Only you can help win the war on time zones

posted at 6:41 pm on February 15, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Now that we’ve addressed all the problems involving terrorism, the deficit, racism and Constitutional rights, we can finally get down to solving the real challenges facing the country. What are we going to do about time zones? Check out this article from the WaPo from a couple of days back. They feature two guys named Steve Hanke and Dick Henry who are working on precisely this problem.

Before you can solve a challenge you need to admit one exists, and the time zone problem is far worse than I’d thought. Russia has eleven time zones. China has only one. (No wonder they got ahead of everyone economically for a while.) North Korea created a new one of their own last year and Tibet already had one that starts on fifteen minutes past the hour. The United States and its territories cover nine time zones. It’s madness, I tell you. Every time you get on a plane traveling any significant distance east or west you wind up having to reset not only your internal clock, but your travel alarm as well.

So what do we do about it? Hanke and Henry have the answer. Let’s get rid of all of them.

The plan was strikingly simple. Rather than try to regulate a variety of time zones all around the world, we should instead opt for something far easier: Let’s destroy all these time zones and instead stick with one big “Universal Time.”…

The logic of Universal Time is strikingly simple: If it’s 7 in the morning in Washington D.C., it’s 7 everywhere else in the world too. There are no time zones. Wherever you are, the time is the same.

As soon as I read this I had one of those I could have had a V8 moments. Sure, it may sound crazy at first glance, but why couldn’t it be the same time everywhere? (Or at least everywhere in our country since we couldn’t force it on everyone else.) The immediate argument which jumps to mind is that people would be waking up, going to work and hitting the sack at all sorts of odd hours. If we took Greenwich Mean Time as the starting point, where noon is the middle of the day, then in New York the sun would be coming up around one o’clock in the morning and you’d be going to bed around seven in the evening. But so what? Those numbers are completely arbitrary to begin with. If your lunch hour is at seven a.m. each day, who cares? The sun will still be high in the sky and the birds will be singing.

It’s not like scheduling conference calls on two coasts would be any different. You’ll still have to take into account the fact that people on the left coast start their day four hours later. It will just be the same time on the clock when the call begins. No translations required! Computers and phone systems won’t need to account for shifts from zone to zone. Is this really such a crazy idea? If we made the transition, within a year or two everyone would just be operating on those schedules and nothing in our daily lives would really change.

Now if we can just get rid of daylight savings time…

ClockChange


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Comments

(This comment deleted)

orangemtl on February 15, 2016 at 6:44 PM

No comment

Rusty Bill on February 15, 2016 at 6:45 PM

The logic of Universal Time is strikingly simple: If it’s 7 in the morning in Washington D.C. the land of cheese and beer, it’s 7 everywhere else in the world too.

ReWrite™ engaged for proper centering.

Seriously, we already have Universal Coordinated Time, which is based on Greenich. It also is a seriously bad idea for noon to be nowhere near local noon, which is why I hate Daylight Saving, even though I’m in the sliver of the Central Time Zone that, during Standard Time, has local noon before “official” noon.

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2016 at 6:46 PM

No mention of why time zones were created in the 19th Century in the first place?

rbj on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Six Time Traveling Celebrities That Will Amaze You

Magicjava on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

(This comment censored for your safety)

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

No mention of why time zones were created in the 19th Century in the first place?

rbj on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Driving that train….

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Its always Facebook time,,,,,right guys?

jaywemm on February 15, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Why don’t they let Facebook decide the time for everyone?

Kensington on February 15, 2016 at 6:49 PM

At first I thought this comment was run of the mill, but when I scrolled down… AMAZING!

Nethicus on February 15, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Lose 569 tons with this weird trick.

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2016 at 6:49 PM

The countries of the world couldn’t decide on a timezone. What China did in response was PERFECT!

Like and share!

Kensington on February 15, 2016 at 6:50 PM

Now if we can just get rid of daylight savings time…

nooooo, keep dst all the time.

Sachiko on February 15, 2016 at 6:52 PM

No comment

Rode Werk on February 15, 2016 at 6:54 PM

3 letters:
UTC

corona79 on February 15, 2016 at 6:54 PM

We all belong to the Salem time zone now, so……

Rovin on February 15, 2016 at 6:55 PM

I make $3.18 a week selling timezones from home!

Nethicus on February 15, 2016 at 6:58 PM

Let’s let Mark Zuckerberg decide…

Galtian on February 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

GMT already exists. If it was truly better to use a uniform time, using GMT would have beet out using local time.

Count to 10 on February 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Driving that train….

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Yup. One universal time zone insane. What’s next, Hotair moving comments to facebook? Oh, wait . . .

rbj on February 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Free Constantine X1 using this one weird trick…

hungrymongo on February 15, 2016 at 7:02 PM

Facebook time line?

JoeHanson on February 15, 2016 at 7:03 PM

What about the date change. would the date change in the middle of the day? Sounds dumb

BuckNutty on February 15, 2016 at 7:03 PM

This is fucking nuts.

Brought to you by Carl’s Jr. And FaceBook.

3.14159 on February 15, 2016 at 7:04 PM

I’m gonna miss y’all.

Hot Gas commenters have consistently been the gold standard.

FOWG1 on February 15, 2016 at 7:05 PM

I’m really going to miss commenting on these kinds of idiotic posts after the move to Facebook.

rogaineguy on February 15, 2016 at 7:06 PM

Am I going to miss out on the three hour time zone difference between 12am Eastern and 12am Pacific?

31giddyup on February 15, 2016 at 7:08 PM

I make $3.18 a week selling timezones from home!

Nethicus on February 15, 2016 at 6:58 PM

You too? I thought I was the only one!

oryguncon on February 15, 2016 at 7:09 PM

No comment.

CT96 on February 15, 2016 at 7:10 PM

No comment.

“like” if……well, I’m self important and need likes, so please “like” me.

Andy__B on February 15, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Internal poll for Bush PAC shows much tighter SC race: Trump 26, Cruz 24, Jeb 12, Rubio 11–while public surveys give Trump a huge lead

— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) February 15, 2016

portlandon on February 15, 2016 at 7:12 PM

You won’t believe what happened next….

To Hot Gas.

Valiant on February 15, 2016 at 7:14 PM


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tom2789 on February 15, 2016 at 7:19 PM

Let’s do the easy thing first and get rid of Daylight Savings Time. Then we’ll work on getting the whole world on Coordinated Universal Time.

bflat879 on February 15, 2016 at 7:19 PM

Lose 12 pound a day with my grandmother’s boiled marmot diet and recipe book.

Oxymoron on February 15, 2016 at 7:21 PM

Driving that train….

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

….High On Cocaine…Casey Jones You Better…Watch Your Speed…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:21 PM

Enhance your performance when you’re with her with this simple proven method.

tom2789 on February 15, 2016 at 7:21 PM

Thank you Jazz. Thank you.

This comment was brought to you by the letters, F U B A and R.

HornetSting on February 15, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Biggest loser from this would be Dolly Parton.

(“Why would a secretary be working from 9 to 5? The work day is from 2 PM to 10 PM! This song doesn’t make any sense!”

“Wrong! She wrote the song for a movie that she made in Hollywood, and the work day there is from 5 PM to 1 AM!”)

J.S.K. on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

So what do we do about it? Hanke and Henry have the answer. Let’s get rid of all of them.

…and why don’t we get rid of borders as well…who needs ’em amirite…???

…these One World statists are retarded…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

Time zones are practical and necessary. Facebook is not. RIP HotAir.

Gingotts on February 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM

My mother makes $9,732/hour at home. She was unemployed for 7 months, but now earned $95,135 last month alone. Click here!

lorien1973 on February 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM

You have 0 friend requests.

Dime IV on February 15, 2016 at 7:27 PM

Internal poll for Bush PAC shows much tighter SC race: Trump 26, Cruz 24, Jeb 12, Rubio 11–while public surveys give Trump a huge lead

— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) February 15, 2016

portlandon on February 15, 2016 at 7:12 PM

Well that would explain Trump’s crazy press conferences today. He’s a desperate loser and hates it when he doesn’t win. Too bad an awful lot of us (me included) will not be around to comment on Trump’s death spiral after tonight.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Don’t talk to me about time zones. I live in Northwest Indiana, just across the border from Chicago. While I live in the central time zone (Chesterton) I work 45 miles away in the eastern time zone (South Bend). I always joke that it takes me 2 hours to get to work, and 5 minutes to get home. The state of Michigan is also in the eastern time zone. When I worked there the time on my cell phone would change depending on which part of the building I was in. What was the topic again? Doesn’t matter this will probably be my last post anyway.

MrsGsBoyTommy on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Lose 12 pound a day with my grandmother’s boiled marmot diet and recipe book.

Oxymoron on February 15, 2016 at 7:21 PM

I keep clicking but IT WON’T LOAD!!!!!!! I NEED MY BOILZ MARMOT!!!!

Nethicus on February 15, 2016 at 7:32 PM

You have 0 friend requests.

Dime IV on February 15, 2016 at 7:27 PM

Not even some alternative guitar player from the West Coast that I’ve never heard of nor care about?

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Don’t talk to me about time zones. I live in Northwest Indiana, just across the border from Chicago. While I live in the central time zone (Chesterton) I work 45 miles away in the eastern time zone (South Bend). I always joke that it takes me 2 hours to get to work, and 5 minutes to get home. The state of Michigan is also in the eastern time zone. When I worked there the time on my cell phone would change depending on which part of the building I was in. What was the topic again? Doesn’t matter this will probably be my last post anyway.

MrsGsBoyTommy on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

When I was living in Western Michigan, I could never figure out why we were Eastern time Zone. By all rights Michigan is Central Time Zone. The answer I got was that when the decision was made it was because Detroit wanted to be connected with the East Coast. Stupid Detroit.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Too bad an awful lot of us (me included) will not be around to comment on Trump’s death spiral after tonight.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

…just when I thought this FB thing was a bad idea….you made it palatable…congrats…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:38 PM

No comment.

RealMc on February 15, 2016 at 7:39 PM

Zulu

Infidelius on February 15, 2016 at 7:40 PM

all hail lord zuckerburger the arbitrator of all wisdom in this twilight zone

newrouter on February 15, 2016 at 7:52 PM

Unable to comment.

TXUS on February 15, 2016 at 7:53 PM

Bernie 2016! Feel the Bern!

(Per new management)

Brian in Titletown on February 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Bernie 2016! Feel the Bern!

(Per new management)

Brian in Titletown on February 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM

I thought the memo from on high said Rubio/Bush 2016?

Oxymoron on February 15, 2016 at 8:18 PM

Just use UTC time and get rid of daylight savings. It would make flight planning infinitely easier. While we’re at it, just switch to universally accepting a 24 hour clock since the am/pm distinction is a waste as well.

Kriggly on February 15, 2016 at 8:21 PM

one world time – one world gov’t

newrouter on February 15, 2016 at 8:24 PM

Who cares. About any of these threads in this place anymore.

Alana on February 15, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Maybe we should have 25 hours and let midnight travel around the world. That would be great!!!

Wow, one last time to let Jazz Shaw know that his columns are rubbish.

Good riddance.

deadite on February 15, 2016 at 8:31 PM

The military has been using GMT for years. It’s called Zulu Time and is used in all official planning and correspondence. Worked well for me for 22 years.

schmuck281 on February 15, 2016 at 8:34 PM

Sure, it may sound crazy at first glance, but why couldn’t it be the same time everywhere?

This is a monumentally stupid idea.

Let’s say you fly from California to New York. The first thing you would have to do upon arrival is check what time locally everything opens and closes.

Chaos

MichaelGabriel on February 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

What about the date change. would the date change in the middle of the day? Sounds dumb

BuckNutty on February 15, 2016 at 7:03 PM

If you’re an astronomer, it already does. The “mean solar day” aka “sidereal day” begins and ends at noon local time. This is so astronomers don’t have to change dates in the middle of an all-night observation.

/real old astronomy/astrophysics student here

cheers

eon

eon on February 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Let’s say you fly from California to New York. The first thing you would have to do upon arrival is check what time locally everything opens and closes.

Chaos

MichaelGabriel on February 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Of course, today it’s entirely possible to fly west and end up arriving earlier in the local day than when you took off. Hence “jet lag”.

For certain applications, a single worldwide time makes sense. And we already have it, GMT or Zulu time, which is already used by everybody who actually needs to, with the possible exception of international wheeler-dealers and stockbrokers.

I believe the best definition of this proposal is “re-inventing the wheel”.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 15, 2016 at 8:54 PM

It’s Daylight Saving Time, or even Daylight-Saving Time, but it is not Daylight Savings Time.

The Monster on February 15, 2016 at 9:19 PM

How would we handle New Year’s Eve?

Pythagoras on February 15, 2016 at 9:22 PM

When I came back to the States, The Army blessed me with a Reserve Battery in Kingsbury, Indiana. The Kingsbury area has the misfortune of being in two different time zones, some with DST and some without. A real Cluster-F. Getting acquainted with my new battery on Saturday, I dismissed the formation that night and told all that I would expect them back at 06:00 Sunday. That started it all. After about ten minutes of “what if” my instructions were that I was the BC and at 06:00 by MY watch they would be in formation. If they weren’t there they would have missed their drill. I did allow any who were interested to have a look at my watch before they went home. All went well, and everybody was there on time.

I hate DST. We aren’t at war, and we no longer have heavy manufacturing. We no longer need it.

Old Country Boy on February 15, 2016 at 9:22 PM

Jazz, I wanted to thank you for your articles on HA. I’ve enjoyed them very much.

/comment thingy and logging out :(

kakypat on February 15, 2016 at 10:09 PM

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Libraritarian on February 15, 2016 at 10:39 PM

Mind you, I gave up Facebook for Lent, with a view towards giving it up for good. If that means I’ll have to give up Hot Air comments, too, then so be it. Ciao, bambini.

Libraritarian on February 15, 2016 at 10:42 PM

So what do we do about it? Hanke and Henry have the answer. Let’s get rid of all of them.

Yes, let’s get rid of Hanke and Henry.

Axeman on February 15, 2016 at 11:43 PM

Jazz, I wanted to thank you for your articles on HA. I’ve enjoyed them very much.

/comment thingy and logging out :(

kakypat on February 15, 2016 at 10:09 PM

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Libraritarian on February 15, 2016 at 10:39 PM

Yeppers.

AesopFan on February 16, 2016 at 2:09 AM

Let’s start by using 24 hour time instead of AM/PM.

MJBrutus on February 16, 2016 at 6:09 AM

To an alcoholic its Happy Hour all the time.

As a retire G.I who flew we used (GMT Greenwich Mean Time, or Zulu Time) where it was the same time anywhere in the world and all WMD were programed to use GMT.

There was on other strange time based on the alphabet. 26 time zones divided among the 360 degrees of Longitude.

Those who suffer jet lag must learn to get with the time zone you land in immediately to enjoy life.

However, the bottom line is we might as well us GMT. Because when the buttons are pushed we are all going to go up at the same time.

MSGTAS on February 16, 2016 at 6:39 AM

Biologically and medically speaking, getting rid of time zones would be a failure of epic proportions. We are designed (not conditioned) to be active during the day and asleep at night. People who work the night shift have more problems as a result of this than those who don’t.

wvmikep on February 16, 2016 at 8:23 AM

I guess we must have solved all the world’s problems to get down to this one.

No Truce With Kings on February 16, 2016 at 8:31 AM

Geezers hardest hit. Seasoned citizens will want to stick to the old way of telling time and Common Core will never be able to teach the kiddies how to tell time. However, if this will kill daylight savings, I’m all for it.

Kissmygrits on February 16, 2016 at 9:59 AM

SHALLOW
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that
this knight and I have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?

FALSTAFF
We have heard the chimes at midnight 7:18 a.m., Master Shallow.

SmallishBees on February 16, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Hickory, dickory, dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one 2:10,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

SmallishBees on February 16, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Oh, I know. It sounds much better in Esperanto. Since we’re going all universal and all.

Hikorio , Dickory , Doko .
La muso suprenkuris la horloĝo .
La horloĝo frapis 2:10 ,
La muso kuris malsupren ,
Hikorio , Dickory , Doko .

SmallishBees on February 16, 2016 at 10:58 AM

You’d have to get Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton together to remake “9 to 5” and call it “5pm to 1am GMT”

The Schaef on February 16, 2016 at 11:26 AM

“Only you can help win the war on time zones”

What weapons are the time-zones using in this “war” that makes them so hard to defeat? Atomic clocks?

YiZhangZhe on February 16, 2016 at 3:06 PM

GMT already exists. If it was truly better to use a uniform time, using GMT would have beet out using local time.
Count to 10 on February 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

The term GMT is obsolete. UTC is the term used, meaning Universal Time Coordinated

If you’re an astronomer, it already does. The “mean solar day” aka “sidereal day” begins and ends at noon local time. This is so astronomers don’t have to change dates in the middle of an all-night observation.
/real old astronomy/astrophysics student here
cheers
eon
eon on February 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

The Sidereal Day and Mean Solar day are not the same. The Sidereal day is not quite 4 minutes shorter than the Mean Solar Day (3Min 57 Sec, IIRC).

Let’s start by using 24 hour time instead of AM/PM.
MJBrutus on February 16, 2016 at 6:09 AM

I keep my watch on a 24 hr clock. Got used to it when in the Navy and kept it when I went to a digital watch. I occasionally observe either Polaris or Sun for Azimuth to control Surveys, as a check on GPS.

If you lived in Germany, you would use the 24hr clock. It makes sense to me.

Quartermaster on February 16, 2016 at 3:40 PM

So how do you handle what day of the week it is if midnight isn’t in the middle of the night? I have an 23:00 Monday appointment in the morning when I get up and a 5:00 Tuesday appointment in the afternoon?

MC88 on February 16, 2016 at 6:00 PM

The term GMT is obsolete. UTC is the term used, meaning Universal Time Coordinated

It’s actually a compromise between Coordinated Universal Time (CUT) and Temps Universel Coordonné (TUC), and doesn’t really stand for anything.

The Monster on February 16, 2016 at 6:25 PM