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Terran Computational Calendar Introduces Minimonths, Year Bases, and Datemods

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the on-a-night-just-like-tonight dept.

Unix 209

First time accepted submitter TC+0 (3672227) writes "Inspired by comments regarding its first incarnation, the Terran Computational Calendar's recent redefinition now includes dynamic support for 'leap duration', 'year bases', and 'datemods'. Here's the new abstract from terrancalendar.com (wikia mirror) captured at 44.5.20,6.26.48 TC+7H:

Synchronized with the northern winter solstice, the terran computational calendar began roughly* 10 days before the UNIX Epoch. Each year is composed of 13 identical 28-day months, followed by a 'minimonth' that houses leap days (one most years and two every 4th but not 128th year) and leap seconds (issued by the IERS during that year). Each date is an unambiguous instant in time that exploits zero-based numbering and a handful of delimiters to represent the number of years and constant length months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds that have elapsed since 0TC (the calendar's starting point). An optional 'year base' may be applied to ignore erratic leap duration. Arithmetic date adjusting 'datemods' can be applied to define things like weeks, quarters, and regional times."

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Still not a StarCraft reference... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133389)

Every time /. mentions the Terran calendar I get my hopes up.

Re:Still not a StarCraft reference... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133911)

Oh, you big fibber: you've gotten exactly nothing up since the operation.

yeah, this is an improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133405)

Offsets from unix epoch, arbitrary delimiters...we already have this: it's know as status quo, and in regards to dates, it sucks.

Re:yeah, this is an improvement (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47133825)

True, but at least any terran computational date configuration is an unambiguous instant in time. And what makes the terran computational calendar unique is its ability to either include or exclude leap seconds with 'year bases [terrancalendar.com] ' and/or jump forward or backwards a certain number of quarters/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds with 'datemods [terrancalendar.com] '.

Re:yeah, this is an improvement (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 months ago | (#47134409)

True, but at least any terran computational date configuration is an unambiguous instant in time.

While that may be true, the converse isn't: An unambiguous instant in time can have an number terran date configurations. now= yesterday with a datemod of 86400, for example.

TC is cute and all, but it's just another way of writing UTC. I'll stick to ISO 8601, thanks.

One more reason to get off this rock (0)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 2 months ago | (#47134085)

Then scientists can work on a timekeeping method that makes sense. No 'leap seconds' or any thing else tied to the Earth's rotational speed or distance from the sun. Base it on a scientific constant, whether nuclear decay or specific EM wavelength or anything else that is precise and easily measurable.

Re:One more reason to get off this rock (4, Interesting)

VanGarrett (1269030) | about 2 months ago | (#47134317)

Seasons and duration of day are logical and meaningful things to base your units of time on. Nuclear decay and EM wavelengths are a rather illogical basis, as these things don't have a practical use or observation in the common life of humans in general. Days and seasons, on the other hand, have an apparent and obvious cycle, which can be observed without need of special equipment. Furthermore, they have an immediate and profound affect on our environment. This is the difference between light and dark, between heat and cold, between growth and recess. These cycles dictate when we can grow food, and how long we have to complete tasks. It therefore makes a great deal of sense that we would want to keep track of these things. The only failing, is that the larger units aren't always comprised of a whole number of the smaller units, as they are based on difference cycles, which are not actually related to eachother.

Now, on the other hand, if we lived on a starship or perhaps a space station unassociated with any particular planet, your timekeeping method could reasonably be arbitrary. You might choose to base it on the crew's mode average circadian rhythm, perhaps. In those circumstances, you would have eliminated the conditions that have inspired our current timekeeping system.

Umm .... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47133407)

OK, sure, you're invented your own calendar. I'm sure it's awesome.

But nobody will use it.

But, hey, some people speak Klingon at parties in the hopes it will impress their friends.

Seriously, do you expect people to use this? Or is it purely an intellectual exercise?

I'm afraid I don't see the point.

Re:Umm .... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47133543)

The state of timekeeping is...not pretty... at present, so an improvement would be nice; but it's somewhat hard to argue for something really radical when you could file down some of the really pointy bits by just keeping the deterministic parts of the current time/date setup, and ignoring leap seconds(which will eventually become an issue; but that'll take a least a couple of centuries, so it will be somebody else's problem.) UTC sucks, TIA FTW!

Re:Umm .... (4, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 2 months ago | (#47133571)

It's simple; you just need to change the motions of the heavenly bodies so that Earth orbits the sun exactly 13 times per year, the Earth rotates exactly 28 times per month, and the Moon orbits the Earth exactly once per month. If you can arrange that, I'll gladly switch to your new calendar.

Re:Umm .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133677)

It's simple; you just need to change the motions of the heavenly bodies so that Earth orbits the sun exactly 13 times per year.

Disregarding that a year is one orbit around the sun, if you consider a year that is 1/13th of the current one, we would all fry.

Re:Umm .... (2)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 2 months ago | (#47133697)

Disregarding that a year is one orbit around the sun, if you consider a year that is 1/13th of the current one, we would all fry.

This redistribution of orbital motions is trickier than I thought.

The beauty of year bases... (2)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47133669)

By default, the Terran Computational Calendar accounts for IERS issued leap seconds. But, Leap seconds can actually be ignored by applying a year base of 0. Therefore, the following two dates are the same instant in time: 44-05-20 22:16:41 TC [terrancalendar.com] (includes leap seconds), 44-05-20 22:17:06 TC0 [terrancalendar.com] (excludes all leap seconds)

Re:The beauty of year bases... (3, Funny)

dnavid (2842431) | about 2 months ago | (#47133739)

By default, the Terran Computational Calendar accounts for IERS issued leap seconds. But, Leap seconds can actually be ignored by applying a year base of 0. Therefore, the following two dates are the same instant in time: 44-05-20 22:16:41 TC [terrancalendar.com] (includes leap seconds), 44-05-20 22:17:06 TC0 [terrancalendar.com] (excludes all leap seconds)

And if you use Steven Wright's calendar, you can ignore sevens.

And the benefit is... (1)

aussersterne (212916) | about 2 months ago | (#47134443)

what, exactly? Calendars are synthetic tools used to synchronize human activity. That is their one and only value. They do not exist in nature; nature synchronizes with itself without our intervention.

But we need a shared, common way to refer to particular dates in time so that we can refer to records and events retrospectively and arrange for future events prospectively—together, in a coordinated fashion.

So your proposal replaces one time measurement system on which everyone is more or less on the same page, in which the representation of a particular moment in time is broadly accepted across a large swath of humanity...by another system in which across that very same swath of humanity, a moment in time can be represented in multiple ways.

This would seem to reduce, not increase, the value of a calendar for all practical intents and purposes.

This proposal is most likely to catch (well, let's be honest, it's never likely to catch) but it's most likely to catch in advanced industrial/post-industrial societies where the resources and level of education to make use of it are in place. So you're proposing to introduce extensive new ambiguity in timekeeping into the population in which there is currently the least ambiguity in timekeeping.

Again, seems ass-backward to me.

Re:Umm .... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 months ago | (#47133855)

It's not pretty because it evolved from an astronomical model. When timekeeping was being invented, we weren't entirely aware that's what we were modeling. This shit goes back thousands of years (Stonehenge, bitches!) and is organized that way for a reason. Like clockwork people come around and decide that the current system isn't elegant and should be redesigned. Inevitably their new design is shit and doesn't take into account all the stuff the current system does. This happens so regularly I'm thinking of building a timekeeping system around it.

The last big advance was redefining the second from one 86400th of a day to a set number of vibrations of an cesium atom, but they still worked it so it was as long as a second that was 1/86400th of a day. The only possible way to wrestle time into something other would be to completely remove the astronomical context so you just have a linear scale, but even then we'd still need 24 hour cycles because that's what the dirtball our species grew up on had. The UNIX epoch system works as reasonably well as anything else that's a linear scale, though Julian dates rub me the wrong way for some reason. Probably because they're floating point and I have to just convert the damn things to a UNIX epoch to do anything with them anyway. If you have an epoch using seconds or milliseconds, you can always just modulo by 86400 to get the time of day (in seconds) for any number you have, so that seems pretty reasonable to me. Personally I always just work in GMT and don't mess with time zones.

Really my only gripe is that at the moment there are like three different time APIs for UNIX that you're forced to use, and you always end up having to convert to a different one because you need to know what day it is and there's not an API call for the representation you're using. We seem to be setting down around gettimeofday, though, so maybe we'll just build up a bunch of functions around struct timevals and call it good.

Re:Umm .... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133629)

Our sysadmin proudly showed off his latest scripts to log system and network load balances. Only problem, a single typing mistake made them use ddate instead of date, which made for interesting logs:

Date: Today is Sweetmorn, the 5th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3180
Celebrate Syaday

Re:Umm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133981)

Our sysadmin proudly showed off his latest scripts to log system and network load balances. Only problem, a single typing mistake made them use ddate instead of date, which made for interesting logs:

Date: Today is Sweetmorn, the 5th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3180
Celebrate Syaday

YOLD = You Only Live Deux

Re:Umm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133671)

Especially since we already have stardate and the federation has made it clear, consistent galactic time system....

Re:Umm .... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 2 months ago | (#47133741)

This is what people probably said to Gene Roddenberry: "OK sure you invented a language for the fictional race of people in your fictional TV show. I'm sure it's awesome. But nobody will use it."

1. Some people will use it and like it.

2. Widespread adoption is not the only redeeming quality a creative endeavor can have.

Seriously, do you expect people to use this? Or is it purely an intellectual exercise?

3. You're probably one of those people that doesn't get the point of philosophy also.

I'm afraid I don't see the point.

4. Then don't use it.

Re:Umm .... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47133771)

1. Some people will use it and like it.

Sure, but let's be honest ... it's like speaking Klingon. It's cool, and maybe a fun intellectual exercise, but in the grand scheme of things more of a hobby than anything.

2. Widespread adoption is not the only redeeming quality a creative endeavor can have.

Sure, I get that ... but I'm desperately trying to see the point. It's like building a framework for building calendars. OK, does this come up much? (Hell, maybe it has applications in converting between calendars for all I know)

3. You're probably one of those people that doesn't get the point of philosophy also.

Now you're just being an ass. I may be a cynical old man, but I'm a well read cynical old man.

4. Then don't use it.

Oddly enough, not a problem.

That doesn't change the fact that the practical applications of this, on the surface at least, seem rather limited.

Feel free to use it. Have your own secret handshake with the 12 other guys who will. You can have annual conventions and everything. :-P

Re:Umm .... (3, Informative)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47133919)

One of the practical applications is for realtime proactive dating purposes. By default, the Terran Computational Calendar accounts for IERS issued leap seconds. But, by appending a 'year base [terrancalendar.com] ', only leap seconds before that year will be accounted for.
So say a little over 10 years ago at 34TC [terrancalendar.com] you wanted to schedule a task for EXACTLY 10 years in the future, you can write that date as 44TC34 [terrancalendar.com] and not have to worry about the 3 additional leap seconds that have occured during that time.

Another nice thing about the calendar is that it's easy to calculate the amount of time that occured since the beginning of the year. So basically 44.5.20,19.40.4 TC [terrancalendar.com] means that 5*(28*24*60*60)+20*(24*60*60)+19*(60*60)+40*(60)+4 = 13894804 seconds have past since the beginning of the year. The equivalent being 44TC+13894804 [terrancalendar.com] . Most other calendars aren't too keen on this amount of simplicity.

Re:Umm .... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47134471)

Another nice thing about the calendar is that it's easy to calculate the amount of time that occured since the beginning of the year. So basically 44.5.20,19.40.4 TC [terrancalendar.com] means that 5*(28*24*60*60)+20*(24*60*60)+19*(60*60)+40*(60)+4 = 13894804 seconds have past since the beginning of the year.

Is that really the case you want to optimize for?

Re:Umm .... (3, Insightful)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 2 months ago | (#47134087)

Every novel idea was once just some crazy man's dream.

What I don't see the point of is not just announcing you don't see the point, but returning to defend your lack of insight.

It's obviously easier to calculate date offsets, and the consistent zero based counting reduces the chances of having the idiocy of JavaScript's zero based month. If you wanted to see a point, its right there.

At some time in the future, we will replace the irregular system we have now, with something reasonable. Like metric. And there will be holdouts who refuse to change.

But what gets adopted does so because people use it, and people use it because it makes sense. First to one, then two, and then People magazine.

Of course it could be some crazy asshole's stupid idea, in which case you could just ask the crazy asshole, or read his web page, and learn the point.

To dismiss the idea, and actively avoid the point, while announcing your ignorance is a waste of typing. Especially while claiming to be well read. I guess that just stopped before this summary hit the front page?

I don't see this changing anything, and it is statistically unlikely to be the next timekeeping solution, so I'm not defending its worth nor utility. But butting into a conversation with, "I really don't see the point" is just the kind of smarmy, closed minded nonsense that gets your opinion discarded. No need to thank me for reminding you.

Re:Umm .... (1)

Mantrid42 (972953) | about 2 months ago | (#47134327)

It's obviously easier to calculate date offsets, and the consistent zero based counting reduces the chances of having the idiocy of JavaScript's zero based month. If you wanted to see a point, its right there.

At some time in the future, we will replace the irregular system we have now, with something reasonable. Like metric.

It didn't work during the French Revolution, and it won't work now.

Re:Umm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134163)

This is what people probably said to Gene Roddenberry: "OK sure you invented a language for the fictional race of people in your fictional TV show. I'm sure it's awesome. But nobody will use it."

Clearly you missed the point of "intellectual exercise".

3. You're probably one of those people that doesn't get the point of philosophy also.

False equivalency police are coming for you. Philosophy is useful to everyone whether they know it or not. The dorky calendar is only useful to the dorks that think it is useful while the rest of the world could care less, if it is not a purely intellectual exercise. If it were an intellectual exercise wtf does the creator care if people use it or not, which is probably what Roddenberry would say to someone about Klingon if he were still alive to be asked the question. Plus, Roddenberry didn't invent the language, nunce.

From Klingon language: External History [wikipedia.org] :

Though mentioned in the original Star Trek series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", the Klingon language first appeared on-screen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). According to the actor who spoke the lines, Mark Lenard, James Doohan recorded the lines he had written on a tape, and Lenard transcribed the recorded lines in a way he found useful in learning them.[2]

For Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) director Leonard Nimoy and writer-producer Harve Bennett wanted the Klingons to speak a proper language instead of made-up gibberish and so commissioned a full language based on the phrases Doohan had come up from Marc Okrand, who had earlier devised four lines of Vulcan dialogue for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.[2][3] Okrand enlarged the lexicon and developed grammar based on the original dozen words Doohan had created. The language appeared intermittently in later films featuring the original cast—for example, in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), where translation difficulties served as a plot device.

Re:Umm .... (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47133755)

Basing a calendar on the orbit of a planet when you might not be around the planet would be sort of silly. The calendar is created to standardize time such that when someone eventually leaves this solar system they have some time to use that isn't based on something they can no longer measure.

Earth time is handy if you are on earth but it's terribly inconvenient off it, partially because they are constantly applying corrections to that time to compensate for things like the planets rotation changing. You might not be aware of this but even thing like earthquakes that shift the planets mass around can and do changes the planets rotation. IIRC they have to apply "corrections" to the time every couple years to correct for these changes. These corrections would be meaningless to someone not on earth.

They may be a bit premature but eventually we'll need something like this for the people that (hopefully before we destroy ourselves) leave the solar system.

Re:Umm .... (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 2 months ago | (#47133933)

Basing a calendar on the orbit of a planet when you might not be around the planet would be sort of silly.

Then why are we using base 28 and base 13 to organize the days into larger units? If we're trying to be independent of Earth's natural periods, why not make it all base 10 or base 2 or whatever you want, and be done with it?

The calendar is created to standardize time such that when someone eventually leaves this solar system they have some time to use that isn't based on something they can no longer measure.

Except it's fundamentally based on trying to reconstruct a 365-day-ish year with something close to a lunar cycle month -- otherwise, why use these stupid groupings?

They may be a bit premature but eventually we'll need something like this for the people that (hopefully before we destroy ourselves) leave the solar system.

Just a bit. Ya think?

Look -- in case you are unfamiliar with the long history of calendar reform, there are plenty of VERY similar calendar reform proposals going back hundreds of years. This one is barely different from a number of common ones that have been suggested before, since 13 and 28 are perhaps the easiest way to preserve something close to solar years, lunar months, and also have the cool side-benefit of lining up months with 7-day weeks. Other than the start date, which is just as arbitrary as anything else, it isn't new at all.

This is fun and all, but we're going to be serious about calendar reform and making something simpler and not tied to the Earth, you'd be better off scrapping the whole thing and starting new with something like the metric system. (The French Revolutionary calendar came closest to this.) Otherwise, it's definitely not about independence from Earth -- it's about making a slightly more regular system that still uses weird bases and doesn't actually line up with natural cycles exactly anyway.

Re:Umm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133941)

Then why are we using base 28

Because women aren't going to bleed at a different rate on a different planet.

Re:Umm .... (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 2 months ago | (#47134025)

Because women aren't going to bleed at a different rate on a different planet.

I'm guessing you were probably making a joke, but this is actually a serious question, with (so far) little evidence to suggest what may happen.

Most spaceflight missions with women have had lengths less than one menstrual cycle. The few women who have spent longer periods on the space station have not been the subject of detailed studies on their cycles, due to privacy concerns. Given that various body chemistry changes take place in space (and possibly in environments with other differences in gravity), it's difficult to predict whether there might be an effect or not. Length of cycles is already known to vary significantly from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle. Variation of up to 8 days in length is considered normal, and only if cycles vary by over 20 days are they considered highly irregular.

So, in case you weren't joking, it seems that designing a calendar off of something with such potential to be irregular would be rather useless... even if we knew for certain that there would be no change in a microgravity environment or on another planet (which we don't).

TAI SI seconds and gravitational time dialation... (2)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134005)

This was considered, but ultimately, the terran computational calendar chose to define itself in terms of the 1977 definition of a TAI second [wikipedia.org] :
"the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom" measured at the geoid (mean sea level)
Therefore, for the terran computational calendar, we actually know how much relativistic gravitational time dialation [wikipedia.org] to account for, even if you are way out somewhere in a different star system, because it is the amount of relativistic gravitational time dialation that exists at mean sea level. So converting terran computational dates into future interstellar ones should be relatively (lol) easy. But, by it's name alone you've already realized that the Terran Computational Calendar is an earth based calendar and not generally expected to be used for interstellar travel.

Talking about a space travel, Barycentric Coordinate Time [wikipedia.org] (TCB) and Geocentric Coordinate Time [wikipedia.org] (TCG) are currently used. The former "performs exactly the same movements as the Solar system but is outside the system's gravity well" and the later "performs exactly the same movements as the Earth but is outside the Earth's gravity well".

Re:TAI SI seconds and gravitational time dialation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134397)

It doesn't even make sense to have an "interstellar" timescale. There's time on the mean surface of the earth, and there's time on your starship. It will be interesting and useful to know what values those two clocks will have when they next meet at the end of your round trip, but they're still two different clocks in two different frames of references, and the spaceship one is probably not very predictable relative to the earth one if you had to make course corrections or conserve fuel.

Re:Umm .... (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 months ago | (#47133837)

On a venn diagram there is no intersection between "speak Klingon at parties" and "friends"...

Re:Umm .... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 months ago | (#47133945)

On a venn diagram there is no intersection between "speak Klingon at parties" and "friends"...

Ah! So that's why none of my friends can speak Klingon. It's mathematically impossible for them!

Name is WAY too Earth-Centric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134007)

Terran, really? That just smacks of Earth-centric attitude. What about all the other planets, like KOI-3284.01? Did they really have to name it in a way biased against non-Earthlings?

Re:Umm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134253)

You haven't noticed tons of people using seconds since linux epoch for programming? Something similar that wasn't just in seconds could prove useful in scientific/technical fields.

Beta Sucks, Join Soylent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133411)

http://soylentnews.org/

Now, as always, with less beta!

Re:Beta Sucks, Join Soylent (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#47133643)

Now with more temporal delays than slashdot and less comments!

Re:Beta Sucks, Join Soylent (1)

deniable (76198) | about 2 months ago | (#47133833)

But it's all about the people.

It's like Swatch .beat Internet time all over (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#47133413)

Complicated totally unfamiliar representation of date and time for the "information age"? I think i'll take flawwed, but understood and good enough over that any time.

rfc 1925 2.11 [ietf.org] is reaffirmed

(11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.

Re:It's like Swatch .beat Internet time all over (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 months ago | (#47133649)

Complicated totally unfamiliar representation of date and time for the "information age"?

Why is it unfamiliar, it is almost the same as current representation:
YY.MM.DD,HH.MM.SS TC+7H
RFC3339 is
YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS+07:00

And that May 31st corresponds to 5.20. is logical, as there are fewer days in their month.

Re:It's like Swatch .beat Internet time all over (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134035)

So true. But people like using their own delimiters for different tasks and situations. Therefore the terran computational calendar restricts acceptable delimiters to only the most popular ones:
From terrancalendar.com#Delimiters [terrancalendar.com] : "The only 8 acceptable delimiters are space, plus, comma, minus, dot, slash, colon, underscore ( +,-./:_) (UTF8 hex codes 20, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 3a, 5f)."

As long as you stay with a few rules, you can use any combination of delimiters you want, so:
±YY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS TC±DM is totally valid as is ±YY,MM/DD HH_MM:SS.TC±DM

Re:It's like Swatch .beat Internet time all over (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#47133713)

So http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org] all over again?

Re:It's like Swatch .beat Internet time all over (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134049)

Nice. But terran computational years, month, days, hours, minutes and seconds are not decimals. Only fractions of a second are decimals.

From the site [terrancalendar.com] : "In order, these fields are year, month, day, hour, minute, second, fraction, designator, datemod and their ranges are roughly: ±*.[0-13].[0-27].[0-23].[0-59].[0-59].*.TC*±*, where * is any acceptable range."

Re:It's like Swatch .beat Internet time all over (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#47134425)

Combine the worst of both. It'll be amazing.

The thirteenth month (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 2 months ago | (#47133493)

Lousy Smarch weather...

Re:The thirteenth month (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133533)

Maypril is pretty nice, though.

Ethiopian Calendar (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47133507)

Sounds like the Ethiopian calendar.
12 months of 30 days plus a 13th month of 5 or 6 days (which are all holidays!).

Re:Ethiopian Calendar (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47133555)

Sounds like the Ethiopian calendar.
12 months of 30 days plus a 13th month of 5 or 6 days (which are all holidays!).

Yea, my kids Ethiopian. Trying to keep track of the holidays is a nightmare. They're on a different day every year. Yet I have to honor his culture or something so I have to get out a slide rule to figure out when Christmas is every year.

Backup rotation (2)

BaronM (122102) | about 2 months ago | (#47133513)

That is remarkably similar to what I used to use for a backup tape rotation once upon a time:

27 daily tapes labeled d1-d27
13 'monthly' tapes labeled m1-m13
1 year-end tape labeled appropriately

It was easy to manage since there was never any question which tape was 'next' or safe to reuse. Robotic tape libraries, software with better tape management, and eventually disk-to-disk backup make it obsolete, but I always did think that a 28x13+1(or2) calendar would be much more sensible than what we have now.

Not that I was ever silly enough to think that the world would adopt just because it makes more sense :)

Re:Backup rotation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133651)

you heathen....they should be d0-d26, m0-m12

Re:Backup rotation (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#47133667)

More sense?

Do you know how many gods you will anger by reducing their days of worship?!?!

Given a choice... (3, Funny)

mbone (558574) | about 2 months ago | (#47133517)

... I'ld rather go back to Thermidor.

Re:Given a choice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133965)

... I'ld rather go back to Thermidor.

LOVE their lobster!

Re:Given a choice... (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 2 months ago | (#47134479)

It's curious that the metric system took over while the metric calendar didn't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Thirteen months, who's on crack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133565)

I like 10 months. December can be the tenth month again.

The even numbered months have 36 days, the old months have 37.

In a leap year December has 37.

Re:Thirteen months, who's on crack? (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 2 months ago | (#47133645)

Plus you don't have to pay bills as often.

Re:Thirteen months, who's on crack? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 months ago | (#47133961)

I like 10 months. December can be the tenth month again.

The even numbered months have 36 days, the old months have 37.

In a leap year December has 37.

36 or 37 days? Are you crazy? I've already got too much month at the end of my money.

Re:Thirteen months, who's on crack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133993)

June and July are the hottest months. I say we eliminate them!

Re:Thirteen months, who's on crack? (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134067)

Pagans, apparently. Actually, back in the pagan days, there WERE 13 months. The year started in spring, and December was the 10th out of 13 months.

Re:Thirteen months, who's on crack? (5, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 months ago | (#47134169)

Actually, back in the pagan days, there WERE 13 months

Embolismic months are not constant, but are inserted because there is a difference of about 11 days between 12 synodic months (~354 days) and one tropical year (~365 days). An embolismic month ends up being added approximately 7 years out of 19, by different algorithms according to different cultures. And even if you were intended to include Jews (and their occasional "Adar II") among your categorization of "pagans," even Christians keep track of embolismic lunations in reckoning the date of that faith's holiest day (in the Gregorian Calendar, May 30 is the first day of the seventh lunation out of thirteen in AD 2014). The only major religion that absolutely, positively insists on a year of 12 months for all purposes is Islam.

The year started in spring, and December was the 10th out of 13 months.

It was the tenth of ten months; the early Romans likely reckoned winter as extracalary. January and February (and Mercedonius/Intercalaris) were added later, probably when what passed for Roman astronomy became relatively more sophisticated. And it wasn't only "pagans" that insisted that March was the first month. The last major hold-out, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, didn't change until AD 1752 (AUC 2505). And not all "pagans" were or are Roman.

Re:Thirteen months, who's on crack? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 months ago | (#47134075)

the old months have 37

Because if there's one thing we need more of in calendar math, it's prime numbers.

I didn't think it would be possible (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47133589)

I didn't think it would be possible to remake the calendar and end up with something more complicated, but they've done it. Jim Raynor would be proud.

Re:I didn't think it would be possible (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47133705)

I didn't think it would be possible to remake the calendar and end up with something more complicated, but they've done it.

Our calendar is complicated because it's based on actual astronomy and real things like how long it takes us to go around the sun and stuff like that.

It's the culmination of thousands of years of real time keeping. Noon means more than 12pm ... it means when the sun crosses the meridian.

The Gregorian Calendar has its awkward bits. But they're based in a large number of years of observations of the actual physical thing.

And, besides, no matter how elegant this new calendar purports to be ... nobody is going to realistically give a damn about it. Ten days before the UNIX epoch as a calendar start epoch? Wow, a calendar which starts out as a hack to work with legacy software. How apropos.

And how, pray tell, does one refer to previous dates? Do we have the super elegant solution of negative numbers? 'Cause nobody is gonna say "'I was born back in -20, lo those many years ago' just because some guy made up a new calendar.

Maybe we could call it 'Pre New Fangled' and 'After New Fangled'? Apparently that Jesus feller was born way back in 1970PNF.

You're not going to be able to use it for anything, because you'll be perpetually converting it back to something everybody already understands.

No matter how much of a confusing mess the Gregorian calendar is, a new calendar more or less solves no practical purpose. That's not to say it might not be cool. But nobody will ever actually use this for anything other than showing off to other geeks -- and even they might roll their eyes.

Re:I didn't think it would be possible (-1, Flamebait)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 2 months ago | (#47133763)

'I was born back in -20, lo those many years ago'

You're old, why should I care about you?

Re:I didn't think it would be possible (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47133917)

You're old, why should I care about you?

You're stupid, why should I care about you?

Re:I didn't think it would be possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134197)

You should be modded 'Insightful', because he truly is if you look at some of the dumb shite that he's posted.

Re:I didn't think it would be possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134257)

'I was born back in -20, lo those many years ago'

You're old, why should I care about you?

So much for your philosophy reading then, huh? Unless you're reading current authors and thinking that's philosophy. Plato, Socrates, Hume, etc. are so old they're dead! You should care about them and what they said and wrote if you are at all concerned about philosophy, or are you just a little poseur?

Re:I didn't think it would be possible (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134123)

I use it. There's a nice date converter on the website [terrancalendar.com] . And if you want to use it more often, there's currently a py based ubuntu app indicator [github.com] if you roll like that.

intricacy can allow for simplicity (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47133793)

It's actually simpler is some respects. Writing two quarters into the current year can be achieved with a datemod: 44TC+2Q [terrancalendar.com] . This is equivalent to 44.6.14TC [terrancalendar.com] , and to its TC timestamp (an implied year zero and a datemod that use seconds): TC+1404172825 [terrancalendar.com]

Re:intricacy can allow for simplicity (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 months ago | (#47133921)

that's nice, dear. go back to bed.

Re:intricacy can allow for simplicity (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134137)

I revel in my beta tier.

info8mative tacotaco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133623)

Does anyone really know what time it is? (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about 2 months ago | (#47133635)

Does anyone really care?

Cheers,
Dave

Re:Does anyone really know what time it is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133971)

And though I can't imagine why, we've all got time enough to die.

This is the gayest thing I have read all day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133659)

I have never been with a man... never wanted to, but just reading this... it's hard to explain, but my mouth started watering and I started imagining.... PENISES!!!! INSIDE MY MOUTH! RAPING MY MOUTH!!!!

Gee, thanks, Slashdot.

Re:This is the gayest thing I have read all day (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134149)

"If by gay you mean the old English definition of 'fun, enjoyable and carefree,' then yes, it's extremely gay." - from the movie Role Models

Meh (2)

Dave Emami (237460) | about 2 months ago | (#47133685)

I prefer the Unix-based method from Vernor Vinge's A Deepness In the Sky. Everything is seconds based on the Unix epoch, with SI prefixes for longer periods -- ksecs (00:16:40), msecs (about 11.6 days), gsec (about 31.7 years), etc. With processing power as ubiquitous as it is, converting back and forth when planetary/celestial timing really matters is trivial. Most of our non-analog timing devices already work this way already, and those that don't (LED alarm clocks) are being phased out by devices that do work that way (smartphones). Granted this isn't any more likely to be used than the TCC, but at least it's cleaner.

Re:Meh (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134203)

A good candidate for an intersteller calendar. So to make the current date (1401510007 UNIX) more readable you could write it as 1:401:510:007

I like it a lot! That's the new stardate by the way.

Yet another calendar (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 2 months ago | (#47133703)

Why anyone should use it?

And I thought daylight savings was complex (2)

turp182 (1020263) | about 2 months ago | (#47133757)

Jesus (I believe the man existed, but not that he was a deity), do we have to complicate the Earth date system more???

Systems already break because it's complicated enough, and I have to set the times on microwave ovens and regular ovens often enough. We understand 12 months of varying lengths with a base 24 day cycle, isn't that enough. 221788790 seconds from the winter solstice???

A minimonth??? Seriously.

Time and dates are already defined for the inhabitants of the planet. And it works. Don't mess with it.

Next thing you know there will be pressure on the US to accept a non-English measurement system...

Re:And I thought daylight savings was complex (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134251)

"221788790 SI seconds (measured at the geoid) before 1977-01-01 00:00:00 TAI" is just the official definition of the start of the calendar (to coincide with basically 10 days before the unix epoch, the northern winter solstice, and the redefinition of TAI in 1977).

Most time keeping systems now a days (including the beloved UTC) are based on the 1977-01-01 00:00:00 TAI definition [wikipedia.org] because TAI is International Atomic Time (Temps atomique international) which basically runs everything when it comes precise time measurements.

You advocate a ________ approach to calendar refor (2)

billyswong (1858858) | about 2 months ago | (#47133767)

http://qntm.org/calendar [qntm.org]

You advocate a

( ) overly simplistic

approach to calendar reform. Your idea will not work. Here is why:

( ) having months of different lengths is irritating
( ) having one or two days per year which are part of no month is stupid

Specifically, your plan fails to account for:

( ) humans
( ) rational hatred for arbitrary change
( ) unpopularity of weird new month and day names

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) nobody is about to renumber every event in history
( ) good luck trying to move the Fourth of July
(x) the history of calendar reform is horrifically complicated and no amount of further calendar reform can make it simpler

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) sorry, but I don't think it would work
( ) this is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it

It will catch on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133787)

... the day Americans start using metric units and farenheit temperatures...

Re:It will catch on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133863)

We're halfway there – we already use Fahrenheit.

Then again, in England speed limits are still in MPH and beer is still sold in pints.

So what exactly was your point?

ISO 8601 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47133795)

I'd settle for YYYY-MM-DD instead of that stupid 10/01/12 crappy ass system.

Is that the 10th of January 2012? 1912?
Or maybe 1st of October 2012? 1912?
Or 12 January 2010? 1910?

Re:ISO 8601 (1)

mattr (78516) | about 2 months ago | (#47134267)

I use 2014-0531 on everything. Backups are always name.2014-0531-1530JST.bak

I also have an alternate calendar (2)

deniable (76198) | about 2 months ago | (#47133843)

How about we have a meeting? I'll send you a request in Outlook.

How about... (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 months ago | (#47133849)

Let's go with Tolkein's Shire Calendar [tolkiengateway.net] instead. Twelve 30 day months and the leftover days are split evenly between summer and winter, with leap days coming after Mid-summer's Day. It has the added bonus of new and strange month and weekday names. What more could you ask for?

Re:How about... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47134221)

What more could you ask for?

I could ask for a calendar based on the moon, and years based on the solstices. At least that would make sense.

Forever Tuesday (2)

koseighty (3675931) | about 2 months ago | (#47133869)

One problem with having all months evenly divisible by 7 day weeks is that your birthday will always land on the same day of the week. Born on Tuesday, your birthday will ALWAYS be on Tuesday. No hope of ever having a weekend birthday. Never ever. You think people will stand for that?!?

Hah! Your solution fails! (2)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 2 months ago | (#47133967)

>"7 day weeks is that your birthday will always land on the same day of the week. Born on Tuesday, your birthday will ALWAYS be on Tuesday"

I devised my own calendar and the main feature is every day is 84 hours long, and all of them are Tuesdays!

My new calendar solution > yours!

Re:Hah! Your solution fails! (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134285)

And every week is a TwoDays

Re:Forever Tuesday (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134275)

Thats not true for ther terran computational calendar though. That's only the case with things like perpertual calendars that implement leap weeks instead of leap days.

The terran computational calendar implements leap days not leap weeks. So depending on how you define weeks.....

But here's an interesting thought: your terran computational birthday won't always be on the same day as your gregorian one! Adopt two calendars and get two birthdays: It's a win win.

Obligatory griping (3, Interesting)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 months ago | (#47134027)

Synchronized with the northern winter solstice,

By their nature, solstices are notoriously difficult to determine empirically. Theoretically there is an instant when the the sun's declination reaches its minimum, but practically you'll have hours or even days of a change in declination that is too small to measure. Popular surviving calendars either rely on an equinox instead (Christian, Jewish), or pad several lunations after the solstice just to make sure (Chinese).

the terran computational calendar began roughly* 10 days before

Whose ephemeris?

Each year is composed of 13 identical 28-day months

Two figures that generally have nothing to do with natural phenomena. While it's true that a little more than one-third of all tropical years contain 13 synodic months, those months average to around 29.5 days each. There are cultures that care about the synodic month exclusively, and there are those that care about both the synodic month and the hebdomadal week, but I know of no major religion or regionally dominant culture that cares about only the hebdomadal week.

followed by a 'minimonth' that houses leap days (one most years and two every 4th but not 128th year)

We limit calendars to arithmetical processes because accuracy must be balanced with ease-of-use for human beings, and we tend to prefer powers of ten because that makes the arithmetic easier for humans. If you're going to insist on powers of two in your calendar, you're effectively requiring people to reach for some sort of computer to perform the algorithm for them (except for those rare few who enjoy performing long division). And if you're already doing that, there's no longer a reason to limit your calendar algorithm to arithmetical (or even algebraic) processes to begin with; just have a computer chew on the transcendental functions directly rather than limiting it to an arithmetical approximation to begin with. Shoehorning in a power of 2 is a compromise that satisfies nobody.

and leap seconds (issued by the IERS during that year). Each date is an unambiguous instant in time

Coordinated Universal Time and it's system of coordinated leap seconds is older than POSIX, and yet even today POSIX still can't get leap seconds right, insisting that each and every day is exactly 86 400 s long (which is a big part of why we're having our current Leap Second Holy War to begin with). IT has been kicking that can down the road for about 40 years. Why will an adoption of your calendar suddenly change that?

that exploits zero-based numbering

Programming languages can't agree where to start an array, but to my knowledge nobdoy is currently using a calendar with a "day 0" or "month 0" (let alone a "zeroth day" or "zeroth month"). Insisting on "zero-based numbering" doesn't solve anything, but rather dumps IT's own internal issues with counting onto the rest of the world.

Re:Obligatory griping (1)

TC+0 (3672227) | about 2 months ago | (#47134451)

Solstice:
The first day of the terran computational calendar contains the northern winter solstice. But you're correct, it makes no claims of "always being synchronized exactly"...in order to do that for this calendar, it would take some heavy erratic leap duration modification, so: not an option. However, the seasons do seem fall on specific days plus or minus. There's a section on the website explaining how the seasons won't always occur at the same time and it provides a comparison table [terrancalendar.com] between proximal gregorian dates and terran computational dates for the four seasons.

Whose ephemeris?

My apologies : http://terrancalendar.com/#roughly [terrancalendar.com] : basically this is there to make people aware that TAI was redefined in 1977 [wikipedia.org] (and UTC too in 1972 AFTER the UNIX Epoch!), and since the calendar is defined in terms of this definition, the UNIX Epoch is off by certain number certain number of milliseconds. Hence the term 'roughly;. And depending on how it's implemented and who you talk to about how it's defined, the UNIX Epoch has all sorts of definitions, which is why it would be silly to base an official calendar definition on it.

Months:
That's cool. Personally I like the simplicity of standardized units and I'm still happy that the 28 day month is still in between the sideral (~27.3) and synodic (~29.5) periods of the moon.

leap days (one most years and two every 4th but not 128th year)

The only reason for this is that it works. Omitting a leap day every 128 years was not chosen because it was a power of 2, but because it is literally THE MOST EFFICIENT METHOD that exists to keep a year synchronized with the same point, and also the most simplistic when it comes to working it into an algorithm. Having a simple, accurate, efficient "computational" algorthim is what this calendar is all about.

Leap Seconds: The terran computational calendar kicks ass when it comes to leap seconds and leap duration.
* All leap duration is stardardized by being put at the end of the year into a 'minimonth'
* Don't want to account for ANY leap seconds? Apply a year base [terrancalendar.com] of 0
* Only want to account for leap seconds before a year n? Apply a year base of n
* Want to write a future date without knowledge of future erratic leap duration (like leap seconds)? Apply a year base less than or equal to the current year to your future date.

zero-based numbering:
Insisting on "zero-based numbering" solves many things. Ease of calculation for starters. What's 2 months 20 days plus 3 months 18 days? 6 months 10 days. Much simpler than ohter methods. Zero-based numbering doesn't do all that much for some calendars but it definitely thrives with this one.
Besides, everybody is familiar with our current system's zero-based (24hour clock) hours, minutes, and seconds any ways, so why not the rest of the date units, right?

they had their chance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134245)

Calendars should not have a leap anything!

I devised a remarkably similar calendar. (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | about 2 months ago | (#47134367)

What I came up with was almost identical; the year started and ended with the Winter Solstice, and consists of 13 months of 28 days. Where mine differs, though, is that instead of a "minimonth", I choose to exclude the extra day or two from any week, month or year; a period of time I call "Offset". These days being excluded from a week means that any given day on the calendar will always be the same day of the week from one year to the next. That is to say, under this calendar, if the first day of the first month this year is Monday, then next year and every year, it will or has been Monday (as is the first day of every month, in point of fact). In fact, the 1st, 8th, 15th and 21st would always be Monday, and Friday would always be the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th.

I've only ever used this system in unpublished works of fiction, though I find it interesting that this same idea has been explored by others.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134457)

What has been will be again,
        what has been done will be done again;
        there is nothing new under the sun.

Obvious reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47134475)

I hope that the author of this calendar finally came. After all, this was the only reason to invent it.

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