Sunday, November 01, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Happened, and Overreading

Last night was apparently Fall Back night, of the "spring forward fall back" variety.

Time zones don't make any sense. You know? (pardon me if I've ranted this to you before. (they're particularly irksome to me due to a year-long bug at work. anyway:) Why is it that we all have to have the privilege of waking up at 8AM and going to sleep at midnight? Why can't we just say, okay, UTC (or GMT for you non-time-zone-wonks) is it, and maybe in Britain the sun rises at 6AM and sets at 8PM, but in EST it rises at 1AM and sets at 3PM, and here in PST it rises at 10PM and sets at 12 "noon". No worries, you'd get used to it.

Supposedly they exist to make the trains work. What?! That's the most nonsense: the only thing time zones could to trains is screw them up. Instead of "I'm arriving in Cleveland at 5pm" I'd have to say "I'm arriving in Cleveland at 5pm my time; that's 8pm your time"; and good grief if I'm in America talking to someone in India about a train in Europe. And yeah, they make extra complication in software, which is almost always bad.

And now Daylight Savings Time too, which makes things even worse. Longer evenings for farmers etc, and now we just like it because it's nice in the summer; whatever. All it really ever does is make us miss church one more Sunday every year. (of course I never reminded my parents.)

So what happens last night? DST happens. And because my only clocks are my phone and my computer, thanks to the internet, I don't even notice. Wow! Maybe technology can save us after all! (although it really feels like a band-aid instead of fixing the bug, which is also almost always bad.)

End topic one. Begin topic two. Dan's prediction of the day: information is the new food.

Remember back in the day, like all of human history until like 100 years ago for some countries, it was always a struggle to get enough food? And now we have so much food all the time, and we're just going on this raging bender and making ourselves sick? Look at information: until like 10 years ago, it was a struggle to get enough information, and now we have so much information all the time, and we're just taking it in, more and more.

After a point, I stop comprehending and appreciating. Reading RSS feeds does this for sure: I just click through and read them all because they're there. I often couldn't tell you what I just read. It's a kinda icky pattern; whenever I'm at a computer and not totally immediately gratified, I check my email, and if there's nothing there, I check my google reader. At the end of any given day, especially a work day, my mind feels all strung-out and awful. Sort of like overeating.

Diabetes is on the rise; how's ADD?

There are more parallels too: used to be that everyone made a little information/media: they told stories around the campfire or whatever. Then corporations got in the game and a bunch of Americans stopped making information and started watching TV. Nowadays, everyone can generate media again. Same as food: everyone used to cook, then everyone bought fast food, now people are realizing that's a bad idea and starting to make their own food again. There's junk information (say, People magazine, reality TV, arguably video games) just like there's junk food.

Subtopics for further discussion:
- where does Google fit in? Am I working for tomorrow's McDonald's? (I think not; if anything, I'm working for tomorrow's super-grocery-store. and while the farmer's market is better than the grocery store, the grocery store is sure better than the convenience mart, or no food at all.)
- would adjusting our information intake fix most of our scattered 21st-century brains, just like adjusting our food intake would fix most of our messed-up 21st-century bodies?
- has anyone else thought this?

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