Greenwich Mean Time

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Tom Palven
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Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Tom Palven » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:18 pm

This forum seems to operate on Greenwich Mean Time; wouldn't it be simpler if everything did, since as far as time and space goes, it is actually the same time everywhere?

Just as Standard Time and Dayloight Savings Time complicate things and should be changed one time always, why complicate things with artificial time zones?

A while back our Gate One Travel tour guide in Shanghai was a pleasant young Chinese fellow who told us that if one were to shoot a laser beam directly through the center of the Earth from Shanghai, China, that it would emerge in the vicinity of Jacksonviolle, Florida, coincidentally where a few in our tour were from.

Using Greenwich Mean Time, people in Jacksonville would know that at 12 pm there, that it would also be 12pm in China although the sunlight would be different. Wouldn't this simplify things and also be in accord with the true nature of things?

We Americans already suspect such things that if we place a phone call in the morning to New Zealand or Australia that it's likely to be the middle of the night there, but wouldn't it be a little less complicated to know that it's the same time?

Wouldn't that simplify things a little, just like everyone using the metric system and having one set of wrenches and everyone driving on the same side of the road would simplify things

And it would also simplify things if the Sanskrit, Arabic, Cyrillic, and Chinese alphabets were dropped and everyone used the Roman alphabet, just as we all use Arabic numerals, especially now in the computer age?

The Chinese, who have every reason to be proud about their heritage, but don't make a big deal about it, are already moving in that direction with all Chinese school children being required to study English, a much simpler language to work with than the Chinese languages.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:18 pm

As a pilot, I used Z-Time, Zulu Time, or GMT all the time. Most of us pilots kept two watches or one watch with two dials: our own local, then Zulu. If staying in one place more than 4 hours, I would reset my own local watch to the local I was in....just to avoid the math. Any system will work....as long as everyone follows it.

The key I think is that we hoomans are by nature analogue creatures, and analogue means the rising and setting of the sun. Nothing universal about that.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:11 pm

Having a single time would require "conversion factors" for determining daybreak, noon, and nightfall at minimum. And GMT is in no wise superior to local time.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Poodle » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:21 pm

Even we use it only in winter. Although we did have an experiment on using a single time system in 1968-71, we used British Summer Time as the single system. We've never tried it again. I seem to remember the winters being even more gloomy than usual.

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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Tom Palven » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:31 pm

Poodle wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:21 pm
Even we use it only in winter. Although we did have an experiment on using a single time system in 1968-71, we used British Summer Time as the single system. We've never tried it again. I seem to remember the winters being even more gloomy than usual.
Maybe tinkering with the clocks to create more cold and gloomy could be the answer to global warming! :D
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by ElectricMonk » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm

China is a single timezone by law, even though it spans something like 6 hours of zones with its neighbours.

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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by TJrandom » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:43 pm

Pitty the writer of company policy documents - If in Japan, work starts at midnight (though the sun be shining), and if in New York please arrive by 7pm (though the buses are spewing smog). Yikes!

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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Gord » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:59 pm

The current time is whatever I say it is. Riiiiight...now!
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by landrew » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:52 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:11 pm
Having a single time would require "conversion factors" for determining daybreak, noon, and nightfall at minimum. And GMT is in no wise superior to local time.
That doesn't make any sense. Everyone would quickly get used to which times those events occur in GMT.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 am

landrew wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:52 am
That doesn't make any sense. Everyone would quickly get used to which times those events occur in GMT.
We pilots are pretty smart.......err, at least trainable, and we had to deal with GMT multiple times per day while flying internationally. Recall: I wore a two dial watch and NEVER "got used" to having to track two time zones to do the job and keep my own HOME life on track. Having all time Zulu would not help that at all BECAUSE we are diurnal creatures. Digital doesn't fit that reality. I have a grandfather clock that tells time AND reports the position of the Sun and Moon. I assume that would be a popular watch then...........but its still two dials. I haven't noticed any complaints about having Zulu restricted to the "international" uses it is put to while we all think in local sunrise time.

What the beef?
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:34 am

compared to the the Imperial / Metric mess, having 24 time zones doesn't seem to be causing many problems.

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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by TJrandom » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:02 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm
China is a single timezone by law, even though it spans something like 6 hours of zones with its neighbours.
Japan is a single time zone, though it spans two zones with neighbours - and since I am near Tokyo, and thus in the middle of Japan, it sort of sucks to have daylight at 4am in the summer but not start work until 9. That is 5 hours of daylight wasted. Evenings of course come early. Now that I am retired, it doesn't really matter, but it did.

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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Tom Palven » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:41 am

TJrandom wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:02 am
ElectricMonk wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm
China is a single timezone by law, even though it spans something like 6 hours of zones with its neighbours.
Japan is a single time zone, though it spans two zones with neighbours - and since I am near Tokyo, and thus in the middle of Japan, it sort of sucks to have daylight at 4am in the summer but not start work until 9. That is 5 hours of daylight wasted. Evenings of course come early. Now that I am retired, it doesn't really matter, but it did.

Is your company so inflexible that it can't start work at 4 or 5 AM in he summmer? Is that impossible? It's the same situation with changing to Daylight Savings Time and back to adjust things so kids don't start school in the dark, as if it's impossible to change the time of day that the kids start school.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:05 am

landrew wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:52 am
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:11 pm
Having a single time would require "conversion factors" for determining daybreak, noon, and nightfall at minimum. And GMT is in no wise superior to local time.
That doesn't make any sense. Everyone would quickly get used to which times those events occur in GMT.
Optimistic? Never met humans?
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Tom Palven » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:35 pm

I was just looking at my op and saw that I should have said in my third paragraph "a laser beam directly through the earth at the same latitude as Shanghai would hit Jacksonville, FL, not through "the center of the earth," which would hit somewhere in the southern hemisphere.
Last edited by Tom Palven on Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:37 pm

Wouldn't it have to hit the Earth at an angle?
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Tom Palven » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:43 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:37 pm
Wouldn't it have to hit the Earth at an angle?
Picturing a globe in my mind it seems like yes, a very small angle, ymmv.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:25 pm

The opposite side of the Earth from Jacksonville, FLA, is not all that far from Australia, in the Indian Ocean.
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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by TJrandom » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:25 pm

Tom Palven wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:41 am
TJrandom wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:02 am
ElectricMonk wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm
China is a single timezone by law, even though it spans something like 6 hours of zones with its neighbours.
Japan is a single time zone, though it spans two zones with neighbours - and since I am near Tokyo, and thus in the middle of Japan, it sort of sucks to have daylight at 4am in the summer but not start work until 9. That is 5 hours of daylight wasted. Evenings of course come early. Now that I am retired, it doesn't really matter, but it did.
Is your company so inflexible that it can't start work at 4 or 5 AM in he summmer? Is that impossible? It's the same situation with changing to Daylight Savings Time and back to adjust things so kids don't start school in the dark, as if it's impossible to change the time of day that the kids start school.
Of course yes - quite inflexible. Bus, trains, gyms, sometimes hotel meal times, and as you suggest, the school start times too for working parents - all needing to change too. As a 'morning person', I caught the first train on my line - at 5am, arrived at work at 6am, hit the gym at 7am after having reviewed emails, and was back to the office by 8:30 to start my workday. But even then I usually turned on the lights. Mine was an individual solution to fill those daylight hours. I'd have preferred to have a train at 4am or earlier, and have work start by 7am.

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Re: Greenwich Mean Time

Post by landrew » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:18 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 am
landrew wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:52 am
That doesn't make any sense. Everyone would quickly get used to which times those events occur in GMT.
We pilots are pretty smart.......err, at least trainable, and we had to deal with GMT multiple times per day while flying internationally. Recall: I wore a two dial watch and NEVER "got used" to having to track two time zones to do the job and keep my own HOME life on track. Having all time Zulu would not help that at all BECAUSE we are diurnal creatures. Digital doesn't fit that reality. I have a grandfather clock that tells time AND reports the position of the Sun and Moon. I assume that would be a popular watch then...........but its still two dials. I haven't noticed any complaints about having Zulu restricted to the "international" uses it is put to while we all think in local sunrise time.

What the beef?
There's nothing to it. Just get a smartphone app for those who don't want to buy a special clock.
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