23 March 2006

That Time Again

When I went to an ATM this morning it informed me that my bank's entire ATM network will be down for four hours on Sunday because of the time change.
I don't know why they need this outage - possibly for testing - but I can't blame them.
Why do I get so worked up about this when there are so many bigger issues? It's just such a clear-cut question. BST isn't about when we go to work, or when we go to school, or when we go out; those are separate questions that we are capable of working out for ourselves. BST is about how we measure time - and it's an extraordinarily bad way of measuring time. If I were to list requirements for a time measurement system, the very first one would be that any valid time would occur only once, and the second would be monotonicity - and what we have fails to satisfy even those most obvious conditions.
Traditionally it has been believed that any kind of weird shit can go on, but it doesn't matter if it's the middle of the night. That doesn't work any more - business doesn't sleep, and for that matter neither does leisure: night clubs and TV schedules all experience the confusion of time going haywire twice a year.

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