Re: [OT] times and habits

From: Marko Mäkelä <>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:14:02 +0300
Message-ID: <20140429061402.GA4081@x220>
On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 09:50:02PM +0100, smf wrote:
>It makes it complicated when your boss tells you to do something on 
>Tuesday though.

If you had written "today" instead of "Tuesday", I could have agreed.  
Due to your choice of words, the nitpicking has to go on :)

Unlike year, month and day, weeks and weekdays are a completely 
artificial invention that has no connection with astronomy. If you look 
at calendar systems invented independently around the world, they all 
are based on the movement of Earth, Moon and Sun.

The 7-day week might have started as a quarter of a moon cycle, or 7 
could simply have been a magic number (the smallest prime that is not a 
factor of the Sumerian base 60 aka sexagesimal system).

According to the 
Chinese have (had) several different weeks (of 7, 10, 12, or 60 days).  
The Maya calendar seems to divide the year into 18 groups of 20 days 
each; I guess they did not see a need to divide such "months" to bigger 
units than days.

>Using local time fixes the problem for the majority of people and the 
>minority come up with their own solutions.

I guess that this applies to all standards and conventions. This is why 
there are so many to choose from:

The Chinese seem to have a pragmatic approach to standards. I have been 
to Shanghai and Hangzhou, and even in some restrooms you could see wall 
sockets that would almost accept almost any plug that is used somewhere 
in the world. (I write "almost accept", because it can make a flaky 
contact.) The inventor of the Schuko plug would rotate in his grave when 
he saw such a wall socket that is not recessed and does not provide a 
ground contact, but it "fixes the problem for the majority of people".  
The minority (Europeans) have come up with their own solutions. :)


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Received on 2014-04-29 07:00:08

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