Monday, October 4, 2010

A Better Calendar

Before I continue on with this madness which for people in the US except for Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii means they have to thrash their clock back this month there is an allied topic, the calendar we use.  Here is a Wiki article on a proposed modified calendar that could be used to replace the current Gregorian calendar:

World Calendar

The only major objection I have to it is that there are four Friday the 13ths in the accursed thing.  Well, guess what?  Those same people that gave us DST in the United States Congress tweaked this design so that it was even  better and had no Friday the 13ths.  Why didn't they refuse to take no on that one and push the calendar forward instead?  The sad thing is that the URL that I had that showed what that calendar looked like seems to have disappeared.  So if somebody who reads this knows anything about it I would appreciate you adding the URL in a comment.  The calendar was created in the 1950s.  Let me do one more search to see if I can find it.  All I can come up with is this:

Calendar Reform

It seems that the US Congress wants their lovely calendar that had no Friday the 13ths, and was business oriented to never be seen again.  The main arguments against the Congress Calendar came from the various religious factions.  But those arguments apply equally against the World Calendar and the International Calendar that has thirteen months and each one has a Friday the Thirteenth. Gasp, thirteen Friday the Thirteenths every year! Given the fact that even the Eastern Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Easter is sometimes not on the same Sunday with their calendar as it is in the Gregorian I think these religious arguments are already off to a bad start because we can't even get them to correlate.  Don't get me started on the Muslims or the Jews because both of them also have a lunar calendar.  I just remembered what the tweak was and I hope this gets put into the Calendar Reform Wiki article.  Here is what it looked like:

US Congress Calendar (proposed in the 1950s)

Why did I include this blog entry?  Because it shows that in the issue of time there are a lot of beliefs and very little rational thinking is going on.  If people were thinking rationally they would dig up that Calendar system the US Congress created and ram that thing through just like they did with DST. At least then we would have a calendar system that makes since.  Or does it make sense?

There is one more thing. The Mayan Calendar is not the most accurate calendar in the world.  Not only that but it isn't just one calendar but two calendars instead.  Finding an Easter in either the Haab' or Tzolk'in would be almost impossible:

Mayan Calendars

Not only does it have two calendars but it takes a time cycle of 53 Haab' years before the Haab' and the Tzolk'in mesh again due to the difference of 260 days versus 365 days. The year 2012 is not the end of either calendar.  It is just when the two coincide again.  So like the year 2000 when some idiotic reporters didn't understand why some place in Italy shifted the year to 1972 you can rest assured there will not be some magical melt-down.  Why did they use 1972?  Because the days aligned the same as they did for the year 2000 which was the first end of century year since 1600 to have a leap day per the formual set up for the Gregorian calendar.  The idiots that wrote the original Gregorian leap year calculation in their software didn't implement it right.  They said there was a leap year if the year was evenly divisble by four (no remainder) unless it was a century year, The forgot the calculation that century years that are evenly divisible by 400 are also leap years.  Given how simple the algorithm is I am shocked they did such a bad job of implementing it.  I can understand the two digit years which could be stored in just one byte with BCD (Binary Coded Decimal) since memory was very scarce when they wrote the code.  Even the computer instructions that are being coded for posterity are getting fouled up when it comes to good accurate time.  Everybody coding for time needs to take the oppootunity to get it correct right now.  They should code for UTC (also called GMT despite the two implementations being different) time and ignore local time.  At least that way they can throw the DST nonsense out the door right now.  There is no DST for UTC time.  Isn't stability wonderful?

The next post will tidy up on this subject and then I will make one on the upcoming thrashing that will go on this month and repeats itself every year with another one ever spring. It includes what Linux distros need to do that was a choice and should be a choice once again of UTC time when you do a system install.

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