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March 14, 2016

Daylight Saving Time

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

I’m a fan of Daylight Saving Time, but I think it should be year-round. The problem isn’t moving an hour of daylight from morning to night, it’s switching the clocks.

Digital clocks have awful interfaces. Each one is different and illogical.

In the cars I’ve owned, I always have to refer to the manual to set the clock. Sometimes I use tiny buttons to move the hours and minutes, sometimes you have to press weird button combinations on the car’s radio. The inconsistency is thick as peanut butter.

At home, most digital clocks use the press-press-press button method to choose the hours and minutes. That technique is painfully inaccurate, often resulting several attempts to set the proper hour and get the minutes to flip at the :00 mark.

The stove and microwave are the worst. When I reset those clocks is the exact moment is realize how much I detest changing the time. I don’t feel that way after a power outage, just twice a year when so many humans need to flip between standard time and DST.

Blessed be the electronics, of course: You didn’t have to reset the clock on your computer, cell phone, or tablet. Those devices use Internet time servers to set the clock. Their internal clock functions automatically recognize when the time changes and you need do nothing else. That’s wonderful.

So why does this torturous time change regime exist?

Politics.

The vacation/resort industry loves longer hours in the summer. I don’t have to explain why, but why not just make DST year round? Or why not do away with time zones altogether and operate from UTC, Coordinated Universal Time (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time)?

Many solutions are available, but in the US, Congress is paid by lobbyists to ignore the problem. They just laugh it off because you’re going to change the damn clocks anyway; you can’t help it and you can’t protest unless a majority of your peers join you.

The biggest issue is changing your sleep patterns. Sure, in the fall you get another hour to sleep in. But this past Sunday, my clock read 7:00 AM when my body was telling me that it was really 6:00 AM. I didn’t matter that I went to bed an hour early. I’m only happy that the change happens on a Sunday, which gives me one day until Monday to make the adjustment. I just wish I didn’t have to.

2 Comments

  1. The hour switch in the UK is at a different time to some parts of Europe, which can cause problems if you need to talk to someone Belgium who’s office shuts at 5PM and you look at the clock thinking it’s 4:30…the same must happen in the States, I heard of a rumor that the Hoover Dam was DST one side and not the other which meant when it applied the workers figured out if clocked on one side at 8:00am and clocked off the other side at 5:00pm you could get credit for a whole day while working a hour less! Don’t really know how much truth is in that.

    Comment by glennp — March 14, 2016 @ 5:20 pm

  2. All the more argument to do away with it!

    Comment by admin — March 14, 2016 @ 5:26 pm

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