Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Forward, Fall Back

Ozzy raised an interesting point on our other blog Geekology.

Ozzy’s article was about patching operating systems because Daylight Savings Time was ‘arriving’ early this year, but my views on DST aren’t as tech-based, so I decided to publish my thoughts here.

I suppose my viewpoint is “DST, why bother?”

The reasoning behind DST was sort of valid when it was first implemented. It was first suggested in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin as a way to utilize morning daylight and save money by using less candles at night. In England it was eventually implemented in 1916, and in America 1918.

However, how does this apply in todays world?

The truth is, DST was implemented in a world where daylight was absolutely necessary for us to function. We got up at sunrise and went to bed when the sun went down. We had no choice, we couldn’t work in the dark.

But, when you think about it, what difference does DST make in a 24 hour society? With electric lights, 24 hour business etc, does it matter if it’s dark outside? When you work in an office, in winter you tend to arrive and leave when it’s dark anyway.

The only real reason for DST anymore is for outside jobs that require daylight. The farmers and so on. But this brings me to the strangest and downright dumbest part of DST.

Which is more inconvenient for the population at large? Force everyone to adjust their schedule and sleep pattern by an hour twice a year, including people who have absolutely no need to? Or the farmers just getting out of bed an hour earlier in the winter?

“Hey guys, it gets darker earlier in the winter, so we’re going to be getting started at 5am rather than 6. Don’t worry about overtime or anything, because we’ll be knocking off an hour earlier as well.”

I say scrap DST. It’s useless and inconvenient.


MC Etcher said...

I'd say additional daylight helps many more people than farmers.

We all use less electricity during the day than at night, for one.

Take personal morale as a for instance - part of Seasonal Affective Disorder is not getting enough sunlight. You leave the house to go to work, it's dark and dreary - you come out of work, it's dark and dreary. That takes a toll on your psyche.

I know that when I get home, and it's still light enough to head out back for a game of frisbee with my good lady wife, it makes me happier.

Is the gripe about the inconvenience, or the very idea of DST itself? Would you have an issue with it if every single timepiece, computerized or otherwise, automatically updated with no effort on your part?

If automatic updates like that were in place, I'd be all for updating more often than just twice a year - how about once a month, to maximize our daylight hours?

manda said...

No I totally agree with you, I hate daylight savings. I lost a fucking hour and I've had to wake up at 7 am recently, and I go outside and I'm like WTF i should still be SLEEPING!!!!.. it's weird bc it feels like NIGHTTIME when i go to work in the AM

My gripe isn't about it being an inconvenience, I just don't see the point anymore.
And now I'm confused is my computer made before 2005 going to reset it self an hour ahead when the "real" daylight savings time is? So, even if daylight savings is still here, wtf was the point of making it earlier to fuck the world up (okay I know that's ethnocentric!! so....) or at least the us with the exception of arizona.