2846: Daylight Saving Choice

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Daylight Saving Choice
I average out the spring and fall changes and just set my clocks 39 minutes ahead year-round.
Title text: I average out the spring and fall changes and just set my clocks 39 minutes ahead year-round.


Daylight saving time (DST) is a practice best known for changing the clock one hour ahead (though two hours offset have also being used, using a combination of a all-year DST and a seasonal DST ) for approximately half the year, typically from spring to autumn. Countries nearer the equator do not see significant changes in daylength between winter and summer and so have rarely had a reason to follow this practice. A number of countries which used to follow this practice no longer do, and a few now follow year-round DST – however summer-only DST is still used in North America, Europe, and parts of South America, Oceania, Africa and Asia.

Within countries that still follow this practice, there are frequent arguments (mostly during the 2-3 days surrounding the clock change) over the pros and cons of it. Black Hat is suggesting that everyone should observe or ignore daylight saving time based on their personal opinion. While it might put an end to the arguments (although this itself is debatable) it would clearly cause disharmonious time. This would eventually break the population into at least three categories: those who do not follow daylight saving changes and choose to remain on "daylight" time year round; those who do not follow and choose to stay with "non-daylight" time year round; and those who readily switch to daylight saving time during the prescribed period (and might also include those who follow the suggestion provided in the title text). There would probably also be a further 'group' who choose to change their clocks on an arbitrary date and time that suits them. So, some people might think it's 8:00 while others think it's 9:00, or vice-versa, but the relative number of people who believe it is each time would shift throughout the year. This would lead to many scheduling errors, delays, and other mistakes, resulting in widespread inconvenience and harm.

The joke here is that, while most options in life can be left to individual choice, clock time is only fully useful if everyone involved agrees on what it means, which is also the reason countries began standardizing the time by regions, instead of people using the local time of their town. There may also be a humourous reference to the confusion already often caused around this time when countries do not all begin or end DST on the same date, for example in scheduling calls or online meetings between Europe and North America in the week after publication of this comic.

There are known incidents in which an actual application of Black Hat's proposal rendered a terrorist plot void. One of them is a 1999 Darwin Award Winner

This comic was posted 4 days before the end of 2023’s daylight saving time in most European countries, and 11 days before the end of 2023's daylight saving time in most of North America. If the proposal is actually instituted at this time, those in the Northern Hemisphere who do not like the fuss of changing their clocks would remain on DST (as has been actually proposed), yet those who are happy with it will fall back to non-DST over the winter months. Presumably, unless anyone changes their minds over the 'winter' period, everyone would actually be back in sync for future 'summer's.

However, the rule (as spoken by Black Hat – not known for being imprecise, or unintentionally misleading) does not restrict people to merely choosing whether the daylight offset is personally used during DST periods. It instead seems to impel them to undertake (or not) the statutary changes according to personal convictions, perhaps contrary to what their convictions actually desire. It is left open-ended ("From now on...") if people from both mindsets can arbitrarily change their minds in the future. If they can, and act accordingly, this time next year there could be people on three different 'summertime' offsets: zero (change now, but not change later), +1 (steadfast change/no change) and +2 (don't change now, but shift forward in spring). Beyond next year's "fall back" date, there could be people on -1 (fall back, don't spring on, fall back further) and each full year beyond may add additionally positive/negative extremes of offset by those who periodically change their inclinations to only obey one of the relative imperatives, and a potential standard distribution of everyone else between. All this could just be a badly worded explanation of the policy, or even in the wording of the legislation behind it, but the presence of Black Hat at the lectern probably indicates that he fully expects and intends such a boding and expanding chaos.

The title text suggests splitting the difference by using a constant offset which is the average of the daylight saving offset across days of the year. This will create additional problems, primarily because offsets of 39 minutes are unusual (most offsets are by hours and even the least common ones are offset by the multiples of a quarter of an hour), as well as being of not much use, as only a fraction of the daylight will be saved in this way. We also do not know if in this system Randall would change his clock for the leap year to account for the additional day.


[Black Hat is speaking at a lectern, flanked by Ponytail and Hairy.]
Black Hat: From now on, everyone who likes daylight saving time should change their clocks, and everyone who doesn't, shouldn't.
[Caption below the panel:]
The government finally decides to put an end to all the arguments.

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I instead suggest that we make the DST shift 12 hours. 15:16, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

I have better idea: What about observing the DST change in fall but ignoring the DST change in spring? -- Hkmaly (talk) 21:18, 25 October 2023 (UTC)
Even better: 12 hours backwards shift in fall, no shift in spring. Sure, it would lead to confusion, but it’d also be really funny. 04:59, 26 October 2023 (UTC)

The terrorist plot wasn't thwarted by this kind of proposal. It was just due to the fact that DST laws differ between countries. Barmar (talk) 15:31, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

The Palestinian terrorist plot on 5th September 1999 definitively was. One group of terrorists switched to ST as decided by authorities, while other refused to and used DST. Abukaj (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

When I read the comic, I applied it to this upcoming clock change which would turn the clocks back to "standard" time. Thus the ironic joke is that if you don't like daylight savings time then don't change your clocks, so you are then stuck in daylight savings time forever. Rtanenbaum (talk) 18:46, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

This was also my initial (and continuing) impression... 23:43, 25 October 2023 (UTC)
Added a (larger than intended) paragraph to this end. On the presumption that, at each biannual clock-changing moment, the policy translates the current feelings of the person into whether they must add/remove an hour (even opposite to what they think they should do).
If I had realised that it'd be so lengthy an 'explanation', before starting to edit, I'd have maybe added a Trivia-like section, or just inserted the ideas within it down here in Talk.
I do believe that Black Hat's part in the announcement indicates an intentional multi-tiered chaos of this kind (rather than if a Cueball, where it might indeed be only "on/not-on DST" for the relevent half the year for single-order chaos). If anyone wishes to shift it out of the main Explain, or compress it, could they perhaps make sure that Black Hat's inherent disruptivity is still clearly mentioned there/here? 11:20, 26 October 2023 (UTC)
Actually, a year ago they were all set to skip that fall one, it was a done deal, so we WOULD have been permanently on Summer Time (which is what I see as Standard Time, it always seems like the point of this is to maximize daylight in the winter when there's less of it). I only found out THAT NIGHT that the decision was overturned. I'm still hoping for this year, but I've heard nothing so I doubt it. :( NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:02, 29 October 2023 (UTC)
I remember this argument from before. The daylight one saves is the 'summer morning daylight'. By reverting to non-DST you don't save anything, you just make the mornings less dark than they would abnormally be. (Indeed, this morning I was out and about before 7:30AM (GMT) and had a nice bright day that wasn't (unlike during recent BST-ruled mornings) darker than they ought to be just because most people want a >4:30PM 'daylight' rather more than a <7:30AM one). 18:30, 29 October 2023 (UTC)
...Except summer doesn't need any "help", the days are longer, plenty of daylight to go around. :) It's the short short winter days which - if anything - require help to make the most out of whatever little daylight there is. And like I said, last year they were about to make Summer Time permanent, we would have stayed on THAT time, not the Winter Shifted time. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:07, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
You are right (as well as wrong). Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Of course Peter is flush, in summer, and doesn't need so much morning light, so Paul can entertain himself for long evenings and everybody's happy (certainly more happy, in total, than if Peter just frittered away his spare cash every morning, long before he needs to go to work!
In the winter months, Peter might already feel the pinch. Not only are the days naturally drawing closer, but someone's decided that he doesn't really need as much of the (already limited) daylight as he started with. Paul's getting some more evening (still gets dark early enough, though, depending on latitude). Marginal gains for him, if he's lucky, and good for him. But more-than-marginal losses for the other guy, and always net losses because you can't actually argue against the local astronomy.
The decision to have "summer-in-winter" (with or without "double-summer", also) just rearranges the deckchairs a bit. If you're on the Titanic, the best you can hope for is that this means it's easier to run straight out and onto the rather limited number of lifeboats (when you need to), but it's more of a cosmetic exercise when you can't (or needn't) get onto one.
Now, if schools/workplaces operated on something like "from one hour after sunrise", instead of tied to crepuscularly-agnostic clock-time (of whatever shift from absolute astronomical timings), we could stop arguing the rest of the point and just deal with what people 'deem' most appropriate. And there's no such thing as "winter shifted time" (unless you do Wintertime+1 to keep with/keep pace with the shift you made for summer). It's only "winter unshifted time", as I note has been said before... Give or take how far from your longitude's 'natural' noon is away from the clock-noon your country/region has adopted. (e.g. China, wide in longitude, one single timezone throughout, but to some extent every TZ's fringes, even if that's just around half an hour of 'cosmic shift', before politics adds or removes anything else.) 16:49, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

Average 39 minutes[edit]

While this figure makes sense (rather than 30 minutes) it was still slightly unexpected at first; as DST has a duration of 238 days, the average year-round time would be 238/365 hours ahead of Standard, or 39 minutes and 7.4 seconds.
(Or, to factor in that a leap day occurs in 97 of every 400 years, 238/(365 ⁹⁷⁄₄₀₀) = 39 minutes and 5.8 seconds)

In fact, the original DST duration was set to actually be 6 months long (last Sunday of April to October), before being extended in 1987 and 2007 to reach its current 34 weeks.

SomeDee (talk) 15:23, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

I was wondering where that number came from... trust him to use the most absurd metric possible for averaging, instead of, for instance, the average deviation of sunrise, solar noon, or sunset... or even their earliest or latest times. - 17:17, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

I haven't calculated for myself what US DST would actually average out at (presuming Randall is correct), but 'average year-round clock offset' for Europe (inc. UK, at least currently) would be different because it starts one week earlier (last Sunday in March, rather than first Sunday in April, if I remember the months right). One fifty-twoth of an hour (going straight to how the weightings change, rather than calculating the full averages in my head anew) is going to be slightly more than a minute of difference, so probably in the realms of UTC(+regional hourly shift)+40minutes. Maybe even +41 if it rounds off over into the next minute. 22:15, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

It also ends two weeks earlier, (Middle of October instead of first week of November), so I'm really not sure on the actual difference. I just know that it's a headache for a couple weeks on either end for multinational meetings. 16:26, 26 October 2023 (UTC)
One week early. Had to check, as it was identical (at one end or other, but an adjacent weekend at the other end or one) back when it mattered to me; might have changed in 2007.
Last Sunday in October here (will change in about 24 hours from posting this, for me), first Sunday in November for US. So that's a week at each end, and approx 2 minutes difference on the average Randall'd have to use on his next visit. 00:10, 28 October 2023 (UTC)

Major health[edit]

> "has been found to cause major health problems"

Citation needed.

One reported factoid: "..a group of U.S. researchers ...determined that heart attack risk jumped 24 percent the Monday after switching over to daylight saving time. .....dropped 21 percent on the Tuesday after the fall time change." https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/10/26/can-daylight-saving-time-hurt-the-heart-prepare-now-for-spring 24% in fall, 21% in spring, suggests 3% net, which is more likely margin-of-error than major-problem.

"has been suggested" or "controversial" but not "has been found".

So it basically evens out? 18:26, 25 October 2023 (UTC)
Your link doesn't work. Also, does it means the heart attack risk is worse whole half year? -- Hkmaly (talk) 21:18, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

Wikipedia's article cites this National Geographic article someone, i guess (talk) 20:35, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

Personal Inclination[edit]

I haven't changed clocks for DST in years. That system is garbage; it doesn't even fall on obvious days. When someone says a clock is off, shrug & say "That's debateable. This one's right year-round, how often do you have to set yours?" ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:36, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

Huh? So you're an hour late or early for half the year? 21:29, 25 October 2023 (UTC)
What would be "obvious days"? The equinoces, I suppose would be the astronomical absolutes, but they vary by several (calendar) days, and does this mean that clocks change at their hour, minute and second, regardless of whether in the middle of a week and workday..? Also, the benefit (or otherwise) of any given date changes by latitude. And on what sleep cycles (early mornings or late evenings) any given person has. Equinox-nailed switchovers (or even tied to month-endings, say March 31st 24:00 to September 30th 24:00) just don't help much more (maybe less) than current versions. Heck, it's arbitrary, as might be many other choices, but it seems to keep disruption to the minimum (during changeover), and if the redistribution of hours isn't to your liking (a farmer may get up at/before dawn every day, regardless of what pesky clocks say, 'cos animals and crops don't 'adjust' by our method) then that's up to you. But I bet some things will change around you and you at least need to mentally adjust to what time everyone around you decides it is. 23:58, 25 October 2023 (UTC)
Clock time is itself arbitrary. Why 12 hours twice instead of, say, 10 hours for one cycle per solar day? The answer boils down to "In ancient times, it was easy to divide 12 into fractions in your head. Also, counting hours at night was harder (no sundials) and less important (because pre-electricity, most people just slept)." Nitpicking (talk) 03:28, 26 October 2023 (UTC)
Easy in modern times, too, since 12, 24, and 60 are highly composite numbers and 10 can't even divide into thirds or quarters… ~AgentMuffin 04:25, 26 October 2023 (UTC)
You can thank the Babylonians and their base 60 number system for both modern time divisions AND the system of degrees. It's been argued (not sure if proven) that the reason for that was exactly as agent muffin said: It's highly divisible to common fractions of 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, and 1/6, which coordinates well with regular polygons up to the largest that tiles a plane. Personally I think it came about the other way around (multiples of 3/4/5) but semantically it's the same - 20:51, 26 October 2023 (UTC)
I also haven't changed most of my clocks for DST in years. Most of them change themselves; my digital watch, kitchen wall clock and living room mantelpiece clock are radio-controlled, while my computers and iPad use NTP. Even my central heating system adjusts itself, but it doesn't use an external time source, so while it needs manual adjustment, it's not for DST. That just leaves my car, my oven and my telephone, none of which use an external time source so need regular adjustments anyway (or they would if I actually used them to tell the time). -- 10:27, 27 October 2023 (UTC)
In fact, I forget that the clocks went back today, but fortunately it was mentioned on the radio, otherwise it I probably wouldn't have noticed until the next time I used my car. -- 11:09, 29 October 2023 (UTC)

A bit of a seasonal puff-piece 'news article', perhaps, but a brief BBC item about the upcoming change might appeal to those reading this. And at least it isn't about death and destruction in Ukraine, Israel/Gaza or Maine (or Musk calling people racists)... 01:39, 28 October 2023 (UTC)

Why don't we just get one time for everyone worldwide that stays the same all year? I, for one, wouldn't care if noon was at 4:17 instead of 12:00! Even at the risk that mathematicians and astronomers will hate me for the following sentence: get real, damn it, it's just numbers! PaulEberhardt 17:62, 32 October 2023 (according to my watch)

Well, that's just UTC (or UT1/close equivalents). Though I can think of a different system we could use... 20:35, 28 October 2023 (UTC)
No, not UTC... Paul means when it's noon here in the Eastern part of North America, it's noon in California, noon in the UK, noon in Europe, noon in Japan, noon in Australia, etc. And I must say, not a bad idea. WHY does "noon"/12PM have to be the time that the sun reaches its peak? Who cares? THIS way you say a time, everybody in the world knows what time it is, no timezone conversion, no accounting for DST, super clear. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:16, 29 October 2023 (UTC)
Paul doesn't explicitly suggest that worldwide-Noon should be the astronomical noon anywhere in particular, let alone Eastern NA. Just 'somewhere'. Now, obviously it'd be most logical to choose somewhere significant... Maybe Washington time (because of Americocentricism) or Beijing (well, they've got the experience putting loads of people into one 'wide' timezone), or Delhi (now have pipped China over the issue of "most population covered", or Moscow (geographically most contiguously wide-spread, though even internally they'd alreadu have more anomolies than China has now), or... well, since London beat Paris in the battle to being the Prime Meridian for the world then obviously it'd be GMT or UTC/UT0/UT1/UT1R/UT2 (take your pick, according to what you value most about the 'standard'). Or maybe you'd prefer Kathmandu (UTC+05:45... because... why stick to whole-hour offsets?). 18:30, 29 October 2023 (UTC)

One time worldwide is a pants idea. Not because some people would be going to bed at 9 a.m., that's quite OK. But because when you pass through midnight, the date changes, as does the day of the week. You're working away merrily during (your) mid-morning on Friday 1st of Umptober, when suddenly midnight arrives and from now on you are on Saturday 2nd. Oops, it's now weekend! MalcolmStory21 (talk) 19:52, 29 October 2023 (UTC)

If that's a problem (doesn't sound like it necessarily need be), it's balanced by having the early morning off (the weekend) and then it becoming Monday 4th and business as usual again.
But all it needs is for some soft of 'shiftworld' (like the scenario in Dayworld, but spread around/overlapping around the day, not around/separate across the week), where there's a 24/7 (or at least a 24/5) economy 'serviced' by whoever wishes to be awake during whatever hours suit them (by actual daylight) or find expedient on a supply-and-demand basis. Currently, businesses open roughly aligned to daylight hours (to varying degrees) and they still could, just with workers not doing a "9-to-5" job but perhaps a "3-to-11" or "12-to-8" or whatever. If it's a remotely-workable service industry, then you will (as you can now) be serviced by someone working half a world away in inconvenient hours that are convenient for you (or convenient hours that cover times that would be otherwise inconvenient to those local to you).
If you actually need something like a post-midnight hairdresser (because that's the only time your particular work commitments let you fight back against such interminable perils of growing head-hair), it doesn't matter whether that's 'real' midnight or 'global' midnight because at least one guy/gal with the scissors should be able to mesh accordingly with your own schedule in a way that a current daytime-stylist might not at all be easily available for a current daytime-officeworker unless they're a weekend worker (and you are not), you can get a few hours off work or they're equipped to visit you at your desk.
By being 'tied' to a global time, it just allows (with the right basic employment incentives and protections, naturally; which are obviously lacking in many situations right now, so would also constitute an improvement) a degree of flexibility that blindly subscribing to your local time really doesn't.
...well, we're surely already talking about a conceptual world in which such massive reorganisation is even possible. Going the extra few steps to make it work isn't that much more of a stretch, I'm thinking. 22:49, 29 October 2023 (UTC)
I'm sure he just picked "noon" as an easy time to pick on, obviously noon everywhere means 1pm is 1pm everywhere as well, 2pm is 2pm, etc. Also, living in North America myself, I find "America-centric" seems to be Eastern time/New York City/Miami, not Western like the state of Washington (of course, you might mean the TOWN of Washington, D.C., which I think is indeed Eastern, LOL! Might explain why the America-centricity of the time zone, I never thought of that. I find it ridiculous that they have two Washingtons like that). I didn't go so far as figuring WHAT time zone should win (and the "4:17" makes me feel he didn't either), but it seems like there'd be no other choice than Greenwich Mean Time, as being the current time zone baseline. I DID/we did forget the midnight/date change aspect, that is of course what makes this all fairly necessary. Oh, and I avoid multiple paragraphs on here because of stuff like what you did: You forgot to indent your second paragraph, so they looked like separate comments, I was about to reply to only the first when I spotted what happened. I fixed it, I updated all the indents. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:30, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
I put the indents back to where they should be, for the conversation (and adjusted yours). I had a look and, as far as I can see from the relevent page-diff, the only error was someone adding two unrelated comments, in different bits, but only signing the one. The comment after the unsigned one (browse "next"ward for it, on that link) was a properly-signed 'virgin unindented' comment by someone else (or when they logged in), justifiably without indentation. The (long) reply to that was indented in relation to it.
For clarification, I duplicated the inserted signature onto the other half. It now reads as it always should have done (but better). (Added an extra line-break in there, too, just because.)
Yes, multiple paragraphs can (as has been shown) get mixed up with multiple (unsigning) contributors. But if such errors aren't made, breaking a lot of text into smaller paragraphs should be easier to read. Once you get past the issue that there's perhaps a godawful lot of text, naturally. And nothing can help resolve "too much text". Except {{cot}} and {{cob}}, maybe..? 17:39, 19 November 2023 (UTC)