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Local Solar Time (jefftk.com)
26 points by luu 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

A couple things:

- a beautiful visualization of how much drift spans across timezones: http://blog.poormansmath.net/the-time-it-takes-to-change-the...

- local railroad time tables back in 1857: https://twitter.com/_tessr/status/900870734238449664/photo/1

It's always funny to so see Spains ridiculous time zone. Madrid, along with most of Spain, is west of Greenwich, but they stubbornly are at +1

Fascist solidarity.

Not quite as ridiculous as China’s One Time Zone.

On the other hand it’s really convenient not to have to think about time zones whatsoever when travelling and working in China. I reckon the economic benefits must be huge. In the far west though I guess it’s an issue, eg [1]

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang_Time


"Currently, the time zone used within Xinjiang is roughly split along the ethnic divide, with most ethnic Han population in the area following Beijing Time, and most ethnic Uyghur population as well as population of some other ethnics in the area following Xinjiang Time."

I guess we see plenty of other units of measurement get tied up with identity (eg miles and ounces in the UK), shouldn't be surprising that it happens with time zones.

I've contemplated a timeless world a few times.

What would things be like if there were no synchronization or concept of hours, minutes, seconds at all?

There would still be loose concepts of time because of the position of the sun, but without precise time things might be less rushed.

In space we'll have to deal with a truly perpetual existence. I wonder what we'll be doing for scheduling 50,000 years from now.

>What would things be like if there were no synchronization or concept of hours, minutes, seconds at all?

Lots of train crashes. No accurate ocean navigation. No GPS. No computers. No Internet.

And lots of other stuff would either not exist, or if it did, would kill/harm lots of people.

In the age of the Apple Watch, Siri and Alexa, there’s no reason why we can’t have local time, which is better for our health. Sunrise should be 7 am every day, everywhere. Meetings, broadcasts and special events can be handled with digital alarms.

Why fix sunrise and not sunset? And how do you handle extreme latitudes, where the sun might stay up for days without setting, or set half an hour after it rises?

Yes, there is: communication.

I have been using my watch's solar dial theme for a while for non-work times and days. It's very interesting to see how solar time drifts -- and a bit depressing at this part of the year how little daylight we get!

Light therapy is super underrated. I noticed my depression is seasonal, based on light levels. So I've been making sure to get as much light as possible in the darker months and it helps a lot.

Also a fun fact, infrared light passes through the skull, deep into the brain and stimulates neurons. Sun's more than just UV!

Alternatively, you can make your room as bright as the outdoors: https://www.benkuhn.net/lux

I guess this is relevant today as many (?) countries switched from dst back to normal time. As someone who happens to live at a location where normal time aligns pretty well with solar time, that makes dst feel extra bit silly. For reference, today solar noon happens at 12:04 local time. During spring the difference is greater, e.g. in late March (before switch to dst) solar noon will be at 12:25 local time. But the final irony is that dst shifts the time in wrong direction, pushing the solar noon to 13:xx during summer!

The article is USA-centric and completely ignores how the railroad and timezones come from the UK

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