26 Feb 2021
20 Feb 2021
20 Nov 2017
20 Nov 2017
The following are true and do not change perceptibly over an entire human lifetime.
Once you have some firm ground to stand on, you can start to remember some more basics and build. If you get confused, re-read the above and remind yourself that many things in the sky do not change!
Every movement of this clock is related to a naturally-occurring phenomenon. The sun, moon, and constellations are actually physically overhead the longitude physically shown on the clock. The only man-made concept is the unit of time: hours/minutes/seconds.
Within the constraints of being two-dimensional and using only concentric circle movement, the clock graphically displays celestial movement as accurately and with as much detail as possible in a way that promotes a practical mental model for the observer.
The horizons move to show the correct day and night length. They move in the correct direction to match the idea that the sun follows a longer path in the sky on longer days and shorter path on shorter days. In post-industrial time, noon is when the sun is directly overhead. This clock shows noon at the various world locations by being directly overhead the longitude. “Solar noon” is an industrial time concept.
The angle of the horizons does not directly correspond to the azimuth of the sunrise and sunset itself. For example, the sun being overhead a longitude location on Earth 100 degrees from your longitude when it rises does not mean the sun will rise 10 degrees north from east.
Two-dimensional is convenient for hanging on a wall, inexpensive to construct, can be displayed on a screen, and in reality people prefer 2D. 3D TVs never caught on. The outdoors is 3D enough.
Concentric circle movement is practical to construct and control. In addition, almost all the movement of the objects in the sky is due to the rotation of Earth.
Nature presents us with an infinity of detail that the clock could depict. Computers enable us to easily do this and most products show maximum detail. This clock selectively provides the user with just the basis required to comprehend celestial movement in order to inspire the user to abandon the technology for the outdoors and more fully appreciate natural reality.
On this clock, all objects are referenced to the observer as though the observer is standing aligned to the rotational axis of Earth. “Aligned to the rotational axis of Earth” sounds like an unnecessary complication, but it means all the objects move (almost) continuously and you can tell time of day, day length, night length, moon phase, moon rise and set, seasons, constellation and star positions, and even approximate world times, all using an intuitive mental model.
The observer is at the center of the post-industrial clock.
Notice, the gnomon of a sundial is aligned to the rotational axis of Earth. The ancients knew how to think about this. If you want to be familiar with the movement of the Earth and the relative motion of the sky, you must align with the Earth. If you accept the one complication of aligning with Earth, all else naturally falls into place.
You might say gravity is the biggest obstacle to aligning yourself to Earth’s rotational axis. True. To eliminate the gravity problem, just imagine you are on the north pole. If you were sitting on the north pole during an equinox, you would see all the objects on the clock rotating around your horizon just like they do on the clock.
Notice “rotate” means an individual object rotates, and “orbit” means an object moves in a path around another object. Objects can rotate and orbit in different planes, but because of the way the solar system was formed, rotation is mostly closely aligned with orbit. One notable example of misalignment is the tilt of Earth’s rotation relative to its orbit around the sun.
The position of the sun determines all time-related items.
The rotational position of Earth is shown by the sun appearing to move relative to the observer. The position of the sun in relation to the eastern horizon and western horizon tells the time of day.
Day length is determined by the distance the sun must travel through the sky from the eastern horizon to the western horizon. Day length is shown by the position of the two horizons. Night length is the remainder of the 24-hour period as the sun returns to the eastern horizon. The horizons move because of the tilt of Earth and its orbit around the sun.
The sun points to the season on the backdrop of the stars. The 12 Zodiac constellations are used because they are aligned with Earth’s equator and are visible from most positions on Earth. The Zodiac seasonal periods are named based on when the constellation is aligned with the sun. Ironically, it is exactly during a particular Zodiac constellation’s season that the constellation is not visible in the night sky because it is directly behind the sun.
The stars move around the observer because of the rotation of Earth, like the sun. Because of the orbit of Earth around the sun, the stars actually appear to move slightly faster than the sun. In a way, the stars “chase” the sun across the sky. Because of this, the constellation that is low on the western horizon immediately after sunset indicates the next season. The constellation will “chase” the sun down, setting because of Earth’s rotation and then each successive night set four minutes earlier until it sets with the sun.
Moon phase is determined by the position of the moon relative to the sun. The position of the moon relative to the sun is immediately apparent on the clock giving the user an intuitive mental model of moon phase. The moon rises and sets independently of the sun, so there are separate horizons for the moon.
The stars do not move relative to each other, so you can relate your favorite constellations to the Zodiac constellations to quickly know where they are if desired. The position of the Zodiac constellations on the clock are accurate relative to the observer. The observer need only adjust for latitude. If a constellation is directly overhead on the clock, it is directly south in the northern hemisphere or north in the southern hemisphere, or overhead on the equator.
Approximate world time is asking the question, “What time is it to other observers?” or “Where is the sun relative to other observers?” The user can look at the other cities on the clock and see where the sun is relative to them. If the sun is directly over another location on the clock, it is noon in that location. The sun is moving relative to other observers just like it is moving on the clock. If the sun appears directly to the side of another observer, it is near rising or near setting. If directly below, it is midnight to that observer.
Progress is a cycle.
Pre-history: humans evolved with celestial objects ruling our lives and became familiar with them. The sun and moon are encoded into our genes in our circadian rhythm.
Thousands of years: humans quantified the movement of the sun with sundials, and used charts for the phases of the moon and seasons.
Industrial Revolution: humans used rudimentary machines to club our minds to submit to rigid schedules.
Post-Industrial Clocks: humans use advanced machines to conform technology to nature and re-connect with our natural selves.
Like this clock, the gnomon of a sundial is oriented parallel to the rotational axis of the Earth. If you called this clock an “indoor sundial” you are not too far off. However, “indoor solar, lunar, and celestial fully-automated schedule” would be more accurate. Therefore, is this new? No, but is anything new? Not according to the Bible,
9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.
Life is a cycle and it is time to revisit some of our past. We now have the time and resources to do it.
Knowing what the sky looks like can certainly be done with charts, phone apps, websites, maps, but to develop a useful mental model, you need to periodically and quickly see something that is practically relatable to practical day-to-day events. This is our natural ability that was erased by industrial time. Industrial time is great for rigid old obsolete machines to cheaply give us rigid schedules, but computers enable machines to imitate nature and can enable us to re-connect with nature rather than brutally beating nature out of our minds with the incessant ticking of pendulums and gears. Computers can be better, let’s use them.
history, manufacturing, time, astronomy,
Time, measuring the passage of time, and telling the time of day, are among the most fundamental aspects of human life. The Industrial Revolution changed how we tell time so fundamentally that we don’t even realize that there was ever another way. I call the current conventional format for measuring time “Industrial Time.”
You probably are familiar with Industrial Time as “time,” or “normal clocks,” or the answer to the question:
What time is it?
Our current time format is so widely adopted that it seems odd to give it a specific name to differentiate from another format for telling time – since we don’t currently use any other ways to tell time – but we should give it a name because it really is new. It is called “Industrial Time.”
The Industrial Revolution has brought about such a pace of change that Industrial Time – despite its earth shaking consequences to our daily lives – is lost among numerous equally important and fundamental changes that we have quickly accepted as normal. What is really weird is we accept things so arbitrary and disconnected from natural reality simply because our lives are short and the generations that knew another way have died. The Industrial Revolution began around 1760, which at 25 years per generation, is about 10 generations past. 10 generations is not many, but it is enough to almost completely wipe away life experience of a different reality.
Our perception of the world is based on our own short realities. This works when the world remains the same for thousands of years at a time, but when the world changes fundamentally every two or three generations, we should make an effort to understand the changes. In my Industrial Change Surfing category, I consider industrial advancements that we accept as normal, even though they are all less than 10 generations old.
Without accurate clocks, one looks to the sun, stars, and moon as a reference for time. This is pre-industrial time.
Captain James Cook, on his second voyage from 1772-1775 used a watch / chronometer, that cost a third as much as a ship cost at the time that was accurate enough to determine his longitude as he sailed around the world. The watch was called the K1. The K1 was designed by John Harrison, then Marcum Kendall successfully crafted a copy, and Kendall was rewarded by the British government. Basically, the K1 watch told Captain Cook that the sun was early or late as he traveled, something we would understand as “switching time zones.” Prior to this, Cook would have looked to the sun and not known “what time it is” in his home of England and would have continuously adjusted to the sun. By knowing “how early or late” the sun was, he had a steady reference, and Cook used the reference to calculate his longitude. Captain Cook continued to use the new watch for the rest of his travels as an indespensable navigational guide. This was the first time a person referenced a machine rather than celestial objects to determine the time. This is Industrial Time. This is the time format we are familiar with today. A century after Cook’s voyages, in 1884, at the International Meridian Conference, world leaders discussed and chose, …a meridian to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the world. Time zones were born. Industrial Time calculated by machines effectively replaced nature to determine “what time it is” and we never looked back. Until now.
Machines are now flexible enough to give us a time format that is accurate and precise while still remaining relevant to the natural world around us. Enter Post-Industrial Time. The Post-Industrial Time at your location is: During the day, the amount of time, in standard hours and minutes, since the sun rose. Sunrise occurs at time 00:00. It also includes the length of the day and length of the night for reference. Sunset occurs when the time equals the day length. Midday is half that amount of time, and the sun will be directly in the north or south at midday (or overhead). Example: The time is now sunrise plus hh:mm:ss. The day length is hh:mm. The night length is hh:mm. At night, the amount of time until the next sunrise. At night the time counts down from the total night length to zero. Example: The time is now sunrise minus hh:mm:ss. Tomorrow’s day length is hh:mm. The night length is hh:mm.
You will immediately notice that post-industrial time is location-specific. It is meant to be used locally, only with people who are within a normal day’s commute of you. Within that space it varies only a few minutes. It can be used within a city and surrounding suburbs for example. It can be used to set the time that employees arrive at work in order to have them arrive at a reasonable hour with respect to nature, the whole year round. It is not useful for coordinating flight arrival times, phone calls outside your city, etcetera. Post-industrial time does not replace industrial time. Industrial time is still useful and in fact, industrial time makes it easy for computers to calculate post-industrial time. An exception is that post-industrial time will make daylight savings time changes obsolete. Post-industrial time needs industrial time, and it improves on industrial time. It uses industrial time and the flexibility of machines (computers) to give us a time that is more natural.
Post-industrial time connects us with the people around us, who we can relate to in person, by bringing to attention what we share with our local friends: sunrise, sunset, midday, longer and shorter periods of light and darkness. Post-industrial time puts nature back where it belongs, ahead of the machines and our man-made conventions by measuring our industrial lives using natural events rather than measuring natural events with industrial inventions. Post-industrial time forces the machines to adapt to us, rather than the other way around by directing the machines to give us time that is based on nature. Post-industrial time is fun by shaking up something we thought to be older than the hills. Post-Industrial time is a better future by remembering the past.
I am not opposed to Industrial Time. I believe it should remain, and Industrial Time should continue to be used in its current state in many situations. Industrial Time works well in an industrial, global world! However, Industrial Time is new, weird, arbitrary, and disconnected from the natural events it measures. It should be treated as such, and it should have its own name, Industrial Time.
We are actively coding in order to enable the use of Post-Industrial Time with clocks.
At a given location, the post-industrial time is:
If daytime at location, i.e. the sun is up / above the horizon. i.e. the most recent event was a sunrise rather than a sunset, then the post-industrial time is: Sunrise + hh:mm:ss. The day length is hh:mm. The night length is hh:mm. Where the sunrise is the most recent sunrise at that location. The total day length is included for the current period of daylight for reference.
If nighttime at location, i.e. the sun is down / below the horizon. i.e. the most recent event was a sunset rather than a sunrise, then the post-industrial time is: Sunrise – hh:mm:ss. Tomorrow’s day length is hh:mm. The night length is hh:mm. Where the sunrise referenced is the next sunrise to occur at that location, and the amount of time is the amount of time until that event. It counts down to zero at night. The total night length should also be included for the current period of nighttime.
The issue arises in the polar regions where the sun does not set during a particular industrial calendar date / rotation of the earth. When this is the case, the post-industrial time still continues to count up since the sun last rose above the horizon, and the day length is still the total time until the sun sets. Near the poles, the sun may remain above the horizon for months at a time. This means that the post-industrial time WOULD reach over 4,000 hours. Half of a year is 4,380 hours. In the polar regions, when the day length exceeds 24 hours, the unit “rotations” must be introduced and the post-industrial time becomes: Sunrise + rr:hh:mm:ss. The day length is rr:hh:mm. One rotation = 24 hours. *See note. This is required in order for the post-industrial time to continue to have meaning with respect to where the sun is in the sky. In the arctic region, the most recent sunset will have been in the south, and therefore the rr value will tick up approximately when the sun crosses south. As the sun circles around just above the horizon (arctic region), the sun will be in the west at about xx:06:xx:xx, north at ~xx:12:xx:xx, east at ~xx:18:xx:xx, cross south again at ~+1:00:xx:xx. This will be true for the entire duration of a multiple rotation day. Day length [should be?] within a few minutes of when the rr value ticks up and day lengths will be within a few minutes of multiples of 24 hour periods. *Note, this is all relative to the sun and not relative to the stars, don’t try to get clever and use a “sidereal day” for the number of rotations. The rotations are relative to the sun.
I propose that we re-implement an old time format that makes much more sense. Many might consider it a “new” time format, but that’s because nobody today is old enough to remember how we did time before. You would have to be ~150 years old. Computers and smart phones finally enable us to wake up from the madness. The time format goes like this:
-What time is it?
-“It is plus 47 minutes right now.” (which it actually was when and where I wrote this, because the sun rose 47 minutes ago here in Columbus, Ohio).
-What time is sunset?
-“Sunset today is at plus 14:16.” which it actually will be in Columbus, Ohio today, 11 May, because the day is 14 hours and 16 minutes long
-“Sunset is at 9:43 until.” because the sun sets tonight 9 hours and 43 minutes before it rises tomorrow, 12 May. The night is 9 hours and 43 minutes long.
9:43 + 14:16 = 23:59. The sunrises might be slightly off exactly 24 hours, but always by less than a minute (or so).
-What time is midday today?
-“Midday today is around plus 7 hours I think. Oh wait, let me think, I guess it’s at plus 7:08 today we just said what time sunset is duh.”
-What time do you get up?
-“I wake up at 30 until everyday.”
-What time do you go to bed?
-“I go to bed anywhere from 6:30-’til to 8:30-’til. I like to get 6-8 hours of sleep.”
-What time does work start?
-“My boss is weird. He starts work late in the summer and super-early in the winter when it’s dark and cold. It constantly shifts day-to-day. Also, one day in the spring and again in the fall, it suddenly jolts all at once by a whole hour. So disorienting, but I’ve been hearing rumors that we are going to stop doing this soon.”
This clearly begs the question, do seconds, minutes and hours make sense? Or should we be using a fraction of the sun’s path in the sky? Yes, minutes and hours still make sense, and they have been around much longer than this system of time we have now. The 24 hour day is literally older than Jesus. Hipparchus standardized the length of an hour and called it “equinoctial time.” Hours and minutes are arbitrary units, but a sun-fraction unit would mean that the unit itself changes day-to-day. We probably don’t want that.
Then what do we call the old time system that we used for ~134 years, it looks like, since about 1884? I propose that we call it “IMC Time” after the International Meridian Conference that proposed it in 1884. Or, we could just call it “Industrial Time,” because it was implemented and used in the early years of the Industrial Revolution.
Of course, we can continue to refer to the 12-hour time format with AM and PM as “Ambiguous Time,” or “Confusing and Stupid Time.”