Saving What?


I keep meaning to research and write a meaningful and coherent piece about the madness that is called Daylight Saving Time in the US, and Summer Time in other places, but I keep finding clocks I've forgotten about.

My wristwatch that keeps accurate time by listening to radio broadcasts on WWVB (tune the right kind of receiver to 60000 Hz out of Boulder, CO for a bit stream pulse width modulated on the carrier carrying "official" accurate time data provided by NIST from their atomic clocks) and disciplining its local oscillator naturally failed to have a signal and didn't actually reset itself. Anecdotal reports have it that I am not alone in that experience. Beating it firmly with its user manual got it to go reacquire the time signal and reset.

And don't even get me started on the consequences of the law passed in 2005 that changed the DST start and end date rules on the theory that this will save energy. I don't happen to know what our 20+ year old PDP-11 (still happily running RT-11 and TSX+ and patched to correctly handle Y2K) chose to do. Since the PC on my desk is the only one at the office running a "supported" version of Windows, it was the only one that got an "official" patch applied.

The only change that should be made to the DST rule is to eliminate it entirely. Sure, there would be some amount of confusion as devices nationally are patched to forget about DST, but that is a small price to pay for never having to worry about it again.

I have a real problem understanding how giving the entire country Jet Lag twice a year saves anything worthwhile. If some activities are better performed in daylight, then just don't do them in the dark.


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