Today, I want to a secret Sci-Fi fantasy of mine with you. It’s about Daylight Savings Time. And I can almost guarantee you that it will come true within 30 years, if not sooner.
Instead of dealing with setting the clocks back and forth by an hour twice a year, and dealing with all the annoyance (and increased human death toll) that comes along with it, just have the clocks adjust a little bit each day, automatically.
This is not hard. We have the technology. Adopting a more sensible time standard is easier than ever to do, thanks to cell phones, computers and digital clocks.
If you wanted to, you could even add a little digitally-controlled motor to your analog clocks, if you wanted to keep them. This would likely be an upgrade that would cost just a few bucks, as most analog clock motors come in standard sizes.
Since I’m super-ambitious, I’d recommend taking this even one step further for future generations: Use your own local time zone, which automatically adjusts your clocks every day based on solar noon in your area.
Then, simply use apps like Google Calendar to automatically offset meeting times whenever you have to propose a call or an in-person event with people in different local time zones.
If I want to schedule a call with someone who lives in a time zone that’s 15 mins west of me for instance, Google can easily offset that in my calendar, just as it does now. (And in the future, it could easily and automatically offset proposed times in my initial scheduling email as well.)
This is much closer to the way in which humans lived and understood time for countless thousands of years. Finally, we have a technology that can take the best aspects of the sundial and combine it with the best aspects of digital precision and communications technology.
In your own time zone, there’s nothing to worry about. In the event that you have to schedule calls or make trips out of town (which most people don’t do every day) it would be super easy to have your computer, phone or car adjust for these differences automatically. And you can always easily refer back to your home time zone as well for reference, perhaps even side-by-side if you like.
This is incredibly simple to do today. We have the technology. All we need is the imagination, the interest, and the will to live increasingly pleasant and sensible lives.
It won’t happen next year, but I’ll bet you it will start to happen within my lifetime.