i think an increasingly out-of-date stereotype is that computer programmers are really smart.
one thing I can't get a hold of, mentally, is the passing of time.
I've heard this from other engineers, too.
People that work in finance, or law, have an adult relationship to time.
They can always tell you, without blinking, that there's 8 weeks to christmas, or whatever.
I'm actually quite embarrassed sometimes - I don't know what quarter it is,
I can't ballpark things like, or how many days I have left in my thirties, or my life.
A house can be ... 100 years old? But the Romans were ... thousands ago?
.. and there's 10 hundreds in a thousand?
a calendar does nothing for me.
i can't feel it.
one thing that is under-appreciated is millenial humour.
We haven't gone back to the moon, but this humour is a fullly new thing.
Another impressive thing is the intuitive millenial ability to market a product.
Almost every 4-person kickstarter project has a better onboarding, registration, and unboxing process than most fortune 500 companies, and major baby-boomer institutions.
You can trace the UX-focus back through the acid-test, to silicon valley, to the gig-economy.
It's the idea that any good product is aligned with intuition when using it.
If you need an instruction manual, it's wrong.
This was not at all a widespread idea until pretty recently.
It's from this idea, UX as first-principle, that i propose some reform to our calendar-system.
An hourglass is a hard thing to get right. Humidity in the air, bacteria in the tube, temperature, and wear on the aperature, can often swing the accuracy over 10% - and that's just measuring an hour.
I laughed at Carl Oppedahl's blog post where he buys every hourglass on amazon and laments at how frequently they actually *stop running*.
I guess this is a common thing.
There are 3 or 4 year-long hourglasses in the world. If it uses sand, it must be around 15 ft tall.
A tar hourglass can take several years, but is junk.
The point i'm getting at, is that without astronomy, we'd suck at keeping time. There's nothing we could do. Weather+seasons could give us a ball-park for the year, but hardly. Astronomy is a necessary part.
The unfortunate part on earth is that the day, and the year do not work evenly together:
Our orbit starts on January 1st, at midnight.
we celebrate new-years 365 days later,
but our orbit isn't finished until 5:46am, the next day.
that's 24% of a day.
The moon is worse:
Calendar as a UX compromise
So astronomy gives us timekeeping, but forces us to choose between its various units.
It's really a UX-compromise problem, not unlike what you'd kick-around at a design meeting.
What fits with our users?
2) moon orbit ('moonth')
Obviously, Julius Cesear chose 1 and 3, and squished them together using leap years.
So the moonth got relegated to a misc google calendar addon:
or the other design questions like:
what's a month?
- and wherefore a week? really?
Months are garbage:
we should truly deprecate them.
yeah, they don't divide evenly into 12, or in fact, any number.
● this is why fiscal-years, and quarterly reports always have asterisks.
● this is why seasons start at random times.
● this is why the solstice and equinox occur at random times.
● this is why easter and other holidays are different every year.
months are junk.
also, have you ever noticed this?
|september:||prefix 7||9th month|
|october:||prefix 8||10th month|
|november:||prefix 9||11th month|
|december:||prefix 10||12th month|
this is technical debt from 2020 years ago.
Weeks are beautiful:
i had a music teacher say that there are 3 intervals to music:
notes in a bar (2s) verse-chorus-verse (20s) movement in a symphony (30mins)
these are like, the natural ways the brain likes music.
I think a 7 day week is a natural brain interval.
and one that people enjoy.
i really don't think we can change the week.
unfortunately, our 365 days don't divide evenly into 7.
could you do a five, or ten day week?
It sucks, because the brain likes it when
the year starts the week.
i wish every year should would like this, like 2024.
sometimes calendar systems will round things by adding 'party days'
Let people party whenever they want, I say.
A calendar should be constant.
That's the whole idea.
Deprecate the month:
what should we replace it with?
● 1. Nothing.
this is isn't so bad - 'week 1, day 18', 'w37 #2 2019'
● 2. Quarters. (4)
this is isn't so bad - 'Q2 #17 2019', 'Q4 #12'
● 3. Moonths. (13.3)
nice idea? - 'm1 17 2019', 'm12 #12'
● 4. Semesters. (3)
people seem to like these - 'Fall #17 2019', 'Winter #12'
● 5. Seasons. (4)
i like this one - 'Spring #17 2019', 'Winter #12'