This week, we again prepare
for the absurd ritual of the changing of the clocks. The essay
below was written several years ago and still an appropriate topic
for discussion. Tonight, March 30, 2002, the Middle East is about
to explode. Americans are having their patriotic fervor flamed
into hatred and fear in the post-911 era, and at no time in human
history have our establishments shown themselves to be less worthy
of the challenges they face. The light-hearted essay that follows
has a simple point to make. Unfortunately, the institutions we
need to create an environment condusive to peace continues to
be weak and ineffective. Let's all hold a vision of empowerment
of the forces of logic and reason. Perhaps, as has been said by
wise elders, "the energy flows where the attention goes."
Maybe we can solve simple problems and learn by those successes
that complex ones are also within our grasp to resolve. May there
be peace on earth and good will toward all.
Believe it or not, some problems have simple solutions. Even complex problems like health care and political reform may have simple solutions. Often the difficulty in solving problems is that those who are responsible to create the change are the same ones who benefit from the status quo. What about a problem that could be eliminated with common sense and just a small bit of universal cooperation?
And the problem I refer to? The immeasurable costs in lost time and inconvenience, as well as mistakes due to missed appointments, and scheduling problems, computer programs, radio and TV schedules, etc. We have all come to accept the inevitablity of the insanity of changing our clocks back and forth in accordance with "Spring Ahead" (does that save or lose an hour) and "Fall Behind " do we sleep more or less)?
In the old days, when there were one or two clocks, a time change , though still responsible for lots of problems, was not an overwhelming chore. This morning, I changed my clock radio, 2 televisions, my answering machine, my watch, my microwave, my oven, my computer, my car clock, and two other clocks in the house. I'm sure I'll find that I've overlooked one or two. Everywhere I've been today, the clocks say something different, people are showing up at wrong times, oversleeping, and more. I know that there are some good reasons for the time changes, but, are the benefits worth the costs?
A simple solution to make everyone happy and solve this problem for once and for all is to move the clocks one HALF hour one time only for the rest of history. If the United Nations can't do this simple deed, what can it do? I have prososed this to friends for years, and I have yet to hear a good reason not to do this. The best one I've heard is that astronomers need exact cosmic time. Nonsense. Under the present system, they are already having to adjust half of the time. A Once-Only time change makes sense. The only reason I can come up with to keep things as is, may be that this confusion keeps life interesting. Too much reason and order in our lives could be boring .