Kosmo Standard Time

November 1, 2009

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As much of the United States rolls back off Daylight Saving Time, I am once again reminded of the absurdity of time zones.  Not just of DST, but of the entire concept of each area of the world being in a different time zone.  I wonder much productivity is lost each year as a result of people misunderstanding the time of meetings.  I’m a baseball fan who lives in the Central time zone, follows a team in the Mountain time zone, and reads about them on web sites that list game times in Eastern time.  When I am looking at my printed Rockies schedule, I need to add an hour to figure out the correct game time.  When I am looking at the schedule on ESPN.com, I need to subtract an hour.  On more than one occasion, I have gotten the game time wrong.

I am not the first person to suggest this idea, nor will I be the last.  However, I will shout it from the parapet of this magazine – stop the insanity.  Move to one single time zone.  It would be 06:00 everywhere in the world at the same time.  In some places, 06:00 would be breakfast time.  In other areas, it would be lunch time.  On the other side of the world. it would be bedtime.

There  would no , longer be confusion about time.  When someone schedules a meeting for 06:00, all of the attendees would know exactly what time the organizer intends.  There would be no more setting clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall.

So, then, what is standing in the way of this plan?  The human addiction to specific numbers dictating their lives.  People want to wake at 6, have lunch at noon, dinner at 5, and go to bed at 10.  They are resistant to having this balance upset, even those these are mere numbers.

In decades past, the differing time zones had very little impact on people’s lives.  Before the advent of the telephone, it was very rare to have any time-sensitive interactions with people in different time zones.  Even in the latter half of the twentieth century, most people only had to know what time it was in a few different time zones.

Today, however, we live in a global economy.  The readers of The Soap Boxers come from many different countries.  Not just the United States and Canada, but also Australia, New Zealand, India, England, Israel, Egypt, Malaysia and Singapore – and that’s just a sampling of readers from the past few days.  I read blogs written by bloggers in Australia, New Zealand, and China.  It would be nice if we could refer to times without forcing everyone to scramble to their favorite world time clock to figure out exactly what time is being referred to.

The comments section of this article will serve as a petition to move to a single time zone, tentatively referred to as “Kosmo Time”.  If you are in agreement with this plan, sign up below!  If I can get a majority of the world’s population to sign up, I will print off the petition (duplex, of course) and deliver it to someone who thinks they have the power to enact such a change.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Phil Ossifer
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 10:09:50

    I feel that timezones present too great of an impact for communities positioned within 100 miles of the line of demarcation, so I suggest that we reduce this impact by making timezones more granular. Under the new “World@96” system, each zone would span only 15 minutes, resulting in 96 zones worldwide. This will also spur economic growth by generating demand for programmers (to rewrite the millions of timezone-sensitive programs), broadcasting schedulers and coordinators, etc, etc.

    All comments (for or against) to this comment will be considered petition support for the new “World@96” infrastructure. Thank you for your support.


  2. Evan Kline
    Nov 04, 2009 @ 12:44:33

    Interesting idea, Kosmo. It would definitely take some getting used to, but it would make things like air travel easier to figure out, too. For years, I played an online multiplayer RPG (Neverwinter Nights, and then Neverwinter Nights 2), where game scheduling was essential. Players in my campaign over the years were from all over – Germany, New Zealand, all over North America – and time zones were a hassle. I also recently did the page for an online convention for that game, and dealing with the time zones was a real pain. Kosmo time to the rescue!
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..5 Needed Improvements in Windows 7 =-.


  3. Living with Balls
    Nov 04, 2009 @ 16:20:32

    Being from the east coast, I never had much of a problem with this. TV times and games are almost always listed with the eastern time zone first. Since it benefits me at the moment, I say leave it as is.
    .-= Living with Balls´s last blog ..Celebrity Tweet of the Week: November 4, 2009 =-.


  4. 13moon.com - worth a look
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 09:04:00

    For those interested in natural time.


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