Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Unix Technology

Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age 224

Posted by timothy
from the might-not-last-a-whole-week dept.
First time accepted submitter chimeraha (3594169) writes "Synchronized with the northern winter solstice and the UNIX Epoch, the terran computational calendar contains 13 identical months of 28 days each in addition to a short Month Zero containing only new year's day and a single leap year day every four years (with the exception of every 128 years). The beginning of this zero-based numbering calendar, denoted as 0.0.0.0.0.0 TC, is on the solstice, exactly 10 days before the UNIX Epoch (effectively, December 22nd, 1969 00:00:00 UTC in the Gregorian Calendar). It's "terran" inception and unit durations reflect the human biological clock and align with astronomical cycles and epochs. Its "computational" notation, start date, and algorithm are tailored towards the mathematicians & scientists tasked with calendrical programming and precise time calculation.

There's a lot more information at terrancalendar.com including a date conversion form and a handfull of code-snipits & apps for implementing the terran computational calendar."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

Comments Filter:
  • Um no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:05PM (#46595039)
    We can't even get people to agree on daylight savings time. This will never happen. Anyone using this probably is going to type an angry reply on their DVORAK keyboard from a location directly in the center of their own little fake reality.
    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      I want to redefine the second and do away with the awkward 24/60/60 nonsense that is time. 10 hour days, 100 minute hours and 100 second minutes for a total of 100,000 seconds in a day.

      Also the US needs to kill AM/PM, its simply unnecessary and redundant.

      • Re:Um no (Score:5, Interesting)

        by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:21PM (#46595187) Homepage Journal

        We can't even get our damned weights and measures base 10.

        • Re:Um no (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Aighearach (97333) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:59PM (#46595639) Homepage

          Yeah, but luckily when it comes to calendars we can be saved by people that implement 13 equal months with 14 unequal months that are claimed to be 13, except when you have to talk about the 14th, which they think they can hide by numbering it 0.

          • Yeah, but luckily when it comes to calendars we can be saved by people that implement 13 equal months with 14 unequal months that are claimed to be 13, except when you have to talk about the 14th, which they think they can hide by numbering it 0.

            Yes, exactly! Every four years I always celebrate that special month called FebruArch, which falls on one day between February and March. Most of those idiots in the world think they can hide the 13th true month, but we of the secret Bissextile Society know there aren't really 12 months in the Gregorian calendar. Obviously there are 13 months, but those calendar people in charge don't want to talk about it. [/sarcasm]

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        AM/PM redundant? Have you ever seen a 24-hour analog wall clock?

      • I don't think they're very concerned with easily-divisible numbers—4*7-day months and 13-month years! At least the crazy Soviet calendar reform [wikipedia.org] from the thirties prioritized getting rid of 7-day weeks.
        • by Gryle (933382)
          I, for one, am in favor of an 8-day week; a 5-day work week, followed by a 3-day weekend. I doubt it will ever catch on (too much downtime between work-weeks, the business gods will not stand for it!), but hey, a guy can dream.
        • by lennier (44736)

          I don't think they're very concerned with easily-divisible numbers—4*7-day months and 13-month years!

          13 months is a little annoying, yes; you have to split the months on week boundaries to make quarters. But we actually do have 13 lunar cycles in a year, so this naturally aligns the months with the real moon. And we keep 7 day weeks, which is a win both because we're used to our week, and because 7 days is a natural quarter-moon. And no more "30 days hath December..."

          Thing is, a workable Earth calendar never is going to be evenly divisible by powers of 10, because it has to stay aligned with astronomical c

      • Re:Um no (Score:4, Insightful)

        by invid (163714) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:40PM (#46596067) Homepage
        I want to do away with this base 10 nonsense and institute a base 12 numbering system. Try evenly dividing your primitive base 10 system into thirds!
        • by Thud457 (234763)
          pshaw!
          Try dividing something into equal fifths in your base 12.
          Any rational being will use a number base based upon the product of prime numbers 6, 30, 210, or someuch, Babylonians be damned.

          Or you could just use e as a base and get on with real work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by careysub (976506)

        I want to redefine the second and do away with the awkward 24/60/60 nonsense that is time. 10 hour days, 100 minute hours and 100 second minutes for a total of 100,000 seconds in a day.

        Also the US needs to kill AM/PM, its simply unnecessary and redundant.

        Good luck with that. The division of the day into 24 hours originates in Egypt 130 BC years ago, and was adopted in China by 900 AD so that this is a shared ancient system of time measurement in both West and East. The division of the day into twelve "double hours" is even more ancient in both places originating by the Ur III period of Sumerian civilization (2100 BC).

        The division of hours into minutes and seconds uses the sexigisimal number system was also invented by Sumerians and used by them for angular

      • So you want the sun to rise at 2:50 in the morning to be over your head at noon at 5:00 and to settle at night at 7:50 ...
        What is the point of that?
        You defend your inches and your feet to the blood, because they are so easy divideable *cough*
        Now you want to switch from 24 hours to 10 ... to 20 I had understood, but to 10?
        So most movies will be 0:75 hours long?

        You even want to change the second?

        Good luck with that ... redifining every existing physic/scientific formular involving 'seconds' will be interestin

      • by boristdog (133725)

        NO.

        Potrzebie is the ONLY sensible system.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by oodaloop (1229816)

      We can't even get people to agree on daylight savings time.

      I assume you mean Daylight Saving Time [wikipedia.org]. Singular.

    • Never mind that the Indian & Islamic worlds each have their own Calender! Pol Pot anyone?
      • by Aighearach (97333)

        My wife is Thai, and thinks using the Buddhist calendar. So 2014 is 2557.
        But Thais use a modified version that is otherwise a renumbered Gregorian, so at least the New Years Day on the calendar is the same, even if the party is in April.

        There are still lots of calendars in the world.

    • by jythie (914043)
      I agree it is highly unlikely, but calendars have been switched before, though there was a lot less time keeping done then. I guess there is an off chance that it could find some niche in scientific or military uses and then bleed into the general population, but yeah, that does not seem likely either.

      Still, I imagine the people who came up with it had a lot of fun in the process.
      • by jonbryce (703250)

        All the calendars I've looked at seem to agree that there should be 12 months in a year of approximately equal length, and apart from the Muslim calendar, a year is approximately the length of time it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun and the Muslim calendar is only about 11 days shorter than that.

    • by erichill (583191)
      The angry reply will be in Esperanto.
    • by ultranova (717540)

      Anyone using this probably is going to type an angry reply on their DVORAK keyboard from a location directly in the center of their own little fake reality.

      But unlike DVORAK, there's not even a theoretical basis here: the whole point of Information Age is that computers do data conversions of arbitrary complexity, so why would everyone need to be on the same calendar? You write the timestamp on whatever format you prefer and I read it on whatever I prefer.

      Besides, the whole need to keep everyone on the sam

  • by RobinH (124750) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:08PM (#46595055) Homepage
    I thought this was called the Human Calendar [amazon.com].
  • Oh great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smithmc (451373) * on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:09PM (#46595065) Journal
    So now every software developer will have another calendar to have to convert back and forth between...
    • by Cenan (1892902) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:11PM (#46595083)

      Fail to convert back and forth between...

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        Great Scott! I've discovered tithe way to travel to the future!

      • It's flawed from the first second.

        Really...

        1969 is before the fractional second correction at the end of 1971, so the moment you try to convert, you're off.
        How far are you? I don't know, because they also changed the definition of a second, so you don't get the same time if you count seconds up from 1969 than if you count down from 1970 or 1972...

    • by pr0t0 (216378)

      To be fair, a calendar like this probably would simplify date-based calculations.

  • Might make sense to start the year at Earth's perihelion, and hence reference it to the orbit, and not to the axial tilt.

    Perihelion is, coincidentally, also very close to when the current year starts (Jan 4, this year).

    • by xfade551 (2627499)
      The actual perihelion point isn't a good choice because the earth wobbles a bit in it's orbit due both the gravitation of the other planets and especially our own moon, making for slightly inconsistent times between perihelions.
  • by Garridan (597129) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:12PM (#46595095)

    What the hell guys, if you're going to try and design something to replaced an entrenched convention, you might as well go whole hog. Oh wait, no, I know... their website isn't in Esperanto because such projects always fail.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:18PM (#46595151) Homepage

    Are we going to have to use Swatch Time [swatch.com] with this calendar?

    All kidding aside, they mention:

    MINUTES, SECONDS, & FRACTIONS OF A SECOND
    Both minutes and seconds have a range from 0 to 59. If including a fraction of a second, write it as a decimal at the end: 41.13.27.23.59.59.999 TC .

    ... so no handling of leap seconds. I know some people would be happy about this, but if you're not going to care about solar noon, why deal with leap days and such, too?

    (and for those who complain that UTC shouldn't have leap seconds ... I say go and use TAI or GPS, but don't change UTC because you don't want to deal with the complexity)

  • by rk (6314)

    Standards [xkcd.com]

  • Sabbath (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kurisuto (165784) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:20PM (#46595181) Homepage

    There have been various alternative calendars proposed, and some of them have the property that there's a special day in the yearly calendar which doesn't count as part of the regular seven-day-per-week cycle (such as the "month zero" proposed here).

    A significant objection is that some religions require that every seventh day be kept as a holy day. If the calendar contains a day which isn't part of the regular week, then there are sometimes more than seven days between one weekly holy day and the next.

    It's not a consideration for me personally. However, I'm sure that this feature would lead to significant resistance to the adoption of such a calendar.

    • by LostOne (51301)

      I don't know which FA you read, but I saw nothing that suggested that this calendar had anything to say about days of the week. In fact, one part of TFA specifically mentions that it does not start on the same day of the week every year which obviously means that month zero counts in the day of the week progression.

    • People should switch to metric religion. The sabbaths are every ten days, there are ten super-holy days per year (each with one special rite and ten minor cultural flavorings) which are always guaranteed to never also land on a sabbath so you get an extra day off from work, there are ten gods, the tenth son of a tenth son gets a magic power (among a choice of ten possibe powers, and balanced by one of ten disadvantages), each priest gets immunity from prosecution for one of ten different crimes (yes, rape

  • Will I still get cake on my birthday?
  • They want his calendaring system back.

  • The conversion to this system would make all the Y2K mitigation costs seem like peanuts. Oh yeah, and a beer to go with the peanuts.

  • you realize that you were born BEFORE the epoch.

    • by Aighearach (97333)

      Wow, man, I knew you were older than water but I didn't realize you were older than time!

  • by jdavidb (449077) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @03:41PM (#46595429) Homepage Journal

    As far as calendars go, this is not a bad effort. I don't think I would personally use it, but I've seen (and created) far, far worse. It is very regular; the rules have few exceptions, and the exceptions are well-defined. There aren't too many decisions in it that stand out as glaringly unjustified or confusing, other than of course by definition, when you create a new calendar, the very decision to do so stands out as glaringly unjustified. :)

  • As long as the months are named after Jesus and the twelve disciples.
  • ... but I predict that the US will switch to SI units for everyday measurements before this new calendar is adopted. :)

  • /sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:05PM (#46595699)

    13 identical months of 28 days each

    365 is semiprime and neither of those factors is either 13 or 28.

    in addition to a short Month Zero containing only new year's day

    Epagomenal days wreak havoc on "monthly" billing cycles (see: Coptic calendar, Mayan calendar, et al.). This is why the Julian and Gregorian bissextile day is explicitly a part of February.

    and a single leap year day every four years (with the exception of every 128 years).

    The Gregorian calendar design explicitly rejected more precise intercalation cycles in favor of numbers that were easier to remember (i.e. more user friendly). Hell, the quadrennial bissextile cycle introduced by the Julian calendar got screwed up in Augustus Caesar's own lifetime. Never underestimate the need for simplicity.

    The beginning of this zero-based numbering calendar, denoted as 0.0.0.0.0.0 TC

    We can't even get all programming languages to start their arrays at 0. What makes you think it'll be easier for non-programmers to accept this?

    is on the solstice, exactly 10 days before the UNIX Epoch (effectively, December 22nd, 1969 00:00:00 UTC in the Gregorian Calendar).

    The solstice is an instant; the date it occurs on depends entirely on your meridian/time zone (e.g. the Chinese calendar explicitly specifies Beijing time). So "exactly ten days" is a meaningless descriptor.

    Besides, since you're adopting a quadrennial intercalation cycle, that instant will drift back about six hours every year, further screwing up your "exactness."

    Last but not least: the solstice is a fundamentally difficult astronomical phenomena to measure. The instant it occurs is somewhere in the window where the sun's north-south motion is too small to measure. Equinoxes have historically been measured with far greater precision.

    It's "terran" inception and unit durations reflect the human biological clock

    Then where the heck are your 28-day months coming from? The billions of people who live under a lunar or luni-solar calendar already know that the average synodic month is about 29.5 days, and that's the "month" that affects tides and human fertility cycles.

    and align with astronomical cycles and epochs.

    Really?

    • There is no integer number or integer ratio of days (mean solar or otherwise) in a tropical year
    • There is no integer number or integer ratio of days (mean solar or otherwise) in a synodic month
    • There is no integer number or integer ratio of months (synodic or otherwise) in a tropical year

    Days, months and years have nothing to do with each other; there is nothing to "align" to.

    Its "computational" notation, start date, and algorithm are tailored towards the mathematicians & scientists tasked with calendrical programming and precise time calculation.

    Days, months and years aren't SI units, and the one true SI unit of time has jack shit to do with any of them.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:11PM (#46595759) Homepage Journal

    We already have a calendar system "For the Information Age": the second counter. Actually, of course, we have a whole series of them, but they differ only in the zero "epoch" second, so translation between them is trivial. The most widely-used such counter is the unix/POSIX time() value, perhaps augmented with a decimal point and a fractional second value.

    This "calendar system" has a property that all the others lack: simple arithmetic operations work with it. And once you have the second for some event, there are library routines that can translate it to a human-readable form in any other calendar that you like.

    So feel free to invent other interesting calendars; we software types won't be offended. We'll just ask you to be very precise in how you define your calendar, so we can write the routines to produce your calendar from ours. Of course, we'll expect you to pay us for this unnecessary labor, but it only has to be done once for each calendar. And maybe one of your calendars can be the human-readable calendar that supplants the silly Christian calendar, relegating it to use in scheduling your religious holidays.

    Just don't ask us to use your calendar (or any other that's not a single number that can be used to any precision) inside our OSs or libraries. The "Information Age" needs a calendar system that works using ordinary real numbers, and aside from the question of when the zero was, we have that already.

    (Actually, there's also the slowly-growing problem of different clock speeds caused by relativistic effects, but that's probably a discussion for a much more technical forum than this one. ;-)

  • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:44PM (#46596101) Homepage Journal

    So, the months are 28 days long ...
    How many days is it from 0:00 at 28th of month one till 24:00 1st of month two?
    Wow it is not two days? Just because you idiot decided the first day is named ZERO?
    There is no 0st element in anything, there is a first, a last and an n'th and if you want your 'thing' may contain zero elements and be empty!
    There is no zero'th wheel on your car, nor is the first beer you drink in the evening your zero'th beer, it is the first ... try to get that.

  • You advocate a ________ approach to calendar reform. Your idea will not work. Here is why:

    Standard Reply Form for Your New Calendar System Idea [qntm.org]

  • by jlv (5619)

    I do remember reading a similar proposal in one of Isaac Asimov's non-fiction books.

    His proposal included having January 1 start on a Sunday. This meant there were 13 months each with a Friday the 13th. He considered this appropriate, as I recall.

  • by mspohr (589790) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:16PM (#46597295)

    The Ethiopian calendar has 12 months of 30 days plus a thirteenth month of five or six days (leap year every four years).
    Their national travel motto is "Thirteen months of sunshine".
    They also start their clock at (our) 6am which can be a bit confusing when making appointments to meet people (our 10am is their 4am).
    They also missed the Gregorian calendar correction so it's now 2006!
    From Wikipedia:
    Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopic or Ge'ez calendar has twelve months of exactly 30 days each plus five or six pagome days, which comprise a thirteenth month. The Ethiopian months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but their names are in Ge'ez. The sixth epagomenal day is added every four years without exception on August 29 of the Julian calendar, six months before the Julian leap day. Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1901 and 2099 (inclusive), is usually September 11 (Gregorian). It, however, falls on September 12 in years before the Gregorian leap year.

    The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2006, which began on September 11, 2013 AD of the Gregorian calendar.

  • ...that no one has even considered how this stacks-up to the Time Cube [wikipedia.org].
  • Here I was hoping this was going to be about a calendar system to replace davical + lightning, Outlook or Google Calendar.

    Not so, it seems...

  • I guess April Fools came early with the new calendar. Or is the timing of the announcement off?

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

Working...