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Daylight wasting time
Chessie
come_to_think
The recent change to standard time, which always makes winter seem to come like a shot, stimulates my curmudgeoneity. The most usual objection to summer time -- that rational people ought to be able to decide when to get up & go to bed without demanding legislative control over the clock -- seems to me quite wrong. Society synchronizes so many things (work hours, train schedules, etc.) that there is no other way to coordinate a change.

That, however, leaves unanswered a more fundamental question: If the idea is to maximize the utilization of daylight, why do we not all simply center our sleeping hours on midnight? If I decide I need 7 h of sleep, why do I not go to bed at 8:30 and get up at 3:30? I can think of two answers to that question, neither of them creditable to the human species.

The first is that such a scheme would be unstable, in that people would put off going to bed because they were busy or enjoying themselves, and then put off getting up because they were sleepy, and so on, until the result was ridiculous, viz., doing what we do now. The second is that, because children are put to bed & usually resent it, staying up late is identified with being grown up, like drinking & driving, and so, in youth, going to bed early is thought of as undignified (until, at last, in late middle age, it becomes a luxury). Why are night clubs so called? They are conspiracies to stay up late.

Our accepted daily rhythm thus enshrines two well-known kinds of foolishness -- procrastination, and the war between the generations.

We are but older children, dear,
Who fret to find our bedtime near. --- Lewis Carroll
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(Deleted comment)
A good point. I read about that too. I believe that most biological clocks (for obvious reasons) run a little slow so they can be triggered by what they are supposed to match. That might, in some cases, give procrastination a biological basis.

Ooooooh, I've always loved Chessie.

I was startled to see that Chessie lasted long enough for you young folks to know her, but Wikipedia has a whole article on that warm fuzzy subject.

I have a portrait of Chessie and two kittens hanging on my office wall.

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