Remembering dates

It occurred to me, as I was writing down 2017.33 on a log that remembering the day may be a challenge. It made me wonder how we remember dates now. Is remembering a number between 1 and 365 going to be difficult? 366 if it’s a leap year, but that’s for another discussion.

Today is Ground Hog day. I know it’s February 2 because it’s Ground Hog day. If it weren’t ground hog day, I’d have to think about last time I was paid (which I don’t much pay attention to date so much as the day). I could calculate that I was paid on Jan 31, but I know it was Tuesday. So, if Tuesday was the 31st and today is two days later, it must be February 2nd.

There’s no way I could (not that anyone could, but just for the fact that I try to recall pertinent information, not information I could easily look up) just know today was Feb 2nd. I don’t pay attention to dates as a matter of memory, but as a scheduling device. My calendar tells me what day it is today and what I have to do today. I wouldn’t know that it’s February 2nd unless I was told, really. I could calculate based on proximate events (like getting paid), but other than that, I would be lost. If you ask me in 5 months what the date is, without a calendar / clock / watch I really wouldn’t know, because I don’t track that. I have tools for that.

So, does that mean we’d need to provide tools for date tracking?

Yes! It does.

But we still remember dates based on events, though. Like, I know that my birthday comes on a certain day. I’ll know a week or so before what day my birthday comes on, so the math is fairly simple. It’s 5 days before my birthday, so it’s my birthdate – 5. My birthday was 3 days ago so today is my birthdate + 3. I got paid 2 days ago, so today must be paydate + 2.

That’s really how we are tracking dates. Both with a calendaring system and with meaningful events. I say meaningful because I know May 4th is Star Wars day and that becomes a date anchor for calculations. However, someone who cares not for Star Wars (may the Force not be with them), will not have that anchor.

It’s almost like we are swinging through a Jungle like Tarzan, using meaningful dates for date calculation like he uses the trees and the vines connecting them.

In light of that, I think the only way we are going to be able to make the shift is by memorizing the “important” dates in metric.  So, Ground Hog day (6 more weeks of Winter this year, folks) is not February 2nd, but 33.  Christmas is not December 25th, but is 359.

I admit, it’s going to take some adjustment, but it may be worth it.

All this research of Star Dates had made me question the legitimacy of our date math as it applies to off world travel. However, that’s for another post.

Here are some dates to remember to start you on your Journey:

  • New Year’s Day: 1
  • Ground Hog Day: 33
  • Valentine’s Day: 45
  • Spring Equinox: 79
  • Star Wars Day: 124 (Star Wars day in Star Trek Stardate format, someone’s head somewhere will now explode)
  • Summer Solstice: 172
  • Canada Day: 182
  • Independence Day for the US: 185
  • Autumn Equinox: 265
  • Hallow’s Eve: 304
  • All Saint’s Day: 305
  • Winter Solstice: 355
  • Christmas Eve: 358
  • Christmas Day: 359
  • Boxing Day: 360
  • Our New Year’s Eve costume Party: 365

Of course, there are variable days in there as well, based on lunar cycle (like Easter), or day of month (like Mother’s, Father’s, and Turkey’s day) which will have to be calculated per year as always.

Hmmm, I wonder what it would take to move our days of the week (7 based system) to metric. Likewise, our Months. Or, perhaps, why we still have weeks and what that means to industry if we were to change the nature of what a week meant and how that would effect work.

So much to ponder. I thought this was going to be easy.

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7 years ago

What about leap years?