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One Time to Rule Them All


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Why does Australia stick to the Pre-industrial concept that Life only goes on from sunrise to sunset? Amongst us, whose life is dictated by the sole need for sunlight to enable things to be done? Haven't we driven away darkness with electric light? Doesn't our society operate on a 24/7 system? To plagiarise and paraphrase J.R.R Tolkien, all we need now is one Time Zone to rule them all; one Time Zone to bring them all together, and in that Time Zone, bind them?

 

Australia operates on three main Time Zones - UTC +8; UTC + 9.5 and UTC +10. (There's on odd one on the South Australian/Western Australian border on The Eyre Highway, but that only covers a couple of settlements.)

 

Australian commerce and travel are disadvantaged by having these three Time Zones for a population of only 26 million. Direct, person-to-person communication between an office in Sydney and one in Perth can only be carried out between 11:00 am and 3:00pm when nine-to-fivers are present in both locations. 

 

I propose that Australia drops the existing Time Zones and adopts a single one based on the 135E meridian of longitude, which would have the zone as UTC +9. I don't want to have Daylight Saving enter this discussion, so please ignore it. By adopting this single time zone, the whole population would be operating on the same time.

 

The first objection that people would have to this is that they would be getting up to go to work, and coming home in the dark. However, ask a European or North American if that is such an inconvenience. Australians are spoiled by the position of their land close enough to the Equator so that most of it has at least 10 hours of sunlight daily. Here is a table which shows how changing to a time zone of UTC +9 would be reflected in the times of sunrise and sunset on the shortest day of the year in the three existing zones.

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You can see that one hour , that all & sundry cry about.

 So , one standardised time plus that nasty one dayilght saver hour .

BUT

Long retired & go to bed when I want , then getup when I want .

spacesailor

PS. ( a minority that gets closer to equality. as I GET OLDER)

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You can't tell an ex-shift worker about working through the night and sleeping during the day. The most stupid thing that has happened is Unions agreeing to 12-hour shifts for people like health workers and police who have to be on the ball for the full shift. Firies and Ambos are not active for the majority of their shifts. I used to do seven 2300 to 0700 shifts on my ear, but when they brought in the 12-hour shifts, I struggled after 0330, and I only did two overnighters in a row.

 

Anyway, night-shift workers form only a small section of the population. The majority of the population lives during the day. The most people who would have to change their lifestyle would be Victorians and Tasmanians simply because their day lengths during winter are much shorter than those living further north, above 30S.

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A good number of years ago (somewhere between 20 and 25), I worked for the company which maintained the ticketing system on Melbourne's public transport system, known as Metcard. I was on the 'graveyard' shift from 10 pm. till 6 am.  The job involved taking calls from the various companies, Metrail, Yarra Trams and numerous bus companies, who were reporting problems with the ticket issuing machines or gate validators, recording the details in a database, from which the engineering dept despatched maintenance crews to fix the problems. I also monitored burglar alarms on the railway station ticket vending machines which were regularly broken into overnight, and reporting to Chubb Security who despatched guards to try and catch the villains or guard the machines till a maintenance crew could arrive. This meant sleeping through the day, driving into near the city where my wife worked, picking her up and driving her home, eating with her and the kids, then heading off to work. During the quiet hours, I had a supply of letters to people who had lost money in the machines or had their tickets destroyed in validators, into which I had to put replacement tickets, to be posted by the dayshift staff. Finishing at 6 am, driving home to collect my wife and driving her to work, then returning home to sleep. 

 

I did this for about 18 months, working as a temp through a temp employment agency. It certainly does play havoc with your circadian rhythm.

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Victorians can COPE with that OME. Living in the lush tropics has few challenges.  unless you want to drive utes through swollen  rivers and have a moored Yacht in a cyclone. ALL self inflicted.. Here where things are always tough we live by being civilised and using OUR wit's. It's different. I recall driving my ex Mt Tom Price Ford Transit XL. VAN. Yellow in colour and with a Giant air conditioner on the roof, at Night in Colllns street A bloke drove up on my right  and his passenger. wound the Left window down and passed ME a cool Beer .freshly Opened. JUST How good is THAT?? The Tribe work together. In some places they'd TAKE YOUR Beer. Anyhow as I said before, we're FULL and the weather is unbearable.

  I know that because of personal experience. Real People, no actors. so I'll run it before you, if I may.

 A said to a Sydney transport driver Used to take crew to the PUB. "warm One today" In my usual warm and friendly tone and  He replied

 "Better than Bloody Melbourne" He'd put two and two together as he  was Instructed to "Take the Melbourne crew to the Hilton" or whatever palace we went to. and had guessed it was us.  Now don't lose concentration as it gets complex from here.

 The actual instruction was more likely to be along the lines of "Take those Lazy Melbourne poofters to  the usual Dive"  but I digress. Ther's more

 I said   "OH you have been to Melbourne a bit Have you.?. No sarcasm or eyerolling. You don't try that stuff with these boys.   THE REPLY.

   "Yeah I was there for an hour  ONCE and  THAT  was  enough" 

 It's possible this appears as  nothing worth writing Home about but just think. THEY walk among us. Talk to other people and VOTE. This happened while ago but do things get Better or do we just get used to it and think of ENGLAND. Here goes I hope I haven't run out of time.  Ah there It's working see? Nev

 

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2 minutes ago, facthunter said:

Victorians can COPE with that OME.

I'm sure that they could. I wasn't having a shot. I was just saying that the people in Victoria and Tasmania would have to get used to starting the day in the dark during mid-winter. However, they would be going home in daylight. It's a bit of six of one, half a dozen of the other. 

 

I haven't looked at the sunrise and sunset times over summer, as I thought going to work before sunrise might be a bitter pill to some. However, I wonder if having our time based on UTC +9 might remove the need for daylight saving in the eastern States.

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I believe your natural clock is a strong factor and back of the clock work will actually Make you Quite sick and shorten your life Potentially where it's done a lot. At one stage my log book showed 76% of my fling over Particular period was Night flying? I was falling to sleep driving home after duty and recall 4 days without  what.you call a proper sleep.  That is NOT safe nor good for you. Nev

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We are at LAt 36 S Here in Melbourne Twilight effects are more noticed at Higher Latitudes. Eventually the sun never rises above the Horizon in some places for a while. People living in those places often experience some mental instability as a result.  Nev

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7 minutes ago, facthunter said:

People living in those places often experience some mental instability as a result.  Nev

That doesn't explain Texans - they are definitely not at a high latitude.

 

BTW Taswegians mostly accept heading out the door before first sparrow fart is normal in winter - our days are noticably short. But that doesn't make them all as crazy as Texans or bananabenders.

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Maybe I am underthinking this one, but I don't think it really matters. Let's take the extermities in Aus; Perth and Sydney, which is a 2 hour time difference. If I am stock trader inPerth and I want to trade on the ASX, I just have to be ready by 7am... But I have stopped trading by 2pm or thereabouts and spend the next couple of hours doing my after-trading stuff. If I am a purxhasing clerk, I know I have to get my orders into the Sydney office of a supplier by 3pm while it is 5pm for East Coasters.

 

I can't imagine my retail shop getting terribly busy at 7am with people buying shows or whatever, because that is 9am in Sydney when the shops open. If we all had the same time zone calibrated to the East coast/Sydney time, I would probably find myself in Perth opening my doors at 11am and dtaying open to 7:30pm.. (well I know these are no longer the hours we keep, but you get my drift).

 

If I am a dairy farmer, cows will do it to their time, I guess.

 

To take the logic further, we may as well do away with a local time zone all together and use UTC.. At least I wouldn't have to calculate UTC for flight planning.

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I've worked most of my life " shift-working " .I must have adjusted well,as I can still get to sleep ( quickly ) even with the wife watching TV. 

spacesailor

PS : since my prostrate op, I wakeup almost every 70 ish minutes. 

A Quick pee , & back asleep again .

No problems, 

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7 hours ago, spacesailor said:

PS : since my prostrate op, I wakeup almost every 70 ish minutes. 

A Quick pee , & back asleep again .

No problems, 

Aaah, thanks for the tip, Spacey.

That is just what I need,  to do single handed sailing. You can only trust the self steerer to do it's job for an hour, then you have to wake up and scan the horizon to check course and for incoming ships.

Edited by nomadpete
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8 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

Maybe I am underthinking this one,

Not underthinking, but overthinking. Clock time is an arbitrary thing in our modern world.  Time zones are a compromise, partially eliminating the effects of east/west distance between locations while still allowing local time to be approximate with mean solar time.

 

The International Meridian Conference in Washington DC, USA, adopted a proposal in October 1884 that the prime meridian for longitude and timekeeping should be one that passes through the center of the transit instrument at the Greenwich Observatory in the United Kingdom. The conference established the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as the world’s time standard. The international 24-hour time-zone system grew from this, in which all zones referred back to GMT on the prime meridian.

 

The application of time zones depends on each country. France did not formally use UTC as a reference to its standard time zone (UTC+1) until August in 1978.  China uses a single time zone (UTC +8 ) even though its territory extends from Kashgar (75E, UTC +5) to Shanghai (121E, UTC +8). 

 

So, if Australia adopted UTC +9 as its time zone, everyone in this modern 24/7 world would be working with the same time reference. Apart from places on the 135E meridian, the position of the Sun at Time Zone midday would be different. However, we have just gone through six months where the Sun at midday in the eastern State (QLD excepted) is west of the overhead position. That didn't result in the collapse of Society as we know it.

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In my last job, I worked in a customer service call centre in Melbourne for a superannuation administration company, dealing with all of Australia, so had to have a shift operating to meet the needs of WA customers (members and employers). Good for east coast members, as they could call up till 8:00 pm.

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When you consider that currently the population of Western Australia is 11% of the total population. If you accounted for preschool children, the 4.2% of the eligible workforce which is unemployed, plus retirees etc, you might get to a figure of about 9% of the National population which answers to the demands of the clock. Is it too much to ask that minority to come into line with the 90+%?

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Sounds like a solution in search of a problem to me.  I work with geographically disbursed teams and it's no problem to remember that the Adelaideans are half an hour behind and the banana benders during daylight saving are 1 hour + 20 years behind... :amazon:

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20 minutes ago, Marty_d said:

Adelaideans are half an hour behind and the banana benders during daylight saving are 1 hour + 20 years behind... :amazon:

Which only leaves Tas Mania ten years behind Queensland........

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39 minutes ago, Marty_d said:

it's no problem to remember that the Adelaideans are half an hour behind and the banana benders during daylight saving are 1 hour + 20 years behind... :amazon:

But why, in a Nation with such a small population do we need even that small amount of confusion, especially that now banana benders are only 20 years behind after DST ended for the southern States. 

 

Western Australia is further isolated when DST is in force in the East. It puts Perth 3 hours behind Sydney and Melbourne, further cutting down the number of hours businesses on both sides are open at the same time.

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I just don't see the problem it is solving. Are you expecting the working day to be aligned as well so that we are all started to work at 9am on 135th Meridian time zone? West have to get up early while the east get to sleep in? Or will people conduct business in the same hours but just call them different times.

 

I am not saying its a bad idea - I just don't see what the change will gain? People who work in areas where they have to bend to a different time zone already do it (I gave the trader in WA as an example).

 

 

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Bumping " antique " clocks every six months , is not a good thing .

But I worked out that having a ' watch for " summertime " and another one for standard time , is easier than changing , ' time, date, & day twice a year .

one change on two watches .

spacesailor

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5 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

Are you expecting the working day to be aligned as well so that we are all started to work at 9am on 135th Meridian time zone?

Exactly. The whole nation operates without reference to the position of the Sun. We are doing it already. A lot of times you respond to some crap I post within minutes of my posting it, yet when the Sun is overhead and I call it 12:00, for you it's 2:00, but that doesn't impact our ability to communicate within minutes.

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