The other day, as distracted as I am, I had to reprint, re-sign and resend all my forms.
I had to write the date in numbers.
Well september sound like seven/septus (in latin) thus it is 07 wrong it is 09. Every time I get caught.
What is this mess?
Days of the weeks are supposed to be the 7 observable planets (at the time the convention were set) of the solar system (used in astrology, a sign of scientific seriousness).
Some months are 31 days because some emperor wanted to be remembered as "as great (august) than other's" (julius).
It is not beginning on the shortest day of the year, else it would be a pagan fest discrediting the roman catholic empire. But it must have began in march once in the past (thus sept 7 ...december 10).
It is made of 12 solar month because of superstition that makes 13 a dangerous number...
And in computer coding it is a fucking mess.
Not to add the local timezone unreliable informations who are so versatile because of political conventions that makes it impossible to time stamp information in a real reliable way.
Why all of this?
We spend a non neglectable time and energy with dealing with this hell, while trying to promote progress; something that easily substantially improve our lives.
We can change protocols, language in a snap of fingers to accelerate speed of software execution, but one of the biggest burden for reliable data storage is still there under our nose. And we are blind; it is the date mess.
Let's face it: a change would be welcomed and cool with mostly benefits.
Dropping superstition and politics from our calendar would have more advantages. Here is my idea:
First I like solar calendar (a calendar that begins or ends when the distance to the sun is either the biggest or the smallest). The shortest day being the winter solstice on 21st of december. It used to be a "pagan" fest. But who cares, it is fun to have a feast when the worst of winter (or the best of summer) is at its best.
Then 365 = 364 + 1 = 13 x 28 + 1
Well, 13 months of 28 days :) it is coincidentally a lunar month, which in itself would make it an hybrid catholic/islamic compliant calendar.
When to add an extra day and where?
Well obvisouly when given a certain point the day the shortest officially is not the same as the one from the sun. Which day? Let's say that the world special day of every year is new year's eve, it could be nice to have also a day off on the longest day of the year to enjoy it on bissextile years. Or share the pleasure of enjoying new year's tradition with people from the other hemisphere in the same season :)
This calendar will help the kids make sense of the world.
Knowing that Janus was an old forgotten two faced god representing the present existence (one head looking to the past/memories the other to the future/projects) worshiped by a gone civilization won't help kid much more than learning of seasons and when and why it happens this way.
So I have a simple internationally translatable for naming.
Kids will learn day and math at the same time:
The first day of the week will be 0D or zero day then 1Day/Tag/Dias/whatever, then 2D ... . By convention to have given us the actual calendar latin representation of day could be D like the first letter for day in latin.
The second would be incremented by 1 and so long. Every culture could use whatever sound nice for day's name and try to relate them with numbers. It does not have to be said one, it could be mono, uno, ein, the day of whatever come by one.
This way, kids and people learning a new language learn basic numbering and week days at the same time...
I propose it begins like hours with 0 this way we have good algebraic rules for calculating and it makes day/time math consistent with each others. it begins with 0 like hours.
A work week is thus an interval [0 : 5]
the week day in 4 weeks + 5 days = d + 4 % 7
And NOW I could write my date in numerical format the same way I know
the day in the "usual way of saying", I don't have any more traps when I
want to know what is the day of the week in 16 days. I don't need
conversions ... I am happy to forget a load of useless tricky informations.
Any way, with my idea, we introduce math and knowing days of the week at same time in school.
Okay there is the case of the intercalar day that is special. For this one there will be rule, but now, at
least time calculus become as consistent as the metric system. And we can eradicate this Aristotelian stupidity that all should be periodic and harmonic in a science to be true.
We make them learn calculus in different bases (24/60/7/13/365) and a
tinge of introduction on the reality of the world (telling that days
don't make 24 hours because there is an epsilon of chaos in the real
world that don't match our first models, and that all periodicity don't
always match real numbers. So it is cool. It is a lot more information packed in a single convention.
We learn kids how to deal with inconvenient maths and how we human face with it. And learning compromise is cool.
Kids can be taught to watch the moon, the sun, the season, and every things makes sense.
You can introduce trigonometry with calculating hour of the day with the course of the sun. You can tell the story of how with a camel and a stick you can compute the earth radius...
You can relate the abstract universe and its vastness with our all days life. You can encompass a great deal of our civilizations' progress in simply changing the date conventions. Indian, Arabs, Europeans, Mogol, Chinese, Babylonians ... they all gave us something worth in the new calendar. It is not a calendar based on forgetting the past, but at the opposite it is the topmost conservative calendar. It will more dense in knowledge and culture and values than ever. It becomes a compressed set of knowledge, easier to manipulate even for those without knowledge.
Sticking to date mess is not technical issue, but a civilization one: it is just us being cavemen hitting on our keyboards respecting weird divinities of the past in superstition. Superstition, even disguise in the technical words of cargo cult science is still superstition. Blindness based on spending billions on software bugs due to stupid convention seems less efficient than fixing the real world. It would improve our lives even out of computer world.
But I still write software to makes thing easy for people that want a progress that makes their life easier and not wishing to change what gives us trouble in the first place: not computer or math, just stupid conventions..
Practical sense and lazyness are pretty much the 2 main qualities of humanity I would like a system to make us share. Not a strongly superstitious anachronic history loaded artifact that screws my every day life. So that's my propposal for a better world.