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Terran Computational Calendar Introduces Minimonths, Year Bases, and Datemods 209

Posted by timothy
from the on-a-night-just-like-tonight dept.
First time accepted submitter TC+0 (3672227) writes "Inspired by comments regarding its first incarnation, the Terran Computational Calendar's recent redefinition now includes dynamic support for 'leap duration', 'year bases', and 'datemods'. Here's the new abstract from terrancalendar.com (wikia mirror) captured at 44.5.20,6.26.48 TC+7H:

Synchronized with the northern winter solstice, the terran computational calendar began roughly* 10 days before the UNIX Epoch. Each year is composed of 13 identical 28-day months, followed by a 'minimonth' that houses leap days (one most years and two every 4th but not 128th year) and leap seconds (issued by the IERS during that year). Each date is an unambiguous instant in time that exploits zero-based numbering and a handful of delimiters to represent the number of years and constant length months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds that have elapsed since 0TC (the calendar's starting point). An optional 'year base' may be applied to ignore erratic leap duration. Arithmetic date adjusting 'datemods' can be applied to define things like weeks, quarters, and regional times."
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Terran Computational Calendar Introduces Minimonths, Year Bases, and Datemods

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  • Umm .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday May 30, 2014 @08:42PM (#47133407) Homepage

    OK, sure, you're invented your own calendar. I'm sure it's awesome.

    But nobody will use it.

    But, hey, some people speak Klingon at parties in the hopes it will impress their friends.

    Seriously, do you expect people to use this? Or is it purely an intellectual exercise?

    I'm afraid I don't see the point.

    • The state of timekeeping is...not pretty... at present, so an improvement would be nice; but it's somewhat hard to argue for something really radical when you could file down some of the really pointy bits by just keeping the deterministic parts of the current time/date setup, and ignoring leap seconds(which will eventually become an issue; but that'll take a least a couple of centuries, so it will be somebody else's problem.) UTC sucks, TIA FTW!
      • Re:Umm .... (Score:5, Funny)

        by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Friday May 30, 2014 @09:10PM (#47133571) Homepage Journal
        It's simple; you just need to change the motions of the heavenly bodies so that Earth orbits the sun exactly 13 times per year, the Earth rotates exactly 28 times per month, and the Moon orbits the Earth exactly once per month. If you can arrange that, I'll gladly switch to your new calendar.
        • If we wait long enough, the earth will eventually tide-lock to the moon anyway. That'd help.

      • By default, the Terran Computational Calendar accounts for IERS issued leap seconds. But, Leap seconds can actually be ignored by applying a year base of 0. Therefore, the following two dates are the same instant in time: 44-05-20 22:16:41 TC [terrancalendar.com] (includes leap seconds), 44-05-20 22:17:06 TC0 [terrancalendar.com] (excludes all leap seconds)
        • by dnavid (2842431) on Friday May 30, 2014 @09:50PM (#47133739)

          By default, the Terran Computational Calendar accounts for IERS issued leap seconds. But, Leap seconds can actually be ignored by applying a year base of 0. Therefore, the following two dates are the same instant in time: 44-05-20 22:16:41 TC [terrancalendar.com] (includes leap seconds), 44-05-20 22:17:06 TC0 [terrancalendar.com] (excludes all leap seconds)

          And if you use Steven Wright's calendar, you can ignore sevens.

        • what, exactly? Calendars are synthetic tools used to synchronize human activity. That is their one and only value. They do not exist in nature; nature synchronizes with itself without our intervention.

          But we need a shared, common way to refer to particular dates in time so that we can refer to records and events retrospectively and arrange for future events prospectively—together, in a coordinated fashion.

          So your proposal replaces one time measurement system on which everyone is more or less on the sa

      • by Greyfox (87712)
        It's not pretty because it evolved from an astronomical model. When timekeeping was being invented, we weren't entirely aware that's what we were modeling. This shit goes back thousands of years (Stonehenge, bitches!) and is organized that way for a reason. Like clockwork people come around and decide that the current system isn't elegant and should be redesigned. Inevitably their new design is shit and doesn't take into account all the stuff the current system does. This happens so regularly I'm thinking o
        • It's not pretty because it evolved from an astronomical model. When timekeeping was being invented, we weren't entirely aware that's what we were modeling.

          Um... no. We knew exactly what we were modelling - the apparent motion of the heavenly bodies.

          • by Greyfox (87712)
            True, but all our timekeeping math works great if you're thinking in angles and degrees, and a lot of it came about long before geometry was invented or anyone realized that the earth was round and went around the sun. Time makes a lot more sense if you realize that and think Pi instead of nice round numbers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Our sysadmin proudly showed off his latest scripts to log system and network load balances. Only problem, a single typing mistake made them use ddate instead of date, which made for interesting logs:

      Date: Today is Sweetmorn, the 5th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3180
      Celebrate Syaday

    • This is what people probably said to Gene Roddenberry: "OK sure you invented a language for the fictional race of people in your fictional TV show. I'm sure it's awesome. But nobody will use it."

      1. Some people will use it and like it.

      2. Widespread adoption is not the only redeeming quality a creative endeavor can have.

      Seriously, do you expect people to use this? Or is it purely an intellectual exercise?

      3. You're probably one of those people that doesn't get the point of philosophy also.

      I'm afraid I don't see the point.

      4. Then don't use it.

      • Re:Umm .... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Friday May 30, 2014 @09:58PM (#47133771) Homepage

        1. Some people will use it and like it.

        Sure, but let's be honest ... it's like speaking Klingon. It's cool, and maybe a fun intellectual exercise, but in the grand scheme of things more of a hobby than anything.

        2. Widespread adoption is not the only redeeming quality a creative endeavor can have.

        Sure, I get that ... but I'm desperately trying to see the point. It's like building a framework for building calendars. OK, does this come up much? (Hell, maybe it has applications in converting between calendars for all I know)

        3. You're probably one of those people that doesn't get the point of philosophy also.

        Now you're just being an ass. I may be a cynical old man, but I'm a well read cynical old man.

        4. Then don't use it.

        Oddly enough, not a problem.

        That doesn't change the fact that the practical applications of this, on the surface at least, seem rather limited.

        Feel free to use it. Have your own secret handshake with the 12 other guys who will. You can have annual conventions and everything. :-P

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TC+0 (3672227)
          One of the practical applications is for realtime proactive dating purposes. By default, the Terran Computational Calendar accounts for IERS issued leap seconds. But, by appending a ' year base [terrancalendar.com]', only leap seconds before that year will be accounted for.
          So say a little over 10 years ago at 34TC [terrancalendar.com] you wanted to schedule a task for EXACTLY 10 years in the future, you can write that date as 44TC34 [terrancalendar.com] and not have to worry about the 3 additional leap seconds that have occured during that time.

          Another nice thing
          • Another nice thing about the calendar is that it's easy to calculate the amount of time that occured since the beginning of the year. So basically 44.5.20,19.40.4 TC [terrancalendar.com] means that 5*(28*24*60*60)+20*(24*60*60)+19*(60*60)+40*(60)+4 = 13894804 seconds have past since the beginning of the year.

            Is that really the case you want to optimize for?

            • by TC+0 (3672227)
              Just in case you didn't realize it for some reason or other, when I wrote: 5*(28*24*60*60)+20*(24*60*60)+19*(60*60)+40*(60)+4 = 13894804
              (28*24*60*60) = 1 month
              (24*60*60) = 1 day
              (60*60) = 1 hour
              (60) = 1 minute
              This is easy to remember and makes sense, right?
        • Re:Umm .... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Friday May 30, 2014 @11:57PM (#47134087)

          Every novel idea was once just some crazy man's dream.

          What I don't see the point of is not just announcing you don't see the point, but returning to defend your lack of insight.

          It's obviously easier to calculate date offsets, and the consistent zero based counting reduces the chances of having the idiocy of JavaScript's zero based month. If you wanted to see a point, its right there.

          At some time in the future, we will replace the irregular system we have now, with something reasonable. Like metric. And there will be holdouts who refuse to change.

          But what gets adopted does so because people use it, and people use it because it makes sense. First to one, then two, and then People magazine.

          Of course it could be some crazy asshole's stupid idea, in which case you could just ask the crazy asshole, or read his web page, and learn the point.

          To dismiss the idea, and actively avoid the point, while announcing your ignorance is a waste of typing. Especially while claiming to be well read. I guess that just stopped before this summary hit the front page?

          I don't see this changing anything, and it is statistically unlikely to be the next timekeeping solution, so I'm not defending its worth nor utility. But butting into a conversation with, "I really don't see the point" is just the kind of smarmy, closed minded nonsense that gets your opinion discarded. No need to thank me for reminding you.

          • by Mantrid42 (972953)

            It's obviously easier to calculate date offsets, and the consistent zero based counting reduces the chances of having the idiocy of JavaScript's zero based month. If you wanted to see a point, its right there.

            At some time in the future, we will replace the irregular system we have now, with something reasonable. Like metric.

            It didn't work during the French Revolution, and it won't work now.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            Many systems have already adopted metric time. Time is stored as the seconds since some epoch, with decimal fractions.

      • There's a video somewhere where a guy talks about teaching his infant son to speak Klingon. The kid loved it up until about the age of three, then suddenly the kid no longer wanted to "talk klingon". The guy himself explains why - it was no use to the child because there were so many everyday things that had no Klingon name, like fridge, lollies, bath, etc. The exact opposite happens when an infant is exposed to two natural languages like (say) English and Japanese because combining those two languages give
        • And yet the Klingon language was not a failure because it's goal was never to achieve widespread adoption among the general public. The fact that there even were people trying to teach their kids a fictional language is remarkable.

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Basing a calendar on the orbit of a planet when you might not be around the planet would be sort of silly. The calendar is created to standardize time such that when someone eventually leaves this solar system they have some time to use that isn't based on something they can no longer measure.

      Earth time is handy if you are on earth but it's terribly inconvenient off it, partially because they are constantly applying corrections to that time to compensate for things like the planets rotation changing. You mi

      • Basing a calendar on the orbit of a planet when you might not be around the planet would be sort of silly.

        Then why are we using base 28 and base 13 to organize the days into larger units? If we're trying to be independent of Earth's natural periods, why not make it all base 10 or base 2 or whatever you want, and be done with it?

        The calendar is created to standardize time such that when someone eventually leaves this solar system they have some time to use that isn't based on something they can no longer measure.

        Except it's fundamentally based on trying to reconstruct a 365-day-ish year with something close to a lunar cycle month -- otherwise, why use these stupid groupings?

        They may be a bit premature but eventually we'll need something like this for the people that (hopefully before we destroy ourselves) leave the solar system.

        Just a bit. Ya think?

        Look -- in case you are unfamiliar with the long history of calendar reform, there are plenty of V

      • This was considered, but ultimately, the terran computational calendar chose to define itself in terms of the 1977 definition of a TAI second [wikipedia.org]:
        "the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom" measured at the geoid (mean sea level)
        Therefore, for the terran computational calendar, we actually know how much relativistic gravitational time dialation [wikipedia.org] to account for, even if you are way out somewhe
    • Re:Umm .... (Score:4, Funny)

      by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Friday May 30, 2014 @10:21PM (#47133837)
      On a venn diagram there is no intersection between "speak Klingon at parties" and "friends"...
      • On a venn diagram there is no intersection between "speak Klingon at parties" and "friends"...

        Ah! So that's why none of my friends can speak Klingon. It's mathematically impossible for them!

  • Complicated totally unfamiliar representation of date and time for the "information age"? I think i'll take flawwed, but understood and good enough over that any time.

    rfc 1925 2.11 [ietf.org] is reaffirmed

    (11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.

    • Complicated totally unfamiliar representation of date and time for the "information age"?

      Why is it unfamiliar, it is almost the same as current representation:
      YY.MM.DD,HH.MM.SS TC+7H
      RFC3339 is
      YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS+07:00

      And that May 31st corresponds to 5.20. is logical, as there are fewer days in their month.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      So http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org] all over again?
  • Lousy Smarch weather...
  • Sounds like the Ethiopian calendar.
    12 months of 30 days plus a 13th month of 5 or 6 days (which are all holidays!).

    • Sounds like the Ethiopian calendar.
      12 months of 30 days plus a 13th month of 5 or 6 days (which are all holidays!).

      Yea, my kids Ethiopian. Trying to keep track of the holidays is a nightmare. They're on a different day every year. Yet I have to honor his culture or something so I have to get out a slide rule to figure out when Christmas is every year.

    • This is basically what the ancient Germanic peoples had as well, at least as recently as the Anglo-Saxons. Tolkien used it as the basis for his Elvish calendar.

      12 months of 30 days each, 2 extra days for midwinter (Yule) and three or four extra days at midsummer (Litha).

  • by BaronM (122102) on Friday May 30, 2014 @08:58PM (#47133513)

    That is remarkably similar to what I used to use for a backup tape rotation once upon a time:

    27 daily tapes labeled d1-d27
    13 'monthly' tapes labeled m1-m13
    1 year-end tape labeled appropriately

    It was easy to manage since there was never any question which tape was 'next' or safe to reuse. Robotic tape libraries, software with better tape management, and eventually disk-to-disk backup make it obsolete, but I always did think that a 28x13+1(or2) calendar would be much more sensible than what we have now.

    Not that I was ever silly enough to think that the world would adopt just because it makes more sense :)

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      More sense?

      Do you know how many gods you will anger by reducing their days of worship?!?!

  • by mbone (558574) on Friday May 30, 2014 @08:58PM (#47133517)

    ... I'ld rather go back to Thermidor.

    • It's curious that the metric system took over while the metric calendar didn't.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        The metric system rationalizes and reforms a whole bunch of physical phenomena.

        You cant do that with dates & times. They're intrinsically arbitrary and irrational. The current system is set up to account for human needs so it likely the best compromise that's possible. Even the metric system had to bend a little and have centimeters for common use.

        • The metric system typically uses millimetres, metres, and kilometres. Centimetres are used, and are perfectly valid, but they're old fashioned.
  • Does anyone really care?

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • by Dave Emami (237460) on Friday May 30, 2014 @09:35PM (#47133685) Homepage
    I prefer the Unix-based method from Vernor Vinge's A Deepness In the Sky. Everything is seconds based on the Unix epoch, with SI prefixes for longer periods -- ksecs (00:16:40), msecs (about 11.6 days), gsec (about 31.7 years), etc. With processing power as ubiquitous as it is, converting back and forth when planetary/celestial timing really matters is trivial. Most of our non-analog timing devices already work this way already, and those that don't (LED alarm clocks) are being phased out by devices that do work that way (smartphones). Granted this isn't any more likely to be used than the TCC, but at least it's cleaner.
  • Why anyone should use it?
  • by turp182 (1020263) on Friday May 30, 2014 @09:53PM (#47133757) Journal

    Jesus (I believe the man existed, but not that he was a deity), do we have to complicate the Earth date system more???

    Systems already break because it's complicated enough, and I have to set the times on microwave ovens and regular ovens often enough. We understand 12 months of varying lengths with a base 24 day cycle, isn't that enough. 221788790 seconds from the winter solstice???

    A minimonth??? Seriously.

    Time and dates are already defined for the inhabitants of the planet. And it works. Don't mess with it.

    Next thing you know there will be pressure on the US to accept a non-English measurement system...

  • http://qntm.org/calendar [qntm.org]

    You advocate a

    ( ) overly simplistic

    approach to calendar reform. Your idea will not work. Here is why:

    ( ) having months of different lengths is irritating
    ( ) having one or two days per year which are part of no month is stupid

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for:

    ( ) humans
    ( ) rational hatred for arbitrary change
    ( ) unpopularity of weird new month and day names

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    ( ) nobody is about to renumber every event in his

  • by deniable (76198) on Friday May 30, 2014 @10:23PM (#47133843)
    How about we have a meeting? I'll send you a request in Outlook.
  • Let's go with Tolkein's Shire Calendar [tolkiengateway.net] instead. Twelve 30 day months and the leftover days are split evenly between summer and winter, with leap days coming after Mid-summer's Day. It has the added bonus of new and strange month and weekday names. What more could you ask for?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      What more could you ask for?

      I could ask for a calendar based on the moon, and years based on the solstices. At least that would make sense.

  • One problem with having all months evenly divisible by 7 day weeks is that your birthday will always land on the same day of the week. Born on Tuesday, your birthday will ALWAYS be on Tuesday. No hope of ever having a weekend birthday. Never ever. You think people will stand for that?!?
    • >"7 day weeks is that your birthday will always land on the same day of the week. Born on Tuesday, your birthday will ALWAYS be on Tuesday"

      I devised my own calendar and the main feature is every day is 84 hours long, and all of them are Tuesdays!

      My new calendar solution > yours!
    • And what of those people born on the Febuary leap? They have to make do with celebrating on a nearby but incorrect date as a consolation birthday.

  • Obligatory griping (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday May 30, 2014 @11:33PM (#47134027)

    Synchronized with the northern winter solstice,

    By their nature, solstices are notoriously difficult to determine empirically. Theoretically there is an instant when the the sun's declination reaches its minimum, but practically you'll have hours or even days of a change in declination that is too small to measure. Popular surviving calendars either rely on an equinox instead (Christian, Jewish), or pad several lunations after the solstice just to make sure (Chinese).

    the terran computational calendar began roughly* 10 days before

    Whose ephemeris?

    Each year is composed of 13 identical 28-day months

    Two figures that generally have nothing to do with natural phenomena. While it's true that a little more than one-third of all tropical years contain 13 synodic months, those months average to around 29.5 days each. There are cultures that care about the synodic month exclusively, and there are those that care about both the synodic month and the hebdomadal week, but I know of no major religion or regionally dominant culture that cares about only the hebdomadal week.

    followed by a 'minimonth' that houses leap days (one most years and two every 4th but not 128th year)

    We limit calendars to arithmetical processes because accuracy must be balanced with ease-of-use for human beings, and we tend to prefer powers of ten because that makes the arithmetic easier for humans. If you're going to insist on powers of two in your calendar, you're effectively requiring people to reach for some sort of computer to perform the algorithm for them (except for those rare few who enjoy performing long division). And if you're already doing that, there's no longer a reason to limit your calendar algorithm to arithmetical (or even algebraic) processes to begin with; just have a computer chew on the transcendental functions directly rather than limiting it to an arithmetical approximation to begin with. Shoehorning in a power of 2 is a compromise that satisfies nobody.

    and leap seconds (issued by the IERS during that year). Each date is an unambiguous instant in time

    Coordinated Universal Time and it's system of coordinated leap seconds is older than POSIX, and yet even today POSIX still can't get leap seconds right, insisting that each and every day is exactly 86 400 s long (which is a big part of why we're having our current Leap Second Holy War to begin with). IT has been kicking that can down the road for about 40 years. Why will an adoption of your calendar suddenly change that?

    that exploits zero-based numbering

    Programming languages can't agree where to start an array, but to my knowledge nobdoy is currently using a calendar with a "day 0" or "month 0" (let alone a "zeroth day" or "zeroth month"). Insisting on "zero-based numbering" doesn't solve anything, but rather dumps IT's own internal issues with counting onto the rest of the world.

  • What I came up with was almost identical; the year started and ended with the Winter Solstice, and consists of 13 months of 28 days. Where mine differs, though, is that instead of a "minimonth", I choose to exclude the extra day or two from any week, month or year; a period of time I call "Offset". These days being excluded from a week means that any given day on the calendar will always be the same day of the week from one year to the next. That is to say, under this calendar, if the first day of the first

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @02:38AM (#47134513) Homepage Journal

    I don't care about Mini Months or Year Bases as much as the ability to have Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment, TrialSized Dove Bar or Perdue Wonderchicken. I want opportunistic branding to penetrate every orifice of my life.

    • Try the Chinese system, then. It's the year of the horse, brought to you by a consortium of horse racing interests, breeders and horseshoe companies.
  • If we can identify a zero point, we should just calculate all technical time in seconds past that date. There is already a Julian Day. I would call it the Julian Second. It is now 212,268,345,960. That is not much good for daily activities but perfect;y fine for any electronic system Trivial to write for phone, computer or whatever.

  • This wreaks of silly dissertation for a PhD student who didn't have anything actually useful to write about. Either way, just keep it, you've provided nothing useful other than change 'because you think we should all change'

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