Enough with the time changing already

Is it just me or at this point is Daylight Savings Time just an annoying vestigial prank?

Everyone knows it was created by American hero and famed Satanist Ben Franklin, but that was Ages Ago and it’s been completely obsolete for decades. Plus, several states already ignore it and they haven’ evaporated or experienced economic collapse.

This year I hear it’s being observed in PARTS OF Indiana – wow, that’s going to be great: an hour’s difference just by crossing a street.

Adjusting to the difference is unpleasant, mostly I think due to the underlying implication that time, having been expressed to us as about the only constant thing in the universe, is really just a collective hallucination. That if we all close our eyes and say it’s [insert time here] then that’s the time. From New Moment forward, we’re awake and back to time being a rigid, unforgiving, implacable constant.

Well, is it or ain’t it?

So help me out here, activists – how do we get out of (or into) DST once and for all?

13 Replies to “Enough with the time changing already”

  1. Actually, the attribution to Ben Franklin is a popular misconception. Apparently he was making a joke.

    Daylight Savings went into effect in World War I — ironically it proved so unpopular in the US that it was repealed, before being reinstated in World War II.

    I think it should therefore follow that, being a war thing, any people opposed to war should be opposed to DST.

    Oh, and just to make things even more ridiculous, Europe changes their time the last Sunday in March, rather than the first Sunday in April as North Americans do. But just to make things as ridiculous and inconvenient as possible, the US and Canada next year will move the time change date. But not to the same Sunday as Europe. Oh, no. That would make sense, or something. Instead, it will be the SECOND Sunday in March.

    Yippee. Set your calendars. It’s more fun than Christmas and Super Bowl Sunday.

  2. According to snopes, Ben IS responsible:

    The concept behind Daylight Saving Time was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in a 1784 essay entitled “An Economical Project.” After several European countries put daylight time into practice during World War I, the United States formally adopted it in 1918, but it proved unpopular and was discontinued in 1919. (The U.S. still had a large agrarian sector back then, and far fewer businesses stayed open into the later evening hours, so most people tended to rise and retire earlier than they do today, negating the practicality of shifting an hour’s worth of daylight away from early morning.)

  3. How interesting. This is contradicted by Wikipedia, which states that Franklin first proposed this in a letter to the Journal of Paris, but the concept was a jest; he was actually proposing that people get up and go to bed earlier.

    There is a link to the full text of the letter at Wikipedia’s DST article here.

    Whether or not good old Ben suggested it, we can all agree that it’s a wartime thing. And that it sucks.

  4. Absolutely true.

    But it’s not just “war time” – it was in use from 1942-45, then out again until 1966, when it went back on and (with a little fiddling on dates) stayed in use until right now.

    Seriously, how do we get it abolished?

  5. Also, time is not constant in the universe, according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity :-P

    Personally, I enjoy the spring forward more than the fall back, as we actually get an hour more of waking sunlight.

  6. Not surprisingly, nearly all my travel is at sub-light speeds, so although technically you are correct, Special Relativity doesn’t really come into play all that often for me.

    I too am good with more light. So let’s all agree to just NOT FALL BACK.

  7. I should have qualified my comment by saying “it ORIGINATED as a wartime thing”, which makes it particularly distasteful to me because it feels like one of those sneaky things governments do during wartime — calling them “extreme measures” — which never seem to go away after the war ends.

    That’s how US income tax first started, by the way, during the Civil War. And look where that got us!

    Since DST is adopted on a state-by-state level, time to call up your local state representative and pester, I suppose. I would imagine that if enough states abandoned DST the whole country would probably have to drop it. That would just leave the rest of the world to deal with….

    Doesn’t sound terribly likely, does it?

  8. Well, the treehuggers in the group might know that DST helps reduce the usage of electricity during peak hours and is very helpful in this effect. It sucks but if it means using less power, more power to it (yikes, that’s a bad pun).

  9. I grew up in Indiana, and some of the state always sprung forward and fell back: the 3 counties by Louisville; a couple of counties by Cincinnati; and I believe the Chicago area counties changed too.

  10. (At the risk of this topic spiralling into absurdity…)

    Many now consider that DST actually increases energy usage, due to the increased use of air conditioning in waking daylight (i.e. warm) hours of the day. With the warm/hot part of the day lasting longer, the AC stays on longer, the argument goes.

    Before air conditioning became common, DST really did save energy, but we now use electricity for much more than a gaggle of lightbulbs.

    So if treehuggers want to they can go right back to frowning and cursing mightily at DST.

  11. I like DST. Seems like the suns out til later, which makes for nice evening strolls and sun-lit commutes home from work.

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