Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daylight saving time silliness

Everyone and his/her dog has something to say about the early onset of DST this year. As we count down the final few hours before we spring forward, I think back to December 31st, 1999 and how I felt as Y2K loomed large in my immediate future.

The big bad company that I worked for at the time had limited all IT staff to a certain radius of the head office. We were expected to be immediately reachable if anything nasty happened to our systems. We were paid Y2K retention bonuses to ensure we didn't quit in the middle of being treated like mindless cattle.

Thankfully, the time thing this time out (I've called it Y2K+7, or simply Y2K7) isn't as scary. Computers won't crash, and the world won't end. But time-related anomalies will likely crop up here and there, and just how serious they are likely depends on who you are and how important the time thing is to you.

For example: if you miss a meeting with your afternoon tea group because your PDA is messed up, no one dies. If your plane is in the sky and the air traffic controllers can't find you because they weren't expecting you for another hour, it's somewhat worse than missing tea.

Your turn: I've spent the past month talking about non-stop about this issue with journalists everywhere. I first wrote about it in 2005. Now I'd like to know what you think. Is this DST change worthwhile? Or is it more trouble than it's worth? Will we really save energy? I'm a cynic on all fronts, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. The clock starts...now!

25 comments:

talj said...

Interesting, but here in the UK we dont do things the same as you guys!! I have heard lots of talk about it on various sites I visit and it does seem quite a bigdeal for many US/Canadian folks....but...we are running just fine here :o)

Michael Manning said...

Hi, Carmi: The explanation we always got as kids was that politicians never wanted us waiting at the bus stop for school in the dark---which made sense on paper. But for some reason, we still stood freezing (in the dark).

David said...

totally DUMB.
I heard that some people predicted seasonal depression would result from the darker mornings, DUH - the mornings are identical, the clock just moved.
-----Get away from the city lights. you will find that the cycles of moon and stars, sun and shadow will treat you more kindly, and you will be kinder to your self and fellow man. ( end of sermon)

Catherine said...

Here in New Zealand daylight saving is coming to an end in a week's time, and I'll be sorry to see it go. It means that long evening walks after work will soon be over until next summer (at least, I can still walk where there are street lights, but not in my favourite spots as seen in my latest blog post).
I can't really see it being a big issue on computers. It's surely a lot easier to reset the computer's clock, than to find dates embedded in countless different programs on the computer. If i'm not mistaken, that's the difference between this and Y2K. (My husband made quite a bit of money in 1999, doing extra programming work to make various systems Y2K compliant).

kenju said...

I love the idea, because the more daylight we have in the evening, the better I like it. I heard
today taht it not only saves energy, but there are fewer accidents when it stays light longer. There was a 3rd reason for it - but I can't remember what it was.

Anna said...

I agree with your title of this post.

I dont ever think about it honestly. I just move the clocks and adjust myself internally. :) Done.

David said...

the lady from NZ is all mixed up...
i will change my computer clock manually - we will be ok.
SPRING is here!

Deana said...

I love having more daylight in the evening but I don't understand why we can't stay in this time zone...why do we have to go back at all to the other one?

surcie said...

I love having more sunlight at the end of the day, so I welcome the earlier time change. I wouldn't say I have S.A.D., but when whenever we "spring forward," my outlook definitely improves.

Sarch said...

Oh boy, I haven't even really given this any thought up till now.

Ahhh geeeez Carmi here you go making me THINK again!

LOL...good post as usual.

MissMeliss said...

I think the further we get away from a 9-5 society the less we need daylight savings time. If you work swing shift, if you set your own hours, if you work in theatre, DST really has NOTHING to do with your life.

Patricia said...

I'm looking forward to DST, it's lighter out later! Yippee! I'm a bus taker so it's much nicer toodling around in the evening when it's lighter out.

Carolyn said...

Hi Carmi,
I think I should link you since I keep coming back for your writings :)

The only other negative issue I heard was that some hospital machines/programs that "clock" things like medicines due, operating room equipment, etc. may be affected because they aren't set to change. Therefore, some patients may get medicated or such to soon.

Shan said...

The point of DST is to save daylight, if we now realize more daylight can be saved, then we should make the change. We shouldn't pass on progress just because it's challenging in the short-term.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I think we should all permanently be on Daylight Savings Time. No one likes being on Standard Time and we all like having that light in the evening.

As for Michael and the school busses, our kids start so early, they're in the dark regardless.

Rachel said...

Well, I'm all for lighter evenings - makes it easier to get home from work and then do something! :)

On the other hand, sadly I'm the IT person for our non-profit organization. Cash is tight at the moment so I've been trying to get my head around what the time change thing will really do without the aid of outside contractors. Information sent from IT support companies we have used in the past only seemed to confuse things more. My husband and I spent about 4hours last night updating the 40 or so computers and the four servers...Monday will tell!! The practical side of me did get a couple of the people with full calendars to print theirs out for the next month before they left the office on Friday! :)

In the back of my head yesterday I was wondering whether it was just going to be another situation like Y2K where we hardly noticed a thing!

yellojkt said...

It's going to let me start my bike riding regimen a little earlier, but my dog doesn't have a DST function. He will be all out of sorts for weeks.

MoMMY said...

I despise DST. GAH! The dark mornings, the light late so the kids won't go to bed. Make it stop! And it was just starting to be light when my older kids got on the bus. This morning was a nightmare trying to get us all up for Sunday school.

That being said, I work at a hospital and as Carolyn said, it is a nightmare. All the various programs, instruments, etc have to match. The pc's were the easy part. Making sure the various times match up for compliance issues and about a million other reasons is the real nightmare.

Thomma Lyn said...

What gets me about daylight savings time is feeling discombobulated. I hate losing an hour out of my day. Well, I know it isn't really "lost" because we "get it back" in the fall, but still. Daylight savings time went into effect early this morning and now it's a quarter to four in the afternoon, yet I feel like it's barely noon. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

I'm not happy with the change in DST only because I'm old and resistant to change.
But really - is 5 weeks of being one hour off kilter really going to make that big of a difference? :)
I'm sure if I try really really hard, I can come up with other things in life to worry about...

And thanks for visiting my blog, Carmi! I'll admit, I've lurked on yours a few times and have been EXTREMELY impressed by some of your photos. For some reason, I was especially stuck on the corner of the menu...

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over again, Carmi. Hi!

I remember having a short job during the Y2K hubbub. I had taken one course in college in COBOL and that was enough to get me an "emergency job" translating a bunch of code to FORTRAN. Of course it was all just wasted time but at least I got paid. It was only a 2 week gig tho.

I don't mind the DST thing hitting a few weeks early. It'll be mowing time soon and this makes it easier to start planting stuff after work. :-)

Mr. Althouse said...

I think they (whoever "they" are) should pick one time and leave it. This nonsense of changing the time twice per year has outlived its usefulness.

Michele sent me this time (oh, I AM sorry!),

Mike

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

lol, i hope you tossed those cynical thoughts aside last night and went out for a walk and enjoyed that sunshine, because here, at 7pm, it felt like it was almost summer!

Beverly said...

I like daylight savings time. I like having it daylight longer in the evenings.

I do, however, agree with the lady who spoke about children having to wait in the dark for the school bus. Too often there are accidents which probably would not happen if it were standard time.

AverageMom said...

Here in the north, it is absolutely useless. In a few weeks, it will be light very early in the morning, and very late at night. No idea why we continue doing it. "Down south" (as we call any area south of 60) it might make more sense.