Is it "now" everywhere in the world?

Is it "now" everywhere in the world?

The clocks in Nottingham were quite hard to read. This is because they had three hands - two to tell the local time, and one to tell the London Railway time, which was a few minutes ahead.

Nottingham was one of many towns in England that lived life by its own time. For example, Oxford Time was 5 minutes behind Greenwich Time, Leeds was 6 minutes behind, and Carnforth, 11 minutes behind. This system worked quite fine, until the advent of the railway.

Traveling from Cambridge to London meant that one would have to work out a time difference of almost, but not quite, 13 minutes. By 1846 and after many railway accidents, station masters all over England decided that enough was enough. They started using a "universal" Railway Time, aligned with Greenwich Mean Time.

As more and more people travelled, "local time" fell out of use as people found it much easier to communicate using GMT.

Fast forward 170 years. Life is a lot more complex, and yet not very different to the age of the industrial revolution. The world is a single global unit, travel has become commonplace, and geography has become inconsequential. What do thousands of miles matter when you can speak to someone, face to face, on the other side of the world? Why, then, do we still have time-zones?

With more and more businesses employing people from different countries (us included) you'll often hear things like "let's discuss this at 2pm your time" and confusion too often follows.

Like the station masters of a bygone era, I, for one, am sick of it. Global economics are calculated in dollars and discussed in English, is it not yet time for a global time?

If we repeat history and all decided to live by GMT, our lives wouldn't change one tiny bit, but we'd find it a lot easier to communicate with people across the world. According to this universal time, someone in New York would probably wake up at 11am, work from 1pm to 9pm, maybe go out with friends until 2am, and go to sleep at 3am.

Right now you might be thinking, ha, that's not so different from the way I live now! This is because, in the modern world of flexi-time, we've already begun to lose our psychological associations with the arbitrary numbers of the clock. "Sleeping in till 8am" might sound early to one person and late to another. It's relative to your life, not to random numbers. 

I'd discuss the benefits of discarding daylight savings and "losing hours" when you travel, but it's just gone 11am GMT, which is lunch time for me in Cape Town.

The actually pretty rad thing about sea snails

The actually pretty rad thing about sea snails

Photoshop, Frisbee and Stonehenge - did you know this stuff?

Photoshop, Frisbee and Stonehenge - did you know this stuff?