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Did Benjamin Franklin Invent Daylight Saving Time?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-tell-me-who-to-blame dept.

Businesses 395

An anonymous reader writes "While living in Paris, Ben Franklin was struck by how many hours of daylight were being wasted to sleep during the summer months. He wrote an open letter to a Parisian journal lamenting the wasted expenditures on candlewax, and presented his back-of-the-quillpad estimates of the cost savings if the entire population arose an hour or two earlier. However, Franklin did not specifically mention moving the clocks ahead; instead, he suggested official means for enforcement (rationing the sale of candlewax to families) and encouragement (ringing church bells at sunrise). The clock-shifting technique which we know and love was credited to the New Zealander George Vernon Hudson, who proposed it in 1895. DST was first widely adopted by warring countries during World War I as a way of conserving coal needed for military purposes. This launched a debate over DST's usefulness that continues to the present day (particularly by people stumbling about in their bathrooms). Of course, Franklin is also associated with other questionable ideas, including bifocals, lightning rods, electric current flowing from the positive to negative terminal, leaking official documents to fan opposition, and an independent United States of America." New research suggests the daylight saving time change will lead to lower productivity tomorrow as the lost sleep makes workers more likely to slack (PDF).

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Ah, Ben Franklin (5, Informative)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321345)

One of my childhood heroes - I'm not surprised that he would have questioned the custom of keeping the same hours throughout the year as the sun rises and sets at different times.

My favourite story about him: Thomas Jefferson would not allow Franklin to work on the Declaration of Independence because he feared Franklin would put too many jokes in it.

myke

Why not get rid of the 9-5 and operate 24/7? (-1, Offtopic)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321889)

I see no reason why we maintain the inefficient and stupid 9-5 workday when we have way too few jobs for the amount of workers we have. I understand some people have to sleep in the night, but others could sleep in the day and it would result in less congestion on the roads as well.

Slackers will use any excuse to slack off (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322133)

New research suggests the daylight saving time change will lead to lower productivity tomorrow as the lost sleep makes workers more likely to slack

Slackers will use any excuse available to slack off

If they can't blame it on daylight saving time, they will blame it on something else

On the other hand, those who work hard will always work hard, come what may

Re:Ah, Ben Franklin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321909)

Did someone say NIGGER?!

Because you can bet ol Ben Franklin said "nigger" lots of times.

Nigger, nigger, nigger. Didn't he have a few of his own?

I don't really agree with Ben here. (5, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322019)

As the summary mentions, Ben's argument was basically that "early to bed and early to rise" saved energy. Getting up with the sun and going to sleep earlier in the evening reduced the need for lamp oil. And while we use electricity instead of lamp oil, this argument is still used today.

However, when you consider that lighting is becoming more and more efficient and most of our personal energy consumption now goes to heating and cooling, the picture changes. Since the Earth takes time to warm and cool each day, the daily temperature cycle lags behind the sun by a few hours. Getting up early in the winter just means more energy spent heating your home and office, and working late in the day during summer means high A/C bills.

Plus, most people want some daylight time outside the typical 8-5 work window. There's no reason to line up the work day with daylight hours; these days, most people are cooped up in office buildings and don't really care whether it's light or dark out. And commuting during sunrise or sunset is dangerous, so that's another good reason to offset the workday from the sun cycle.

Finally, studies have shown that a period of bright light, preferably sunlight, is important for our health during the winter months. So yet again it makes no sense to align the workday with the daylight cycle, since commuters at northern latitudes only see a bit of dawn and dusk during their commute and are stuck indoors during the bright part of the day.

While it may be a bit extreme, I think the ideal solution is to start the workday a couple hours past sunrise in the winter and a couple hours before sunrise in the summer. You'll be active during the warmest hours of winter and cooler hours in summer, you'll have free time during daylight hours year round, you'll commute to work in bright sunlight during the winter, and you'll avoid staring into the sun while commuting most of the year. Of course, nobody would want to a several-hour time change, so it would be better to spread it out: Lose a minute every night for half the year, then gain a minute each night for the other half. In addition, there could also be a couple jumps during the year to help avoid commuting at dawn/dusk. Getting people to accept waking up before dawn during summer and having sunset in the middle of the afternoon during winter might still take some work, but I think it would be safer, healthier, and more efficient for everyone.

Re:I don't really agree with Ben here. (4, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322137)

As the summary mentions, Ben's argument was basically that "early to bed and early to rise" saved energy.

Yes, but note that while he's saying go to bed early, he also admits to not getting home and to bed until 3AM and notes that he never sees the sun before noon. If anything, I like him more after reading that bit.

if he did (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321347)

may he rot in hell ...

oh, that's right, he's in Philly... nevermind

Re:if he did (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321607)

He was suggesting that you change the working hours, not the clocks. It's stupid to change the clocks.

Re:if he did (2)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321881)

hah, that's a good point, would everyone be happy with just going to work an hour earlier instead of changing the time?

Re:if he did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321989)

If you tell them they would be going home one hour early, they might.

Re:if he did (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39322103)

That is what you'd be telling them, because that's what you're telling them now with clocks.

DST is good. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321381)

I like going home after work and still having daylight. I can go out for a run, have a picnic, and not be fearful of vampires.

Being in New England... (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321387)

I always await DST with bated breath every year.

And I rue its passing every fall

We are so far east in the Eastern time zone, which goes all the way from Western Indiana to Maine, that we should actually be in the Atlantic time zone with the Canadian Maritime provinces.

--
GMO

Re:Being in New England... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321445)

Damn. Thanks for answering a question I've had all my life. Have an upvote.

Re:Being in New England... (4, Insightful)

Yoda's Mum (608299) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321465)

Sounds like your area just needs to fix its timezone, or failing that happening just adjust the locale business hours to something more appropriate to the region.

Re:Being in New England... (2)

icebrain (944107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321541)

I always await DST with bated breath every year.

And I rue its passing every fall

I live down south, and I still love DST. It maximizes the time I have for doing things outside after work. I'm at work before sunrise year-round, DST or not, so earlier daylight is useless to me. If I wasn't hamstrung by other societal stuff (damn bankers and their hours...), I'd structure my day so I'm going to bed about an hour after sunset year-round. That happens in the summer, but not so much in the winter--I'd be getting to work at 0230.

Re:Being in New England... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321651)

I live down south, and I still love DST. It maximizes the time I have for doing things outside after work. I'm at work before sunrise year-round, DST or not, so earlier daylight is useless to me. If I wasn't hamstrung by other societal stuff (damn bankers and their hours...), I'd structure my day so I'm going to bed about an hour after sunset year-round. That happens in the summer, but not so much in the winter--I'd be getting to work at 0230.

I live up north and for us DST is the most useless thing imaginable. In the winter we get 2.5-3 hours of daylight, during the summer the nights are almost as bright as day. The only thing DST is up here is a constant source of annoyance when interacting with the DST using rest of the world.

Re:Being in New England... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321635)

I've noticed it in other parts of the world as well. We would be better off removing the daylight saving time and constantly going to summer time. (valid for California and Bulgaria.

Why, oh why did I leave Arizona.

Re:Being in New England... (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321981)

I agree, that must suck balls. I live in Chicago, pretty much as far east in the Central time zone as there is, and remember fondly a vacation in Louisville. It was light out until after 10pm. Delightful.

When? (4, Insightful)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321407)

Are we going to abolish the stupidity of the concept of Daylight Savings Time? It saves no daylight.

There will be a higher percentage of car crashes tomorrow due to people being awake an hour earlier. Then in fall, there will be higher suicides when there is suddenly, with no logical explanation to your circadian cycle, dramatically less sunlight.

This is an abomination and really has a horrible effect on me and other each year.

It needs to go away with other anachronisms. I mortally detest it.

Re:When? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321443)

A simpler solution suggests itself.
You should kill yourself.

    Yours,
          Everyone Else

Re:When? (0, Flamebait)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321763)

Fuck you, asshole...

Re:When? (5, Funny)

enoz (1181117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321573)

Car accidents and suicides? Last I heard the Daylight Savings haters biggest complaint was that the extra hour of sunlight would fade their curtains.

Re:When? (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322033)

When the President of the United States publicly defends DST as saving energy due to reduced lighting (from coal, something we have enough of and don't import), while the truth is more energy is spend under DST (mostly oil, which we mostly import), I have to wonder if DST isn't just a oil company conspiracy. Energy use is increased, as people are more likely to take an evening shopping trip under DST. And the economic stimulus of more unfunded spending is exactly what we need more of, right?

Re:When? (5, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321601)

Are we going to abolish the stupidity of the concept of Daylight Savings Time? It saves no daylight.

It is an effective way to keep the daylight hours after work, when productive things can be done, rather than before work when nothing useful can be done because you're just going to have to go to work in a short time. We're stuck with the kludgy method of flipping clocks back and forth because we, as a society, are still wedded to the stupid 8-to-5 workday and the bankers that hold everyone else by the balls with their hours.

Full disclosure: I love DST and wish we'd stay on it all year. Light early in the morning is useless to me; I'm already at work in a windowless office by the time the sun comes up. I like having a lot of time to do things after work, and I don't get that at all in the winter--the sun's setting when I leave. If DST went on all year, I'd at least have a little light to do things first.

Re:When? (5, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321705)

But so would keeping "summer hours" at various businesses. 9-5 in the winter? 8-4 in the summer! See how easy that is? No need to take something that has a real, astronomical meaning, and fiddle with it completely arbitrarily for no real benefit at all.

In fact, the greatest benefit we could get would probably be to encourage businesses to vary their working times to spread out the "rush hour" traffic. This would reduce congestion on the roads (it's not strictly linear, so even a small change could reap huge rewards), a net win for both commuters and the environment. I know that an extra half hour of real time at each end of the day spent "not commuting" would be more valuable to me than 20 "extra" hours of daylight that we got by shifting our troubles by the same amount.

Re:When? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321911)

i used to think daylight savings haters were dumb till i heard this idea. this is about 50 times better in every way.

Re:When? (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322005)

It is way easier to change the clocks, especially now, than it is to try and remember the changing times for every organization we deal with each year. It would be insanity.

Re:When? (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321779)

I'd go for that. Just the constant flipping back and forth gets me. Grew up in Eastern Indiana (Fort Wayne) where they didn't do it (Back then anyway), so I think it messes with me worse because of it.

Re:When? (1)

Lord of the Fries (132154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321781)

Wish I had mod points. Parent sums up my feelings EXACTLY.

Re:When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321815)

Full disclosure: I love DST and wish we'd stay on it all year.

*facepalm*

That's not DST, that's changing your timezone by +1 relative to GMT (ie. if you're in -5 GMT, you're shifting to -4 GMT)

Re:When? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321947)

Which is silly, because it puts high noon at ~1 PM (in the middle of the timezone).

Why not just start and end work one hour earlier?

Re:When? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322021)

Yes, but people will have an easier time grokking DST switches than actually moving to a different timezone. But I agree - it's 7pm and still light out, and I like that very much. The prospect of possibly leaving the office when I can see is quite appealing (the morning is irrelevant to me, as I never wake up that close to sunrise)

Re:When? (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321867)

Adjusting work hours seasonally would be more effective, and then we wouldn't have to worry about confusion from the result of the change. Even better, the changes could be more gradual and could present a change greater than an hour if that is beneficial.

Also, saying that we should stay on DST all year is idiotic. We should just do things an hour earlier.

Re:When? (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321645)

It is stupid I agree. Another solution would be just specify the start of the work day relative to sunrise. Ie we work from sunrise + 1 to sunrise + 9. That way the sun would always have risen when you go to work and you'd have at least 1 hour a day to get your vitamin. The current system doesn't work in Canada or europe (and further north). For most people you wake up in the winter and the sun is just starting to rise, you get to work. By the time you leave work the sun has set. You go home in the dark. Thus you see the sun for all of the 20-30min you spend getting to work.

Re:When? (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321829)

Another solution would be just specify the start of the work day relative to sunrise.

That solution is totally inane. In the winter you would end up in a windowless office the only 8 hours of the day that the sun is actually out.

You might as well do it the other way around if you're going to do it that way: Make work end six hours before sunset.

Re:When? (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321949)

You're not like that already? I always need headlights for the drive home during the winter. I actually take it as a sign of approaching spring that I start to squint into the sunset on the drive home.

Re:When? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321685)

It made a tiny bit of sense in the old days for cities before electric power. But it made no sense for rural areas.

Now that we have this fancy thing called electricity, the entire concept is just asinine.

Re:When? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321919)

only if you don't go outside

Re:When? (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322023)

Or have to pay for electricity.

Re:When? (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321985)

It made a tiny bit of sense in the old days for cities before electric power. But it made no sense for rural areas. Now that we have this fancy thing called electricity, the entire concept is just asinine.

Except of course, they did not do Daylight Savings Time until after the development of electric lights.

Re:When? (1)

OrigamiMarie (1501451) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321711)

Same here. I am convinced that it encourages our caffeine and sleep problems.

Re:When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321807)

Are you serious? Are you one of those strange loons that needs to have 45,000 lights shining at your face or you'll get some kind of psychiatric disorder? I don't notice DST at all, and normal people don't either, save for maybe the next day.

Re:When? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321995)

It needs to go away with other anachronisms. I mortally detest it.

In the greater scheme, it's a small insult - perhaps unnecessary, but I'd rather get rid of coal fired power plants, nasty chemicals in food packaging and any number of other things first.

Re:When? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39322067)

I do like having extra daylight after work. I would be completely fine with leaving it in the DST indefinitely.

They stole an hour from my life! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321421)

This is really bad. I woke up this morning and noticed that is was noon instead of 11am like it should be. They fucking stole an hour from my life! Sure some might say I'll get it back next time we adjust the clock, but what if I don't make it to that time? It's gone, this is completely horrible.

Re:They stole an hour from my life! (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321591)

Don't worry... your mom should be down soon with some Hot Pockets and WoW juice and you feel right as rain. You won't even think about that DST stuff anymore.

Re:They stole an hour from my life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321977)

hey jester, you are the person with the profile here, I'm sure your Hot Pockets are just about ready as well.

Increased traffic accidents on Monday (4, Insightful)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321423)

Sleep-journal.com [sleep-journal.com] : "Results: There was a significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift to DST (t=1.92, P=0.034). There was also a significant increase in number of accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift from DST (P0.002)."

Get rid of DST. Arizona has it right (no DST). Doesn't help that the whole world doesn't even follow the DST change at the same time.

Re:Increased traffic accidents on Monday (2)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321771)

Is there a significant reduction in accidents when we set the clocks back an hour?

Re:Increased traffic accidents on Monday (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321793)

ugh... never mind.

Note to self: playing devil's advocate actually requires a proper amount of sleep.

... and heart attacks (1)

l00sr (266426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321945)

I'm glad I have flexible work hours, because otherwise I'd be looking forward to a 10%-increased chance of having a heart attack tomorrow or the day after [sciencedaily.com] . So... if there are 2 million heart attacks per year in the US, I guess that means several hundred extra heart attacks just due to this effect?

Mark my word1 (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321427)

This "electricity" is merely a fad and will come to nothing. Ha, and those bifocal things will cause the innocent wearer to become cross-eyed. Such dangerous radicals are not to be suffered in the King's lands!

Re:Mark my word1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321895)

This "electricity" is merely a fad and will come to nothing.

It comes to something, it comes to the Positive terminal.

Electricity flows Negative to Positive, not Positive to Negative. We've never gotten rid of that anachronism since there's too much stuff (schematics, books) that assumes that incorrect behavior.

Re:Mark my word1 (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322089)

Electricity flows from positive to negative. Electrons flow from negative to positive. In most cases, it does not matter. But the fact that it doesn't match drives some crazy.

I'll tell you in two weeks (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321439)

That is when summer time starts for the vast majority of sufferers.

DST isn't worth it (2)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321475)

Here in Saskatchewan we are pretty much the only province in Canada that doesn't switch time in regards to DST. So in effect we are like Arizona and don't switch.

A funny quote about daylight savings time (5, Funny)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321477)

I read a quote somewhere (Google says it's of Navajo origin) that changed the way I thought about daylight savings time. It went something like this:

"Daylight Savings Time is the equivalent of cutting off the bottom of a blanket and sewing it on to the top because your blanket is too short."

Re:A funny quote about daylight savings time (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321917)

"Daylight Savings Time is the equivalent of cutting off the bottom of a blanket and sewing it on to the top because your blanket is too short."

And then cutting off the top off the blanket and sewing it onto the bottom later in the year because the extra length is no longer necessary.

Re:A funny quote about daylight savings time (3, Insightful)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322037)

When the blanket's size grows and shrinks throughout the year, and the middle is attached to the side of the bed, it makes perfect sense.

Re:A funny quote about daylight savings time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39322117)

No it doesn't. It's ridiculous no matter which way you spin it. There's no "savings" in it, and all it does is disrupt our sleep patterns for a week, twice a year.

National Myths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321517)

Franklin may have stumbled, literally after frequenting Paris houses of ill repute in the wee hours, but the current national insanity stems from mass hysteria and panic during World War 1 and 2 then transformed for the Cold War baby boomers.

All of this "savings" is all a damn bloody myth.

CGP Grey (3, Interesting)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321521)

C.G.P. Grey did a swell video on this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84aWtseb2-4 [youtube.com]

Frankly, the system as is a chaotic mess. I find myself more and more often tempted to state HH:MM p/a GMT. It just seems like something that was good in theory about two hundred years ago, but now? Confusion. There is a reason standard time for trains considered such a great advance. DST now seems like a step backwards.

Re:CGP Grey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321625)

Actually, GMT includes DST. If you want time without the daylight savings, the only option is UTC (Universal Coordinated Time). Or Unix time, I suppose.

Re:CGP Grey (3, Informative)

Jamu (852752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321783)

No it doesn't. BST is always GMT + 1.

Re:CGP Grey (1)

stderr_dk (902007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322055)

Actually, GMT includes DST. If you want time without the daylight savings, the only option is UTC (Universal Coordinated Time). Or Unix time, I suppose.

Or TAI [wikipedia.org]

Re:CGP Grey (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321661)

I find myself more and more often tempted to state HH:MM p/a GMT.

Ah, yes - GMT (or UTC) as a worldwide standard for everyday living - the idea beloved of a cadre of Unix folks, but which will never even be taken seriously (or given any thought at all, really) by anyone else.

not Just tomorrow... (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321529)

I'm off all week. A lot of others feel the same way every time this comes around. Their internal clock is set to what they have been used to and now it's off by an hour and it takes a week or more to get it correct again.

There is no use for DST.

Re:not Just tomorrow... (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321901)

Haha I work unpredictable hours, so DST changes mean nothing to me.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

willie3204 (444890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321553)

Comrade Putin used abolishing DST as a platform to run under in this recent election... Seems to have worked out well for him

Gawd, not again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321575)

When will America learn, they did not invent everything? Please stop hunting for reasons that they did.

Re:Gawd, not again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39322097)

When will America learn, they did not invent everything? Please stop hunting for reasons that they did.

I don't think this is something anyone would really want to take credit for.
Burn in hell DST inventor whoever you are.

low standards (4, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321603)

The standard for "invention" has dropped a long way hasn't it. The whole "getting up with the sunrise" idea from antiquity was the original dailylight savings time. It was only once people started working in dungeons ...er ... factories that schedules started being different from work when you can see what you're doing. You can't forget something and then remember it and replace it with a less precise system and call it an invention.

Now we are locked in a stupid 9-5 schedule. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321899)

We could be doing a 24 hour schedule but we still operate businesses and offices from 9-5. Why? I see no advantage.

Re:Now we are locked in a stupid 9-5 schedule. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322105)

We could be doing a 24 hour schedule but we still operate businesses and offices from 9-5. Why? I see no advantage.

Yes, but it depends on how much synchronization businesses and customers that work together need.

For online businesses, a 24 hour schedule is no problem, as the customer interaction happens instantly thanks to the wonders of computers, even if it the transaction sits there for half a day afterwards, until a human can process it.

For businesses where two actual people must communicate or work together to make a transaction, the physical limit is that both must be awake and in working mode at the same time. If three companies must interact via humans, even if it is A with B and then B with C, they all must have compatible hours, and so on. That leads to common working hours, 9-5.

You'd think slashdot readers would recognize it... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321631)

It's pretty clear Franklin was trolling big time with that letter.

The real reason we still observe DST (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321643)

Is that the powers that be are still scared of the dark. Seriously though, we live in a time where we have electricity and light bulbs. If you're that uncomfortable with "losing daylight", grab a goddamn flashlight. It isn't fucking sorcery.

Re:The real reason we still observe DST (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321755)

Daylight is incredibly important to our health, especially if you're older. No, flashlights are not a proper replacement.

Re:The real reason we still observe DST (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321861)

I didn't say that flashlights are a proper replacement for sunlight. I merely stated that flashlights will placate those who have an irrational fear of the dark. May the bloodthirsty shadows consume you, vile heathen.

Re:The real reason we still observe DST (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321931)

sunlight has a massive effect on our mental health

Re:The real reason we still observe DST (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322069)

Seriously though, we live in a time where we have electricity and light bulbs.

So did the people who actually introduced DST.

If he did... (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321665)

My respect for him just took a nosedive.

DST is stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid..

Re:If he did... (3)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322031)

My respect for him just took a nosedive.

DST is stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid..

At the latitude of Paris, or New York City, in the middle of summer when sunrise is around 4:30am, and your typical city dweller doesn't rise until 7 or 8, but the burns candles several hours into the night, it makes perfect sense.

In Florida, it's just stupid. Kids are going to be dropped off at school before twilight starts tomorrow morning.

Re:If he did... (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322141)

Actually at the worst part of the year (for them) they're already done with their first class of the day before sunrise in the school zone I live in. I remember some years ago a teacher made a snide comment about "getting up at the crack of dawn" which pushed me over the edge and resulted in my pointing out at significant volume that it's not the crack of dawn, and it won't be for another half hour at least so by her own logic I should still be at home sleeping.

Ben Franklin was wrong? (2)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321697)

Franklin is also associated with other questionable ideas, including bifocals, lightning rods, electric current flowing from the positive to negative terminal, leaking official documents to fan opposition, and an independent United States of America

I didn't realize he postulated (or invented) the flow of electrons incorrectly!

FYI, just to clarify for all you non electrically inclined folks out there, electrons flow from the negative terminal (where a surplus of electrons are, hense the negative charge) to the positive terminal (where there is a lack of electrons.)

Bill

Re:Ben Franklin was wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321757)

Yeah, it's funny that Franklin was associated with at least two "Blame this guy" moments - the direction of electric current (which always requires a minute of explanation in freshman physics class), and Daylight Savings Time.

Bifocals might be another, from the perspective of a middle aged person who is reluctantly talked into ordering a pair.

Re:Ben Franklin was wrong? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322047)

Bifocals might be another, from the perspective of a middle aged person who is reluctantly talked into ordering a pair.

Binocular vision is overrated, just get a different prescription for each eye. Oh, and try not to run into things until you learn how to deal with your altered depth perception.

Re:Ben Franklin was wrong? (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321801)

It's not too late to change.
http://xkcd.com/567/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Ben Franklin was wrong? (3, Informative)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322145)

He didnt get it wrong - "Electric Current" is an arbitary definition.

The fact that it does not match up with the most typical case - electrons - is only an inconvenience. There are other circumstances where the flow of charge matches the direction of electric current, such as with positive ions in an electrolyte, so either way you're going to have issues.

F/OS leader also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321739)

Let's not forget Franklin as a visionary of the Free and Open Source movement also.

He refused to patent the pot belly stove and lighting rod (and probably lost what in today's dollars would be millions).

Not tomorrow (4, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321777)

If you think productivity will go down tomorrow, wait and see what happens on the 22nd. That's when the new Angry Birds comes out.

Nope... (3, Funny)

matt_gaia (228110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321859)

Obviously, Ben Franklin didn't invent DST. Bobby Boucher's mother did... Ben Franklin is THE DEVIL!

Re:Nope... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321877)

Go suck some more priest dicks, bible thumper.

Excuses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39321873)

The reasons for DST have changed several times in my lifetime: driver safety, encourage evening shopping, save energy, blah, blah, blah. Fact is it's just one more pointless government program that has outlived its usefulness, but will never die.

Watch Penn & Teller on the subject.

Re:Excuses (0)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322063)

When you point to a carnival barker and his magician sidekick as your source for reason, you should just give up and vote Republican.

Do we have to actually 'abolish' it? (3, Informative)

coldmist (154493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321883)

No.

My wife hates DST, so she looked into the actual law.

Here it is: The federal US government sets the days that the DST transition happens on. It's up to the individual states to go on DST or not.

So, you could work at a state level to just have your state not participate in it.

That's it.

DST Graph (4, Interesting)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321921)

If you want a visual explanation of the purpose and result of daylight saving time, check out this graph: Picasa Web Albums - Paul Nickerson [google.com]

The purpose, as I understand it, is to make the sun not rise super early against the clock during the summer. The effect is that it reduces the range of sunrise times, while increasing the range of sunset times. In a way, it normalizes sunrises while amplifying sunsets.

Oh, and while we're at it, during a non-DST period, if the time zones were evenly split and straight with no regard to human geographic borders, then at the middle of the time zone, 12:00 (noon) would be the time that astronomical noon is (when the sun is highest in the sky), varying by about 20 minutes before and after noon. If you average all the astronomical noons over the course of a year in the middle of a time zone, then astronomical noon is at precisely 12:00. During DST, astronomical noon is moved to 1:00 pm (13:00)

Rah rah rah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39322007)

It might seem like an esoteric discussion of productivity to people like ourselves, but if your job was to dig ditches each day you would be very happy to get up an hour earlier (and hence cooler) in the summertime.

Singapore (4, Interesting)

skribe (26534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322065)

Singaporeans liked the concept of Daylight Saving so much that in 1982 they moved to it permanently. Geographically they should be UTC+7 but they currently work off UTC+8.

</ useless trivia >

Waste of time and money (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322113)

Back in the days of Ben Franklin DST may have saved some candles, oil (for lamps) or gas.
In the early 20th century including both wars It saved electricity.
In the 21st century however its just stupid.

These days the majority of electricity is used for many other purposes besides lighting. The change to non-incandescent bulbs makes a significant power saving however.

Its no longer a 9-5 world. Many facilities have to operate 24 hours a day.

I work night shift (you insensitive clods)

In fall I end up having to work a 9 hr shift.
Last night I had a 7 hr shift

The only good thing was it meant that I could eat breakfast since I got home before sunrise. March 2-20th is the Month of the Fast in the religion I follow.

The average person probably wastes more than an hour in changing the clocks. Automatic setting of clocks (apart from computers and other connected devices that can have the software upgraded) didn't work because the govt changed the date DST starts and ends

Since it is election year, which candidates at a State or National level are in favor of repealing DST ?

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