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WHAT TIME IS IT?

Governments can't control what time it really is. Don't be fooled by them! Put the clocks back/forward, just because they tell you to? No, that's silly!

One of the truths that is obvious is that a government does not actually have any power over fact in nature. It's no good a government legislating that 2+2=5 because it wouldn't make it any more true, and it would make the government look silly as it would have no credibility.

TIME is such a fact, controlled by the laws of physics.

The time that it actually IS, is a matter of astronomy and the workings of such things as caesium clocks. There is a time which it is by the ticking of high-precision clocks, and there's also the more obvious natural time which says that midnight, (mid-night) is the point in the middle of the night when it's the same number of hours and minutes to dawn as it is from dusk.

In Britain, there is the place called Greenwich where the world-famous measuring line called the Greenwich Meridian goes through. At that place, the time astronomers use, called "Universal Time" is the time it is, and so for convenience, the entire United Kingdom has a thing called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is a good approximation to the time the sun in the sky says it is just about anywhere in Britain within a few minutes.

However, halfway through the last century there was a terrible war and it was necessary to make people work harder, so someone had the bright idea of having a new kind of pretend time, in which everyone had their clocks moved forward an hour. Government decreed that the time would now be this new time, which of course didn't make any difference to the time it was, but it made people get up an hour earlier, go to work an hour earlier, go to bed an hour earlier. In times of war, such measures are a necessary hardship to endure.

But it's still on, just as surely as railings are not on places.

B.S.T., British Summer Time, or British Silly Time, is one of these things that people have fallen for, believing that's the time it really is. People who think they've got a nine-to-five job actually have to get up and go to work at eight o'clock in the morning.

In peacetime, if a government passed a law compelling everyone to get up an hour early and go to bed an hour early, civil rights campaigners would be outraged, and would call for a huge campaign of civil disobedience and the overthrow of such a dictatorial regime.

Admittedly it could be worse, for example the government could have made it law to keep BRITISH SUMMER TEMPERATURE, (BST) which compelled people to adjust their thermometers and thermostats and pretend it's five degrees warmer in winter and five degrees cooler in summer, so as to save fuel expenses. They could also meddle with the official size of a gallon/litre so that cars are made to look more economical and petrol not so expensive.

I propose abolishing British Silly Time, and also watching out for any other devious things which governments may attempt to enact to the detriment of reality.

If you'd like to take part in the rebellion against Daylight Saving Time, a good start would be to get at least one clock with the appropriate time and a label to the effect that this is the proper time that it actually is! You can also gain an awareness of Solar Time by becoming aware that the time of sunset is about the same number of hours and minutes before real midnight as sunrise is after real midnight.

Update: In the UK 2010, public folly and parliamentary misrule has continued and there are debates on moving clocks forward a further hour. (Note that this won't change the actual time it really is, any more than changing the size of the tonne would reduce the number of tonnes of CO2 produced. It's just a cheat). Excuses given for the implementation of Corrupt Time include the idea that it will save lives (while neglecting the fact that time-zone meddling causes a slight shortening of lifespan because of a jetlag type effect (as confirmed by tests on fruit flies)), and the idea that it will reduce the amount of CO2. No, if you want to reduce CO2, it's far better to be honest about it and let people know how much CO2 they are producing, rather than trying to cheat and short-change people into getting up at a false time of day. Another excuse is the idea of having the time forced in Britain to be in conformity with the majority of mainland Europe. Imagine if the USA tried to do that too. How credible would it be if the president of the United States announced that everyone in the USA would have to move their clocks forward between 5 and 8 hours and everyone would have to pretend it was a time of day which it plainly wasn't? It would be ridiculous and absurd, and there would be a rebellion against it. The UK also has its real timezone, and that's GMT, Greenwich Mean Time. That's the time it IS in the UK. No government can change that, and if they pretend they can, then it's a false time and a cheat, a bit like inflation which is a hidden tax on savings.

GMT was first introduced in 1884. Before that, there was a variability of assumed time because of local solar time. When GMT first started it was colloquially known as "Railway Time" as it was a way of having harmonised time for the railways, which were the latest technology at the time!


To keep some balance, it's worth knowing that mine isn't the only view on this, and there are people who believe daylight saving time is a really good idea. Take a look at http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/c.html for example.

Meanwhile, to see some of the curious things I have explored where I think the normal view isn't right, see misconceptions


Other links:

http://kitenet.net/~joey/blog/entry/daylight_savings_crime/

www.homelandstupidity.us/2006/04/03/daylight-stupid-time/

www.feld.com/wp/archives/2007/03/daylight-savings-time-is-stupid.html

www.standardtime.com

...and many others.