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Friday, January 20th, 2012, 4:16 pm

Decimal Timing System

OUR current mechanism for measuring time is a combination of Babylonian and other cycling conventions, making up one of the most messed up timing systems to ever be conceived, with months of nearly arbitrary length (and unknown astronomical meaning) and a base unit ranging from 12 to 60. If our distance and weighting standards were the same, even the imperial system would be an improvement over them. The beautiful thing about decimal systems with base 10 is that once we choose some immutable base unit like the Earth’s diameter we can expand in a way which is easily divisible and makes physics a lot simpler. Currently, in the science of physics, it is common to just measure everything in seconds and then subdivide those by shifting decimal points (millisecond for example). What happened to macro seconds and giga seconds? They do not seem to exist because for large time units we have a sordid mess that extends to our mind (perceptual gap).

Will there ever be a reconstruction of the timing system? It would be nice, but there would be a highly complicated transition phase consisting re-education of the already-adult and thus unwilling-to-relearning, not just revision of many programs and systems. Better to make time more science-compatible than adhere to an arcane system for several generations to come. Complications of the mathematics of time impede progress.

One day in the future civilisation will abandon this current pile of garbage and look back in a way we can’t grasp now how silly an analogue wrist watch looks (especially for the twenty-first century).

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