It’s That Time of Year Again

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Nov 9, 2021

Filed under: Rants 115 comments

I’ve been thinking about fossil fuels and fuel efficiency lately. We’ve been trying for years to make more fuel efficient vehicles and by now we’ve gotten all of the low-hanging fruit. From this point, most gains will require high-tech systems that will make vehicles more expensive to produce and maintain.

So I started thinking that what we really need is a radical innovation to shake things up. Right now the average vehicle gets about 25 miles per gallon of fuel. So I came up with a larger one-gallon gas can that holds about twice as much fuel as a standard gallon gas can. Using one of these new gallons will get you twice as far, thus boosting the average fuel efficiency up to 50 miles per gallon!

I admit that we’ll need to change all of our pumps and tools to accurately support this new Shamus-gallon. And this change will effectively halve the number of gallons you can store in your tank. But it will double our fuel efficiency. That’s worth it.

Building on this idea, I decided to apply it to this coding project I’ve been working on. The project works, but when I compile I get about 50 warnings. Warnings usually arise when you write something a bit sloppy or when the compiler is able to detect that something could go wrong.Maybe you’re doing calculations on a variable before you’ve assigned it a value, so you’re performing arithmetic on random garbage values. It might not crash, but it’s probably not what you intended. The code will compile. It will run. But there’s a potential for things to go wrong. If you want to write good code, then you ought to clean up the warnings by making lots of small changes to make your intentions clear to the compiler.

The problem is that cleaning up warnings is dull busywork, and fixing all 50 warnings would take the better part of an hour.

But! I realized that the C compiler is open source. So what I did is I made a custom version of the compiler that starts counting warnings at -50. If you’ve got 51 warnings, then it will report just one. Since I have exactly 50 warnings, this special compiler now gives me a clean compile with zero problems!

I plan to push everyone to adopt my variant compiler. I know people won’t want to change to my new system, but they’re overlooking how much easier this makes things for people in my particular situation.

Also, I’ve always been disappointed that I didn’t make it to 6 feet tall. Six feet seems to be the magic number. If you can beat that, then women are more likely to find you attractive, you’ll be picked first for things in sports, and you’re generally more impressive and intimidating. Sadly, I stopped growing at 5’11 – one inch short! Worse, I’ve lost another inch over the last 30 years. So now I’m only 5″10.

But! I’ve come up with a solution. I just need everyone else in the world to adopt this new measuring system I’ve come up with, where a foot is 11 inches instead of 12. With this new system, I’m now a badass six feet, four inches tall!

Everyone else in the world needs to adopt this system. I know that changing measuring systems is annoying, but I personally benefit from this arrangement and so I need you to get on board with this. For those of you using the metric system, please update your conversion tables so that a foot is now 28 centimeters instead of 30.

Oh hey, this is the week when we switch everyoneNot actually everyone. Only part of the world uses DST, and even among the people that do use it, we don’t all switch at the same time. over to Daylight Savings Time, where we change the position of all clocks because some people want to do stuff an hour later.

This is a completely sensible system and I have no objections.

But Seriously, This is Stupid


The sun does not care about your clocks. The moon is indifferent to the display of your Apple Watch. The Earth will not alter its spin in response to you mucking with the time settings on your phone. Fiddling with your timekeeping device will not make the sunrise prettier, it won’t make the day warmer, and it won’t give you more useful hours of daylight.

Clocks only matter to the millions of human beings trying to regulate their lives, keep healthy sleep schedules, and organize meetings across time zones. And it would be a huge help to us if you stopped creating this twice-yearly chaos and discomfort. If you want to do something an hour later in the day, then do it an hour later. Don’t force the rest of us to roll our clocks back so you can do it at the “same time”, because that’s not how time works and that’s not what clocks are for.

Daylight savings is the work of madmen and simpletons. Just stop.


Okay, that’s the fall 2021 DST rant out of the way. See you again in six months.



[1] Maybe you’re doing calculations on a variable before you’ve assigned it a value, so you’re performing arithmetic on random garbage values. It might not crash, but it’s probably not what you intended.

[2] Not actually everyone. Only part of the world uses DST, and even among the people that do use it, we don’t all switch at the same time.

From The Archives:

115 thoughts on “It’s That Time of Year Again

  1. Dragmire says:

    But this is the good one that gives me an extra hour of sleep!

    1. Drathnoxis says:

      Normally it is, but this year I was working night shift and had to work an extra hour! Abolish DST!

      1. Michael says:

        DST gave you a free hour of overtime?

        1. Geebs says:

          Overtime! That’s a good one.

          To date I have had several years where I both worked days while the clocks went forward, and nights while they went back.

          Also, while I’m whining about my own life choices, my personal record for Annual Leave is -1 days.

          1. tmtvl says:

            Is that an unsigned 8-bit integer or 16-bit?

    2. Matt` says:

      We should just always do the “good one” – set the clocks back an hour now, then 6 months from now set them back another hour, and so on.

      It’ll be a bit awkward for a few years when “noon” ends up in the middle of the night, but it’ll come back around to normality again eventually and meanwhile we’ll be getting glorious lay-ins every 6 months (totally worth it).

    3. Daimbert says:

      Doesn’t work for me. I wake up without my clock/alarm, and so all it means is that for a while I’m struggling to not get up a lot earlier than I’d like. Which, since I already struggle with that frequently, is just making things worse.

      1. Asdasd says:

        This year I remembered to pre-adjust my alarm clock, but not my thermostat, so I was woken up ‘early’ by the ticking of the radiators and lost my extra hour’s kip :(

        I hate that purgatory of waking early and trying to get back to sleep, knowing that you’re probably not going to manage it and would be better off just getting up and on with the day.

        1. Daimbert says:

          Since the pandemic started and I was told to work from home, I don’t even set my alarm anymore. I was always waking up ahead of it anyway and there’s no reason for me to worry about what specific time I start work anyway.

          Sometimes I can push through using sheer will and a stubborn attitude of “I’m not getting up this early!”. Often, though, it doesn’t work and I just get up. The biggest problem for me, though, is that if I do that I might fall asleep earlier in the evening and then just make the next morning worse …

          1. DaveMc says:

            Greetings, fellow not-setting-an-alarm person! I haven’t set a routine[1] alarm in probably two decades, and people look at me like I must be insane. But like you, I found I just woke up so far ahead of the first timed event in any given day, that it stopped being a thing I needed to do.

            [1] Non-routine occasions would include things like travel, back when that happened. If we need to make it to the airport by some absurd hour in the morning then yeah, I’ll set an alarm. Feels weird, but I still remember how to do it.

  2. Henson says:

    DST isn’t good because of the extra hour of sunlight in the evening during the summer. It’s good because the sun doesn’t come poking through my windows at 4:30 in the morning. I rise by my Circadian Rhythm, and I’m certainly not the only person with one.

    Okay, that’s the fall 2021 DST rebuttal out of the way.

    1. Gethsemani says:

      For those of us on the higher latitudes it is great both to not have the sunrise at 3.30am during the summer and to have the sun actually come up before 10am during the winter. I get that for people closer to the equator it isn’t such a big deal that the day gets longer and shorter, but for people on my latitude we are talking the difference between 17 hours of sunlight each day during summer and 17 hours of sunlight during the winter. When those hours happen becomes pretty important to us, regardless of if it is because we want to sleep a little longer during the morning or want to see at least a glimpse of the sun before entering our workplace.

      1. The+Puzzler says:

        If only there were some way workplaces could open at a different time of day. Alas, the 9am start is one of the immutable laws of physics…

        1. Kyte says:

          Changing the clocks is unironically easier than changing the opening times of workplaces.

        2. Chris says:

          If everyone has to go to work an hour earlier, then everyone will complain that they need to move their entire timetable an hour and they might as well change the clocks.

  3. Christopher Wolf says:

    It doesn’t even do one of its purported benefits anymore (save power) because of air conditioning.

    California voted to abolish it in 2018 (by Proposition). Still waiting for stage legislature and Congress to approve.

    1. Daimbert says:

      I thought the power savings came from lighting, not heating/cooling. At least, that’s the excuse that was given when they extended the time out and changed the clocks later and earlier in the year than normal …

  4. Dreadjaws says:

    We stopped doing this BS years ago in my country, and judging by the fact that the only real drawback was that PCs and phones took a while to catch up to this and still automatically changed the time on their own for the first year or so I say it’s an absolute win. People used to come up with all sort of silly excuses for keeping the system, spelling certain doom if we dared to stop using it, not realizing that this was nothing more than a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

    1. Michael says:

      You should see what they say in Oregon every time someone proposes letting people pump their own gas.

  5. Rariow says:

    Working as part of an international team I’ve gotten to an even more extreme position than getting rid of DST: Get rid of timezones. Why does every country need to have a different arbitrary number associated with its time? What benefit do we get from making it so that every country thinks it’s a different time? Is making it so that every regardless of country gets up at around 7AM actually worth anything? (Even then, why do we have a system where almost everyone begins their day at 7? Shouldn’t we rig it so that days start at 0 or 1?) All it does is cause confusion when you’re trying to organize with someone living at a slightly different latitude than you are. The only sensible system is to have a world-wide timezone where regardless of where you are or where the sun is in the sky we all agree on what the current time is, and every country just adjusts their working hours accordingly. Sure, maybe that means that I go to sleep at 6AM and wake up at 1PM because nighttime where I live is at those times, but what actual difference does calling lunchtime 8PM rather than 2PM actually make in my life?

    None at all, and millions of people never again have to do the “So if you’re in GMT 4 and I’m GMT 1 and we’re having the call at 3PM… your time? that means it’s at midday my time, but wait, you’re in daylight savings and I’m not, and actually when you said 3PM you did actually mean my time and…” routine that accomplishes nothing other than making things that should be easy hard. It’s a system that seemingly exists for no reason other than making life harder for everyone.

    1. Daimbert says:

      Well, the issue is that this model would really suck for the people who would get stuck permanently working the “night shift”, meaning the time when it’s dark outside. There are actual physiological benefits to spending as much time as you can awake when the sun is out, and it’s also fairly difficult to sleep when the sun is out. Add in that a lot of things are more difficult to do in the dark — including driving — due to visibility and separating the time of day from the passage of the sun is not a good thing to do, and time zones at least broadly keep the two in sync (which is another reason for DST).

      1. Rariow says:

        I’m not saying the entire world needs to work and sleep at the same time. Of course everyone would work when it makes sense for them to work in terms of daylight and whatnot. I’m saying there’s no reason why 9-5 has to be called 9-5 everywhere around the world. Say we adopt the current PST time zone as the universal timezone. I’m in GMT+1, so 9 hours ahead of PST, and I work a GMT+1 9-17 job. It makes no difference whether I call those hours an 18-2 job. Every country’s “default schedule” so to say would look different, we’d just all agree what time it currently is.

        1. Daimbert says:

          Well, that wouldn’t fix the issues around scheduling things with people in different “timezones”, because you’d still have to figure out whether 18 your time is in the work schedule of that zone, given when the daylight hours are. At least with timezones you can say “They’re in a timezone +3 to me, so that means that my 2 o’clock is their 11 o’clock, which is in their work schedule and not at lunch, so I can have the meeting then”. It’s easier to calculate the hours and then apply it to what is the normal schedule than to keep the hours constant and then try to figure out if that time is in their normal work schedule.

          1. Bubble181 says:

            Also, normal people in large international corporations just use one specific time zone for everything.
            My personal choice, of course, being UTC or GMT, but still – our company works on Memphis time zone for all international meetings/trainings/etc which is a bit weird when I’m in Belgium setting up a meeting with someone in Moscow and we end up scheduling at 3AM or whatever, but still. No confusion.

            1. Daimbert says:

              Mine doesn’t work in one timezone, but it translates it in the meeting requests so you know what times are what when booking the meeting.

    2. beleester says:

      So you want to abolish time zones.

      (TL;DR: It doesn’t actually solve the problem of “wait, how do I know if you’re awake at 3PM my time?”, since people will still align their day to local solar time, and if anything it makes it harder to talk about the problem. And if you really need to agree on a single clock that’s what UTC is for.)

    3. Philadelphus says:

      Even then, why do we have a system where almost everyone begins their day at 7? Shouldn’t we rig it so that days start at 0 or 1?

      There’s actually decent reasons for having the day change in the night where the majority of people are sleeping, as astronomers know: it gets really annoying doing record keeping if the date changes in the middle of your working period. Astronomer actually use the Julian date for timekeeping, which is basically offset by 12 hours and has the date change at noon so that observations taken over the course of a single night can be grouped together in one “day” rather than being split halfway through. Obviously the day change has to happen sometime, but at midnight probably inconveniences the least number of people.

    4. Michael says:

      Even then, why do we have a system where almost everyone begins their day at 7? Shouldn’t we rig it so that days start at 0 or 1?

      No, you’re definitely wrong here. The reason we put the day transition in the middle of the night is obvious: we want it to happen when everyone is asleep. People aren’t concerned with hours, but they are concerned with days, and we want the break between one day and another day to be as clean as possible. So it’s scheduled for a time when nothing else is happening. That way, when things do happen, we know which day they happened on.

      This is also the same reason the international date line zigs and zags around in the middle of the ocean instead of following a line of longitude.

      1. Syal says:

        It also follows the pacing of the yearly calendar, where we reset in the middle of winter in December, even though the names of four months are clearly based on resetting in March.

    5. Pylo says:

      Can we also agree that a day really does have 24 hours and that they should be counted accordingly instead of resetting the count in the middle of the day and starting from 1 again for no reason whatsoever. I mean if you can count to 12, you can probably count to 24.

  6. Phantom Renegade says:

    I like daylight savings, it means i don’t go to work at night and leave work at night. Those days are incredibly depressing.

    1. Shamus says:

      Sure, sure. That makes sense. But like… why change the CLOCKS? Why not just have everyone work 10-6 in the winter and 9-5 in the summer? If all you want is to do something an hour later, then do it an hour later. Don’t move the clocks so you can pretend you’re doing it at the same time. I realize that the folks in Maine don’t get much daylight to work with, but that doesn’t explain why the people in Florida need to change their clocks and sleep schedules.

      I realize some people benefit from DST, but… a lot of us really, really don’t. And it seems like we can both get what we want if we change our schedules instead of our clocks.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Well, speaking as an early riser the issue is that we need some way to align everyone’s schedules, and the clock is the easiest way to do that. Say that I want to start work really early, like at 4 am, and quit at noon. And someone else really wants to start work at 10 am and leave at 6pm. And imagine that we have to work together. We either end up with us only being able to work together for 2 hours a day, or else one or both of us have to change our schedules to accommodate the other. This is why businesses set common working hours — 10 – 4 or something like that — which doesn’t please everyone but at least allows that to work.

        Okay, so now imagine that people are shifting their schedules across EVERYONE. So store openings and restaurant openings and everything. Does it open earlier for the people who get up early or later for the people who get up later, or does it depend on the owner/opening employee or what? If everyone is adjusting their schedule based on their own desires but needs to work with other people, the shifting schedules are going to be harder to manage than the resetting of the clock, and then everyone will always know what time things are expected to start and end at and so when everyone will be together.

        We may not need DST, but if we are going to try for that making it so that everyone is on the same page is the best way to go, and changing the clock is the best way to do that.

        1. Syal says:

          If everyone is adjusting their schedule based on their own desires but needs to work with other people

          Then everyone would naturally adjust to the schedule of the biggest fish. Restaurants are going to be open when people want to eat, grocery stores are usually open unreasonably long anyway. Business follows crowds.

        2. King Marth says:

          This. One of the most fervent defenders of DST I’ve met was focused on after-school sports, which can only gain the benefit of a schedule shift if the school and workplace of every single child and adult involved pick a consistent alteration. The biggest social disruption is online between places that observe vs not, as that tiny slice of gaming time in adult schedules suddenly becomes non-viable for coordinated play like raids.

          Let’s apply the programming analogy here: there’s a helper function used everywhere in your code, and you notice a little fine-tuning to the workings of that function will benefit a bunch of call sites and make little difference at the rest but the entire program waits for the recompile. Clearly the solution is to track down every single invocation of the helper, make the useful change or not at that call site, and then recompile for everyone anyway. Counterpoint: we don’t have a compiler to change embedded system clocks for us, so “compilation” is manual.

          I would also prefer to shift schedules instead of clocks. I also don’t trust organizations to make that distributed decision in a useful way. I expect that without DST there wouldn’t be a schedule shift at all; the Saskatchewan approach is to stay in the equivalent summer time zone year round. I also don’t expect the schedule shift to give enough benefit to outweigh coordination costs. It’d be nice if changing schedules had zero cost and worked perfectly, but there’s a lot of ideas which sound great as long as you don’t care about the consequences.

          The best part of having no DST would be that you wouldn’t have to hear grumbling twice a year about how we shouldn’t have DST.

          1. Dev Null says:

            I know, right? I don’t mind DST, but I’m not a crazed fan or anything either. I’ve lived in places where it made the difference between riding my bike home from work in the dark or the light – and where telling my boss that I have decided to come to work early and leave early was not an option – and appreciated it. But I don’t really care that much. I’m constantly amazed though at how passionate some of the grumblers can be. If you live and work on a clock schedule, most clocks now adjust automatically, so it’s exactly 0% effort to adapt; keep getting up when your alarm goes off. If you have the flexibility and privilege to live and work on a more circadian rhythm, then what do you care what number is on the clock anyways? Get up when you get up, do what you want to do whenever you want to do it, and quit shrieking about an arbitrary number that clearly doesn’t affect you that much anyways. Throw all your clocks away and you’ll never even know it happened. Its kind of hard for me to understand why anyone cares this much.

            1. Shamus says:

              “quit shrieking about an arbitrary number that clearly doesn’t affect you that much anyways. ”

              1) It’s not an “arbitrary number”. It’s a unit of measure that we all use to coordinate activities.
              2) I have many clocks that need to be manually adjusted. And no, I can’t just leave all my clocks wrong by one hour for half the year, because that’s confusing and alarming for visitors.
              3) I can’t “throw away” my clocks. I need to make plans with other people. Some of those people live in places that shift in and out of DST out of phase with me. This has caused lots of annoying chaos over the years. I can remember that I’m 7 hours off from Estonia. But then I enter DST and I’m 6 hours out. Then THEY enter and it’s seven again. During the development of Good Robot the DST switch would cause several weeks of annoying meetings where at least one person in our five-nation team would show up an hour late because their country just did the shift.

              1. Kyte says:

                I strongly suspect the majority of households nowadays don’t even have clocks that can’t automatically adjust themselves.
                Even my grandparents haven’t used a wall clock in the last decade or so.

                I’m fairly sure there’s plenty of tools nowadays that make timezones and by extension DST a non-issue. I know Office 365 provides automatic calendar scheduling (with timezone correction) upon sending/receiving an email and I believe Gmail has something similar with their Calendar integration.

                1. Lanthanide says:

                  I’ve got 3 clocks I have to manually adjust – wall clock and 2 alarm clocks. Also the oven and microwave but those are always wrong / reading –:– anyway so who cares.

                  One of the alarm clocks has a DST toggle switch that adds 1 hour to the current time. So changing that clock is easy, just flip the switch (lets just ignore that it slowly drifts out of sync by about 10 minutes per year anyway so still needs to be periodically adjusted anyway).

                  1. unit3000-21 says:

                    Yeah, what’s up with that? My oven clock is always wrong, like as soon as a month after correcting its setting.

                2. Canthros says:

                  I would almost guarantee that the majority of ovens and microwaves still have to have their clocks manually adjusted. I had to set the clock on my microwave: I bought it this year. DST settings change somewhat frequently, and lots of devices that don’t (yet) contain a full-blown computer with a radio receiver or network stack have clocks. And most devices do not benefit meaningfully from having that much computer stuffed inside them.

                  (I also had to adjust a decade-old wristwatch, which is a personal affectation, and the clock in my car, which is *probably* just configured wrong, but I know that getting it to respect DST in the past either didn’t work reliably or amounted to going into the settings to toggle DST on/off, anyway. I’m not going to count my alarm clock that I’ve had since I was a college student in the very late 90s or the oven that is also at least ten years old. No wall clock, though.)

              2. Drathnoxis says:

                I actually like DST for giving me a reason to go around and sync all the clocks in my house. Otherwise some would get pretty far out after a year.

                1. Syal says:

                  I envy your lack of power outages.

                  1. Drathnoxis says:

                    I mean, power outages don’t affect wall clocks.

              3. Dev Null says:

                I get your point, but if we’re talking specifically about the people who have the ability to just arbitrarily change their work day from 9-5 to 10-6 in order to make better use of local daylight, _those_ people clearly don’t need to coordinate times with others much. Honestly, I don’t know many people like that, but since it was your proposed solution to the problem, I assume that you do.

                I live and work in New Zealand, with friends and family in two timezones in the US – including one state that doesn’t do DST, so it swaps timezones twice a year – and another in Australia. I have work colleagues in Australia, India, and a third US timezone. I get trying to meet up with people whose clocks are different. If you think different countries going in and out at different times is a pain, you should try it across hemispheres, where we go _into_ DST at almost but not exactly the same time as you go _out_. Using a calendar app to schedule meetups makes it all go away seamlessly. For more adhoc things its really not much effort to type “time in az” into google and see if its too late to call my mom.

                DST is an annoyance, it’s true. So are different timezones. But if the worst thing going on in your life this week is that the clock on your microwave is an hour off, it’s a pretty good week overall, in my opinion. It just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, either way.

              4. Ross says:

                As the Canadian fifth of said meeting-members, I have this same opinion: DST makes international coordination a nightmare for weeks every time it rolls around, disrupts my sleep schedule needlessly, and does nothing to alter the fact that days are just shorter in the winter.

                Moreover, I work at a giant international company that’s already solved this problem, DST or no: employees have a three-hour window in which they can choose to start their day. If you show up at 8:00, you leave an hour early; at 10:00, you leave an hour late. Team meetings and other important events are scheduled in the overlapping “core hours” – in the rare case they can’t be, we ask people to show up early that specific time. This has never caused an issue in the 4 years I’ve been working, while DST scheduling across the different studios is a guaranteed problem-creator every 6 months.

                Maybe there are businesses that really, truly need every employee to start at the same time, but I suspect that number is not as high as we think, and for those that do, changing the working hours seasonally seems a very workable solution (and already happens regardless of DST, for many service-based businesses, at least here in Ontario).

                1. Bubble181 says:

                  …Literally everyone in hospitality, health care, guarding, policing, etc jobs who do shifts that have to overlap/follow each other without interruption. Anyone in retail. Anyone in support desks, service desks, call centers. Teachers. Actors and performers. Receptionists. Cleaning crews. Anyone working in a high-security environment like an airport where you can’t just show up when you want to. The list goes on.

                  There are probably more jobs that require everyone to work at a specific time than there are jobs that can easily adapt to “everyone shows up somewhere between 8 and 10”.

                  1. Naota says:

                    Of course jobs that directly serve the public need to have their employees present while they’re open. I was more thinking of businesses that have rigid work hours but don’t need them (eg. most places developing software).

                    I still persist that businesses can change their hours of operation according to the time of year, the way they already do to account for things like seasonal weather and holidays. Adding “more timely use of daylight” to the list in the places where this is a concern doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to me.

                    Same applies for work done in shifts: if daylight is an issue, adjust the timing of the shift change during the winter.

              5. Dev+Null says:

                Hold my beer, because I am going to overthink the Everloving Crap out of this.

                Arguments both for and against DST always sound to me a bit like what they’re _trying_ to say is this:

                There’s this minor inconvenience (DST | minimal useful daylight) that only affects maybe 10% of people, so why should the other 90% of us have to crawl over broken salted glass to appease these petty tyrants!

                What they actually sound like to me:

                There is a minor inconvenience A that affects everyone, but only 10% of people care.
                There is a minor inconvenience B that affects everyone, but only 10% of people care.
                The solution to A is the cause of B, and vice-versa. So 10% of people are going to be irritated either way. I don’t want it to be my 10%.

                And then a small vocal percentage of People Irritated By A will argue loudly with a small vocal percentage of People Irritated by B, and meanwhile a few people are nodding both directions and 81% of us sitting on the sidelines are not sufficiently irritated by either to understand why it’s worth making a fuss over. And the core misunderstanding actually seems to stem from human empathy, of all things. It is natural for people to assume that others will feel the same way they do, so both sides envisage 90% of people suffering and 10% benefiting, and therefore it’s clearly an untenable argument and anyone can see that the other guy is just being selfish.

                Wait for it; I’m just getting started.

                Because I just did the same thing, when I had the above thought this morning, and realizing that is what actually kicked me out of bed to write this down. I naturally assumed that most other people felt the way I feel, and therefore when spitballing made-up percentages I chose 10% of people to be irritated enough to care, making 81% of people agree with me that it’s just not that big a deal either way. But it could just as easily be 90% of people who care passionately about either issue (making 81% irritated by both but presumably paralyzed by indecision, 9% still pushing one way or the other, and a mere 1% actually agreeing with me.) Its hard to find real opinion numbers – a recent US poll had “43% want to stay on standard time year-round, while 32% prefer to see the clocks remain on daylight saving time. Only 25% percent like the existing state of affairs.” But that’s seeking people out to ask for a preference, and “don’t care” wasn’t an option. The “final stage completion rate” of that poll was 17.4% – so that’s how many people cared about the issue enough to finish responding to a poll – but that could be high or low for a lot of reasons. Checking a handful of online petitions finds most struggle to get more than a few thousand people to even go to the effort of signing an online petition. But _that_ could just reflect the general opinion that online petitions are useless…

                Anyways, I was interested in the realization that it is a form of empathy that causes each side of the argument to sound unreasonable to the other, and likewise a sort of empathy that makes people like me feel that both sides are being a bit hysterical. And that both sorts of empathy are very possibly misplaced, depending on the actual opinions of people, which I at least don’t know and couldn’t find much decent data on in a cursory google. Thought it was an interesting enough idea to share; do with it what you will.

                1. Lino says:

                  Well, when we had a poll in the EU 84% of people were against DST. The poll had 4.6 million responses from all member states. As far as representative surveys go, I’d say that’s pretty representative.

                  1. Dev Null says:

                    That’s kind of my point about the poll completion rate of the US poll I quoted. 75% of Americans _who responded_ wanted DST to change, but 82.6% of people didn’t care about the issue enough to respond to a poll after being contacted and asked about it. The study you mention only lists participation rates by percentage of total population – so it doesn’t take into account how many people were actively contacted about it, and drawing any real conclusions from those participation rates would be pretty bad science. But still, participation rates of considerably less than 1% says to me that a significant proportion of people don’t care all that much.

                    1. Lino says:

                      How would you rather these studies to have been done, then? Because as far as I can tell, all of these were representative studies, and with those the minimum number of people you need to have a representative sample is far, far, far less than the millions they had in the EU study. In order to do a study where they ask every single person, it would take years. Which is very impractical in the context of an opinion study like this.

                    2. Dev Null says:

                      I guess we’re too many levels deep for me to reply direct.

                      The study was fine, as far as I know. But if you take a poll by making a general announcement, and asking people to go to a website and complete a poll, then you’re not measuring the thing I’m interested in, which is how many people don’t care. People who don’t care aren’t going to see your ad and think “I should really go fill out that survey about that thing that I don’t care about.” That’s not a criticism; I don’t believe that they were setting out to test that question in the first place. You could try to argue that everyone who didn’t respond didn’t care, but I think that would be clearly facetious: some people won’t have even heard about the study, some will have forgotten about it before responding, some will have just been too busy, servers could have been overloaded… there’s lots of reasons for people not to respond, even if they care quite a lot. A poll where you reach out to individuals and ask them to respond immediately is better – though still imperfect – for measuring this “Did Not Care” factor, because you can at least arbitrarily define “care” as “care enough to stop what they were doing and respond when we contacted them.”

            2. Chad+Miller says:

              Shifting your sleep schedule one hour is not 0 effort for everyone.

              1. Zekiel says:

                Whichever way the clocks shift, we always have a few days of the kids waking us up unreasonably early. I wish DST wasn’t a thing.

      2. Jeff says:

        How exactly would they “just have everyone work 10-6 in the winter and 9-5 in the summer”?

        Who do you think “they” are, and how can that group change everybody’s schedules?

        (You didn’t say “they”, you said “you”, but it’s the same party/entity for which you don’t seem to have considered their identity or capability.)

        1. Shamus says:

          “They” in this case are the people who want to do things an hour later / earlier, and so they make the rest of us change our clocks.

          In the continental US:

          Some places (northern states) have daylight shortage. Other places (southern states) are fine.

          Among the places that do suffer from daylight shortage, only some people actually care.

          Of those that care, only some benefit from actually changing the clocks.

          So what we have is a subset of a subset of a subset of people who benefit from the current foolishness, and they demand that EVERYONE ELSE change their clocks. I’m saying we should leave the clocks alone. “They” are free to devise solutions that involve schedule changes. But even if no such solutions exist and “they” have to adapt to unpleasant circumstances? Well, that’s what the rest of us are putting up with twice a year under our current system.

          If someone is going to be miserable either way, then I say we ought to stop inconveniencing the many to benefit the few.

          1. Jeff says:

            I think you’ve misunderstood what I was trying to get at. The literal “they” that oversee DST in the US is the Department of Transportation. How exactly would they, the US DoT, have everyone work 10-6 in the winter and 9-5 in the summer?

            Though the point of DST has nothing at all to do with any people benefiting from it anyway. From day 1 it was about conserving fuel for power generation. It was first implemented in 1916 for WW1, repealed at the end of WW1, bought back for WW2, not law after WW2, and then bought for the 1970s energy crisis.

            The current relevant US legislation (Energy Policy Act of 2005) is still entirely about energy savings. Certain businesses going 10-6 in the winter and 9-5 in the summer wouldn’t meet the same objective, though I have to wonder if there are actually any real energy savings from DST in the modern age.

      3. Liam says:

        Isn’t changing everyone’s working hours effectively the same thing as changing the clocks?

        In both cases you have a situation where suddenly everyone’s schedules shift by 1 hour, except in your proposal it’s not formalised or recorded, so would that not lead to at least as much disruption and confusion?

        I, for one, welcome daylight savings. It means I’m not getting the sunrise at a time that starts with a 4 and I’ve got more daylight hours after work/school to enjoy

      4. Duoae says:

        This would be a great decision and I’d be on board with it… but for some reason it’s impossible to get companies to do anything that makes sense, en masse. Somehow, it seems easier to regulate “time zones” than it does to dictate to companies when they can start business in those local time zones.

        I’d also love it if we made schools start at 10 am so rush hour is not total chaos… or all businesses to start at 06:00-07:00 instead of the average of 07:30-09:00.

  7. ContribuTor says:

    Ben Franklin gets credit for too many things, including Daylight Savings Time, which in its modern form came about a century after he lived.

    However, Franklin did suggest an idea of “saving” daylight by waking up earlier to use less lamp oil. He meant it as satire.

    1. PPX14 says:

      In an Adam Sandler film where he has an overprotective mother (The Waterboy maybe?) I remember his mother berates him saying that Benjamin Franklin didn’t invent electricity, she did. Invent electricity?!

  8. Lino says:

    Last week, I missed an online seminar thanks to DST. We move our clocks, but the organizers – who live in the Philippines – don’t. I swear, if I knew who invented DST, they’re getting an extremely strongly worded email from me.

    I mean, I get it – it sucks having to go to school/work when it’s dark, and going back home when it’s dark. But – here’s an idea – WHY DON’T WE JUST MOVE THE STARTING TIME OF SCHOOL/WORK?! WHY DO WE NEED TO MOVE OUR CLOCKS!

    1. BlueHorus says:


      Madness! This is too simple a solution. Where’s the disruption and irritation? How will it cause people to miss meetings or cause confusion?

      Clearly we must keep changing everything!

      1. Lanthanide says:

        Changing a clock is actually less error-prone. Otherwise all of your meetings / obligations would all have to simultaneously update themselves. Obviously they won’t do that. But if everyone changes their clocks, then all other meetings / obligations are automatically changed also.

        If you’re the sucker who forgets, well it’ll probably be less than 24 hours until you get with the programme.

        1. BlueHorus says:

          Not really. It’s just shifting who has to adjust what.
          There’s not much practical difference in – for instance – making that ‘1400h’ meeting happen at ‘1300h’. Still in the daytime, and clearly at different time.
          Not at a different 1400h, that’s actually an hour earlier/later.

  9. Damiac says:

    If you can get me some shamus gallons of gas at similar prices i’m currently paying for a non-shamus gallon, I’ll happily adopt a new standard. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind being 6 feet tall either.

    But the -50 warning count is silly. Obviously the correct solution is to disable warnings. Stupid compiler ain’t smarter than me, I have multiple destructive bit references for a good reason!

  10. jurgenaut says:

    I live in the EU. There’s a decision made to stop using DST, but the actual implementation of it seems to hinge on a Y2K-like fear of what will happen with all the computer systems when we stop using it. And, of course, some parts of EU thinks it should be permanent winter time, and other parts think it should be permanent summer time. So DST stays until all of that is aligned.

    1. ContribuTor says:

      The computer systems fear isn’t a reasonable one. And the reason is you have a relatively recent datapoint to go on.

      The US changed the date that daylight savings time would begin and end in 2007. There’s not much operative difference between changing the dates when daylight savings happen and abolishing it if you’re worried about computer systems – what you care about is whether there’s a bunch of software out there that’s hardcoded to do things “the old way.” If there was, a lot of things would have broken when the US switched the dates.

      It didn’t happen. There were a very small umber of oddities, but nothing widespread or significant.

      The EU would very likely have a similar experience.

  11. Syal says:

    I was actually looking forward to Daylight Wasting Time this year; this job keeps giving me fucking six day workweeks, and having that extra hour on my one day off was nice.

    But then it was moot because I got sick, spent the whole time in bed, and took the next day off anyway.

  12. Mischa says:

    Considering that the classic work day is 9:00 – 17:00, it would make sense if the sun was at its highest point in the middle of that day, i.e. 13:00. That way, you would (for example) have your commutes to/from work in the dark for the shortest period of time, and approximately as many hours of daylight before going to work as afterwards.
    In most places, that would mean keeping DST all year round, permanent summer time.

    1. Liessa says:

      Living in England I’d actually be perfectly happy with that. I hate the way the autumn clock switch gives us less light in the evening, when we need it, and more in the early morning, when we don’t.

      That said, I’ve never really understood why people get so passionate about this issue. Sure it’s mildly inconvenient to have to change the clocks twice a year, but our entire system of time-keeping is completely artificial anyway. It’s not like there’s any particular reason to divide each day into exactly 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes, etc. In medieval times they simply judged the length of a ‘day’ by the amount of daylight, meaning days would be shorter in winter and longer in summer – which made perfect sense in a time before mechanical clocks and electric lighting.

      1. Chad+Miller says:

        In medieval times they simply judged the length of a ‘day’ by the amount of daylight, meaning days would be shorter in winter and longer in summer – which made perfect sense in a time before mechanical clocks and electric lighting.

        And that does absolutely nothing for the many people with various real-life obligations that require them to be certain places or do certain things at very precise times of day.

        1. Liessa says:

          Obviously I’m not suggesting that we return to that system in the 21st century, just pointing out that all the arguments about DST ‘messing with time’ and not actually giving you more daylight overall (duh) don’t really hold water. If we really wanted our timekeeping based strictly on seasons and the Earth’s rotation, we’d measure it in a similar way to pre-industrial societies.

  13. Thomas says:

    My wife was excited when the clocks changed this year, as it was no longer dark when she walked to work.

    One week later, it’s now dark again when she walks to work.

    1. Pylo says:

      This!!! I just never understood the arguments that people benefit from DST by having more daylight outside their working hours. First, where I live, it is not a given that everything works strictly 9-17, standard working hours generally start anywhere between 7-9 am and a lot of the businesses/services work in shifts so this “standard working” hours idea becomes even less defined. And then there is the issue of whether you prefer to have that extra daylight before or after work. But even if you take just 9-17 or whatever and assume everyone agrees which way they would like it shifted it seems to me that it would still only benefit very specific latitudes at only very specific periods of the year that are generally shorter than the entire season. Move a bit higher on the latitude or later in the year and the extra hour shift doesn’t make a difference anyway.

      1. Pylo says:

        Oh and by the way, on top of everything else it also depends on where you are inside the time zone because there is a difference in actual sunrise times within the single time zone (by the nature of the timezones, it’s about an hour difference between the most eastern vs. most western points).

  14. Alberek says:

    I can’t understand the idea behind changing the clock to “save electricity”. I mean, I understand why and how it works… but, couldn’t the same be done by changing schedules?

  15. Steve C says:

    Ontario has already decided to abolish Daylight Savings. It’s done. Problem is to start implementing that change, it hinges on Quebec and New York doing the same. There’s two problems with this- Quebec doesn’t agree with anyone about anything. (Just on general principle.) And New York can’t agree with itself about anything.

  16. kikito says:

    I know where you are coming from, and I agree with the sentiment.

    My *but* here is: A bus picks up my 5yo son most mornings. When winter approaches, and the nights get longer, we go out to the street at night. Then DST strikes, and we are back to waiting for the bus when there’s at least some faint lights. I admit this was more convenient than waiting in the dark. But not that much. And I missed one work meeting later on because I didn’t realize that I had changed times but my coworkers on other countries had not changed theirs yet.

    The problem is not the idea, it’s the implementation. I’m sure there’s a bunch of other places where making use of daylight (and avoiding the cold of the night) is intuitive and makes sense. But for most people the most convenient thing is not to change times twice per year. In short: clocks should not change. Individuals and processes should change their times instead (maybe school could start 1 hour later in winter, in really cold climates). Places where sunlight is critical (like Solar Power Plants) are going to do this anyway.

  17. Bubble181 says:

    The idea that the solution is to be found by “individuals changing their process” because that is better than everyone changing the clocks is, frankly, misleading.
    Option A: it’s all on an individual basis. This school changes their schedule from 08h30-16h to 09h30-17h on November first, that school doesn’t change, a third school changes on October 15th. However, the single bus line transporting students to and from all three schools, decides it changes its hours only on November the 8th. For a few weeks, half the students can’t get to their school on time. JOY.
    Also, every company picks their own start and end times of doing business. Where most businesses are more-or-less in sync at the moment (though it’s always fun to see the international differences. People in London think 07-15h is perfectly normal business hours. People in Rome will call that practically night shift and say 10h-18h is much more reasonable. Etc. But anyway…
    Now, some companies change in October; some in November; some don’t change at all because most employees have gliding/flexible hours. Every company can start adding “our working hours will move to 08-16 starting November 3rd” (or whatever) to their e-mail signatures.
    All of this just increases chaos and annoyance. Sure, clocks are still the same, but at the cost of far more annoyance because suddenly your whole schedule has to change. Huh, suddenly daycare doesn’t stay open long enough anymore to keep the kids ’till I’m done with work. Suddenly you can’t go to the grocery store anymore after work because it’s already closed. Picking up a coffee before work, ah, sorry, we open an hour later this week. Even if not everyone decides to go random, it’s still an annoyance to remember “oh right, my weekly doctor appointment/hobby club/whatever starts at 8 instead of 7 now”.

    Option B: it all pretty much syncs up. Realistically, this will happen in a fairly short time. So you get 80% or so of companies and people all changing together at the same time. Let’s say October first. Everything stays nice and syncedup all across the board. Great! Except…Now you’re pretty much exactly where you were with DST. At some random day of the year, you have to remember to change all your calendar entries, all your meetings, you wake up alarm, etc etc one hour forward/back.

    DST is very useful and important in areas closer to the poles. Observing it nearer the equator is obviously nonsense. Any attempt to make it voluntary will just result in more chaos and confusion, in my opinion. Yes, it’s unpleasant, and sure, it’s annoying that your dogs/cats/children wake up an hour early/late for a few days/weeks…But in many places that would still be necessary. I’ve worked night shifts for years. Waking up, going to bed, etc in the dark has a MASSIVE impact on mental health, and saying “eh, doesn’t matter that much, who cares about it being dark before you get home” are either people who happen not to mind, which really is shown by every study done on the subject to be a minority, or people who haven’t experienced it.

    I think changing the clocks is annoying as all hell, and I’d rather not – but I accept that in large parts of the world, it really is the least bad option. Again ,though, it depends where you are. in Florida or Texas, the day lenght changes from about 10 hours to 14h over the course of a year. It doesn’t matter much. In Greenland, day lenght varies from 0 to 24 hours. It doesn’t matter there, either; For a vast swathe in the middle, it absolutely does.

    1. Lanthanide says:

      Yip, pretty obvious that *if* you want to change schedules to better sync up to daylight over the course of the year, changing the clocks society-wide is a far better approach than attempting to change schedules society-wide.

      The only point worth debating is whether syncing schedules to daylight is a sensible idea or not. Personally I think the pros mildly outweigh the cons.

  18. fyr says:

    but this is when Daylight Savings (XDT) ends, not starts. We’re switching back to Standard Time (XST).

  19. newplan says:

    Oh hey, this is the week when we switch everyone over to Daylight Savings Time, where we change the position of all clocks because some people want to do stuff an hour later.

    No, this is the week we switch back to Standard Time – where the Sun is at its highest point overhead at noon (not exactly because of time zones, but not an hour off because of pretending).

  20. PDTOM says:

    There are a handful of rational arguments to defend DST but frankly I just enjoy it for entirely subjective reasons. Life and work can get painfully monotonous, and having a weird little change-up where suddenly sunrise and sunset are totally different is legitimately refreshing to me, shakes things up, clears the cobwebs, make everything seem new. I get a little happy high for a few days whenever the clocks change, even the sleep-losing in the spring.

    I assume that is probably not the typical reaction, but I would be seriously bummed out if we got rid of DST, I kinda look forward to it like a holiday.

    1. Fizban says:

      Alternatively: why is this such a big deal to so many people? The change is automatic. I was under the impression no one bothered keeping time on anything these days that *won’t* do the change automatically. Computers and phones do all this for you, and warn you when it’s coming up even. If you use your phone for your morning alarm, you don’t even need to change that. So what non-automatic clock is so important that this is a wide problem- the microwave? How many clocks do people have that need to be manually updated?

      The time changes to me are just reminders that it’s been half a year. On one night I get an extra hour to sleep or do other stuff. On one night I lose an hour, but since I short myself on sleep all the time anyway that’s hardly an insurmountable obstacle.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Lots of people don’t use phones as extensively as you do. For me, I have my alarm clock, two manual clocks, my watch, and the clock on my oven to change, as well as the one in my vehicle, with is a fair amount of clocks.

        1. Shamus says:


          1) Old-school Kitchen wall clock. Can’t get rid of it, because it’s built into a hole in the wall.
          2) Microwave.
          3) Stove
          4) The digital clock in my bedroom so I can see the time without needing to grope for my phone and blast myself in the face with light when I wake up in the middle of the night.
          5) Wall clock in my office, so I can see the time when my computer desktop isn’t visible. (Like when I’m playing a game.)
          6) Wall clock in the family room.


          Dear people who make digital clocks: It doesn’t look like we’re curing this stupidity anytime soon, so can you please add a button for going back exactly 1 hour? It really sucks having to press the hour button 23 times in a row, and then accidentally pressing it one too many times because the task is so tedious, and then pressing 23 times again, and then ordering a new clock because I smashed this one because I overshot AGAIN. Moving forward / backward exactly 1 hour is the most common interaction, so it would be great if we had dedicated buttons for it.

          Also, why do all digital clocks require me to apply a constant 10lbs of downward force on the “set time” button while I’m setting the time? You got something against toggle switches? Come on, man. Indulge me. I’ll pay the extra nickel.

          1. The Rocketeer says:

            My alarm clock has a DST switch on the side. It’s getting a little old and worn out, but having recently bought an alarm clock for someone else I’ve realized just how awful and cheap a lot of them are and I’m hoping I don’t have to replace mine soon.

          2. Dev Null says:

            Also, why do all digital clocks require me to apply a constant 10lbs of downward force on the “set time” button while I’m setting the time? You got something against toggle switches? Come on, man. Indulge me. I’ll pay the extra nickel.

            OMG this. Why is the UI for setting the time on clocks so invariably terrible?

        2. Fizban says:

          (For all intents and purposes i don’t have a cell phone, let alone use it that way, either). But clearly you do have a list of clocks to change.

          I shouldn’t be surprised though- if there are plenty of people here that will agree to sticking with old OS’s or other stuff that already works, naturally there will be plenty who still use an array of clocks. Too much exposure to LRR streams and people 10 years younger than me at work (teenagers *shudder*).

      2. beleester says:

        In my current house, there’s five – the oven, microwave, wall clock, alarm clock, and my wristwatch. Six if you count my car’s clock. And I have good reasons to keep all of those.

        Oven and microwave: They have digital timers, so of course they also have clocks.
        Wall clock: No real use for this, but my house was built with a niche on the wall specifically for a wall clock, and it looks really ugly otherwise.
        Alarm clock: Is one of those fancy ones that lights up gradually to help you to wake up naturally, something my cell phone can’t do.
        Wristwatch: More convenient than checking the time on my phone.

        1. Zekiel says:

          Slightly off topic – is it odd to still use a wristwatch? Someone in the generation below me told it was pointless because you always carry your phone. But it is FAR easier to look at my wrist than to get my phone out of my pocket, open the cover and press the button to wake the screen.

          We also have 3 analogue clocks and 3 digital clocks in our house which all need changing manually.

      3. Syal says:

        I have:

        A clock on my computer that adjusts itself,
        A clock on my phone that adjusts itself,
        A clock on the microwave that has to be manually adjusted,
        A clock on the oven that has to be manually adjusted,
        A battery-powered alarm clock in the bathroom that has to be manually adjusted,
        A second battery-powered alarm clock in the living room that has to be manually adjusted,
        An old radio clock in the bedroom that has to be manually adjusted (and can’t be backed up, so you get to press forward twenty-three times to go back one hour).

        I really like knowing what time it is at a glance. If I spent more time in the laundry room I’d have another clock in there.

      4. Philadelphus says:

        Alternatively: why is this such a big deal to so many people? The change is automatic.

        So’s the airbag in my car, but I still get annoyed when it goes off because it’s merely the symptom of a bigger problem in both cases.

      5. Pylo says:

        It’s not automatic for pretty much anything that is not connected to the internet because programming it in the device and not going mad would take more sanity than most programmers have (only to be undone by legislation a couple of years later).
        And unless you live in one of those futuristic smart homes, there are plenty of things that are not connected to the internet that do use a clock/schedule. Things like kitchen appliances, thermostat, ac unit, a car etc…
        Also, small children tend to not apply this change to their sleeping schedule “automatically”. It also complicates working with people in different countries because not all countries apply this change at the same time (if at all). There are cases where it can be a downright logistical nightmare like what if you have to schedule something right in the hour when the shift happens? Is your train leaving the station on the first 2am or on the second one?

        1. pseudonym says:

          Also, small children tend to not apply this change to their sleeping schedule “automatically”.

          This is the primary reason why it should be abolished. The change is terrible for quite a large part of the population.

          In the Netherlands the situation is quite bad. Our solar time is closest to UTC, but we keep German time. That means we are an hour off by default. In summer it becomes two hours. The sun sets only at 23.00 at the longest days. Terrible if you have a young child that only wants to sleep after sunset. Terrible if you have an actual job and need to rise relatively early.
          Scientists have said time and time again that people go to bed too late during DST and that it deprives people of sleep. This is exactly my experience. DST should be abolished immediately and the Netherlands should go to the UTC timezone.

          1. Pylo says:

            Yeah, I remember visiting Amsterdam, landing there around 23:00 and being totally weirded out by the daylight.

  21. The Big Brzezinski says:

    If there’s gonna be all this free light in the morning every summer, might as well get up and use it. And if everyone is going to get this extra daylight, might as well start the day earlier for everyone to maximize its utilization. And since it would be an even bigger pain to adjust every single recorded schedule to be an hour earlier, might as well just change the clock for everyone.

    Consider the impact of this extra daylight as more and more homes and businesses feature solar panels to offset or eliminate energy costs, and that energy storage efficiency is still generally dogshit. Plus you get an extra hour every summer morning before it gets hot as balls.

    It’s totally a kludge, but it’s a reasonable one as kludges go.

  22. beleester says:

    I think we should just have daylight savings applied year-round. Extra daylight is generally more useful in the evening, even in winter when there’s not much daylight either way.

  23. Elevator Eleven says:

    Every year there is a spike in suicide rates when daylight savings time messes up everyone’s schedules. I don’t give a shit what benefit anybody thinks it has.

  24. Philadelphus says:

    So happy to have moved back to Hawaii—which doesn’t do DST—last month from Australia, which does, but at different times than the US, meaning I needed to adjust my mental map four times a year about when I could call people back home that wasn’t during dinner. And since my parents moved to Arizona last year, which also doesn’t do DST, I pretty much don’t have to worry about it any more. Bliss.

  25. Mr. Wolf says:

    As somebody with a vested interest in timekeeping and meal scheduling, I wish people would stop messing with my clocks.

  26. Lanthanide says:

    It always amuses me that Americans are so upset about daylight saving time.

    In New Zealand, people don’t really care. There’s a little bit of grumbling, particularly when going into summer time since you lose an hour, but it’s pretty much a non-issue.

    1. houser2112 says:

      New Zealand is a small country that resides entirely in one time zone, and there don’t appear to be any political subdivisions in that country that do not observe DST. Neither of these are true in the US, which is why we complain about it.

  27. PPX14 says:

    Barely noticed it this year, changed several clocks and that was that. I might disagree with the specific timings (going back to GMT means it now gets dark before 4:30pm!). Presumably it helps more than the inconvenience that it causes. Nationwide (or time-zone-wide for the big countries) co-ordination.

    Oh but I forgot about computer stuff! That was a perplexing thing on the Loss Accounting software I implemented at work! Twice a year, times and durations don’t match up. And so operational efficiency calculations look odd. Hmm okay maybe there is more to it than I thought. Depending on what one does that interacts with normal people’s use of the time.

  28. Hal says:

    What I like:

    I go running before work. Starting in September, that grows increasingly difficult because it’s still dark when I get up to run. DST gives me back some sunny running time before work.

    What I don’t like:

    My children will be waking up an hour early for several weeks.

  29. Canthros says:

    I wonder what so many of the commenters imagine occurred before DST was instated. How did people manage their schedules? The same way they do now, obviously, just without having to readjust their sleep schedule twice a year.

  30. Kyle Johansen says:

    I certainly agree that there are real psychological affects of darkness during the winter. However, certain commentators don’t seem to realise that Daylight Saving Time can’t help with that: It’s turned off in Autumn!

  31. Cilba Greenbraid says:

    Okay, that’s the fall 2021 DST rant out of the way. See you again in six months.

    Only four months, actually. We change back the second Sunday in March. I really hate the March skip-ahead–because of lost sleep, yeah (both switches are really hard on those of us who are trying to manage sleep disorders)–but also because, juuuuust when I’m starting to get a tiny bit of daylight for my morning commute, boom, we change the clock and it’s another four weeks of driving to work in the dark.

    Someone else mentioned it above, but the clock fuckery really sucks for parents of small children, who lose sleep on both switches: in March because they have to be at work an hour earlier, and in November because their kids are now going to be getting up an hour earlier (actually they lose an hour of sleep every night for a while due to this).

    1. Syal says:

      I especially hate the part where Standard Time is only 1/3 of the year and therefore not the standard. This wasn’t a problem back when we switched in… what was it, September and April? But noooo, got to change the schedule so Nonstandard Time is the majority.

  32. Gautsu says:

    At least this post is in a different format every 6 months

  33. Nate Winchester says:


    Instead of screwing with the devices or making DST year round, let’s just make a single change to business hours. Instead of 8-5, the new shift is 7-4. There! You have your hour.

  34. Marvin says:

    DST was useful in the time it was invented, when people were actually using fossil fuels directly to light their rooms during the dark days. Or more importantly, when almost all people still slept during the night. Nowadays, it is rather silly. Unfortunately, the Germans want to force their timezone on our little country, which is even worse than DST. So, nobody really dares to touch the system, because nobody can negotiate a change that is not worse.

    Regarding fossil fuel consumption, I, as a Dutchman, must offer the following suggestion. Stop being so American. Sell your car. Buy a bike. Buy an electric bike for yourself, and buy racing bikes for your kids. “But what would the neighbors think?” Who cares what the neighbors think when you’re saving thousands of dollars? Did you know that the bike is the most energy efficient mode of human transport? (assuming you transport 1 human. Public transport is also efficient if many people use it, though less flexible, of course. Also, no it is not 0, your calories are also energy.) Yes, you can get one. Just buy a conversion kit for your existing bike (this is apparently a thing in your country: or buy a new one. Much cheaper than a car. Much better at not killing your grandchildren with climate change.

    As a bonus, you’ll probably be less fat, and have less fat kids. Hopefully. Well, tbh, we Dutch bike a lot, and our kids are also fat. Seems like there’s no other way than a proper diet and not being a couch potato.

    1. Shamus says:

      Your comment is about as helpful as when well-off people tell poor people to “work harder”. The problem is MASSIVELY more complex than “buy a bike”.

      Laying aside the comical questions about how I, a 50 year old asthmatic, am supposed to bike up this goddamn hill…,-79.8954847,3a,75y,158.78h,98.75t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spzlGLpj5-IlxC_QvCTzHLw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

      (That’s not cherry-picked. I really do live at the top of this thing.)
      …or how you could hope to navigate around this town in the dead of winter, or how you’re supposed to transport groceries for a family of 5, or how our increasingly white-haired baby boomer population is supposed to get around on bikes…

      Even laying all of those ridiculously impossible hurdles aside, how is my wife supposed to travel the ~40 miles to her job while riding a bike on roads where bike travel is illegal because it would be suicide to jump on the highway with anything that can’t do 60Mph?

      I agree that it would be awesome if we all rode bikes. But this problem is insanely complex. It ties into how our roads are designed, how our neighborhoods are planned, how our cities are zoned, the topography the cities are built on, and the kind of weather we experience.

      One example of the many, many problems in the USA: Stroads –

      Those things are a nightmare. You don’t have them in the Netherlands. If I sell my car and buy a bike, then I’ll get killed trying to navigate on our awful Stroads and I’ll become a statistic showing people that bikes are useless and dangerous.

      I don’t mind you singing the praises of bikes. Bikes are awesome. But I can’t STAND when some self-righteous person takes this complex problem and expresses it as “LOL buy a bike, fatty”. That is SUPER unhelpful.

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