Models of Time

The calendar you use affects how you think, feel, and interact.

When you think about time, what mental images come to mind? A number line with BC as negative and CE as positive? A spiral? Some Dr Who inspired wibbly-wobbliness? A clock? A calendar? Some quantum something-or-other? Do you know the phase of the Moon without checking? Do you know what food is in season? Where the Sun is?

Are these things important? That’s not for me to say, but using stories to make sense of the wash of stars in the night sky, to come to understand the apparent motion of celestial bodies is as old as we are. We’ve simply developed tools of such high sensitivity and increasing sophistication that it absolutely baffles me every time I read about it.

What story does the calendar tell you? Between the Roman names of the months, the European pagan/Roman/Teutonic weekdays, and three numbering systems, and Years numbered from the mythical birth of the Christian prophet, you have your work cut out for you.


Regular Months

What do you think of this?

Month 0

Every month looks just like this. [download all 13 months] The weekday cycle is independent of this calendar, but whichever weekday begins the year, also begins every week, fortnight, month, quarter, and half. Year 0 Month 0 Day 0 fell on a Saturday.

Imagine something as regular in our lives as income and expenses. If you have weekly, biweekly, or monthly schedules, they all fall within a complete month.

The quarter of the year is exactly 13 weeks. The half-year 26 weeks. The full year 52.

52-weeks

Why wouldn’t we adopt something like this? Currently, when we’re charged by the month, that could mean anywhere from 28 to 31 days; quarters vary from 90 to 92 days; years from 365 to 366.

If we’re looking at a future where many daily functions will be automated, doesn’t it make some modicum of sense to have a means of scheduling and daykeeping that makes it easier for humans to negotiate as well?

theAbysmal

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