Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
US Senate votes unanimously to make daylight savings time permanent (twitter.com/senatecloakroom)
2191 points by enraged_camel 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 2218 comments

I'm surprised at the number of commenters who think permanent DST is favourable to night owls and bad for morning people.

I think it's night owls and delayed-cycle teenagers attending school who will suffer most under permanent DST.

In the Winter, permanent DST means everyone has to get up an hour earlier for work or school's clock time, relative to the sun which regulates their body rhythm.

Someone pointed out virtually nobody sets when they wake by the sun. Fair enough. But the sun does affect how well and how long they sleep, how restored they are, how they feel when they wake, and energy and concentration through the rest of the day.

Night people already struggle with getting up early enough for clock-time social expectations. As it's a struggle already, getting up an hour earlier is going to be harder for them. (If the sun makes no difference, why is it already hard?)

Research (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30691158) suggests that overall, health will suffer, sleep will be shorter, and educational attainment in teenage years will reduce. Even brain development may be adversely affected.

But there will be more shopping (economic activity), so that's ok.

These problems are best solved by addressing the issue itself - that teenagers need more sleep than our maniacal obsession with starting school early in the morning.

That’s a change that can, and should, be made independently.

So the problem with that is school also serves as a safe daycare for children/teenagers while parents work. Everyone wants to blame the puritanical "if you aren't present 8 hours, it's not real work/school" attitude, but it's not that.

It's economics. People can't work if they have to stay home with their kids.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, that's 99% of the reason for the standard school day/hours. To fix the school problem, we have to fix our out-of-date 8-5 mindset toward work, first.

Which brings us back to why we should adopt permanent standard time instead of DST!

Timezones are an illusion. All you're actually changing when you change the clocks are people's cultural expectations, namely around when it's appropriate to arrive at work and school. Ergo, we should adopt the standard that has people start work and school later, not even earlier than they already do!

This was really highlighted by COVID. Families having to suddenly deal with childcare threw a big wrench in corporate America.

It has nothing to do about the children. Its 100% because public school has become glorified daycare and kids need to go in early for their parents to work.

It's not that simple. Alot of highschool aged kids need to work to save for college or just to feed their families.

Starting school later sound good if you live a very privileged life, but makes life impossible if you need to leave a 3 to work.

Make the last class optional to attend. It’s not like people learn anything of worth in classes.

If a high school class was optional to attend, that class would not be attended. Your solution instantly becomes "cancel the last class of the day."

Say you're a parent working for Walmart or Amazon. You have to get to work at 8.30AM so the store can open at 9AM. Your kid starts school at 9AM. How are you going to get your kid to school?

Given the context was explicitly "teenagers", getting to school is generally something kids can be expected to handle on their own. Admittedly having to arrive to early sucks for the few that truly rely on their parents to get there, but at least it only sucks for a few. (My school did start first at 8.30 (I think) and then 9, this is completely normal in many countries)

Of course teenagers can get themselves to school. The problem is with younger kids. They will basically have to go to daycare before school, making their day even longer.

I love that in this scenario, school is literally daycare and we're completely limiting our entire children's growth around the imagined concerns of billion dollar mega corporations. Instead of forcing them to give leeway to the humans they employee, we just legit ruin kids carcadian rhythm

School being daycare or not has nothing to do with this issue. If your child needs to be somewhere at time T, you as a parent typically need to take them there at time T, so you can only arrive at work at some time T + delta.

Now, while companies often have absurd requirements of their employees' time, I specifically chose the Wal-Mart example to illustrate a non-absurd requirement: a site needs its store clerks present at opening time to be able to open at opening time.

> a site needs its store clerks present at opening time to be able to open at opening time.

Surely not every employee has to do school drop-off in the morning though?

> How are you going to get your kid to school?

They walk there, use a bus, etc.

So if we change the school times to be better adjusted to sleep schedules blah blah blah.

Why can't we also adjust work hours?

And if we can adjust those as well, why can't we just be on Standard Time?

The problem isn't the clock. It never was the clock.

Norway would be the counter argument to everything you've said.

Highly educated, longest living, least depressed.

And the sun is out at midnight 76 days per year there.

Humans are adaptable. A -permanent- hour change would surely be less harmful than changing said hours twice a year.

Only the far north of Norway has a long polar night, down south the days are short but not much different to many other places. In the north, the winter causes more sleep problems and some low mood/energy. (sources below)

But this is false equivalence as it's studying a different thing. Also it is very difficult to compare mental health studies across countries and attribute differences to single causes as there are so many confounding factors. In Norway there is a good standard of living, a social safety net, cheap healthcare and many other factors that are proven to be beneficial to mental health.

Humans are adaptable but sometime I think it's more accurate to say that humans tolerate different environments. We often don't adapt to them, we cope with them.

[1] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medici... [2] https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/147...

> A -permanent- hour change would surely be less harmful than changing said hours twice a year.

If you ask actual scientists who research this topic, you get a different answer:

"The authors take the position that, based on comparisons of large populations living in DST or ST or on western versus eastern edges of time zones, the advantages of permanent ST outweigh switching to DST annually or permanently"


So, permanent standard time is better than switching, but switching is better than permanent summer time.

I don't think this article has made that case at all. They are correct that there are negative health effects for people being on the western edge of time zones because their social clocks are earlier than their biological clocks. But this is because people synchronize their social clocks with people in their time zones. But if an entire timezone shifts by an hour, they will naturally adjust their social clocks. As a thought experiment, imagine shifting the time zone by 12 hours, so midnight was called noon and noon was called midnight. People would simply shift their social clocks by 12 hours to adjust.

An actual example of this is Spain, which since WWII has been on the central European time zone, even though it is in Western Europe. According to this article, people in Spain should have more health problems and shorter lifespans, because their social clock is so much earlier than their body clocks. However as everyone who has ever been to Spain knows, the social clock in Spain does not have the same relationship to the wall clock as it does in other countries. In fact, relative to say the US, the social clock in Spain seems to be shifted a good two hours, for example with dinner at 9pm or 10pm. That seems like a very late hour for dinner, but relative to the sun that's more like 8pm.

Isn't it also common in Spain to take a nap in the early afternoon?

So maybe moving to different timezone would make more sense? Start using the zone that is closest to where majority of population reside. Or even use more than one zone?

That article mentions the downsides of switching from ST to DST, but doesn't mention the downsides of switching back. It's as biased as it gets.

If you already know what outcome you want it's easy to assemble evidence that supports that position, but it's not science, and this article is one of the best examples of that I've ever seen.

It's a position paper. It posits an expert option, based on the research that is listed in the references.


If the paper is not about deciding what the best option is, why did you link it?

The author of the paper has examined the body of research and come to an informed conclusion, which they are sharing alongside their reasoning. Should the author instead present a case they think is wrong?

> If the paper is not about deciding what the best option is

The paper is about the best option: "the advantages of permanent ST outweigh switching to DST annually or permanently".

I can think of a thing or 50 that Norway does different tk the US that might explain their higher levels of educational achievement and better mental health.

Of course.

My point was that daylight isn't guaranteed to send a country into disarray as OP seems to imply.

Norway is one of the richest countries in the world – because they have so much oil – and they share the wealth with the people through social security and (mostly) free education and health care. I think that has much more influence on those factors than light.

The meaning is that permanent standard time is preferable to permanent DST, because it's more important during winter: during summer you get plenty of sunlight no matter what you have on the clock. That is, if we optimize for health instead of shopping.

I disagree on summer time, summer time makes they day on which it's possible to do outdoor activities in the evening come about three weeks earlier than without it. And sunlight around 5am when virtually everyone is asleep is much more useless than having it late in the evening.

> Highly educated, longest living, least depressed.

That's just an argument for a good social security system and says nothing about DST

A couple things:

1. Comparing the US (or any other country) to Norway is not valid because there are so many confounding variables. For one, Norway sinks in oil money and uses that money extensively to fund great social welfare programs.

2. What matters is relative within a country, not between country. The US had the choice between two time zones, and that's the question at stake here (not how the US compares to other countries, or how other countries deal with short day light periods).

Norway has explicitly barred any oil income to leak into the economy. All oil income is directed to the special fund that is not tapped (yet).

(I'm a citizen of Norway)

False, it was tapped in 2016. I also think it was tapped in 2020 but am unable to confirm, they atleast plan to withdraw again in 2022.



False, 3% of the fund is tapped each year.

As a seattlite, darkness in the winter definitely effects me. This is why I’d rather have the extra hours of daylight when I’m awake, since it increases the chance of hitting a few hours of light without rain/overcast skies.

Wake up an hour early? You don't need to move the clock to be able to adjust when you wake up or go to sleep.

If I lived in a society where I got to set my own times, that would work perfectly. Get my kid up at six, force daycare to open and close an hour earlier, and have my meeting schedule displaced an hour earlier (hey, works well for those VCs to Stockholm, but those people are always in the dark in the winter).

Individuals have limited control over their own schedule, because of work hours, school hours etc.

They said wake up an hour early, not late, which has absolutely no impact on externally-imposed schedules. You have an extra hour to do X, whether that be exercise, getting baked out of your mind, scrolling instagram, etc.

You can't tell me that a society that burns, on average, five and a half hours daily on useless, mindless activities like television, sportsball, and social media is going to be even mildly perturbed by this. There's plenty of slack in the average person's schedule to move things around.

> least depressed

Compared to what? Anytime I speak to any Norwegian/Swede, they tell me how depression during winter is so widespread basically everybody suffers in one way or another. People in Norway, Sweden, Finland etc go into household lightning overdrive to help this a bit, but real sun is real sun.

Single most important reason why I never moved there, even above short summer.

> least depressed.

Source please?

On the contrary, Norway, as most Scandinavians, are above the EU average on chronic depression.

But Portugal, a sun-rich country which sits East of its timezone, gets the top spot. So, go figure.


Yes and the sun never rises completely for a similar length of time. Perhaps it's the darkness that's the key to utopia?

After 35 I've more and more noticed how the long darkness affects my mental health. I'm not in northern Norway, so the sun rises all year, but during winter it comes up after I go to work and sets before I go home. So it's basically dark all the time. Supplementing vitamin D seems to help somewhat at least.

I strongly doubt this.

If this was true, seasonal affective disorder would occur in the summer and not the winter, don't you think?

And our ancient ancestors didn't evolve where it is dark. Nor did we evolve where the length of day changes much at all.

The fact that short days and darkness cause so many people problems in the winter tells me that amount of sunlight really matters to us.

And generally speaking, more is better, to an extent.

> The fact that short days and darkness cause so many people problems in the winter tells me that amount of sunlight really matters to us.

For the greatest part of our history we've spent our time outside, not sitting in artificial caves with artificial lights, hiding from the sun. If you want something that tells you why the sun is so important, take this instead.

If that doesn't work for you, remember that having enough exposure to the sun is vital for your body to function properly, both mentally and physically. We'd not be producing "Vitamin D" by being exposed for some time, if the sun wasn't an important factor in our existence.

This. The idea that fucking up everyone's rhythm twice per year isn't as bad as not doing it, is ridiculous.

Also some of the highest rates of suicide...

If lockdown WFH has taught me anything, it's that the times that we've set for doing activities day-to-day is totally arbitrary. I work with people across all timezones now, and it's clear that the way that I set the clock is just a pacing metric for the way that my job and the businesses around me give me the freedom to do what I need to do.

If what you're saying is true, schools should start at 10a. We need to have those conversations.

I'm on one coast, my coworkers are on another, we gotta figure out how to sync our meetings. Same goes with when the supermarkets are open.

Most of us are not farming anymore. It's just about having a consistent meter stick to which to adjust our standards.

Sorry, the "farming" myth is one of my ocd triggers. DST is for golf courses and has never had anything to do with farming. Businesses want more daylight hours after office people get out of work to get those people to spend more money. This is the original trigger that caused the golf lobby to push congress to enact daylight savings.

The problem is the "consistent yardstick" actually. People are accustomed to start work at "8am", and react badly to being told to start work at "7am". So we change the clock so that their yardstick "8am" occurs at solar 7am and people get out of work earlier. And people now are like "lets keep summer time" which is the exact equivalent of "lets always go to work at solar 7am".

> People are accustomed to start work at "8am", and react badly to being told to start work at "7am".

Retail workers and shift workers of all kinds constitute an existence disproof.

"Next week you start at 5:30am, open at 6, finish at noon -- on Tuesday through Thursday, then you come in for 6pm to midnight on Friday. Welcome to Starbucks."

Indeed its hard to generalize across all people. But I doubt many of those you list react favorably to the early times. Either way, they are likely not the ones wishing for permanent DST, because for some of them (like the ones waking up at clock 4:30am) it means they will go to sleep when the sun is still up (at solar 7pm) instead of after sunset.

When I did shift work I loved earlier start times because it meant I had more free time during other stores' business hours to run errands/do chores/etc. Also in my store, earlier times of day were less busy with customers so I could catch up on work. Of course I can't speak for everyone, and not every store is the same (I think early AM is a coffee shop's busy time)

Assuming some location in murrica, you should actually be getting into work at some clock time between 23:00 and 04:00. There is only one time, and it's UTC.

> DST is for golf courses

Source? I have seen dozens of explanations for DST. None of them well supported by evidence.

Wikipedia has a very thorough write-up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time with 171 sources. What degree of certainty are you looking for? It mentions many examples of business (with emphasis on golf and golfers) who pushed to restore DST for the modern era even after the original energy-saving reasons had become obsolete.

Not to go off topic, but everyone seems to just ignore everyone not working 9-5.

I mean if you work night-shift, morning shift, evening shift, you already have weird circadian rhythms, and out-of-sync school schedules.

And yet, somehow, they seem to function as humans. So maybe that 1 hour difference for 4 months a year won't actually result in the zombie apocalypse.

People will adapt just fine.

It is kind of weird to me that people are coming out of the woodwork arguing about stability and all sorts of stuff as if a single time setting is somehow worse than changing it twice a year.

Winter in the northeastern U.S. is damn depressing because the sun sets at basically 3:30-4:30pm. If you sleep in on a weekend, you get max 4-5 hours of sunlight (feels like less because the sun is so low and thus long twilights). Kids coming home from school have zero after school time with sunlight.

This is what I particularly dislike about the English winter, and part of why I'm determined to never set foot in an office as part of my daily work again. There's something completely soul-destroying about your work plus commute eating all the daylight hours and more for a big chunk of the year.

Agreed. On daylight time or off - just stop changing the clocks twice a year please.

There is so, so much research showing that night-shift and living out of sync with one's circadian rhythm literally shortens your life. It weakens your immune system, increases your chance of cardiovascular issues, gives you gastrointestinal issues, etc.

> And yet, somehow, they seem to function as humans

I know various people who work in shifts. It's really bad for your rhythm. It takes months before people find a way to deal with the effects. It's worth it due to the additional money they earn, that's it.

Oh jeez! Have you ever spoken to anyone whose shifts change every week?

Clearly not. I shared a house with a guy that worked rotating shifts. It was hell, and made me really glad I did not do that.

But I worked blue collar job the first ten years of working, so 7 to 5, and for a while 5AM to 6PM (six days a week). I don't think many people on this thread understand what it means to wake up between 5:30 and 6:00 AM every day (depending on your commute) to get to work.

> but everyone seems to just ignore everyone not working 9-5

They also seem to ignore Arizona. 7.5 million people all happily living their lives without dropping like flies from seasonal-affective disorder.

It’s a statistic. There is a certain (tiny) percentage of people affected. So that’s what is hyped up by the media, and then people think that is almost everybody.

Then the question remains: why not Standard Time?

This isn’t a DST issue. Start school later.

I agree. Changing times on everyone was always silly. If a group of people want to change the time they go to school or work, they should just do that.

I don't like it when the sun comes up early. Unless you have really dark curtains, then you don't get to choose when to wake up. You wake up when the sun comes up. So if you stayed up late, fuck you, here's some bright sun at 6am.

Oh, and you're coming home for the day at 5 or 6p? Fuck you, here's some darkness. I can't understand how anyone would be against DST.

When it is dark at 5pm is utterly depressing in the winter. This change is huge and I really never thought I would see it in my lifetime and am overjoyed.

I'm against DST because I think if people are going to wake up at solar 6am and go to work at solar 7am they ought to call it 6am and 7am instead of calling it 7am and 8am.

"Work is defined to start at 8am so lets have everyone call solar 7am '8am' so we can get everyone to go to work an hour earlier."

Now "high noon" will occur at 1pm and the middle of the night will be 1am. In Ohio (or west edge of any time zone) the middle of the day will be 2pm and middle of the night 2am. Sunburn zone in ohio? 12pm-4pm.

You can also buy a nice eyecover for 2 dollars.

School should be made later.

I suffered even with switching because no matter what part of the year we were in school was scheduled to wake me up in the dark.

Changing the clocks is basically a form of hibernation. It makes it OK for people to wake up later in winter by forcing everyone to do the same thing.

I guess any form of coordination is going to be more convenient for some parties than for others. The question is whether we really need to coordinate our entire days to such an extent. Many companies already practise a "core hours" schedule which allows individuals to be flexible about when they start work. This seems like the right approach.

I'm not looking forward to having to make normie appointments on Summer time during the winter, though. Making my way to the doctors at 5am in winter isn't going to be fun.

But the sun does affect how well and how long they sleep

Yes, the sun coming up an hour later means less light peeking into the room and more sleep cycle time. Big collective win for night owls.

As it's a struggle already, getting up an hour earlier is going to be harder for them

Times are changing, literally. Nice thing about all this remote work is you can be a night owl on the East Coast while everyone else is a morning lark on the West Coast. For me waking up is never an issue, I just get moving. But the night owl schedule is where everything naturally settles.

I really don't get what you're saying. Move the clock 4 hours forward and you favor some people; Move it backwards and you favor others. You literally cannot make everyone live in their "perfect sleep cycle." If you feel sleepy "at 2am" this changes nothing for you.

In Norway in December people wake up "in the middle of the night" because sunrise is at 10am: Humans can adjust easily to this stuff, it's just that we like to sleep "late" (as defined by the clock)

I didn't argue for any particular movement or direction, and I agree that any change favours some and is worse for others.

I argued that commenters who say permanent DST specifically favours night owls are incorrect about who it favours, because they (most of them) haven't considered the effect of the sun on sleep quality and daytime cycles.

My view is that most solar-affected night owls will have slightly worse sleep and daytime energy and metabolism, because clock-time social requirements will not change (that's the point of changing the clocks after all). Sunshine after will work will make people happier after work, which is reflected in economic activity, but I think the insiduous effects on health are being ignored. There is some scientific research to back up this point of view.

There are early risers here who don't like permanent DST saying "we're not all night owls like you", believing the change is designed to favour night owls.

There are night owls here who say permanent DST will be great for them because there will be less sun in the mornings to ruin their sleep. That implies they have a choice about when to wake, or they are thinking of Summer. They are in the minority even for night owls, because the change applies only to Winter, when most people are already forced by social requirements to get up when it's dark. There is no light streaming in that early in Winter. Permanent DST will only mean that it's dark for longer after they get up.

I mean, as a true night owl, my real problem isn't happening when I wake up: it is that when I go to bed in the morning it is extremely bad for me if dawn has already happened, so I would prefer the sun stay down for as long as possible to give me more leeway.

Don't you have shades/curtains to make your room dark even when the sun is out?

Breaking out the "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" for daylight savings time?

I think this is a very dramatic hypothesis you've presented here. If an individual or family is inconvenienced by this, adapt!

Places that already do not change for DST are doing just fine. e.g. Arizona

Finally, someone that gets it.

It’s like taking something that was set up to do A, and saying that we shouldn’t deprecate it because it’s going to do B

What if you sleep with blindfolds on already? I’ve been messing with my body this whole time?

Yes, unless you have some programmed lights to help you wake up. Sleep normally ends as the sun starts shining. If you don't get that "signal", your body will have a harder time waking up, and be more confused about the right rhythm.

I have lived my whole adult life with black out shades and curtains. I grew up very rural and was used to a pitch black bedroom. As an adult I moved to the most densely populated state in the country, and immediately discovered black out shades.

I think I can say this on behalf of most developers who have ever had to fix DST errors in their code: Thank fucking god.

I am shocked that none of our unit tests failed on Monday. One of the first code reviews I did here I pointed out that his tests were going to break in a few months when DST kicked in because his tests asserted that there was a 24 hour gap between two calculations. He responded this code was temporary and it would be gone by then.

There was another PR on a certain Monday a few months later. Told ya so.

> I think I can say this on behalf of most developers who have ever had to fix DST errors in their code: Thank fucking god.

I think it just means for all American developers it's _more_ likely they'll introduce bugs if they cater to an international audience and there's still countries with DST.

DST has always been a good way to get Devs to think about the timezone database. If people start relying on offsets more that's not a net good thing, until the entire world is done with DST.

I was on on a US Navy ship, and the main display clock in combat control had two times - Zulu and a local time adjustable by an hour offset. This was obviously terrible... when we docked off India we had no way to set the correct time!

India and a few ocean side countries in that region are at UTC+5:30. Nepal (which is not near any ocean but is adjacent to India) is at UTC+5:45.

There is no end to time zone related oddities, including the way DST and standard time switching happen in the U.S./Canada vs. how it happens in Europe.

South Australia and the Northern Territory in Australia are on UTC+10:30 as well. We also do daylight savings per state. So, although NSW and QLD are both on the same UTC+11:00 timezone for the summer months NSW is 1 hour ahead because it has DST but QLD does not!

And this is exactly why Zulu exists. Operate world wide with a fixed reference.

Same for UTC, but arguably the problem is that such formats are human-unfriendly when you travel.

Agreed. I noticed that a lot of websites only really started supporting Unicode properly once emojis started becoming popular. When Unicode was "just" accented characters, a lot of English speaking devs didn't bother and happily lived in an ASCII-only world.

Or that DST support is not even built or an afterthought.

You should know in how many frameworks and libraries i18n is an afterthought and much more cumbersome than necessary.

Major programming languages think it's perfectly sufficient to let everyone sound like Yoda.

To be fair, I snoozed through sentence structure in English class. It wasn't until I was trying to conjugate verbs in another language that it became concrete for me and I had to understand it.

If you have a DSL that retains order of the arguments, you're gonna have a bad time. Full Yoda mode engaged. If you have one that allows named interpolation, you'll sound less dumb. If you have one that allows conjugation, better yet. But at the end of the day there are languages that use different adjectives or number systems[1] based on the object or direct object of a sentence, and so you might not be able to substitute "apples" "people" and "files" interchangeably into the same template, even if you can do things like differentiate "There is 1 file in this directory." from "There are 3 files in this directory." without having to build a Cartesian product of all combinations.

1) In Japanese there are different words for counting different things, but Arabic numerals are acceptable, so you can leave it to the reader to determine which word to use. I don't know that this is true in all other languages with discrete counting systems.

Last time I worked with a product that had translations, we very quickly centered on needing to just translate the whole phrase. And we were only doing a couple "boring" European languages.

Yes, but those bugs won't be caught since the test suite has an implicit dependency on the current US time, so they don't count.


GMT is great for client/server interactions. But users have a habit of wanting things to happen at "8 am on Saturday" and GMT is lousy for things like that.

What is the issue with that use case? I am a firm believer in storing all time as GMT / UTC in the database layer then converting to local time in the UI layer according to the current user's attributes.

In this situation, when the user enters "8 am on Saturday", they would do so in their local time, it would be converted to GMT before inserting, and again back into local time when that record is viewed in the UI.

I suspect (as someone who doesn't write code that cares and therefore hasn't thought much about it) that it's easy to write... let's say naive code that occasionally results in the user entering "8AM this Saturday" and getting 7AM that Saturday because their country observes a DST switch.

Don’t time switches usually occur on Sunday morning specifically because things are rarely scheduled on Sunday mornings (even church starts at 10 or 11AM)?

I think you're missing the point of the message you're responding to, perhaps because they accidentally chose an example that is unlikely to cross a DST change.

What I think they're saying is that if you don't take DST into account at all, you might decide that "8am on Tuesday" will be using the current offset from UTC rather than the offset as it will be on the given day, whether by that logic or by adding multiples of 24 hours in similar cases.

I feel like nobody has given a very clear answer, here. For future events, a UTC timestamp is insufficient because it doesn't take into account timezone-db changes (like the US now going to permanent DST). And you can't fix it after the fact, because even if you stored the offset, that's not sufficient to know whether someone is in the US (which is changing) or just somewhere sharing that offset on that date.

If I already have something scheduled for 9am in the US on some day in December, on systems like yours, where you're assuming UTC is fine and complete, it's now going to be an hour off. It's not even the first time the US has been affected - there were lots of issues with alarm clocks going off early/late and similar after they changed the dates of DST.

The ideal way is to store a timezone (like "America/New_York") for the event and the time in local time. If you have efficiency concerns, you can also store a redundant UTC copy but you'll need to remember to keep updating it. Also, you may need to store the user/entity for the event, so you can handle the user themselves changing their location (if you're running an internet alarm clock system).

Be warned, btw, that "GMT" is now ambiguous; Windows 95 called "BST" (British Summer Time) "GMT Summer Time" and it seems to have stuck and so "GMT" means current UK time for many. (Language evolves, even when technical users don't want it to.)

Except when that's an alarm clock time, and the user takes a trip on Friday that moves him -4h worth of timezones.

Or if their local legislature suddenly decides to cancel the DST change that was supposed to happen Friday night.

I generally agree there is a problem here... but anyone storing repeatable alarm times in the future as absolute time points in the future is going to be in for issues regardless.

Yes, and that's what the post they were responding to was suggesting and they were pointing out was broken.

ya.. storing time is hard. in this case since its an alarm, presumably in local time, it should be saved in local time i think. if it's a log/record of something happening then utc is good. if its a date without a time, then dont use a full timestamp because any offsets might change the say if you leave it at 00:00.

"Friday 08:00 at my location" is not necessarily the same as "Friday 08:00 London time" is not necessarily the same as "Friday 08:00 UTC+1", but it's very difficult to ask the user which of these they mean in a way they'll understand.

I (very occasionally) work on some software that schedules web content to appear at a certain future time. We had a bug once where during summer, an editor had scheduled an item to appear a few weeks in the future, at 09:00. We displayed this time back to them in our current local timezone (but presumably stored it as UTC), and it looked correct. When that scheduled date came, our timezone had reverted to winter time, and the content appeared an hour late.

We should have displayed the scheduled time in "what the local timezone would be at the scheduled time", or stored the time with a timezone expressed as a location rather than a UTC offset.

UTC is great for timestamps, but for time periods that are meant to be used locally your code will get complicated if you store them as UTC. For example, functions like is_monday?(date) and length_of_period(date, date) are very simply mathematical operations if the time is local. But if you stored dates as UTC then you need a translation and take into account the edge condition that the date occurs during a DST switch.

It's not sufficient in many cases, especially when scheduling things that you expect to happen at a specific local time.


That really shouldn't be an issue with a little work? I mean it's basic arithmetic and couple of flags?

If the timezone database is updated locally that resolves this issue.

Except when update schedule on the client differs from the server.

If this law will solve your problems then I … guess your code doesn't have to work outside the US?

It mostly solves the problem of needless clock switch overs twice a year. Quite orthogonal to most software.

I support the change, but it means we'll have yet another edge case in time handling.

You're not wrong. I know people in finance and insurance have to deal with these things in perpetuity because they're always looking backward and forward in time. Banks first starting running into the Y2K problem in 1970, because of 30 year mortgages. Which means they've been dealing with 2038 problems for almost 15 years already.

Moving DST is my pettiest reason for disliking George W Bush. Flashbacks to the last few times I had to fix time offsets for some country or state that opted out.

But DST isn't the only situation where time changes. Countries (especially those near the international date line) switch back and forth depending on the current economic situation. Plus if you need to deal with historical data DST is still am important detail.

So your code will still require this logic, it just may be easier to ignore the bugs of a while.

LOL - this is good timing. A bunch of my unit tests just started failing due to the recent DST transition. Luckily our CI build servers are all GMT so it only failed on local runs. But even better if this problem went away altogether.

Hah - I always "joke" that when you write code that deals with time zones, plan to write it twice. Same with DST boundaries. It's a real mind-bender!

Unfortunately DST doesn’t just disappear because one country decides to get rid of it. That also creates a lot of weird issues if your program deals with time from the past, you have to know if a specific region, at a given date, was considering DST or not to be accurate with the local time, which can be messy with that type of flip-flop decisions!

I personally am against timesaving switches, but just because the US stops this practice doesn't mean that the issue is gone.

There is nothing to thank for since nothing will change, except for the lack of enforced switches the developers will have to deal with, which may lead to more bugs.

One time I hit this issue was in calculating future time. When the future time does not exist (cause it was skipped), it caused app to fail and require manual cleaning of data.

There has to be a law about the permanence of "temporary" code.

It just became more complicated.

It just became exactly the same, we'll still be relying on the tzdata library and date time functions we're using now.

Especially if it will differ on state level as states do not have to follow the guidance and can opt-out.

Fixed one of these yesterday!

My favorite is when they fix 23 hours in the spring and then have to fix 25 hours in the fall, although the reverse is easier to do.

More info here: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-senate-approves-bill-tha...

Important note: "Senator Marco Rubio said after input from airlines and broadcasters that supporters agreed that the change would not take place until November 2023."

The Hill article[1] says it won't go into effect until November 20, 2023.

> The proposal would not take effect until Nov. 20, 2023, to give airlines and other transportation industries more time to adjust to the change.

But we switch back to standard time on November 5, 2023. Just to get two weeks of that until we switch back to summer time permanently?

[1] https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/598314-senate-unanimousl...

After that date we would no longer transition away from daylight saving time. It would not cause an immediate transition. There would be one more transition in the following year to get back onto daylight saving time. So the effective effective date is really march of 2024.

That also means existing software/firmware will continue to use correct TZ offsets until November 2024, so that's the deadline for updates.

I would say the deadline is much sooner, since it becomes very necessary for some software to correctly recognize future dates correctly well before they arrive.

Hah, thanks for pointing that out. The articles on it really should say when permanent daylight time would start, not when the bill would take effect.

It's so stupid to delay for years, this should take effect immediately. There is no real sense in pussy footing about, people need to just do the work either way.

Think of all the code that needs changed. I can wait another year or two, just as long as we actually commit and follow through.

If you're rolling your own datetime object for some reason, sure. But to the VAST majority of applications, this is an "update your referenced packages" change.

What about all the embedded systems out there, which do very important things with timekeeping?

What about all the existing appointments, etc.

IMO 2024 -- 2 years-- is just the perfect amount of time. It's slightly aggressive but doable.

If people frequently make appointments, buy tickets, etc, for a year out, that leaves a year to get most of the software world cut over.

> What about all the embedded systems out there, which do very important things with timekeeping?

I've written a few of those. Supporting not-DST basically comes down to unchecking the bit in the configuration where it says:

   [ ] Confuse the hell out of the users twice a year.
Even if the customer themselves specified precisely how to handle the changeover once upon a time, they still get confused when it happens and the daily report has 23/25 hour entries, or the daily totaliser takes a mysterious 4% dip, or the date changes an hour earlier/later than expected etc.

I've never seen an embedded device with automatic changeover that didn't have some kind of configuration option to switch it off.

> I've never seen an embedded device with automatic changeover that didn't have some kind of configuration option to switch it off.

"Always in Daylight savings time" tends not to be the option that's offered-- either always in the standard zone or always changing.

And, the point isn't that devices can be reprogrammed or reconfigured: it's that there's a lot of them, with uneven levels of support, and difficult to go reach them all.

The day that the time shift changes is constantly in flux, since the 1960s, before most embedded software was written. If you were writing embedded software that changes time zones automatically, unless you were very dumb, you made the date of the change configurable, given that we were on DST for a few years in a row in the early 70s.

So yes it's a lot of work to find them all, but they should all be configurable to just set the next Standard Time shift to be the max(datetime).

> So yes it's a lot of work to find them all, but they should all be configurable to just set the next Standard Time shift to be the max(datetime).

The two systems at my school where time is important are old and are not likely to work correctly with current firmware, and it's unclear whether new firmware will be available:

- Our PA/bell system

- Our automatic gate opener

At my home, most things are smaller problems (I doubt the prosumer switches, etc, that I have can handle it or will be updated, but I set them to UTC) or cloud services that are likely to update. I do have a few old GPS things whose handling of localtime will probably be screwed up forever, too.

That's just off the top of my head. It'll be a big pain in the ass.

If those systems are "very old" and still correct, then that means they are configurable. We changed the dates of start and end of daylight saving time in 2006.

Right it will be a pain to find them. But once you do it should just be a config change. The date of the DST changeover has changed a bunch of times, including being on DST for a few years straight in the 70s.

If it’s not already configurable then it had to be replaced in 2007 when we last changed the start of DST.

> If it’s not already configurable

It's not.

> If it’s not already configurable then it had to be replaced in 2007 when we last changed the start of DST.

Yup, both these systems are about 10-15 years old.

Well then to be fair you’d have had the same problem if they just changed the start date again. And the last time the start date was changed we only had 18 months to adjust.

It’s not like these changes are rare edge cases — it happens all the time.

So hopefully as you replace the system you find a vendor who writes good time code!

More than these exceptions, gadgets nowadays like to be IoT's and use internet time servers. The blast radius on things made since 2007 is likely smaller than you think.

Using internet time servers is largely the problem, because then you need to take UTC and make it into a useful local zone.

It depends on what it asks for. If it asks for “current time in PDT” or “current time in PST” it just returns the same answer.

If it asks for UTC and does the conversion locally, then we’re back to the original problem of being able to update the switchover date which changes all the time and should be updateable.

Interesting, you're right. However does that not present a backdoor by setting up a local time server to proxy changes? It's a hack but ... a solution.

What's the difference between "Don't switch times and set the time correctly to the current DST" and "Don't switch times and set the time correctly the current standard time"?

The choice is often one of 4 named timezones for NA (with hardcoded offsets to UTC) and "Automatically Do Daylight Savings Time" on or off.

So, the workaround is probably setting a lot of things to the "wrong" timezone one zone east, with daylight savings time off.

In turn, the logs will be lies, etc.

"Always in Daylight savings time" is just a different time zone. Doesn't need a setting of its own.

Daylight savings rules change, somewhere around the world, several times a year.

For example, between 2011 and 2016 Istanbul changed their DST rules 7 times [1]. So I think you'll find a great many systems already have a way of distributing DST rule updates.

[1] https://github.com/eggert/tz/blob/main/europe#L4014

Sure, I know all about the joy of adjusting tz databases, etc.

There are a whole lot of things here in the US that have basically never required these updates.

And, well, there's all the problems where people have assumed timezones won't change, and e.g. have stored timestamps of future events in UTC in databases that really semantically are supposed to be at 9AM in a given timezone.

>What about all the embedded systems out there,

We didn't observe daylight savings here in Indiana until about a decade and a half ago, and we have our own time zone in everything still (go look, you'll find "Indiana (East)" or some such). I can't imagine it'd be too difficult to implement.

> IMO 2024 -- 2 years-- is just the perfect amount of time. It's slightly aggressive but doable.

Yes, perfect, most developers start working on this Q1 or Q2 2024 at the earliest.

If you're a SaaS app, sure. You can't easily "npm update" an airplane, though.

Like, if nothing else, think about all the plane tickets already sold for an hour that doesn't exist anymore.

Airplanes receive software updates all the time.

Hopefully not via npm

You don't even want to see the node_modules folder on a Boeing 787.

A lot of systems only do major updates every two years. I guess you could push DST as a security update.

That's badly written code. Timezones (globally) changed over time. Even Bush Jr. changed DST.

This might also affect northern non-tech businesses like ski resorts. They’ll either have to open an hour later (and possibly stay open an hour later), or install lighting.

It might also affect things like outdoor after-school activities that will now have enough light to be held during winter, which in Northern California potentially means extending or shifting the soccer season.

People deal with a random shift of light twice a year now, they cannot deal with no change? It's not like these decisions all need central planning and we must cover every edge case: people figure out what to do in a distributed way.

Are you serious? The code would be to simply not change time zones 2 times a year. Sure needs testing but should be an elegant simple change.

It's more complicated than that. Everything that calculates differences between two points in time for example would need to be updated to know about when the switch occurred. And more generally, this is an example of why it's complicated - because it's easy to overlook things that could be affected, so there's a great deal of investigation and testing that would need to be done.

Many systems that are in production have no regular release schedule, may go decades without any changes to code, and they have no maintainers.

The delay is for those cases -- where someone may need to be hired to fix it, or an entire system may need to be replaced if it is no longer maintainable.

Sure the actual change might not sound super complicated, but hunting down all the little machines, services, and ancient code isn't easy for all organizations.

Most people don't that though. They use databases, system and apps that implement their own logic for time changes. Maybe you need an OS update. Maybe it's code that is controlled by a third party. There's plenty of logistics necessary to make sure things don't break when the DST rules change.

Yeah that's not gonna happen until October 2024. See GDPR as an example.

The regulations were adopted in April 2016, but they didn't become enforceable until May 2018. Most companies didn't even start thinking about it until March 2018 or later. The first fine was handed out in May 2019.

if it took effect too quickly, you would frequently find yourself second guessing that computerized system telling you when to be somewhere. "Oh that's right, Delta airlines hasn't switched yet but Southwest and Lufthansa have. Oh well, I'll catch the next flight."

Just think of all the phones whose software updates have recently expired. No one catches on right away that their security updates stopped rolling in. But they'll definitely notice when their phone stops matching the time that they talk about on the radio.

A few years' delay would be comparable to the DST changes made in 2005 (which went into effect in 2007 -- they extended DST in the US by a month on each end; moving it from Apr-Oct to Mar-Nov).

Dunning–Kruger effect is very real. There so many systems affected by this on all kinds of timelines and life support that such a change would be catastrophic. Just because it may seem simple to you doesn’t mean it actually is.

Other countries have made these changes on shorter time frames in recent memory. I don't recall hearing about any catastrophes.

In 2011, Samoa changed time zones to land on the other side of the international date line. I don't believe that was years in the making. Even last year, they announced they would no longer observe daylight saving time; they decided that 11 days before they were scheduled to switch their clocks.

In January of 2015, Chile announced they would keep daylight saving time year-round when they rolled forward in April. Then in 2016, they scrapped that. In 2019, they even changed the dates on which daylight saving started and ended. While this was over the course of several years, they didn't go into this thinking about how to make it complicated for the next four years.

Many of the states don't seem to think this is a serious concern, either. Several, including my own (Kentucky) passed legislation to permanently observe daylight saving as soon as Congress would allow it. I don't think the folks considering these measures are underestimating our ability to deal with these types of changes.

The late changes to daylight saving time rules pretty much always mean that for several days to potentially over a month, users will be encountering systems with the incorrect time. Often times they will try to "correct it" by manually changing the system time but then time sync services might undo that, and if not, then once the time zone package finally makes it to the system, it "breaks" again, because the user should not have messed with the clocks in the first place.

The authors of the time zone database strongly encourage long notice periods for changes, as there are plenty of programs that use this data that have a month or more of delay between when an updated database is published, and when end devices will realistically get the update. And that is for people who don't habitually put off updates!

When DST rules were last change we had about a year and a half notice, which is realistically what this bill also provides.

I understand that there are a lot of systems that will be impacted but I don't think we should limit progress based on dependencies. It's the same excuse that's used whenever we try to ween off of fossil fuels.

I've worked on tzdata changes in the past and whether it's announced a month or a year in advance, progress is slow until the very last minute when teams can't put it off any longer. In other words, programmers are serial procrastinators and if you give them 2 years to prepare, they'll spend 1.9 doing nothing and scramble to fix everything in a month.

This might be the first big timestamp change in the US, but there have been a lot of changes like this in the rest of the world so any globally operating company has probably had to do this at least once already and should be well equipped to make this change on a faster timeline.

This is not even what the common wrong Dunning-Kruger interpretation means, even if we don't consider that the whole thing seems to mostly be a statistical artefact.


> The Hill article[1] says it won't go into effect until November 20, 2023.

Way too soon. Stupidly so IMHO.

I went through the last DST law change, and it took quite a lot of work in many IT areas. Unixes weren't too bad, but there was all the JREs, databases, etc.

And that's not getting into all the embedded and industrial gadgets.

Repeat after me, "job security". I just hope we still have some 32-bit machines running in 2038 so that after I've conveniently retired, I can be called back in to consult.

No thanks. My job security is being competent. The less drama I have the better I'm doing my job.

Know anyone who ended up rich thanks to Y2K? Possibly not since chances are they went into early retirement.

> I went through the last DST law change

I'd be curious to know, to what extent did that change prepare the world for this change? Was it more common to adapt IT systems to be more flexible, or to do minimal work to change hard-coded values? I imagine it was a mix but the pessimist in me thinks overwhelmingly the latter.

Yes, there were a lot of changes, especially given the concentration of software development in the US.

At the time I was dealing with Solaris a lot, and previously you had to reboot the system for things to become permanent, but there was a tweak made where the system started to stat() the file /etc/localtime to see if it changed, and reload it if it did. So new process would get the new tzdata bits.

The JRE/JDK has a separate tzdata updater:

* https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/javase/tzupdater-re...

So it may not as bad as it was in the past.

Previous the US tzdata bits hadn't change in several decades, over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, when basically the entire computer industry mainstreamed. So things may not be as bad as last time—but I'd still prefer a little extra time.

Thanks for this answer.

> Solaris

Haha, I worked at Sun at the time and definitely remember some of my coworkers grumbling about it.

One reboot during a seven month window doesn't sound too bad either.

> One reboot during a seven month window doesn't sound too bad either.

It is on 24/7 systems that had no budget for HA, especially if you had several hundred/thousand systems and things like Ansible and Chef weren't invented yet. CFEngine was the big boy in town and Puppet was an up-and-comer. (Remember this was the 2000s).

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrastructure_as_code

The last DST change gave about a year and a half notice. This also gives a year and a half notice.

But that is a super, super weird date given that it means we would set the clocks back, and then set them forward again about 2 weeks later.

The bill doesn't appear to have an effective date: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/623...

There was an amendment adopted to set the effective date to Nov 2023, it just doesn’t display on Congress’ website (yet).

This made me laugh out loud.

> The National Association of Convenience Stores opposes the change, telling Congress this month "we should not have kids going to school in the dark."

Wouldn’t it be more “convenient” to have children go to school at a time that is in line with their natural sleep patterns? From the CDC [1]:

“The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need, but most American adolescents start school too early.”

[1]: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/schools-start-too-early.h...

This makes the problem worse. If 8:30 standard time is when school ought to be starting, that's now 9:30, which is even less likely to happen.

8:30 is when schools ought to be starting, which will be after sunrise for every state in the union, except Alaska, even on the darkest day.

Most schools in America currently start at 7:30, which is way too early.

Agreed, but my point is that under this new law, schools will be effectively starting at 6:30 (as we've been measuring time in the winter). This means we're bringing school start times in the wrong direction and will have to move them forward by 2 hours rather than 1 to get to a reasonable start time.

>Most schools in America currently start at 7:30,

I guess I learn something new every day. So Breakfast at 6? Leave home at 6:30?

I imagine this is because this give enough time for parents to go to work after they dropped their kids?

Thank God we have boarding school in the UK.

This is mostly high schools. School buses take two or three rounds in delivering kids to school, starting with high schoolers, then middle schoolers, then elementary schoolers. There is all sorts of variation to be had. Middle schoolers in my neighborhood seem to start school at 9AM or at least after 8:30.

>School buses take two or three rounds in delivering kids to school, starting with high schoolers, then middle schoolers, then elementary schoolers.

Oh this makes perfect sense. Thank You.

You could really think of it starting in March 2023.

~~I assume they'll be doing the November switch and staying on it permanently. So, it wouldn't be starting in March 2023.~~

Seems like I misread what was stated in the article.

Unfortunately, that is NOT what the article states. DST (Daylight savings time) ENDS on November 5th (when we change back to what is called "Standard Time"). 2 weeks later, DST (not ST) becomes the law of the land. Which means, as the OP stated, unless they change the implementation date, there will indeed be a 2 week flip-flop.

There is no "implementation date" in the current text of the bill. As written, it would take effect immediately.

I suspect it is in the amendment[1], which does not yet appear to be on Congress' website, as it was just passed earlier today.

[1] https://youtu.be/_WS64Q3-emk?t=37

> They will *not* make the November switch...


Even more important note from that article: "The House of Representatives, which has held a committee hearing on the matter, still must pass the bill"

I don't think there's any guarantee that they will even take up the bill, much less vote for it. (Hopefully, I'm wrong, because I would love permanent DST)

There's never a guarantee but being a unanimous vote in the Senate and one of the few bipartisan things that can actually pass both houses, I'd say it's pretty likely it will pass in some manner.

That’s pretty soon. It makes sense to take some time to prep.

They're handling it better than Samoa did, anyway [1].

[1]: https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2021-September/030397.html

I see what you did there.

I wonder how many bugs will pop out because of this. Time is already pretty complex… and it might force some old systems to need updates.

I'd kill for a peek into the parallel universe where it was permanent standard time that was likely to get adopted and see how much effort went into researching the ill effects of that choice to convince people with enough FUD to keep daylight time switching going.

Here's the thing: If you're a proponent of permanent standard time, you should be in favour of turning off the switching no matter what. Even if it means daylight time. Because you know what? Your local time zone is changeable. You can lobby to change it. If permanent DST really results in the entire country turning into sleep deprived zombies having spontaneous heart attacks as they arrive at work and crashing into children going to school, then there'll be pressure to change it -- but we will have at least already started the process of eliminating the worse thing: changing twice a year.

I am in favor of permanent standard time, but failing that, I am super happy with permanent daylight-saving time.

Far more important to me is ridding ourselves of the twice-annual insanity of changing clocks. I'd be okay with adopting UTC if that meant our clocks never changed again.

> I am in favor of permanent standard time, but failing that, I am super happy with permanent daylight-saving time.

Ditto. Switching is the issue for me. And it's not because it's all that disruptive to me personally. But it is highly disruptive, and dangerous to shift workers. The fall change in particularly raised hell in the hospital where I worked, since it literally created an hour that occurred twice. Computers can store time in universal time, but a nurse medicates or does a procedure on a patient by clock time, and that duplicate hour and compressed shift increased risk of patient harm, misrecording of data, and overall stress a lot.

And really, it's just dumb.

That's a good point... things like "every 4 hours" gets complicated around the time change if you need things to align with a clock

Not necessarily, just track elapsed time and ignore absolute measures.

At the risk of being pedantic. No, these are not the same. And tracking elapsed is actually harder.

Consider coding these two solutions (for n "patients"), in one you simply keep a timestamp of each and check against current time. In the other, you have many timers / stopwatches in parallel. The simplicity of simply recording the time and checking it against current time absolutely extends to the physical world.

ps yes, you can implement n timers using a single underlying timer, but that of course requires even more book keeping, which was the point of my comment in the first place.

The two problems are almost exactly the same if you just use a time frame that does not change (permanent daylight savings, or never daylight savings)

The "almost" makes it sound trivial but hides complexity, e.g. around leap seconds.


Leap seconds are a problem too, but in entirely different settings, and in a way that is much better encapsulated in the software engineering world. I personally think the world would be better off without them, and that we should just let the clock/calendar drift back and forth, and in the long term off, true midnight. Outside of navigation and astronomy and a few other highly specialized fields, this has no meaningful impact, and would vastly simplify automated time recording. But it's a decision that has to be made globally, not nationally or locally, and requires a LOT of coordination to get right.

It is also fundamentally different in nature, in that leap seconds never create duplicate times in the time sequence. Leap seconds are changes to the sequence of the underlying elapsed time sequence; DST changes are not, but only change the representation and use of time values.

> At the risk of being pedantic. No, these are not the same.

Absolutely agree and that was my point in the comment you replied to.

If you want to measure elapsed time you should not involve absolute time measures because then you will not need to think about leap seconds or DST changes.

I have heard this argument from software developers over and over again - not one of whom has ever actually worked through a shift in an ICU or critical care, or med-surg ward. I doubt if any of them have ever worked ANY shift work that spanned a clock change. The problem is not in the representation of time values in the system, it is in the system-human interface, and the actual work in the hospital that is tied to wall clock time. 2:30AM means something to these workers and patients, and having a shift or day when there are two 2:30AMs, or no 2:30AM f**s things up. That the software is poorly designed to support the change exacerbates the problem, but isn't the actual cause of it.

And what sort of instrument might you use to track elapsed time?

Measuring elapsed time in golang is as easy as:

    start := time.Now()
    // Code to measure
    duration := time.Since(start)
See the docs for a good write-up: https://pkg.go.dev/time#hdr-Monotonic_Clocks

In rust you use https://doc.rust-lang.org/std/time/struct.Instant.html

A computer? Like the stopwatch app on your phone does. (I think I'm missing your point)

I think the parent's point was that most medical staff (in my experience) use normal wall clocks to track time. I've never seen a per-patient stopwatch.

I guess I'm naively assuming that there is some sort of patient management software which keeps track of what needs to happen when for whom, to enable things like shift changes without losing information. But I definitely don't have any idea how this part of the medical world actually functions.

The main complaint I've heard about EMR in the US is that it massively increased the bookkeeping overhead that staff had to deal with. Particularly since it tends to fall in the realm of "terrible enterprise software no one asked the users for opinions on."

Some kind of punch clock system for every action would make that even more tedious, I imagine.

Such a system would be extremely disruptive to nursing staff- it may work well with robots though. Most hospitals track care on patients chart, which is computerized, but boils down to free-form text[1] that relies on humans interpreting,executing and updating the chart.

1. Patient care is very bespoke, with all manner of combinations for treatments, including contra-indicated medications. It's similar to why it's hard to automate air traffic control (lot's of human factors at play that require human decision making).

Coincidentally, misinterpretations or loss of these free form notes is a major source of problems in hospitals.

To err is human. Until we develop a language that is perfectly unambiguous,all we can do for now is minimize chances of miscommunication. To continue on the air traffic comparison, sometimes the pilots land on the taxiway[1] despite clear instructions

1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-canada-investigation-nt...

To err is human, but the solution in that case is to replace human judgment with technology

> Federal officials subsequently issued new rules for nighttime landings and control-tower staffing. Now, when an adjacent runway is shut down at night, air traffic controllers will no longer let pilots make so-called visual approaches to land. Instead, they must use instrument landing systems or satellite-based systems to line up for the correct runway.

Not sure this supports that "unambiguous language" is the problem. To me it sounds like the problem is "humans being expected to perfectly perform routine tasks" - and the solution is to move as much of the task away from the humans as possible. I imagine there are parallels in the medical system (but am not expert).

The big problem with that is you don't know if someone has done the time adjustment. Eg you know there's a handyman who does this twice a year, perhaps he's done it before the 2am official cutover time because his shift ended earlier? Or he'll do it the next morning?

Similarly it's not obvious whether your phone keeps an eye on this for you, if you're not a techie type. And if you are, how do you know what your elapsed time stopwatch does under the hood?

One of my cars gets time from the radio, the other one doesn't, so around this time of year they show different times.


At a healthcare system I worked at, the EMR would be shut off for the repeated hour in the fall. I'm not sure if it was because the EMR couldn't handle it (very possible, since all EMRs are shitty) or if it was the human factor that was the problem.

None of the major Electronic Medical Records system handled the time switch gracefully, and the solution you describe was standard practice with both Cerner and Epic for many years. When we installed Epic at the academic medical center where I worked, we insisted on significant changes and upgrades so that a shutdown would not be necessary. Epic is pretty solid now.

But the system can't solve the core problem - taking an hour out, or adding a duplicate one in, is highly disruptive to nurses already very busy schedules, and introduces multiple sources of potential confusion in patient care.

Cerner millennium can't handle it well

And in the spring us devs can end up with NonexistentTimeErrors.

I'm reporting from a permanent DST country, and let me tell you something. You'll probably leave your home at dark in the morning and will return again at dark.

Waking before light is very demanding for some people's bodies. I can't sleep past beyond 9AM, but waking up at night is a big no no for my body. I can't wake up, I can't function, and it creates all kinds of adverse effects.

Health is more important than changing clocks two times a year.

No, I'm not simply dreading waking up before sunrise. My body can't function until sunrise regardless of the number of hours I sleep. It's built like that. You might not be suffering like me, but I'm not the only one. Half of our office comes in half-asleep during winter hours.

And no, sunrise clocks doesn't work for me.

> You'll probably leave your home at dark in the morning and will return again at dark.

That's what happened in my high school years in France, which still changes clocks twice a year. Wake up in complete night, take the bus and wait for classes to start under yellow lightbulbs, then go out in the sun for the first time in the day at noon.

I don't understand why people are afraid that this will bring what was already happening.

Americans might not realize that most of France is further North than the state of Maine.

Paris is further North than Seattle.

Scotland and Denmark are near the same latitude as Juneau Alaska.

edit; nifty visualization, https://www.bytemuse.com/post/interactive-equivalent-latitud...

> You'll probably leave your home at dark in the morning and will return again at dark.

i live in a country with daylight saving and that happens anyway for a quiet long time each year.

Are you leaving at dusk, or at complete darkness? I'm talking about the latter. Leaving at dusk/sunrise is nice and enjoyable. Complete darkness throws my whole body off metabolically.

For many years in Minnesota, I arrived at work in the dark, and left in the dark, from roughly mid-November to late January. And that was in Minnesota. Most of Europe is North of Minneapolis. When I worked in Paris, I walked to and from the office in the dark for many weeks of the winter.

I'm somewhere between Iowa and Missouri latitude wise. As I stated elsewhere, it's more about my metabolism, and the DST keeping me at the same side of the sunrise all year long.

Permanent DST throws me just before sunrise (aka the darkest hour) which wreaks havoc in my body. I'm aware not everybody is affected this adversely, but mine is affected since forever. It doesn't have a switch for that, sorry.

I’m not sure I follow… are you a plant?

Regardless +1 UTC or permanent anything… I believe I can adjust my schedule for my needs more easily than trying to fix everyone else’s.

In a sense, yes. I'm a plant. I need to have at least some light to function properly when I open my eye.. sorry stomata.

As a plant which is participating to many international meetings regularly (including a one which spans from USA to Japan with everything in between), I think I know a thing or two about scheduling.

However, thanks for sharing your valuable insight.

Hah thanks for taking that well…

I know dealing with international meetings is challenging. In a former life I managed trading Korean equities from an office in Cambridge, MA (in addition to US equities— those were long days!!)

But doesn’t the fact that the scheduling itself requires some form of attention/expertise (e.g. is that time in your timezone or mine? Does DST apply this week? Does that change anything?), reveal that we’ve perhaps made this unnecessarily complex?

If you and me or any group were tasked with scheduling a meeting, wouldn’t it at least hypothetically be simpler to offer availability in terms of UTC (assuming nobody cares where you live, or if you’re a plant, or vampire)?

> Hah thanks for taking that well…

No problem, I both have a thick skin pretty flexible sense of humor.

Working with international projects for 15 years have shown me that the process can be relatively simple. There are some pretty robust tools and conventions for that, too. So, without further ado, this is how we do it:

0. Agree that we need a meeting for discussing something.

1. Send a Doodle[0] link to everyone involved, knowing two ends of the timezone involved is enough. Take intersection of your logical hours and theirs. Forget DST and other stuff. +/- 1 hour doesn't mean anything. If you're really unsure, give both slots as an option. Send Doodle link to everyone. Doodle handles timezone conversion and availability.

2. Set the slot with the majority vote, create a calendar file (.ics) with that slot. Be sure to set the timezone and time itself right. Mail the .ics file with the meeting announcement. Use UTC in the announcement. Every responsible party knows their delta relative to UTC.

3. ???

4. ???

5. Profit (meeting).

This removes most of the burden, mental calculation and whatnot. Doodle is free for the most part, a good calendar is either provided by your company or your OS already, and rest is handled by the time libraries. This method makes our life much easier, and enjoyable in fact.

*: If the times are too absurd, a person will send an e-mail with a better availability nevertheless. I do it rarely (once a year). So it's not rude.

**: Also there's World Time Buddy [1] for seeing time differences at a glance.

[0]: https://www.doodle.com

[1]: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com

I am not unsympathetic. I am personally not unlike you, in that my natural rising time is around 7:00AM, and my body really, really wants to be asleep in the hours just before dawn. And, I spent years working an international job that had me in meetings as early as 5:00AM regularly; and then took a position in which my commute had to start at 5:00AM. I didn't like it, but unlike you (evidently) I wasn't actually dysfunctional in the pre-dawn hours, and the work was good and what I wanted to be doing, so I made it go.

But for all that, I don't think the fact there are some people in your situation due to their natural clocks and the latitude at which they live, is a good, or even relevant, reason, to not eliminate time switches and move to permanent DST. Some folks that are a couple of sigma from the mean are going to be inconvenienced by anything universal that is optimized for the mean. There aren't going to be airline seats that are comfortable for both 7 foot, 250lb men, and 4'11" 90lb women either.

I may have sounded as a whiny person at first, but in fact I'm not whining about the issue. It's unproductive, and make the focus drift, but I was a bit tired I presume and was unable to form a better argument.

I'm actually pretty dysfunctional if I wake up before the sun shows its light. I'm slow, clumsy, my brain literally doesn't work, etc. The moment it's past dawn and twilight, everything changes in 5 minutes or so. Also waking before dawn really makes my mood bitter, and my productivity during the day really takes a hit. I follow my tasks with personal planning software, and my daily throughput changes measurably. However, let's return to the main argument I want to make.

The thing which upsets me most is that these changes are made amid the growing body of research underlining the importance of sleep, circadian rhythm, and their effect on human development and long term health. Also there is research exploring the impact of these changes on the productivity, morale and health of the general population.

So, while the governments want to increase economic activity and whatnot, they're possibly undermining the overall health of their populations in the medium/long term. Also, I think that sensitive people are much more common and are not a minority, but they're not aware of their situation. Our lives are busy and we can't always have time to tend ourselves properly. I sometimes forget that winter affects me badly, and re-remember when we arrive to the middle of the March with considerable more sunlight and my mood and productivity jumps in a two day envelope. Meditation, being aware of myself and self care reduced the effects, but they're not nullified completely.

So, what I'm trying to say is, from my experience, the mean is not that well defined as you suggest, and governments make these changes without considering the overall advantages/disadvantages of such decisions. If the change is fitting to their agenda with some vague benefits, they do it. The effects of these changes on general population doesn't mean anything for them, unless it reflects to some important statistics badly.

This is why I don't support permanent time, but a DST system of some sort. All the humans have the right to at least wake in a decent mood, and despite all the work we do voluntarily or involuntarily, we deserve to be as healthy as we can be. Policies which undermine the happiness and health of people in the long term are especially bad in my book, because leaving people no choice and forcing them at the same time is a kind of cruelty which makes me very angry.


In e.g. Edinburgh in December, the sunrise is ~08:45 and sunset is ~15:40. And since the sun only really just peeks above the horizon, any kind of cloud cover and it feels like dusk the whole time. Before flex-time, for a few months of the year I would not see any daylight on most days.

Nowadays, I start work at 10am and live in London, so I get to cycle to work in the light, though usually it's already past sunset when I leave work from about mid-October until mid-April.

Where do you live that a one hour shift makes any material difference? Where I am the time of sunset shifts by more about 4 hours. DST is an annoying band aid half arsed effort of a non solution.

Turkey. Normal shift is around 2.5 - 3 hours, however where I live, changing clocks means you either wake up late sunrise/morning in the summer or just at sunrise in the winter.

Permanent DST throws you to 15 to 40 mins before sunrise in the winter, it's the hardest time frame for my body to wake up.

So, with changing clocks, I can always see my surroundings all year long, and with permanent DST, I have to use headlights for ~3 months to be able to drive.

It's drastic, and it affects my metabolism badly.

The question is not only “must I ever wake up before sunrise?” but also “for how long must I wake up before sunrise?”

I grew up in a permanent DST north of 60° and there is always gonna be a time when most people are up and about an hour or more before sunrise. However it doesn’t have to such a large part of the winter. This period could be shortened by a few weeks if the government decided to move back to standard (which incidentally most people support—along with most public health experts—but the government doesn’t).

People living closer to the poles support that. People closer to the equator want longer daylight savings. It's that simple. Honestly we should just understand that it's OK if not everyone is awake at the same time.

I want permanent standard. My friend who lives a kilometer north of me wants permanent daylight savings. This is at 53 degrees latitude.

Could I recommend a sunrise clock? It's like an alarm clock, but with a built in light it gradually turns on over the course of 30 minutes or so, simulating the rising of the sun.

Artificial light doesn't work for me, unfortunately. I immediately wake up when the sun shows its light, regardless of presence of artificial light.

I'm built like that, everyone to their own.

So I recognize that everyone's trying to give you advice and you didn't ask for it, so I'll just say this one thing and then I'll shut up.

They sell things called "full-spectrum" lightbulbs that actually do a pretty good job of standing in for the sun. They're expensive, and use a ton of electricity, but people who've struggled with seasonal affective disorder swear by them.

There were a few threads on HN recently along the lines of "you know, it's not 'full-spectrum' light that you need, it's 'enough' light."

And then a bunch of links to high power LED lighting.

I did buy some. They are bright.

> No, I'm not simply dreading waking up before sunrise. My body can't function until sunrise regardless of the number of hours I sleep. It's built like that.

Are you a plant?

Yes [0]. I do photosynthesis too. It's great. No need to eat, no need to take a break. The only problem is getting water, but my colleagues and family knows my schedule and pours some water & coffee while passing through.

On a serious note, human beings' metabolism is sensitive to light. It's part of how circadian rhythm works [1]. Some people are more sensitive, some people are less. I'm on the more sensitive side. Being forced to wake up before sunrise affects my mood and energy.

[0]: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DYRuuP-WkAAJTzs.jpg

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm

It seems like your permanent DST doesn't do any daylight savings at all, since you aint seeing it.

I come from a permanent NON DST zone and love it.

What's people's deal with changing clocks? It's never bothered me.

I work in Europe and have colleagues in the east coast of the US. The dst switches happen a few weeks apart so twice a year everyone gets fucked up schedules for two weeks because meetings move with the time zone of the person who created them. We have specialised tooling to notice if computer programs will behave weirdly because a job is scheduled to run during the hour of the night that happens twice/not at all (obviously one solution is to avoid scheduling jobs in local time but if you need to react with the real world where things are scheduled in local time, this becomes harder).

Literally just had this happen this week: We have a standing meeting between NA and London, and I thought we would have to have a talk when they were showing up “an hour late”.

Turns out we all just forgot the offset changed between us.

It's bad enough that we have the DST clock change, but the fact that the UK and US does the change at different times truly drives me insane.

Iirc Bush (Jr) did this by changing the switchover time

It’s great; I have a clock that does “auto DST”. The problem is that it does it on the UK dates or the pre-Bush dates. I’m in the US. I therefore have to set it manually 4x/year instead of the 0x/ever as designed.

I messed this up with a call to the US today.

It’s less the act of changing the clocks and rather the ill effects of losing an hour of sleep and readjusting for a few days of the year.

> DST is linked to a six percent increase in car accidents. The study analyzed 20 years of data and found that DST is responsible for around 28 deaths each year.


People really shouldn't fly I guess. Because many of us deal with multi-hour time changes on a regular basis. Going to be dealing with a 5 hour one in a couple of days.

You probably have a good reason for it and it's probably going to suck. I don't see why do this to everyone twice a year for no reason.

And that's a big problem for lots of people - I plan on the few days of a long trip to get accustomed to the local time and feel comfortable and well rested.

But just because I'm willing to put up with it when I travel doesn't mean that I want to put up with it twice a year for no apparent benefit.

If I had the option to not have to deal with time zone changes when I travel across the country (or world), I'd vote for that solution. Even if ballistic air travel means I can fly from LA to Tokyo in an hour, the 17 hour (well, 7 hour) time difference means it'll never be a seamless trip even if I can do it in an afternoon. I'm told that if you have the time, taking a cross-atlantic trip to Europe is great because there's no jet lag, you slowly adjust to the time over the course of the travel.

That’s a choice you get to make. I’m sure some people chose not to fly to avoid dealing with it.

Jet Lag is a well known phenomenon and if you're changing time zones regularly you probably have a system to minimize it. If you did not you'd likely suffer much more from it.

Also flying is optional, but changing from XST to XDT is not.

At the scale of a country or even a city, only a few people fly on any given day. When almost everyone is a little more fatigued than normal, the effects are multiplied.

i only fly north/south

People really shouldn't fly, it's terrible for the environment

People should really only walk. Anything else is bad for the environment. Though really eating is bad for the environment too.

You know what are terrible for the environment? Children. All those plastic diapers and formula bags and disposable everything. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/sustainable-liv...

"Flying is bad. Walk."

"Eating is bad."

"Children are bad."

The answer, clearly, is to be a pedestrian who eats children.

It's better than the same planeload of people driving there.

Taking individual cars, perhaps. But if you put two people in a Prius you’ll save on emissions relative the the same two flying. Based on [1], flying is roughly 75 passenger-miles per gallon. Prius is 45 MPG, perhaps ~40 under load. So if you have more than one person in your group, better off driving.

The argument could be made that if you don’t board, that plane will still fly and consume the same fuel, but of course the numbers only matter en masse anyways.

[1] https://www.blueskymodel.org/air-mile#

The trouble is Prius is not the best at going over the ocean.

My grandfather broke his hip when he fell off a step-ladder while changing a wall clock. At the hospital, I learned that this sort of thing is not all too uncommon among the elderly, since "changing the time on a clock" seems like such a simple task that it slides right past the conscious awareness of one's own diminished physical abilities.

Makes sense. I climbed on top of a file cabinet to change a clock today, on the way down I realized I should have brought a taller stool. It seemed like a simple excercise but it can be a surprisingly long way down.

Each of our car clocks have to be changed manually. The clocks on the stove and microwave have to be changed manually. We have 7 wall clocks in the house that have to be changed manually. Our kids have alarm clocks that all have to be changed manually. The sprinkler system has a clock that has to be set manually. Even our garage door opener has a clock that has to be set manually. It is a huge pain every six months.

> alarm clocks that all have to be changed manually

Those are still a thing? We just use cell phones for alarms, and the only clocks that need to be changed are the decorative analog wall clock and the microwave which has to be reset after power outages way more often anyway (when we're not just leaving it blank).

We have a red digital clock on the bedroom dresser. Much nicer to glance at without blasting my face with blue light, especially if I see it’s 4:30am and want to go back to sleep.

We try to limit smart phones in the bedroom in general, spend less time in bed in the mornings.

Or maybe you’re one of us whose car and microwave clock is an hour behind for 6 months every year…

Not 6 months. Standard time is already only 4 months long.

Yeah I have my microwave set to one time and my stove set to another, so one of them is always correct. However someone else set both of them, I was content to leave them at random times lol

Why do you have 7 wall clocks? How big is your house? Might be time to just wear a watch.

It was common to have at least one clock per room.

Wall-clocks were convenient, cheap, and provided comfort in the form of not needing to wear a watch around the house.

Interesting. I guess maybe in a different geographic location than me since I've never seen the 1 per room thing around here.

living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, garage?

My question is more so around the need for that many clocks. That isn't common where I'm from. Is it normal to have wall clocks in bathrooms?

People keep their bathrooms in weird ways. The most memorable one I saw had side-by-side photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and John Paul II, with little votive candles underneath each one.

It's not typical to have them in bathrooms, but I actually do have a clock that requires manual setting in mine. It's a waterproof clock/radio and it's handy to have in there. Can keep track of what time it is while I'm getting ready in the morning.

It's probably more common to have an alarm clock in a bedroom that you can just glance at. It's also a loud backup for early morning flights.

how do you know how long you been shitting?

Do what normal people do and never update those clocks. It’s not like +1/-1 math is hard, and I can’t imagine trusting a manually adjusted clock if I actually cared about the time

> Do what normal people do

[citation needed]

I would think that changing clocks is actually the more "normal" thing to do.

Yea, most people change the clock.

The only clock I don’t change is my motorcycle because I can’t be bothered to use the archaic menu system to update something I never rely on.

That said, it does take me a few weeks usually to update all the clocks as I’ll only do it when it starts to bother me or if that specific clock contributes to me being late/early.

I run around the house updating every clock I can find early on the Sunday morning. I update the clocks on rental cars if they're wrong. I'm not otherwise a super detail-oriented person. Clearly this is some kind of personality test.

That's what I do, and that's a more viable solution than it used to be since I carry a pocket watch (i.e. a phone) with me everywhere I go, and I usually use Android Auto while driving, so my phone's clock is displayed in my car.

But I used to rely on my car's clock to know what time it is, and kept it updated for DST.

I don't change the clocks either. I just add or subtract an hour for half of the year, depending on when I first set the clock.

So now you "just" need to memorize a lookup table holding information about time when your clocks was first set. And share said lookup table with any visitors. It sounds super convenient :-)

It is convenient. As you can see on this page, I was simply responding to someone else that I also don't change the clocks - like them. Other sibling posters commented similarly.

I'm sure you remember passwords, next to which the number 1 is quite easy to recall immediately. Don't make it complicated when it is easy.

That's just a workaround.

Yes, it's a workaround instead of changing the clocks, but you say that like it is bad. Adding or subtracting 1 over the course of 6 months takes less time than changing the clocks a single time.

In the context of discussion about permanent DST, then the solution would be permanent DST rather than change the clock or adjust time in your head for 6 months.

In the context of this discussion I was stating I perform the same behaviour in the current environment as the GP who stated they do not change their clocks.

In Poland, trains literally stop for an hour when switching to standard time. Since it's during the night, it's not many trains, but still, people literally have to wait an hour, making their travel an hour longer, because of the time change. It happened to me once, I was robbed of an hour of my life due to this ridiculousness.

Granted, time switching doesn't directly force trains to stop, but I imagine the risks related to the time change or just travelers' confusion is the reason why that happens.

Does this mean that trains teleport to their expected position during the switch to daylight savings time? If so, the entire world should be in awe of the technological prowess of Poland (and perhaps a bit dismayed at how they apply that technology).

There's a problem with your proposal: What if there's a station, where the train is supposed to arrive at 2:30? Teleporting would make it skip the station, and I imagine it's one of the reasons why trains don't do that in Poland.

Good thing you didn't fly.

I imagine if the same reasoning was applied to planes, which is weighing against each-other the effects of the transport vehicle stopping and the results of updating the schedule, in this case the latter option would be considered more optimal.

What time is the change?

In the US it's normally 0200/0300 to minimize the amount of people actually affected. (When we fall back on Sunday mornings the boozy crowd treats it as an extra hour to keep partying.)

According to the newest ordinance [1] with the "pending" status (not sure what's the reasoning behind delaying this ordinance's effective date until a few days before the first time change, I guess no one knows):

Year 2022 – 30 October,

Year 2023 – 29 October,

Year 2024 – 27 October,

Year 2025 – 26 October,

Year 2026 – 25 October.

Every time it's the same hour 3:00 CET / 1:00 UTC. Which means that the hour 3:00 shouldn't display on the clocks, because the Summer time ended, and so 2a:00 displays instead (the "a" is supposed to be displayed till, and including, 3a:00, after which 3:01 should be displayed without "a").

[1] http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id=WDU202200...

It’s not even about the manual clock changes honestly for me.

I never thought that changing clocks was the pain.

It’s that everyone gets jetlag kinda randomly.

One hour extra of sleep or one hour less. It’s just random, seemingly comes out of nowhere and knocks me on my ass for a couple of days while my body gets used to doing everything the same but an hour earlier or later.

It’s literally the same as jetlag except I don’t have any environmental clues to help my body understand it’s _supposed_ to be doing something different

It’s not even about the manual clock changes honestly for me.

I think that depends on how many clocks you have. My wife likes clocks and we have one in nearly every room, including 2 that are only reachable with a ladder. That's in addition to the stove, microwave, and even the refrigerator and toaster oven have a clock for no good reason. Plus the rice maker, bread maker and coffee maker also have clocks to allow timed cooking (i.e. have the rice ready by 6pm).

The answer for a few of those is easy: desync them by ±3.5 hours and then let them drift evermore.

If you don't use the 6pm feature it doesn't matter if the time is accurate. I have a rice cooker that's permanently blinking 12s, and two TVs that I have no idea what time they're set to because I stopped updating them for DST and there has been a power outage or two since then.

If you're unlucky and _have_ to have everything in sync then you've chosen your pain, so good luck to you. =)

We use the rice cooker timer regularly, and have sometimes been bitten by not noticing that the clock is off due to DST and the rice is done an hour early (or late). I have a 20+ year old "atomic clock" in my office -- it is always correct since it listens for the DST flag in the time signal - I wish more devices would do that, but I suspect that the low frequency signal (and low power over most of the country) means a bigger antenna than most designers want.

We don't use the bread maker time, but when setting the mode, it shows the estimated completion time rather than duration, so if you want to know how long it's going to take, you need to know what the time is set to.

If there was a way to disable the time completely, that wouldn't be so bad, but I don't like the "set me!" flashing 12:00 all the time on the microwave, and setting it at some random wrong time seems worse than having it exactly an hour off.

Sure. But even if I had to change dozens of clocks: those days of feeling like shit are just not worth it.

If I had to change dozens of clocks but not change my sleep schedule I would do that.

It takes weeks to get my kids to adapt to getting to bed an hour earlier. Before I had kids I too was wondering what the fuzz was about.

I had a massive parenting win this week. Normally it's a chore to get my kids to bed before 10pm, but yesterday I had them both asleep by 9:30pm. It was a damn miracle.

Getting the kids to adapt sucks, but my kids are considerably more cogent when they wake up and it's not pitch black out. I don't see next school year going well if the sun won't come up until well after they've started school.

I notice the same. When does school start for your kids? For my kids it starts at 8:15 and that's enough for it to be bright out in the winter in standard time. I guess I haven't really thought about the fact that it might be dark out for most of the morning in daylight saving time in the winter.

We live in SoCal, which mitigates the problem somewhat.

It used to be that school start time went by the age of the student. So, high school kids started first, elementary school kids started last. Based on studies showing that isn't ideal, Massachusetts schools have started changing that around. So, grades 3 - 5 start earliest now at 7:30, which means getting up around ~6:30 to eat, dress, pack, etc. and get to the bus stop for a 7:10 pick-up. Standard time doesn't make it all sunny all morning, but it gradually rises as we're getting ready. It's really dismal when DST is still in effect. I think geographically, the northeast US should be in the Atlantic timezone, too, so that doesn't really help matters.

I never understood why Michigan was on Eastern time. It’s literally called “the Midwest” and yet they’re on the same time zone as NYC. Little fun fact: Michigan actually has two time zones; the westernmost portion of the upper peninsula is in the central time zone.

I really wish we’d end these shenanigans and just operate everything in UTC. How many human lifetimes have been wasted writing code to handle timezones and conversions? We live in a global economy, it’s time to start thinking like one.

My highschool started at 7:0something. It was dark when we started and we didn’t have much light after either in the winter. They made all sorts of claims about how this was somehow helping prepare us for “the real world”. I’ve worked in tech since my early 20s and these days I wake up around 8am, but when we were going into the office for the past decade I’d almost never get in before 10am, and all of us in software jobs in Silicon Valley get paid more than those making the decisions at the school districts. It’s sad how out of touch they were and continue to be.

My cat does not seem to be aware of the arbitrarily changed numbers on my clock being different than it was last week when she's hungry and ready for breakfast.

Yeah, we even have the technology for clocks to adjust themselves automatically. Which is great when everything goes according to plan. The thing is, sometimes it doesn't. I woke up awfully confused last year when I noticed my cell phone's clock (thus my alarm clock) did not agree with my microwave's clock. The time change was not supposed occur that weekend, but somehow the mobile provider confused the UK with Canada (or so the story went). Even without that error, there was always a risk of someone showing up for work early or late due to the time change simply because they were not paying attention.

I never really cared for the time change. Even though there was a time when I would have preferred one over the other, at this point I would be happy enough to say "good riddance" regardless of which is decided upon.

> Yeah, we even have the technology for clocks to adjust themselves automatically. Which is great when everything goes according to plan. The thing is, sometimes it doesn't.

I’m all for KISS but the fact that we can’t get software to do do this reliably says much more about software quality than anything else. This just isn’t complicated. We’re not talking about calculating across timezones or accounting for leap-seconds or anything like that. Just add/remove an hour on two specific days of the year.

Two specific days times at least two locales, because the UK and North America do it on different dates… and it’s all too likely that there are a few more variations.

There's evidence that accident rates and health issues increase by a significant margin right after the clock change that causes a reduction of night sleep by 1h. The book "Why We Sleep" makes a really good argument about it all, and is a generally great book.

All the comments ignore the fact that until the industrial revolution people didn't sleeps a solid 8 hours a night, as in the past people used to practice polyphasic sleep. People used get up in the middle of night a socialise for a few hours before having their second sleep.

Most people have complete control over when they go to bed, as they choose a particular time to go to bed.

My dog learnt when she would get fed until her first daylight savings shift when she'd get all clingy and whiney for an hour wondering why dinner was late.

It's a nightmare with young kids, let me tell you

I usually realised that DST is on/off a few days after it happens because people complain. Otherwise all my clocks just adjust themself, I wake up whenever my alarm clock ring and that’s it. I never understood the hate for it.

It's fine for adults, but kids and pets do not go by the clock, they go by the sun. It's a challenge to get them to switch.

DST attempts to go by the sun. It attempts to make some fixed morning time follow sunrise. It just does it in an extremely coarse way.

Yeah my sleeping is no where near regular enough to be worried about a forced hour lost or gained.

I think the same logic that gives us different timezones would suggest summer hours (or in the limit, a continual shift) though - so perhaps we should just go the whole hog and have GMT (or whatever, doesn't matter) as a fixed global time!

As a programmer it can create a lot of frustrating issues, especially time management around the shift which creates weird gaps in time.

It never bothered me. This new deal won’t bother me either. Apparently other people have an awful lot to say about it though.

I think in an earlier life when I was commuting to fairly specific hours, I'd have cared a lot more--both about changing times and EST/EDT. These days I'm really pretty flexible and don't commute so it doesn't much matter.

I just enjoyed a nice short weekend thanks to DST. Horrible

It's hell for families with kids (in my experience).

No way. It's brutal getting home and having it already be dark. At least when it's dark in the morning I feel like I'm rising with the day.

I read somewhere that one reasoning is with DST, children need to leave for school early, which is relatively unsafe (evening is not a problem because school ends earlier). But I guess the perfect solution is simply shorter work hours across the board :p

I don't get it, why does it matter at all? Isn't it just a perception. If you live in Alaska there are days where there is always sunlight and similarly days where there is no light.

Despite being able to survive in nearly any earth climate, much of human biology evolved in a narrow environmental context.

Yes, humans survive in Iceland, but since a lot of our evolution occurred under near-equatorial sun, people notice that some of the “nice to have” chemical reactions in our body (e.g. our circadian rhythm) are less common when there.

If one’s prefrontal cortex decides to use executive functioning to have the rest of the brain “ignore” that problem, that’s one solution, but many people can’t do that or find it very taxing to do so.

Even that can achieved by changing the time you do things. Like schools can be 1 hour early at a particular time of the year instead of changing time for everybody else.

Honestly I can't think of a single legitimate reason why you would want to hang onto daylight saving time.

Changing the time twice a year has never been a big issue for me. Even with a toddler with a sensitive sleeping schedule.

It changes on a Saturday night. It's almost not noticeable. One day a year you get one less hour; another day you get one more.

I mean if changing the times one hour is so bad, what about flying across 3 or more time zones?

While I know that jet lag _does suck_, if changing the time one hour at the least impactful time of week is so insane, it must make traveling very difficult for some people.

I'm not even campaigning for stopping or DST or ST (I frankly haven't thought about this problem that much because it just hasn't mattered much to me), I'm just surprised it is considered "insane" or a huge deal to many people.

The effects of the shift are more pronounced if you are in the western part of your time zone.

Detroiters go from 6:40am sunrise to 7:40am sunrise, which tends to get noticed while Bostonians go from 5:55am to 6:55am.

Guess where DST was a major political issue in the 20th century (the memory of that and related debates is why the previous generation wanted to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’)

100% this. Permanent DLS seems strange but it is so much better than the insanity of changing the clocks twice a year.

Note that with UTC in e.g. Australia you either get the date changing at noon, or dates get out of whack.

In the US it would be less weird, but still weird.

Air travelers thank and cheer your spirit, pray for your success.

At this point your main clocks, your phone and your computer, change themselves for you. Daylight savings time is no big deal really, it's just something to gripe about.

That said, I'm heavily in favor of ending it. It's stupid. But I disagree that permanent DST is less stupid than time changes. I think the idea of permanently having the clock say an hour later than it is is just as senseless or more so than the yearly switch. Just end this madness and be done with it.

As I posted elsewhere, I'm bipolar and the time changes literally ruin 4 weeks out of the year for me.

I wish they had choose EST but fuck it, I'll take EDT. I don't care. I just want this to stop.

Serious question, but how/why is your life ruined, and why so long? I can't imagine a single hour ruining sleep patterns that badly?

I don't mind the question. :) Discussed that here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30692209

Christ. That sounds horrible. So glad it'll soon be a thing of the past.

I’m sure the House will find some idiotic way to politicize this issue with mid-terms coming up.

In general, how disruptive a comparatively small change is has everything to do with how stable your footing is. Changes like daylight savings can be very disruptive for anyone who struggles to maintain a routine just to make life livable.

Interesting. Someone I know well with bipolar has very predictable manic episodes around the same date each springtime, but they aren't tied directly to the time change I.e. they happen +/- a week or so each year.

Many bipolar people are affected by seasonal changes. Some are also affected by changes in weather, like a large storm coming through.

DST has a high cost to anyone who is responsible for creatures that do not understand it - children and pets.

Yeah, but that doesn't explain why permanent DST instead of just ending DST. "People don't like switching clocks, and I've got the solution! Let's make the mass delusion permanent!" Can we just end the madness altogether?

Despite the terminology making it sound like DST is the exceptional state, it's actually DST for almost twice as long as non-DST: out of this year, 238 days of DST to 127 days off DST.

I'm surprised this argument is so hidden in the comments. All things being equal I would prefer permanent standard time, but it's pretty obvious that a very rational way to solve this problem is just choose whichever setting we use the majority of the time.

All of them are delusion. It's simply something we, as society, agreed on, many years ago. It comes to personal preference and for many people more daylight in the afternoon is more convenient.

No they're not all delusion, one is an abstraction, the others are delusion.

Noon is when the sun is 50% done with its cycle from rise to set. We base our clocks on that. Not delusion, abstraction. It is simply a measure of objective reality.

Deciding that noon is at 1:00pm on the longest days of the year so that the sun can set at night instead of evening is delusion. Deciding to make that permanent all year around isn't any better.

Noon hasn't meant high noon in nearly 150 years. With the establishment of timezones in 1883, we shifted from "noon is the highest point in the sky" to "noon is when we decide makes the most sense logistically for your general region". It came with an outcry of the same argument you're making.

Not the same argument. Not all outcry is supported by the same level of reasoning.

Time zones boil down to "for consistency's sake, we cannot have an infinitely granular way of setting time across longitudes" and people chopped the world into slices. At the middle of each slice, noon is supposed to be noon and is denoted with "12:00(pm)". This is a sensible compromise between clocks changing by the second based on GPS coordinates and the whole world having the same time. " noon is when we decide makes the most sense logistically" is not the argument here, it takes the nuance out. Noon is when, at the middle of the time zone, the sun is midway in the daylight part of the cycle. This is the crux of it, not simply "we all decided". We all decided because of something. there has to be a basis in reality, otherwise society is just shared delusion and things go off the rails quickly.

Literally all applications of numbers to time keeping is something we all decided. Society in a lot of ways is a shared delusion.

Hell, the application of 12 to high noon is relatively new. For the Romans, it was the transition between the sixth and seventh hours of the day, but they thought of it as the end of the sixth hour. Because of this, 'six/seis' is the root word of 'siesta', the mid day break in Spanish speaking countries.

Society is not going to "go off the rails quickly" as you suggest just from us moving the numerals we decided in the first place to new temporal locations, locations that we've moved them to and from twice a year for over a century.

It depends where you are in your time zone. For a good chunk of the land in the US, DST is closer to solar time:


But of course a whole lot of the population lives in the part where it's worse.

You got that backward. Everywhere in the red gets worse during DST. In Ohio, the middle of the day occurs at 1pm on EST, and the middle of the day occurs at 2pm on DST.

Growing up in Hawaii, this map makes me irrationally angry

Wait why? Hawaii is on the map. Is it because of how far off Hawaii is when it doesn’t need to be?

That was the point, but on closer inspection, it turns out Oahu is right about where it ought to be, and the pieces sticking out into the next logical time zone are mostly uninhabited. So my anger was in fact irrational.

Somehow our dog adjusted to DST on his own this time. I don't know how, he normally wakes us up at 7:30 am to go out in the morning (right before my alarm goes off)... since Sunday's DST change he's been waking us up when the clock reads 7:30 under DST - I don't know what cue he's using, it's got to be traffic or a neighbor, my best guess is that a neighbor is letting their dog out at the same time every morning and our dog hears it.

> DST has a high cost to anyone who is responsible for creatures that do not understand it - children and pets.

In addition, people who don't think it's a big deal because other people have dealt with the problems is causes for them or they have been statistically lucky in never having had a related problem.

That's not DST per se, that's changing times.

This has been the impact for me:

- There's a 3 week span where the US changes to DST but my country don't, meeting times get hectic.

- My dog goes out at 6:30 am in the morning, 6:30pm afternoon and eats at 9:00pm. After DST changes, the poor guy gets all confused, and wants to go out at 5:30 in the morning.

- I do find it harder to fall asleep after the daylight time change. It disrupts my sleeping/resting for at least 2 weeks.

I am happy that the USA got rid of it, HOPEFULLY the Mexican government will as well, and fingers crossed, they also decide to stay with DST, otherwise the timezone differences will be crazy.

Unfortunately, young kids circadian rhythms are pretty backward in that they don't change themselves automatically. They just either get up too early or one hour before too early.

not my experience with my kids or myself as a kid (or myself as an adult). Not saying your experience is wrong. Just suggesting others might not have the same experience

My watch and bike computer still don't change time automatically which is enough to be annoying.

Cars, appliances, wall clocks, alarm clocks, sprinkler system, even my garage door opener has a manual clock that has to be reset manaully.

My car finally did it right - when you go into settings, there's a single on/off toggle for daylight saving. No more fiddling to reset the time by exactly an hour, it's as automatic as it can be without knowing which day to do it on its own.

Interesting note, many states already use standard time, such as AZ. But, it is against Federal law, for some reason, to use daylight time. Utah, California, and a few others have already voted to switch to permanent daylight time as soon as the federal government allows it.

The states that have this law waiting for the fed asked it to be reviewed.

I wonder if daylight time will be the new standard but your state can opt for standard time if they like.

This passed the senate today but it still needs to go through the house and president. I hope it’s smooth sailing.

Aside: I’m curious why states care about the federal law here but don’t in the case of THC legalization. I think it’s legal with (at least) a medical card in UT and CA.

Just a wild guess, but it may have something to do with the federal government having the sole power to regulate interstate commerce. Which makes me wonder if weed sold in a state has to be grown in that state.

Weed is legal in CA for anyone 21+, no medical card needed.

> Weed is legal in CA for anyone 21+,

Weed is illegal in the USA for everyone's regardless of age.

Agreed. The posted decision (permanently DST) is stupid, but less stupid than switching.

I feel like the permanent DST option is a bit stupid in principle since as the other guy says it's about switching time zones and time zones should be primarily longitude based, not I-feel-like-being-in-whatever based because that's nonsense.

As an example France and Spain have no business being in CET/GMT+1 at all. France is geographically entirely in GMT, while some of Spain is in GMT-1 even, I mean what the actual fuck.

Time zones should be based on science, and work/school schedules should be flexible enough that people can decide on a company/institutional level when to start. If you want to start later, start later, don't fuck with the countrywide clock and make timekeeping a nightmare you goddamn idiots.

Timezones are based on who you do business with, and who you primarily need to coordinate with. Timezones aren't inherently anything, they're purely a measure that humans use to make our lives more convenient. If you want to argue hard science, you'll have an uphill job of explaining to me why there should be 24 timezones and not 1440 of them.

With that in mind, picture how annoying it would be if you crossed a timezone line on your way to your (or your child's) school. Picture how annoying it would be if half the restaurants, shops, and businesses in your town were in one timezone, and the other half were in another. These issues are what timezones address, just on a governmental level.

Timezones don't try to be "correct", they try to be useful.

> Timezones don't try to be "correct", they try to be useful

This is correct. As engineers we can design the most symmetric and "perfect" system, but at the end of the day, if it's not useful, people will just adopt something else instead.

> If you want to argue hard science, you'll have an uphill job of explaining to me why there should be 24 timezones and not 1440 of them.

There's a good argument against having too many time zones (this article is about continuous timezones, but the arguments are still applicable)


> and not 1440 of them

Well actually there are 96 of them in practice, I think it's tracked in increments of 15 minutes since anything less is a bit meaningless.

Of course in reality it's continuous so there are infinite timezones, but the only practical thing we can change are hours so minutes don't get offset and make planning even more of a nightmare. If we used a more sensible base 10 time keeping one could probably do more.

> picture how annoying it would be if you crossed a timezone line on your way to your (or your child's) school

I'm pretty sure this happens in the US to people on a daily basis? It's the unfortunate reality of living on a rotating sphere that you really can't avoid if you cross country/state lines often.

> they try to be useful

I don't see how it's useful to keep west Spain 2 hours late to their actual sunrise time. It must be rather maddening.

> Well actually there are 96 of them in practice, I think it's tracked in increments of 15 minutes since anything less is a bit meaningless.

I don't think most of those exist, actually. If nobody is observing (for example) +6:45, I wouldn't count it as an actual time zone.

Even :30 tzs are fairly rare, I think the number of :15/45 is counted on one hand.

Nepal uses a 15 min offset I think, but I wouldn't expect anyone to really use that in a practical fashion.

I'd expect it to be used in say astronomical observations, where this sort of thing actually matters and isn't treated as made up or subject to stupid opinions. Or other kinds of calculations that need the sun's position to match more accurately.

> I'm pretty sure this happens in the US to people on a daily basis?

Not really. The time zones are pretty crooked so that the borders go through desolate areas. Only place that really happens is near Chicago.

A lot of people live near Chicago.

The Chicago suburbs of Indiana are in the Central Time Zone; it would take you an hour on I-90 (assuming no traffic whatsoever!) to reach the Illinois border from the Central/Eastern time zone change point, and even longer if you're coming north on I-65.

The time zone change happens even further afield than the furthest exurbs of Chicago. The places there are well and truly rural.

In the grand scheme of things, not really. And most of them aren't crossing into Indiana every day.

Most of NW Indiana is in Central time, anyway, so you're going past the exurbs into farmland to cross time zones.

I'm from western Spain and it's not a problem at all. We just tend to do things later (in terms of numeric time) than neighboring countries. For example, most of us typically have lunch at 14 or even 15, which in solar time is roughly the same as lunch as 12 or 13 in France or Germany.

And of course, it's very convenient to be in the same time zone as most of the EU.

I wish we also switched to permanent DST here, by the way. Daylight at work is useless now that most of us work in offices. I'd rather have it in the evening when I can actually enjoy it.

> If you want to argue hard science, you'll have an uphill job of explaining to me why there should be 24 timezones and not 1440 of them.

Why not just have the time be the current longitude where the sun is at the meridian? The whole world could use the same standard and eliminate a lot of confusion.

We would have to use a unit other than degrees since that would make minutes and seconds (and weather conditions) confusing.

Tell that to China, who should have at least 3 time zones, but have only one - and that's not even "centered", it's Beijing time, which is pretty far east. But yeah, for the people in Tibet and Xinjiang, living in the completely wrong time zone is the least of their worries...

> France and Spain have no business being in CET/GMT+1 at all

Technically of course you're correct (and you'd probably need to include the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in there), but thousands of people drive across those borders every day. Clearly the timezones need to have borders somewhere, but it's probably easier in practical terms to keep the timezones of adjacent countries synchronised wherever possible. It also makes sense of the very late-night culture of Spain when compared to countries further east, because they're probably eating around the same solar time as the other countries. The one I find weirdest is the western hold-out Portugal.

Portugal is always the exception :)

Spain is in GMT+1 because Franco wanted to be in the same time zone as Nazi Germany https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/12/14...

Ah another one to add to the pile of things made by nazis that are still in use, along with the olympic torch relay and Fanta.

Pretty small pile lol. Anything else on there?

Jerry cans come to mind, it seems that almost everyone around the world is using the Wehrmacht design.

On the one hand, yes.

On the other hand, clock time is entirely a social construct whose whole purpose is to coordinate social and business activity, so it should be specifically designed around social customs in order to serve that purpose.

One requires one entity, the US government, to make a decision. The other requires millions of entities to make a decision. For this case, the government making the decision makes more sense IMO. Every restaurant, coffee-shop, supermarket etc, doesn't have to do anything (they're already on DST). Everything is already happening. Deliveries are already scheduled for opening hours etc... Your suggested way would require millions of not billions of little coordinations.

That said, every old non-updated OS is going to F up once this happens.

The thing is, they'd F up no matter what change was made to the daylight saving rules. At least this time we have the hope that it will be the last time we have to worry about it.

Lol, timezones are made up in the first place. The way we count time is made up. It's just an abstraction layer for coordination with other people.

I'd prefer we did away with timezones all together and just globally switched to utc. The primary function of time is for communication and that would be easier after a transition period.

It's not going to change what the sun does.

> time zones should be based on science

alright, prove to me that time zones exist without getting metaphysical

I think permanent DST makes sense from the biological/physiological point of view. Almost no people go to bed at 20 "solar" time and wake up at 4 -- they have it shifted later, so the "biological midnight" is indeed around 1 or 2 hours after the astronomical one - thus what we call "DST" matches better. This matching also helps against the confusion when writing an email late in the evening (i.e., after astronomical midnight) and use something like "we will meet tomorrow".

(YMMV, I'm describing situation here in .cz)

The numbers on the clock doesn't have any biological significance, that is all in your head. They did however use to tell you what state the sun was in.

The numbers on the clock absolutely do have biological significance, since my biology is influenced by my sleeping and waking times. These are primarily driven by societal expectations (working 9-5, eating dinner between 6-8, etc.), not the state of the sun. As a result, basically no one is awake to appreciate the 'extra' daylight in the early hours of the morning under standard time, but almost everyone can appreciate the 'extra' daylight in the evening under daylight savings time.

It doesn't have biological significance, but it is more convenient to wrap the date when there is the least activity of people (the same reason why we switch DST between 2:00 and 3:00).

Depends on your latitude. Here in Georgia in the US permanent DST is far better than permanent Standard Time. It might be bad up in Canada I suppose.

Wouldn't it depend on longitude too? Stepping across a time zone border would be the same as switching between DST and ST.

It's such a sign of these tribal times that the perfect is the enemy of the great ... the "if I can't get exactly I want, nobody else should get anything either" behavior.

The problem for me seems to be that everything is regulated to exahustion. Let things be more organic and consensus is easier, over time, without forcing it.

Try to force regulations everywhere and then there will be fights and sterile discussion just for the sake of having a regulation, as if it were a must.

Well, Turkey has moved from UTC+2 plus DST in summer to UTC+3 permanently.

People seem to hate it. Here's a news report lamenting the decision:


Personally, I'm happy that we get more sunlight after work hours but people who need to get up early (especially children who get up early to go to school) reportedly are frustrated with it.

I'm trying to find a pro-permanent-DST article but not having much success with it.

Here's a more balanced take on the issue with psychologists chiming in:


Here's a non-newspaper source (don't miss the references bit in the end if you're interesed):


It objectively seems like a bad idea, It appears Turkey should move back to UTC+2 and stay there. Permanent DST has many downsides.

Does permanent DST mean :

A. The sun rises earlier and sets earlier.

B. The sun rises later, but sun sets later too.

As others have said, B. is the answer to question.

But to add to that, the U.S. has 4 timezones[1]: Eastern Time, Central Time, Mountain Time, and Pacific Time. Each zone has a "Standard" time and "Daylight" time - that is, for the winter half of the year, California is in the Pacific Standard Time (PST), whereas in the summer (B., in your question), California is in the Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). It's a very petty pet peeve of mine when people confuse they two - when they say "Let's meet at 3pm, PST" to mean 3pm Pacific Time, but it's in the summer ~ so 3pm PST would really be 2PM PDT. I know, I know, it's petty... and normally I don't say anything and roll with it... but on the inside I weep.

[1] Note: 4 Timezones isn't exactly correct. There is Hawaii and Alaska of course, and the U.S. Island Territories too. And then there's Arizona, which is permanently on Mountain Standard Time (MST), so when the rest of the Mountain Zone jump ahead an hour to be in MDT, Arizona is still MST, which is the same "time" as PDT ~ is that a different timezone? Oh... and only most or Arizona avoids MDT - most (but not all) of the Native American Reservations in Arizona do observe MDT. WHY HAVE WE DONE THIS TO OURSELVES?!? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thanks. That is helpful.

I am glad they made this change. The sun (or what we have of it) setting at 3pm in Seattle led to a lot of seasonal depression for me.

I never wake up before 7.30am anyway, so the waking up in darkness doesn't affect me.

Happy to help. Also, when I hear people advocate for "always be on Standard time" vs "always be on Daylight Savings time"... well, I don't think it's a simple matter of which is better or preferable per the individual's preference; when we hear these sorts of positions from people, we should also take into account their location within a times zone. The sun rises/sets about an hour earlier on the eastern border of a U.S. Timezone than on the western border. If you're in Seattle, then you and I are in the same Time Zone, but your sun rises about 20 minutes behind mine (and I'm even on the Pacific Coast! Not even inland!). There was an article on here the other day indicating that living on the Western end of a Time Zone is detrimental to one's health. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30690135

Is there a standard abbreviation for "pacific time" that doesn't specify daylight or standard? When I am telling my coworkers when we are meeting, I only want to distinguish between pacific or mountain (our two office locations). I clearly mean to use the current time, based on the date, so I have no need to specify daylight or standard, and don't want to have to think about which one I am in.

I've seen people just say PT before, but i don't know how standard it is. Pretty sure even on broadcast tv stations when they say a program airs at 8pm ET/7pm CT

Agreed. I don't know how "standard" it is, but it seems be common-enough parlance to be widely understood and avoids my pet peeve. :-). I agree, I see 8pm ET/7pm CT on television a lot (even while I'm in the PT!). I also often just spell out "Pacific Time" or "Eastern Time".

You left out a few time zones - there are 9 in the US: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_the_United_States

As others pointed out, some with the actual foresight have been in standard without switching.

No, the sun rises and sets when it rises and sets. All this means is that at noon the clock says 1:00pm. It's still noon.

People are so disconnected from the world that their abstractions of it become more real to them than actual reality. I don't think it is a good thing.

Why not just make daylight savings time go away and do things "an hour earlier"? You'd literally be waking up at the same exact time, just that the clock will say 6 instead of 7 or whatever. Are we really so far gone as a society that we will go to such great lengths to fool our brains? It's madness.

> People are so disconnected from the world that their abstractions of it become more real to them than actual reality. I don't think it is a good thing.

Goodness. The guy is asking a simple question. People shouldn't have to frame up everything from axiomatic principles before asking for some extremely basic information.

Yeah I misunderstood the question as a statement before responding. still, what I said is pertinent to the conversation so I left it as is.

That said, I do think decisions should be made based on axiomatic principles.

before anyone asks me what time is they better check their priors

OTOH, I find informative to know these little things and understand how things work below the surface :)

> People are so disconnected from the world that their abstractions of it become more real to them than actual reality.

Because my job starts at 9 am regardless of the position of the sun.

Changing your working hours means a talk with your boss and maybe HR. If we didn’t have DST maybe it would be a box you check when you get hired.

We spend so much on engineering systems that handle DST changes, there’s an increase in sleep deprived auto accidents, people die from heart attacks… All to avoid individuals asking for different hours at work?

Sorry, “changing” time twice a year is not a reasonable substitute for scheduling work appropriately depending on the season.

I'm betting for certain types of jobs schedules are not flexible, and for other types of jobs it doesn't matter. For my job, I skipped an important meeting this morning because they scheduled it at 8am and I didn't want to get up that early. Not sure anyone cared.

Their schedules are clearly flexible because they’re already changing them twice a year under the current system.

No, they're not. They keep the time the same. If they kept the sunlight percentage the same instead, they'd be doing those meetings at a different time each month, as the sunrise and sunset change throughout the year.

That is not true for wast majority of jobs where boss sets time ... and pretty often have reason for it. And schools won't adjust schedule just for you personally.

Nor clubs nor churches and even friends when they do party they set time.

They already change schedules though, we just launder it through the time “change” despite clear evidence of costs in both productivity and literal human life.

> They already change schedules though

Yes, because the rest of society also changes their schedules, in sync. Most people don't have the ability to unilaterally change when they work irrespective of everyone else. If they did, switching between DST and standard time wouldn't matter either—just tell your boss you'll be coming into work an hour "later" in the summer.

Clubs and churches will be based on when people can most likely make it. I think those things will sort themselves out. They already accomodate for things like weather, light, etc.

So then what's the point of any of this? If you live your life based on what the clock says, why change what the clock says in relation to the position of the sun at all?

The last few weeks before the DST switch in the fall are hell for me every year. The sun doesn't rise in earnest until ~7:30, but my job starts at the same time, so I always wake up groggy and feeling terrible. It usually lasts the whole day.

Now I'm going to have that for three months, while the sun rises even later!

I'm not in favor of switching clocks, but I'd rather switch than have permanent DST. This change caught me out of nowhere and I'm already dreading it, I'm going to be miserable all winter!

Maybe this will finally be the push that gets companies to change their start and end times in winter.

Won't this have all the same problems of the current DST switch? During the week of the schedule change, employees will be less productive and more susceptible to health problems.

The inherent problem is that we're switching the time by a full hour all at once. We could make the change more gradually, perhaps by a few minutes each week—but nobody wants to coordinate that!

If they did it all at once. But it would be totally reasonable for the company to say shift it 15 or 30 minutes a week or make other concessions like having everyone switch on different days based on a shift schedule or whatever.

They could also tie it to a vacation where people tend to shift schedules anyway. Like “new hours after the new year!”

That sounds extremely complicated to me! Now when I'm scheduling meetings, I have to consider a constantly shifting schedule! Are clients/partners/customers/etc also aware of this policy? What time do employees drop their kids off at school?

If we as a society wanted to adopt this solution (which admittedly requires societal agreement—I think you might need that anyway!), I actually think changing clocks would be the only way to make it work. Most clocks these days are or could be computers, so we could make them adjust themselves by 15 minutes every Sunday, and no one would have to think about it.

I think you’re over complicating it. Lots of businesses already change hours throughout the year (and even the week!). Think of a restaurant or museum. Different hours every day. Or places in tourist destinations that have long summer hours and short winter hours.

For most companies it wouldn’t be hard to say “no meetings before 9am from November to March”.

This is a problem we already have in the form of people taking lunch at different times. We can schedule meetings around lunch just fine.

At the companies I've worked at, people "dealt" with this by taking lunch when they didn't have meetings, not the other way around

Your argument is an argument against any time zones at all. It could equally apply to abolishing timezones and switching to UTC time everywhere (or maybe fractional Julian Day/JD numbers).

> People are so disconnected from the world that their abstractions of it become more real to them than actual reality. I don't think it is a good thing.

But then you do the same thing. :D There is never a jump of 1h: the "daylight" time changes gradually, so if you want to move 1h one way in 182 days, you only need to note how today, as you woke up at the same time as yesterday, it's now 7 - 1h/182... And it will be 7-2h/182 the day after, and... That's very confusing.

This is not an argument for DST, but an argument against any "artificial" adjustment (both DST and the one you propose where you wake up at the "same time" but it's suddenly 1h of a difference in wall clock time?).

Basically, it's easy enough for a region to decide on the most suitable timezone (eg. with or without DST of today, or even something entirely different), and keep that on for the entire year. If you end up waking up at night for work and that bothers you, make sure to affect that regional decision when it's being made. If, like me, you care more about having daylight hours after work is done, then vote the other way. Ideally, find work that will have flexible start times (this is generally hardest for institutions dealing with plenty of people like schools and government administration).

You're misunderstanding my argument.

"Noon" is when the sun is midway through its daylight cycle. We call that "12:00(pm)" for the sake of measurement.

Switching to UTC worldwide is just as bad as switching to DST, except at meridian.

Time does not change naturally; noon is noon is noon is noon.

I'm not proposing what you think I'm proposing. I'm saying the only sane solution to this is permanent standard time, which is what I think you want too, and that permanent daylight time is not more sane than switching twice a year.

You are misunderstanding my response too :D

As the other poster replied, time is continuous, and sunrise/noon/sunset changes as you move East or West gradually. There are no 1h jumps like with timezones.

So in any timezone, "noon is noon" holds only for a very limited set of areas exactly at the appropriate meridian. Move 80km/50mi East or West at the latitude of 45 degrees, and you are looking at 1 degree of longitude displacement, or noon being 24h/360 or 4 minutes off.

At the same time, in that same timezone, you'll have areas that have their astronomical noons off by 1h (and even more when timezone is not strictly aligned to the 15 degrees of latitude — in Europe, Western-most parts of Spain are almost 2h away from Eastern-most parts of countries in CET/CEST). But as you cross timezone boundaries, you might go 5km between towns, and have a time difference of 1h even though noon is at pretty much the same time in both towns. Any practical solution is going to be similarly "incorrect" no matter how you construct it.

So in essence, all of this is a convention on what time is most useful for a region: none of it is "sane" or, on the contrary, "insane". It is simply what majority of the people agree to. If you are in a minority that disagrees, yes, tough luck.

Finally, time is there to coordinate events between people. Timezones are there to coordinate our internal biological clocks (and some sunlight dependent activities) to the area we are in. While "continuous" timezones would be most correct, they'd be in conflict with time serving as a coordination tool. And not having any timezones would be in conflict with coordinating our internal biological clocks. Both of these are societal constructs to help with societal behaviour.

So 24 timezones (or 48 with DST on/off) is the middle ground, and while I can appreciate some people will struggle more to acclimatize to one or the other, neither is more correct or more wrong. I personally prefer permanent DST for the same reason others have raised: I like my post-work hours to have some daylight even in the winter, and it seems this is the predominant feeling which is why DST is "winning out".

Basically, all this is to say that you seem to be inventing an argument instead of simply saying "I prefer more daylight in the mornings when adjusted to the wall clock time of the society", which is a fair standpoint to have.

Are you proposing a standard solar time? Which shifts every day? There’s no such thing.

Standard time is just as arbitrary. I’m not a morning person and am much further east than the “center” of my zone, I’d much rather have a brighter/longer afternoon.

I think that's important to state what part of a timezone you currently live in when one states a preference: I am similarly in the very Eastern part of my timezone, and have the same preference.

Perhaps that's most correlated with the choice people might have? Esp since there are studies linked in this discussion that suggest people have better health outcomes (in a few very specific cases, but also winter depression) on the Eastern edges of timezones.

https://observablehq.com/@awoodruff/daylight-saving-time-gri... Nifty tool that takes in your preferences and tells you what will lead to the most optimal days.

There are still demarcations where we arbitrarily decide to switch over an hour. Seasons change, people live at different latitudes. Noon is not always "noon"

Future historians will write tomes about the efforts early man went through of adjusting the time (as if they had the power) twice a year.

Time is an abstract thing we have let rule us. I love the stories of indigenious tribes where they worked on a task until it was completed, not because some arbitrary shadow on a stick. When it was light, you worked. When it's dark, you don't work. Of course, we have electricity now so we've screwed ourselves with an easy time of day schedule.

It's also much easier to coordinate activities with others with clocks, especially if those other people live in other time zones. "Meet me at sunrise" is a wide window.

Except when part of the world undergoes a change in the clocks weeks before other parts of the world does, so now the world has to deal with the same change twice. So this makes it 4 times a year the world has to deal with the confusion, not just twice. Hell, I'm only familiar with US/UK, so maybe it's even more???

Wow, a website that gives HN a run for its money on "how small can we make a font?" type of styling. Although your linked site actually has style. <ducks>

Edit: otherwise, yes, this is kind of the style I was thinking. However, I was hoping less of a "religious" difference and more of an enlightened "idiots did that?" kind of thing.

> People are so disconnected from the world that their abstractions of it become more real to them than actual reality.

My friend, this is how all of human language works.

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe."

You know what they mean…

forgive my meme like reaction but,


B. We just entered DST, moving our clocks forward, so we get more daylight at the end of the day.

DST is "summer time", so the sun rises later but sets later too.

Before permanent DST, on 31 December in San Francisco, sunlight ran from 07:24-17:00

With permanent DST, it will instead be 08:24-18:00

B (relative to standard time)

In India, there's enough span across the globe that east & west have about 4 of sunrise difference in winters; but all of India has one timezones. Offices, schools, everything has summer opening times & winter opening times. Like Summer 7 to 4, Winter 8 to 5

The one hour switch doesn't bother me that much. I didn't even notice this week when the time changed, because all of my clocks adjusted themselves. A friend had to remind me yesterday when I remarked how it was still light outside.

What bothers me is having to wake up when it's still dark outside. The last few days before the DST switch in the fall are always super rough for me, every year. Going through that all winter, every winter... I'm absolutely dreading this!

Society is already optimized for early risers and all we're doing is making it worse. Maybe there will eventually be a movement to switch time zones, but it would take at least another decade.

Personally, as someone with DSPS (Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome), I absolutely love waking up and going to work when it's still dark in the morning. It feels so productive and motivating.

On the contrary, when the sun is already blaring, it feels like you're already running late & behind. Not to mention interfering with already precious sleep.

The world is already hyper-optimized for early risers. For once, let those of us who don't naturally fall asleep until well into morning hours enjoy a perk! :-)

I don't understand at all! If you don't fall asleep until well into morning hours, and you have trouble sleeping when the sun "is already blaring"—don't you need to go to bed later and have time to sleep in?

I'm not sure I follow. Bright sunlight strongly triggers my wake response, even if I've only fallen asleep within the last hour or so. And even with blackout curtains or no windows, you'd still be starting your day long after the sun is up.

All I'm saying is that it feels psychologically rewarding (for me anyway!) to wake up and start the day before the sun is blazing. When the time changes in the winter, that perk is gone. Moreover, driving without sunlight in the morning doesn't seem like a big issue; it's presumably preferable to driving at night when ambient light will only decrease.

Excluding shift workers, I don't think I've ever heard someone complain about too much daylight during evening hours--aka the hours during which people are usually living and enjoying life.

I prefer to have some sunlight left after getting done with work. This makes life so much better.

Agreed. For me this is a, slightly, better work-life balance. Instead of giving all the nice daylight hours to work on weekdays I sometimes get 1 more for myself.

Agree also. In Spain October/November at 17:30 it is dark, maybe 18:00.

From 3rd week of June to mid-July it gets dark at 22:00. Uh, what a difference!

I bought hue bulbs last year everything in my apartment slowly turns up to full brightness over ~30 minutes around the time that my alarm goes off.

I also have the light switch through two phases of red at night which signals to me to do things in the evening and prep for sleep.

I don't know if that will help you personally, but I can recommend it.

I suspect you will have a much easier time convincing your employer to have more flexible working hours than convincing the US government to change time zones.

You can compare longitudes within a timezone. China is on one big timezone, and if you're out in Xinjiang "8am" means something totally different from in Beijing. I live in Chicago, which is about as far east as Central Time goes. You could compare to western Kansas. If one of us is "daylight time" by the sun, the other is "standard time", more or less. Or hell, about an hour straight south of me (Indianapolis) it's on Eastern time. Same longitude, same latitude, but one city is ET and one is CT. There's a comparison to look at as well.

> If permanent DST really results in the entire country turning into sleep deprived zombies having spontaneous heart attacks as they arrive at work and crashing into children going to school, then there'll be pressure to change it -- but we will have at least already started the process of eliminating the worse thing: changing twice a year.

What I don't get is why it's so hard for people to just say "ugh, 5pm is already dark so we should start an hour earlier and go home at 4pm" or whatever.

I bet it's those smug morning peoples' fault.

Because there's a social expectation to be available for meetings until 6PM to have more crossover with my Pacific time coworkers. I will not be able to convince any of them to get up at 4AM just because I like my evening time. They will all remain after 1PM ET so that my CA coworkers have time to drop their kids off at school in the morning.

States can already turn off the switching by selecting permanent ST. This bill simply adds permanent DST as another option. It doesn't not force anyone into permanent DST.

I agree, but schools need to get ahead of this, and plan for a later start to the school day, before this takes effect, because we already have firm data on the fact that the school day already starts to early, and permanent DST is going to make that worse. Personally, I'll just shift my 7:AM to 4:PM day to being 8:AM to 5:PM. But my wife cannot do that. She'll be stuck at 7 to 4.

> I'd kill for a peek into the parallel universe where it was permanent standard time that was likely to get adopted and see how much effort went into researching the ill effects of that choice to convince people with enough FUD to keep daylight time switching going.

You don't need to kill anyone. You can just travel to AZ or HI, neither of which changes their clocks for DST.

I would have preferred no DST instead of permanent DST but I honestly just want the time switch to go away so I'll take it.

It would be awesome if everyone could just stay on their winter schedule. Having only a East or West time zone instead of EST, CST, MST, AZ, PST.

I've been around, and there very few 9-to-5 places that mind if people work 10-to-6 or 8-to-4 instead.

I think you're overestimating the percentage of jobs that have that level of flexibility.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact