Universal Geometric Time

Sun 04 November 2007

Alan Zeichick struck a nerve by calling BS on the premise that Daylight Savings Time saves money. Personally, I dislike DST because during the Summer (or, at this point, non-Winter) Hawai'i is 3 hours behind the West Coast, while during the Winter we're an hour closer and I can begin work at 7 AM, not 6. (Fun fact: It's plenty damn dark at 5:30 in the morning in the Winter, even in Hawai'i. Not cold, but dark.)

The solution, it is clear, is Universal Geometric Time: Universal time adjusted for your exact longitude (as measured by GPS). For instance, if I were to follow what The Man says, at 8:00 AM Hawai'ian, it's 6:00PM Universal. However, I insist that at 6:00PM Universal, it's 7:37:06 AM (when I'm at home. If I happen to be breakfasting at Java on the Rock, watching the dolphin pod come in from their night's hunting, that same moment would be 7:37:05).

It's true that adjusting to Universal Geometric Time requires some getting used to. Anytime I spend more than an hour at a place, I adjust my watch and manually set my cell phone. Plus, of course, I have to be prepared to deal with people using standard time, so I have additional calculators running on my PDA. It's all quite burdensome, but ultimately it's a small price to pay for rationality.

There may be trouble, though. While eating in a food court in Waimea  court not long ago, I spread my gear out (since I was sitting down for a meal). I tend to eat alone more since my "friends" have proved resistant to rendezvousing at properly specified times.

I admit that the sight of me blazing the way towards the future makes for a singular sight: GPS, PDA, cell phone, watch, cables, backup batteries, etc. Anyway, I was approached by a woman who turned out to be an astronomer for Keck. Exactly the sort of person who would understand, I thought and gave a quick overview of UGT (I had to break out my laptop, on which I carry an explanatory PowerPoint).

Well.

I don't know who this "sidereal" fellow is, but I can assure you that he has no place in Universal Geometric Time.

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