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Daylight Savings Time is Stupid !  RSS feed

 
wayne stephen
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It might be petty but twice a year this crap really gets my goat . I have family in New England , Arizona { which abstains from DLS } , California , all over and you're always asking "What time is it there ?" before you call . This Sunday my biological clock will be screwed up for a week . Hells Bells man , I'm in my fifties . My clock does not need any help screwing up . Then my blood pressure goes up because this shit gets my libertarian undies all in a bunch . I think "Well of course they believe they have the power to tell us what kind of milk we can drink and spy on our e-mails" . Why not ? They think : "We have the power to alter time itself . Mere mortals , be astounded !" . I like observing the steady , gradual changes in my day that nature provides . I am always up before dawn , so I am a human witness to natures clock. Twice a year some buffoons in congress enjoy rebooting my day for me . Assholes .

How did this get started anyways ? Apparently historians trace the first mention of this idea to Benjamin Franklins 1784 letter to the Journal of Paris in which he satirically suggested to the night owl , party animal Parisians how much candle money could be saved by using the sun as a source of light . See this link to the essay : http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html . Then again , more seriously in this 1907 Pamphlet by William Willett : http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/willett.html . Since WW1 the US has attempted various trials with DLS until the 1966 Uniform Time Act was enacted by those micromanaging meddlers in DC . Various adjustments to this act are updated in a "timely" manner . .

I will summarize this rant by saying I have heard many rationales for this and I think they are all bunk . It would be a good enough day to day world without their help . Thank You very much .
 
John Elliott
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Not so, it's a very wise way to deal with human nature.

As the days get longer, who wants to listen to a shrill schoolmarm yelling "Get your lazy butt out of bed, the sun's up, get moving!" so they can get their work in? Who is going to voluntarily get up earlier along with the sun?

No, it's much better to say "now everyone turn your clock back/forward one hour, you can get up the same "time" you are used to, and see, there will be more sunshine". People really are that gullible.
 
Jen Shrock
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I somewhere that it was tied to the farming kids that went to school and the adjustment was made to try to allow them more daylight hours when not in school to be able to get their work done. That was, of course, when farming was a major part of society. Maybe again some day...
 
Johnny Niamert
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I prefer "summer time". Whichever that one is. Can't remember if that's normal or savings. One good thing Bush, Jr. did once lengthen it by almost a month.

I think they should choose one or the other and stick with it. Like they do in Russia.
 
Landon Sunrich
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You people have clocks?
 
Julie Anderson
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I would prefer to stay on Standard time year round. My sleep cycle is really influenced by light levels. I find that when it stays light until 9:00 PM, I cannot get to sleep until 11:00 PM. I need at least two hours of dark. Since I get up at 5:45, going to sleep at 11:00 PM leaves me sleep deprived.

The lamest argument I have heard in favor of DST is that it saves energy. How does that work? You have to run the lights at one end of the day or the other. It's not like the actual hours of daylight change.

Grumble grumble. I rant about this every year when we have to flip to DST. When I retire, I'm living on Standard time.

Julie
 
Julia Winter
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The main reason for DST, or at least the reason that they keep pushing the borders further into the spring and fall, is the usual reason for things in our great capitalist nation (USA).

Research has shown that people are more likely to spend money in the evenings if it's still light. Hence, let's have our kids waiting for the school bus in complete darkness (if you are in Wisconsin) so that the merchants make more money in October than they used to.

I don't hate DST, but I think it's been pushed too far into the spring and fall.
 
Judith Browning
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I go to sleep when I am tired and wake up when I am not tired anymore...no clock. I do like daylight savings time though because the folks who notice my sleep habits don't get so weirded out by my getting up at 4am as they do by 3am....like there is a difference just 'cause the clock says so
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Well I live in AZ - we do not "do" daylight savings time. Why? Because we have too damn much sunshine as it is! Actually, I have no idea why AZ does not practice daylight savings time - other than we have to be contrary on a fairly regular basis.

So, by not practicing DST, you'd think we'd have it good, right? Not so much. First of all - people either forget or don't know that we don't do DST - so all sorts of scheduling gets messed up.

And - I had two students show up for class an hour early today because whatever device they use for time did not update correctly. Geez.

@Judith - I am also one of those who regularly gets up at 3 or 4 in the morning. It's a very creative time of day for me! Besides - afternoons are for siesta....
 
John Polk
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I got an extra hour of sleep last night.
The song birds started their cacophony 'an hour later' than usual.

I didn't need to set any clocks (I have 3).
The cell phone and the PC set themselves, and the one on the coffee maker was still set to DST from last summer.

 
Erica Wisner
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Back when daylight savings was not almost the entirety of the year, and people still wore analog wristwatches, you could teach someone to use the sun and watch together as a 'compass'.

You can still teach someone to use the sun as a compass, if they know the time.
And if they can remember the 'real' time by adjusting that pesky hour.

If the merchants want more business in the evening, they can stay open longer. Oh wait, they already do!
In cities, a 10 to 6 retail day is pretty normal.
Here in the country, and small towns, most stores still do an 8 to 4 day. (Notice how that balances equally around noon? Or would, if noon meant anything anymore.)

Groceries make an exception; most of them stay open through 6pm for the 9-to-5ers to make it in on the way home, and a couple stay open later (8 or 9). Midnight snacks are something you keep in the freezer at home, though. Most places close on Sunday. It's kind of nice that way; nothing so urgent you can't wait a day.
Most families around here seem to have at least 1 person who sets their own hours: working from home, running their own business, etc. The places that have fixed hours seem to allow for the need to run errands: offices often close for an hour or two at lunch; the restaurants stay open then of course, but there's a natural break later on during the between-meals slow shift. So there isn't the same need for retailers to stay open all weekend to catch the 'busy people's' business.

There is nothing at all to stop retailers from using the evening hours - or schools and other businesses from using seasonal hours, for that matter. I know farmers who adjust the arrival time based on the expected heat of the day. As a night owl I didn't particularly enjoy the 6 or 7am starts. But I sure appreciated getting paid for 5+ hours of work when the heat forced us to stop by noon!

And the 9:10 am starts at my first job in the city weren't particularly easier. Any time of day can be hard to get started if you stay up too late running artificial lights.

I guess I did begrudge the day spent inside when the spring and early summer mornings were super-sweet. Maybe that's the real secret: get them into the office without enough time to dally outdoors, or they might break free entirely!

God forbid the businesses figure out they can 'daylight' entire streets to entice us into a perpetual spending state.

-Erica
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Oh boy!  A chance for me to air my opinion!  I've never liked "Daylight Savings Time".  It seems dictatorial of someone to decide this exercise in futility, about as effective as it's name is true.  There are as many hours of daylight no matter what the clock says.

I think the connection to economic concerns is the driving force behind it, because  it is perceived that if it is still daylight as a person heads home from work, they are more likely to stop and shop.  That may be so, but it irks me that even this part of life is controlled by the narrowly defined greed/profit thing. Who knows what creativity or productivity is LOST by reaching so far into our lives to dictate this adjustment that is so costly in other ways.  I guess the illness and accidents that result during the adjustment to the change are also seen as enhancing profits, for MDs for hospitals, for undertakers, for pharmacists.

It is one more way we are separated from the experience of the changing of the seasons and the natural world.  One more way we are made to know that "big brother is watching".  One more way it is driven home that we need to just mooooove as one of the herd which ever way "experts" have decreed.  One more way that we are conditioned to believe we are not capable of managing our own concerns.

I think it would work just fine if no tinkering with the clock were done, and those merchants who wanted to shift to summer hours could act independently, likewise employers and businesses and professionals.  As for schools, there is a way of managing that for more efficient use of school space.  Being part of the demographic bulge, the high school in our town was not big enough for all of us.  There were 7 periods a day.  At the beginning of the year, families opted for their children to attend either periods 1 through 6, 2 through 7 or 1 through 7.  Early and late risers accommodated.  People who wanted one more elective accommodated, no new building built.

It is not that hard to adjust to all the so called issues daylight savings time supposedly addresses.  People who like standardization prefer to have everyone doing the same thing, and like an authority to decree what is best for the group.  My personal opinion is that it is best for the group for there to be as few across the board decrees as possible, requiring people to make decisions for themselves and accept the outcomes of their choices, and putting them in situations where they have to develop skills to discuss differing opinions with people who share an interest in the same outcome.  When there is a decree that comes from an outside entity, everyone has the luxury of blaming the outside entity, of arguing with each other over the benefits of the decree, and never having to make a decision, or have the responsibility of a decision they made. 

These are only a few of the unquantifiable losses from Daylight Savings Time.
 
David Livingston
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During WWII the brits had double summer time , so the clocks changed 4 times a year all to try to save electric
 
Thekla McDaniels
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David Livingston wrote:During WWII the brits had double summer time , so the clocks changed 4 times a year all to try to save electric


Wow, I did not know that, but that is a context in which it makes sense to me, and had the added function of drawing people together for the war effort.  What a time that was, when there was a clear "enemy" and a real danger to a humane way of life!
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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For those like me, who are chronically sleep deprived most days, it doesn't matter if they give me an hour or take one away, I'll still have insomnia. "Gain a hour of sleep." Who are they talking to?

What gets me is, right after the time changes, the H will ask the same question..."What time would it be if this was last week?" Hell, I don't even know what month it is, let alone what time. If you walk into certain stores right now you'd swear it's late December. Know what I mean? No wonder I stay so confused.
 
John Weiland
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@Karen D.: "....you'd swear it's late December. Know what I mean? No wonder I stay so confused."

You would almost think it was by design ....... 'Gaslighting' on a grand scale!

 
Len Ovens
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Our time hasn't changed yet... next weekend I think. Personally, I don't care which time they want to call it, just leave it the same year round. I find I loose an hour at both ends. I also recall getting paid for 8 hours and working 9 one year early Sunday morning.
 
Victor Johanson
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Here in Alaska, the light/darkness is so extreme that fiddling with an hour here or there is futile and stupid. I think we just do it to stay aligned with the west coast (which is the reason they changed out time zones some years back; we used to be two hours earlier than Pacific time, but now just one). But a significant chunk of people moved up here to escape that world, so they resent attempts to establish it here.
 
Ron Helwig
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I think we should get rid of time zones as well as DLS. Just have everyone use UCT. Does it really matter if the number of the time you get up is 5 or 9 or 14? It's just a number.
 
Len Ovens
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Ron Helwig wrote:I think we should get rid of time zones as well as DLS. Just have everyone use UCT. Does it really matter if the number of the time you get up is 5 or 9 or 14? It's just a number.


There's a thought. Certainly for people who are doing online meetings that would be useful (I have done a number and figuring out what time I have to be online is a pain). However, local time is still useful in an online world too. A very quick way of telling someone the person they want to talk to is in this timezone allows them to know when they will be online (I'm -0800 in the winter BTW). That is just the online side of things... Think of travelers who (yes) only have to set their watches one way, but what time of day is 1300? is it afternoon, evening or very early in the morning? I think a local time is good, but a constant local time is best. I think what would happen if our watches were set to UTC is that people would would start refering to time as 3 hours after "Noon", two hours after sunrise, etc. Just to have some reference to our day in terms of when we eat sleep and work. I also think that "sunrise" would end up being a certain time rather than when the sun actually came up... probably what we call 6am now...
 
Rebecca Norman
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The lamest argument I have heard in favor of DST is that it saves energy.  How does that work?  You have to run the lights at one end of the day or the other.  It's not like the actual hours of daylight change.


People living in the luxurious world of 24 hour reliable electricity and insignificant electricity bills can afford to think this. Daylight savings time does actually save an hour of electricity every day in summer. Daylight savings is done in summer to get people out of bed during the early morning daylight hours and send them to bed earlier, using one less electric lit hour.

We choose to do it at our school because we are off-grid and so we have to care about the saved electricity. The rest of the country does not do daylight savings time, so our domestic visitors always think it's really strange. Our students call it "SECMOL Solar Time" in contrast to "Indian Standard Time."

How does Daylight Savings Time work? People are attached to, accustomed to, the numbers for the times that they have always used. If we say "Hey, it's summer, the sun comes up at 4:30, so let's get up at 4:30 or 5:30 and use that hour of natural daylight, and one less hour of evening electric light!" nobody will do it. I mean, nobody will. Sure, it's just psychological, yes, but it really works like that. They'll get up with some exceptions at 6:30 if there's something to do, but not at 5:30. The other end of the day is a similar problem: Let us say "Okay, we're gonna get up at 5:30, but we need to make sure we've got 8 hours of downtime every night in case some people need that much, so we're going to call it bedtime at 9:30!" Forget it. Teenagers are NOT gonna call 9:30 bedtime and lights out. 10:30 just sounds more reasonable, and the lights actually go out around 11.

So we just say "Okay it's summer coming up, and the sun gets up much earlier. Let's do something unconventional and change the numbers that we call the hours. When the rest of the country calls it 5:30 and is sleeping soundly through an hour of daylight, let's get up, but let's call it 6:30. Whaddya think?" They always agree that it's a cool idea. We go on and off it at the solstices, 21 March and 21 Sept.

Personally I don't like it because at least once a year, inevitably, I either stand someone up or arrive early for a meeting and am annoyed because I think the other person is late. But I admit, I do get up earlier and use less electricity in summer just by changing the number we call the times.
 
Len Ovens
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Rebecca Norman wrote:

The lamest argument I have heard in favor of DST is that it saves energy.  How does that work?  You have to run the lights at one end of the day or the other.  It's not like the actual hours of daylight change.


People living in the luxurious world of 24 hour reliable electricity and insignificant electricity bills can afford to think this. Daylight savings time does actually save an hour of electricity every day in summer. Daylight savings is done in summer to get people out of bed during the early morning daylight hours and send them to bed earlier, using one less electric lit hour.


That may be true, but my health and time are more important and I find I loose at least two hours a year because of a sudden time change. even on the end where I have "an extra hour" I find I don't. my sleep pattern gets thrown off and I have a head ache for a few days. A more gradual minute per day change might help. If I travel the time change is my own fault, but DLST is imposed.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Well, of course one could conduct the change in one's own life gradually, by, say, preparing for daylight savings by changing one's own wake up and bed time by 15 minutes every few days before the official time change. But only if one were able to control oneself so neatly...
 
r ranson
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Thanks, Rebecca.  I can see now how it makes sense where you are.

Where I am, it makes less sense because our summer daylight is just so darn long.  It's easily light enough to start my chores by 4am in the middle of the summer and the chickens won't go to be 'till nearly 11pm (which would be 10pm if we stuck to regular time).

I don't wear a watch because my chickens and sheep don't either.  If I want to know the time, I ask someone.  I get up when it's light enough and I go to bed when I'm tired enough (and the chickens are tucked in safe and sound).  This way I feel restful even in the summer when I have very little sleep.

Maybe the problem with daylight savings is bigger than one hour?  Maybe it's focusing our day on the time rather than on natural light?  I don't know.  Just a thought.
 
Casie Becker
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It's interesting seeing everyone's perspectives on day light savings. Rebecca, I think you're the first person I've ever seen state a real preference for it. I don't have strong personal opinions on it. I'm usually at work when it happens and so go home really 'early' one day a year and am usually 'late' getting out another. Regardless of what the clock says, I still have the same amount of work to complete. 

When I lived in an apartment I frequently would go five days or more without seeing sunlight after daylight savings ended. I'm grateful to now have a yard and garden now pulling me outside, even when I'm exhausted. There are no electrical savings for graveyard workers. I don't think the available hours of sunlight for me are even affected.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Did you remember to change the clocks? Did you arrive early to church, to pick up a friend, to anywhere?

You are also encouraged to change the batteries in the smoke detectors at this time. I did that. Did you?

I find that the best time to test your smoke detectors is while you have an annoying telemarketer on the phone. Just sayin'.
 
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