don't think anyone has any credible data to support that it does. This has been an ongoing experiment for a century. Maybe we all can declare the experiment over.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_in_the_Un...

I don't see how invoking the original (flawed) rationale has any relevance on whether or not it ended up being a good idea for other reasons.

It hasn't been a good idea for other reasons too. In fact, it has been a terrible idea for various.


A net energy loss/gain analysis of DST would be interesting, at least from the consumption side. That could impact carbon emissions which would be relevant today, right?

Many analyses have been performed and the only thing they have agreed on is that the difference, whether more savings or extra waste, is miniscule: less than 1%

It's 1 to 4% energy cost based on https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/10.1162/REST_a_00131 Additionally, that study found increased pollution and associated costs.

> less than 1%

On a global or national scale this can be a very large amount - calling it miniscuLe is a little disingenuous

No, what is meant it's so small, that no one can tell how big the difference is and more importantly, does DST waste or save energy.

Eh fair, was a little early in the morning and I misread the +- part

"Changing the clocks (that is, society's timetable) to match the suntime is a good idea"

Except that's not what we do. The sun doesn't shift rise and set times by an hour on two magic days of the year. You know this right?

Of course. It’s called an approximation—I’m sure you know this though. Being a pedant doesn’t lead to interesting and/or productive conversations.

Sorry, I still don't get it. The sun doesn't shift by an hour, it just shows itself for less time as we get into winter and more time as we get into summer. Why can't we just center our days so that noon is always when the sun is highest and be done with it? The shift makes no sense.

>Why can't we just center our days so that noon is always when the sun is highest and be done with it?

That's what abolishing the DST gets us closer to, and the answer is - nothing is stopping us. Arizona has it that way, and they're fine.

A longer answer: time zones are just an approximation to "sun is highest at noon" because it's awfully convenient to have clocks show the same time for people within a several hundred mile radius. The railroads made it pretty much a necessity, but even things like scheduled television programming would be very tedious with astronomical time: every city would end up with a slightly different schedule.

Think about it this way: the circumference of the Earth is about 25000 miles, and one revolution is 24 hours. That means that 1000 miles is roughly an hour difference, and 100 miles is about 5 minutes.

That means that, with astronomical time, if you have a 100-mile commute (sadly, not uncommon), you also have to account for the 5 minutes time difference between your home and work!

While this might not be the question you are asking, some threads on HN have considered the possibility of everyone being on astronomical time, since we can put a GPS chip in every clock (...heck, we pretty much do that already), and everyone gets their schedules from realtime systems.

But perhaps a more compelling alternative is just to give up and have everyone follow the same clock[1], extending the convenience of time zones (which are, after all, arbitrary and are an awful approximation for Solar time!) to the whole globe.


"That's what abolishing the DST gets us closer to"

Which is the point I was trying to make. Thank you.

Yup, I was just reaffirming it, and then rambling on why we don't use Solar time... which is something I imagine being a fun thing to go back to.

At my latitude (26°N) the zenith for noon changes about every 5 miles (8k) east or west of where I'm located, and the distance grows shorter the more north you go (at 45°N it's 3.8m/6.1k east/west). That's why time zones exist, to make this a tractable problem (although we somehow have managed to make a mess of time zones but that's another rant).

EDIT: my latitude was too precise for the distance mentioned. Simplified it.

I don't think it's pedantic at all, as far as I'm concerned I find that light in the evening is a lot more important and useful than in the morning and clearly our life cycles do not match that at all. Where I am in the summer (with DST) we still have daylight past 9pm while in winter it's dark at 7. DST would need to be several hours more to roughly match that (and in my subjective opinion it does it the wrong way around, I want more daylight in the winter evenings). I say good riddance.

I don't think what you're suggesting in line with OP. If that is not the case, your comment is worded much more effectively.

> . . . in my subjective opinion it does it the wrong way around, I want more daylight in the winter evenings . . .

I believe this is because DST originated as an energy saving measure to maximize usage of morning light. [1] I tend to agree with you as well. If we're not trying to conserve energy in the evenings, DST doesn't make much sense.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time#History

Morning light regulates your circadian rhythm and is far more important than you make it sound.

That may be true but certainly having morning light brutally change twice a year can't be a great thing then? I always found the switch from DST to winter time pretty jarring for instance, you go from very dark mornings to much brighter ones.

In the end no matter how you look at it trying to match any form of "sunlight cycle" by merely offsetting time is bound to fail. It's not a translation you need, it's a homothety.

>Of course. It’s called an approximation

DST is approximation to what exactly?

It's an artificial construct with a vague purpose, and nothing else. Please do basic research before accusing others of pedantry.

> DST is approximation to what exactly?

OP seemed to be suggesting a gradual shifting of clocks each day instead of a single leap around each inflection point.

> It's an artificial construct with a vague purpose, and nothing else

A 24hr day is an artificial construct. DST is mostly an energy saving measure, and some also enjoy more daylight after leaving work.

> Please do basic research before accusing others of pedantry.

I certainly know the basics of DST and the earth's orbit. Thank you very much. These are the type of threads that tend to spawn from OP's style of comment, and I regret my reply.

Sorry, I need to learn to be more clear. I was not suggesting a gradual shifting of clocks each day. I was pointing out the silliness of shifting by an hour twice a year. My desired alternative is to not shift at all.

>OP seemed to be suggesting a gradual shifting of clocks each day

It's hard for me to see how it can be interpreted that way.

>These are the type of threads that tend to spawn from OP's style of comment,

Please don't blame OP for what you wrote, which is - to quote - "It’s called an approximation", and what you wrote now doesn't explain what you meant by that.

I responded in that fashion to mimic the OP's tone.


The fact that daylight saving time is an approximation for fixing sunrise to a specific time is common knowledge and should not require a thorough explanation. But for posterity [1] is a graph that illustrates the approximation.

[1]: http://thumbnails-visually.netdna-ssl.com/daylight-saving-ti...

Thank you for answering. Now let's discuss this answer.

The first question is: which specific time? This time will differ based on the timezone and geography. Because of timezones, sunrise time effectively makes a one-hour jump at the transition points, which makes this chart of yours look different for people living living close to timezone border vs. someone living in the center.

To that end, which time zone and which city was this chart made for? Because we'd need many charts like that to see the effect of DST on sunrise time. (Remember, timezones make sunrise/sunset times depend on longtitude (exact coordinates, actually) as well as latitude and time of year!).

Thankfully, some people have done just that[1][2] (note that [2] is interactive!).

As you can see by playing with [2], if your goal is to have sunrise before 7:00AM across the country on as many days as possible, then DST works against this goal.

Of course, one can always throw one's hands up in the air and say "it's an approximation". In the same sense, 0 is an approximation to any number -- just not a very good one.

The US foreign debt is approximately 0 dollars, if you don't talk about error margins.

Now, looking at the interactive chart at [2], do you really think that DST is a better approximation to "having the sun up at (your chosen time)" than doing nothing at all? Or shifting the whole timezone by an hour?



> The first question is: which specific time? This time will differ based on the timezone and geography.

That's not what it's about. The specific time is irrelevant - that's just an arbitrary number. The reasoning in the blog posts you link to is just based around making comparisons to another arbitrary number (7 AM).

Rather, the point is shape of the curve. DST makes the sunrise time approximate a constant line.

In other words, if you plotted the time difference between sunrise and "x o'clock" (for any x) for every day across the year, DST reduces the standard deviation of those values.

The argument is that circadian rhythm causes humans to naturally wake up near sunrise. Most people also wake up at some fixed time in order to start their workday (because businesses generally have fixed hours, and people wake up just before going to work). DST makes it so that the difference between this fixed time and 'sunrise' can be minimized over the year. Without DST, you will not be able to have a fixed wake-up time and also minimize the difference between that time and sunrise.

No but seriously...the sun is in zenith the same time all year. Summer vs winter time doesn't follow the sun.

There's a lot of unused sunlight hours in the morning in the summer, so we change our clocks to make use of it. That's how we "match the suntime".

Or just get up earlier.

Getting up earlier is definitely an option but you can't make the most of the time if schools and workplaces are still on fixed times.

Losing an hour of sleep is bad for you, and having a mandated lost hour of sleep every year could be more than just bad for some people:


I agree with you. I grew up in South Africa with no daylight savings time. In the summertime the sun would be up and shining by 5am and would set by 7:30pm.

Now that I've experienced daylight savings time in both the UK and NZ, I would much rather have a minor inconvenience twice a year to make the most of the sunny days.

It speaks volumes that we find it easier to redefine time than to go to bed and wake to earlier.

You know, I have a better idea then! Let's have DST year round! It both saves the hassle of moving the clock, and gives you the extra hour of sunlight in the winter months as well as summer months!

We did that once: https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/30/the-year-daylight-sav...

I'm surprised it's unmentioned here. My recollection was that a kid got hit by a bus in the morning, and that ended that.

Thank you! I didn't know about that.

Sounds awesome, if you ask me. As a kid, I didn't care in the slightest what the world was like in the morning, but getting home from school in the dark made for pretty tiresome winters.

I think the children were used as an excuse to push something the legislators wanted yet again.

Russia tried going DST only, they had to switch back to winter time only because people hated summer time in the winter.

May a better idea would be winter time only in Northen Europe and symmer time only when you get further south.

I cant change the times the school of my kids start, so i cant change the time when i start working.

I do most of my sports outside, in the summer while it's still light, DST is a great! It's just wonderful to windsurf or kitesurfing till 22:30 in May, June and July.

Getting rid of DST means a lot let sporting hours for me...

you can wake up at 4am but that doesn’t change the fact that society centres around 9-5

Exactly this. And if all of society moves forward an hour, then that's just the same as having DST.

Not really, since changing time is what allows you to wake up later for work.

You can't change the number of daylight hours in a day by fiddling with your clocks. That's just impossible. All DST does is move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

> setting down at 8:30

uh, in France it's more like 10pm in Paris at the end of June, and 10:20 in Brest (western France).

France is also a full time zone West of where it should be.

Part of France is in the right timezone, and part isn't. It's Spain that's really crazy.

"Funny" story about that... We switched to Berlin time when Paris was occupied in 1940. We didn't go back to GMT after the war.

Same thing happened here in The Netherlands. We were in our very own little "Amsterdam Time" which was UTC+00:20 but switched to Berlin Time during the war and we never switched back.

Having lived both in France and a solar hour to the east of it (but still in CET), I find that France is exactly where it should be and most of CET is off by an hour or more. Moving the EU to permanent DST will fix some of this for me.

> I find that France is exactly where it should be and most of CET is off by an hour or more

How? The correct timezone is the one where the sun is closest to directly overhead at 12 noon.

The real problem is that 9 to 5 is a lopsided working day, because it's centred on 1 pm, not noon. DST just moves solar noon to 1 pm, when the correct fix would be to move the working day to 8 to 4.

As you explain, the "correct" timezone does not correspond to most people's preferences. Metropolitan France's position within its timezone is a better fit for my preferences than the positions of more easterly countries in the same timezone.

I don't care where the sun is at noon; I care where the sun is after work.

> I don't care where the sun is at noon; I care where the sun is after work.

Precisely, so it's the working day that should be changed, not the clock. The clock affect everyone, including people who do care where the sun is in the sky (e.g. those working outdoors).

Well, we voted and we do not like it.

At 1st of July sun sets in Amsterdam at 22.04 and rises at 5.22. Summertime doesn't make much of a difference. It's basically light all day. In winter it's the opposite. Just live with it and try not to be depressed. :-)

> Pick the former? Say hello to waking up in darkness with the sun rising at 9 during winter.

If I recall correctly the EU prefers their members to choose this because most people prefer more daylight at the end of the day.

I hope they do, I don't mind the darkness in the morning but that extra hour of light at the end of the day helps me go outside after dinner instead of turning on the telly and doing nothing all evening.

> Bye-bye awesome summer afternoons with the sun setting down at 8:30

For whatever it's worth, there are plenty of people who hate this. The sun is still up when they're going to bed, meaning summer is a season of lost sleep.

I'm one of those few, because I have to get up really early, so I also gotta get to bed really early and I have trouble sleeping when it's light outside.

Most European countries did start using summer time until the late 70’ early 80’, I assure you eliminating summer time would be a non-issue.

Even with DST at about 60° North latitude we wake up in darkness during winter. But having sunsets after 10PM in summer is really nice.

> And countries should absolutely have the freedom to choose what suits them best.

Unfortunately that's not how the EU works.

Or make work periods 10am - 6pm in the summer..

Is that not precisely what DST does?

It's the exact opposite. I can't understand the amount of people who have elementary problems comprehending which way the clock changes "geographically" speaking, and what it means in practise.

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