Programming is sexy
 What is the use of timezones? Most people seem to have no idea how timezones work*. It's a couple hours earlier or later somewhere else, but most won't be able to tell you what time it is in any given GMT+n zone. It's a pain to organise international events online, the best solution I found is link to a live clock and timezone converters. And then there are the people who don't even know what timezone they live in... *When asking some people randomly, I was surprised by how few could tell me what time it was in GMT-5 (for example) when it's 10PM here (here = GMT+1). The math is simple when first going to GMT and then to the timezone you want: our_time - our_timezone - target_timezone = 18:00 - 1 - 5 = 12:00. It's now 12am, whereever GMT-5 may be. I suppose people just never looked into it, but when they need it they often are like "uh I don't know it works, but if you know it why don't you just convert it to my time?" and you end up converting it all the time for about every participant. The only reason I can think of why we have timezones, is so the sun comes up at roughly the same time everywhere on earth - in the winter when there is no daylight saving time at least. Or do countries below the equator have DST when it's winter here? Argh. But my point, why can't we just get rid of timezones altogether and accept the sun goes up at different times? Actually, it already does, it changes from day to day... so there seems to be no point to it at all. Reading Wikipedia on it, I get where timezones originally comes from and why they were introduced. But nowadays I see no reason not to start using UTC without DST for every country and region. What was 7am in the Netherlands will now simply be 8am. In (what now is) GMT/UTC-8, people will get up at 11pm instead of 7am. Right now it sounds totally weird, but if you are used to it I'm sure there wouldn't be any problem. It will still be a bit tricky to find the most convenient time for everyone to participate in some online event, but at least 8pm is 8pm. Everywhere. Am I missing why we are still using timezones, or is it just something that we never got rid of because it's too much work to change? [Quote] [Link]
 Wait, you live in UCT+1:00. Where exactly do you find a society that doesn't know how to use time zones in Europe? Also, a lot of people stay in one timezone for their whole life. For them, it would be inconvenient to have to adjust to UTC. Also, see the American measurement system... [Quote] [Link]
 Blake Webmaster2082 Posts11 Vigeo 13:1 - 10.7.82729.799 days ago The majority of people will always wake up within a few hours of sunrise. It's in our biology. It's inconvenient if the day change occurs while we're still awake in the middle of a business day. I agree that the degree of granularity that the time zone system has is unnecessary. And all that's really required is that the day change occurs while the majority of people are asleep. That's why time zones are roughly on a per-continent basis in O'Harean time. [Quote] [Link]
 I'm in almost total agreement with Blake here. One of the silliest questions I keep hearing is "what time is it where you are?" Answer "It's now, dummy!" Relativistic considerations aside, we are all experiencing time at the same rate wherever we are. The only thing that differs is what we decide to call it. And in an age of worldwide near-simultaneous communication calling the same time by different names is ludicrous. Getting rid of time zones would also avoid all the stupidity involved in the international date line (a classic work-around for an off-by-one error). I think the date change in daylight would not be that big a problem once people get used to it. For me, the convenience of everybody changing the date at the same time is more important. What you really need to know about another place is: what are the local business hours (in standard time, so you know without thinking when that is), or more formally, when is local noon. To answer the original question, I think it comes down to inertia. I hope and believe people will eventually see the sense in this. EDIT: cross-posted with Blake's second post. Date change stuff added. [Quote] [Link]
 ciacho0000 said:Wait, you live in UCT+1:00. Where exactly do you find a society that doesn't know how to use time zones in Europe? Well most people I asked here didn't know. Guess I'm in the middle of the one society in Europe not knowing it then :( No but seriously, I also asked people from for example France or the USA. Calculating with timezones seems to be less common than we, as nerds* on a website with users from different timezones, probably think. *Or at least semi-nerd, I'm still not sure if I qualify - but that's another subject. Blake said:all that's really required is that the day change occurs while the majority of people are asleep. Oh, that's indeed something I hadn't thought of. Hmmmm, maybe a variable start of the day could be used. Our clock already starts at 0 again at the middle of the day (am->pm), so why would it matter that the pm->am switch occured at any moment? So the time is synchronous with UTC while the start of the day can be any moment. For example for UTC-5, the daychange of that timezone would be at 19:00Z (which is currently 00:00). Or what do we need days for anyway? We can keep it 'monday' through 'sunday' officially and let the change happen at 00:00 UTC everywhere, but we could change the habit of what we call 'tomorrow' to mean something like "after most people slept". Actually for that last I see two options: We could set a certain time after which 'today' changes to 'tomorrow' for each timezone or continent, or just leave it subjective (like it is right now between about 12pm and 2am, during that time we both use 'today at 4pm' and 'tomorrow at 4pm' while it's usually pretty clear what you mean). DIAV said:I think the date change in daylight would not be that big a problem once people get used to it. For me, the convenience of everybody changing the date at the same time is more important. Concidering it like this, having the daychange in the afternoon doesn't sound so impractical anymore compared to what we have right now. Also the definitions of morning, afternoon, evening and night will probably stay with the day/night rhythm rather than the time, so that can still be used. [Quote] [Link]
 Blake Webmaster2082 Posts11 Vigeo 13:1 - 14.44.38729.58 days ago I'm slowly watching your logic approach the realization of: "let's just abolish time altogether" [Quote] [Link]
 Lol no, we need some measurement of time, how would we otherwise plan stuff... It is just that it should be simple and universal. [Quote] [Link]
 We could always use O'Harean time... [Quote] [Link]
 Well the O'Harean calendar knows timezones too. It are a lot less, but I'm not sure if that makes them that much easier to use. The offset has to be calculated by something like multiplying your region by 3 and then substracting one, if I remember correctly... Knowing your own and the target UTC offset might be easier. [Quote] [Link]
 Time zones reduce the amount of time conversion that needs to be done when considering one city versus another. Across nations (really, across most of the globe), businesses will open and close at about the same hours. Days start at the same time. We really don't have to memorize much of any new thing when travelling to a new place - we know we'll lose a few hours of sleep, perhaps, but it's all basically standardised. If we abolished time zones, we'd essentially be reverting to a local time system for business hours. We'd have to learn new numbers for when businesses close, when they open, when it becomes late, when it's time to get up in the morning, and all sorts of things just so we could travel somewhere. It'd be really inconsistent. A world-wide time might be more useful on the internet, but it's real-life applications are fairly few and far between. I imagine more people would have trouble adjusting to a new local time schedule than they do converting a few hours on the internet one way or the other. [Quote] [Link]
 Timezones don't bother me, but illogical-alterations and DST does. I can totally live with 24 hours in a day in 24 different timezones. It's the mess of 100+ "current time" options we have now that's a pain to deal with. [Quote] [Link]