Thursday, 25 March 2010

Changing clocks

I just made the mistake of walking in to the front room and they are discussing changing clocks on TV. i.e. make UK UTC+1, and UTC+2 in summer.

WTF?!?!? For a start, we defined time. Greenwich defined it. WTF would we want to do to change that definition. Are they saying the Greenwich observatory was wrong?

But then they are going on about benefit to farmers. What the hell?? OK, If you work in an office and have to be there 9am and leave 5pm (local UK time), then changing clocks would affect the daylight you see going to and from work at some times of year. But why on earth would a farmer work on a clock and not on reality. If working when it is light is beneficial, work when light FFS, not by the clock. What does it matter what number is on the clock for a farmer working on his farm. Like animals or crops care what we call a time of day?

If there is real concern (as they claim on this program) is over the "evening rush hour being in the dark causing accidents" then encourage more flexible working to spread out and make earlier rush hour.

The claim was "it could save 100 lives a year". Really? I bet more people die from cucumber related incidents than that! Lets inconvenience millions of people to save 100 lives a year. Oh, and lets not forget that you can be sure that changing the morning rush hour will have some detrimental effect as well.

As if "summer time" is not bad enough in the first place.

I mean, why not go the whole hog and make UK local time start at local sunrise = 8am all year round, just for fun.

Arrrrrrrrrrg!

12 comments:

  1. Here in Scotland, you'd have to do something like +3 or more hours to get evening rush hour to not be in the dark in winter. By this time of year, it's already daylight before morning rush hour and well after evening rush hour. The whole idea is quite pointless.

    For some years now I've been happily running on GMT all year round with not the slightest problem.

    It's even quite funny to see the problems DST creates, anyone getting meeting requests from a recent MS Exchange server will know what I mean :)

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  2. Oh yes... You stick to those, saying specifically "GMT" and people moan you are an hour late!

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  3. I still like the idea of shifting everything to seconds-since-the-epoch.

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  4. There was a poultry farmer on BBC Breakfast this morning claiming it would mean less sleep for his hens. WTF! Since when can chickens tell the time?

    It also seemed apparent that some people think the changes will somehow affect the length of daylight.

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  5. I would venture to suggest that if making the rush hour happen in daylight saves 100 lives, the problem has more to do with a lack of driving skills than the time of day.

    Mind you, government has always being about solving the causes of a problem rather than the problem itself.

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  6. The government usually just pulls out the old excuse of 'for the farmers', which was perfectly valid 60 years ago. Nowadays when it gets dark, farmers tend to just turn on the massive floodlights mounted to their tractors and carry on working.

    In addition, if it was for saving lives, yes we move the clocks back around about October and claw back a little bit of light in the mornings. Come November, it means going home in the pitch dark, and by the end of November your average office worker who doesn't leave the building during the day only gets to see daylight at the weekends.

    DST is complete horseapples, but it's what we've always done so noone wants to admit it's stupid and pointless.

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  7. I agree, but the "for the farmers" only ever made sense if the farmers tended to their farm based on the time of day on the clock rather than the sun being up, which seems a tad unlikely anyway. As you say, with lights being available now, even that is bogus.

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  8. The latest wheeze is 'saving the planet'. Apparently because moving the clocks means more daylight in the evenings this is environmentally good because people don't put their lights on.

    Of course this completely misses the fact that it's now dark in the mornings so people put their lights on then instead.. :p

    Tim Yeo is having another rant about wanting us on CET as well (but he doesn't call it that, because he's too chicken to publically stand up and say he wants us to use european time).

    TBH if we're going to arse about with the time CET is actually not such a bad idea - but surely it's much better to stick with GMT.

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  9. My modest time proposal is to just shift us all to GMT+11 (worldwide), and adjust local office hours, shopping hours etc to suit. Strangely, people don't seem to want to do this...

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  10. Many people forget (or just don't know) that prior to 1940 most of Western Europe (France, Spain etc.) were on GMT.

    This was a completely political decision.

    I doubt French farmers were consulted or had any opportunity to protest.

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  11. Sigh,

    It gets tiresome explaining this. Its really not that hard for anyone who has the slightest grasp of a supply chain

    The Farmer keeps his cows in a certain routine , dictated to some extent by daylight hours. They get milked according to that internal clock. The milk then gets collected by Dairy Tanker to go to pasturizing plant then supermarket on a delivery schedule.
    So you would prefer that instead for your convenience they dont get to change the time , so dairy tanker has to reschedule , staff at facility for pasturizing reschedule. Delivery to supermarket driver reschedules, as do the staff that work in the supermarket to accomodate the new time, so do the bus drivers that get them to work. And all the other delivery drivers that drop off at said supermarket (nowadays likely round the clock, and everyone involved in the production of that good etc etc etc.

    Its easy to forget what a complicated process is actually involved in getting calories into our faces so we can moan about some trivial IT issue or inconvenience at getting up.

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  12. It does indeed get tiresome - it does not matter what you call the time. If people want to work around daylight they can do so. There is no need to faff about changing a perfectly good system for telling the time twice a year.

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