Calendar Reform

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Calendar Reform

Peter Meyer
Litmus said:

> I'd be happy to be part of any group aiming to come up with a viable
> strategy that would find the common ground regarding "where we want
> to be" in terms of Calendar Reform and take us there from where we
> are now in a simple, logical, step by step approach.

I think most of the old-timers on this list (including its founder,
Rick McCarty) would agree that Calendar Reform, in the West, at least,
is a dead horse, if Calendar Reform means either (a) a major change to
the Gregorian Calendar or (b) its replacement by some other calendar.  
The principal practical reason is that Gregorian Calendar functions are
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

That said, there is a bit more to be said.

There's no reason why some group or segment of society (or even all of
it) should not use some alternative calendar in parallel with the
Gregorian.  The ISO 8601 Calendar is probably used by some businesses,
though I can't name any.  And Wiccans might like to use a Wiccan
calendar.

And the West is neither the whole world nor is it destined (manifestly
or otherwise) to maintain some kind of dominance over the rest of the
world for all time.  Quite a few Asian countries (e.g. China, Vietnam,
India) also use lunar calendars, whether officially or otherwise.  This
is mainly due to the fact that they used these calendars for many
hundreds of years (or even thousands of years) before the West imposed
the Gregorian Calendar upon them.

The only chance I see for a new (or revived) calendar to be introduced
on a wide scale is if there is a social or cultural reason to do so,
and this is only feasible if the calendar is supported by some
government.  The only example I know of is the possible introduction by
the government of Kazakhstan of the revived Ancient Nomad Calendar
(a.k.a. the Kazakh Nomad Calendar), for use by all Turkic-speaking
countries, in order to promote traditional Turkic culture.  But this
would not really be a Calendar Reform, but rather the promotion of a
particular calendar for use in parallel with the Common Era Calendar
(a.k.a. the Gregorian, so named because it is the calendar used in
common by all countries of the world at present).

Regards,
Peter
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Re: Calendar Reform

Michael Ossipoff

Can Peter support this statement that I've underlined immediately-below?:

[quote]
Gregorian Calendar functions are 
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

[/quote]

We hear about the cost of a calendar-changeover, and the savings that would result from a more regular calendar, but we don't hear support for those claims.

For any particular individual, household, government agencies or business, it would be a matter of purchasing--or being given--software for a new calendar.

In comparison to what individuals, households, government agencies and businesses ordinarily spend anyway, the purchase of one program doesn't sound prohibitive.

Of course 30,30,31 lwnm would bring at least a bit of immediate savings because it wouldn't be necessary to write new annual schedules for each year due to successive years starting on different days.  But ISO WeekDate would bring even more savings, because it just completely eliminates the computationally-cumbersome months.

Consider how much simpler would be every computer-program involving dates, when it would no longer be necessary to deal with the variable-length months, and numbering within those months. That simplicity and convenience would be immediate, with the adoption of ISO WeekDate. 

I feel that, likely, just as the changeover cost is exaggerated (some have said that it needn't cost significantly more than the the "Y2K" problem and the recent switch to 4-digit years), so is the benefit maybe exaggerated a bit. I mean, how much is it really costing a business or government to rewrite an annual schedule once per yeat (especially when a computer program can write it)?

Adding lines to a computer-program to deal with our idiosyncratic months adds to the job of writing a program involving dates, but, once it's been written once, it might not continue be be any problem.  ...but I'm not sure about that. I like the great computational-simplification of dates programs with ISO WeekDate.

Also, a paper Caesarian-Gregorian calendar can be easily used as an ISO WeekDate calendar.  Just number the weeks appropriately.

If it's in the U.S., with Sunday in the leftmost column, that isn't a problem, because you know that the week, by the new calendar, really starts on Monday, and that the Sunday in the leftmost column really belongs to the previous week.

That means that, if we immediately switched to ISO WeekDate, everyone already has ISO WeekDate calendars, just be writing week-numbers in the left margin of each page.

Michael Ossipoff






On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 11:21 AM Peter Meyer <[hidden email]> wrote:
Litmus said:

> I'd be happy to be part of any group aiming to come up with a viable
> strategy that would find the common ground regarding "where we want
> to be" in terms of Calendar Reform and take us there from where we
> are now in a simple, logical, step by step approach.

I think most of the old-timers on this list (including its founder,
Rick McCarty) would agree that Calendar Reform, in the West, at least,
is a dead horse, if Calendar Reform means either (a) a major change to
the Gregorian Calendar or (b) its replacement by some other calendar. 
The principal practical reason is that Gregorian Calendar functions are
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

That said, there is a bit more to be said.

There's no reason why some group or segment of society (or even all of
it) should not use some alternative calendar in parallel with the
Gregorian.  The ISO 8601 Calendar is probably used by some businesses,
though I can't name any.  And Wiccans might like to use a Wiccan
calendar.

And the West is neither the whole world nor is it destined (manifestly
or otherwise) to maintain some kind of dominance over the rest of the
world for all time.  Quite a few Asian countries (e.g. China, Vietnam,
India) also use lunar calendars, whether officially or otherwise.  This
is mainly due to the fact that they used these calendars for many
hundreds of years (or even thousands of years) before the West imposed
the Gregorian Calendar upon them.

The only chance I see for a new (or revived) calendar to be introduced
on a wide scale is if there is a social or cultural reason to do so,
and this is only feasible if the calendar is supported by some
government.  The only example I know of is the possible introduction by
the government of Kazakhstan of the revived Ancient Nomad Calendar
(a.k.a. the Kazakh Nomad Calendar), for use by all Turkic-speaking
countries, in order to promote traditional Turkic culture.  But this
would not really be a Calendar Reform, but rather the promotion of a
particular calendar for use in parallel with the Common Era Calendar
(a.k.a. the Gregorian, so named because it is the calendar used in
common by all countries of the world at present).

Regards,
Peter
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Re: Calendar Reform

Michael Ossipoff
I just want to add that, with ISO WeekDate, all sorts of calendrical matters that everyone has to deal with in everyday business would be greatly simplified.

...to a lesser extent with the other reform-calendars, but significantly moreso with ISO WeekDate.

Michael Ossipoff

On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 1:10 PM Michael Ossipoff <[hidden email]> wrote:

Can Peter support this statement that I've underlined immediately-below?:

[quote]
Gregorian Calendar functions are 
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

[/quote]

We hear about the cost of a calendar-changeover, and the savings that would result from a more regular calendar, but we don't hear support for those claims.

For any particular individual, household, government agencies or business, it would be a matter of purchasing--or being given--software for a new calendar.

In comparison to what individuals, households, government agencies and businesses ordinarily spend anyway, the purchase of one program doesn't sound prohibitive.

Of course 30,30,31 lwnm would bring at least a bit of immediate savings because it wouldn't be necessary to write new annual schedules for each year due to successive years starting on different days.  But ISO WeekDate would bring even more savings, because it just completely eliminates the computationally-cumbersome months.

Consider how much simpler would be every computer-program involving dates, when it would no longer be necessary to deal with the variable-length months, and numbering within those months. That simplicity and convenience would be immediate, with the adoption of ISO WeekDate. 

I feel that, likely, just as the changeover cost is exaggerated (some have said that it needn't cost significantly more than the the "Y2K" problem and the recent switch to 4-digit years), so is the benefit maybe exaggerated a bit. I mean, how much is it really costing a business or government to rewrite an annual schedule once per yeat (especially when a computer program can write it)?

Adding lines to a computer-program to deal with our idiosyncratic months adds to the job of writing a program involving dates, but, once it's been written once, it might not continue be be any problem.  ...but I'm not sure about that. I like the great computational-simplification of dates programs with ISO WeekDate.

Also, a paper Caesarian-Gregorian calendar can be easily used as an ISO WeekDate calendar.  Just number the weeks appropriately.

If it's in the U.S., with Sunday in the leftmost column, that isn't a problem, because you know that the week, by the new calendar, really starts on Monday, and that the Sunday in the leftmost column really belongs to the previous week.

That means that, if we immediately switched to ISO WeekDate, everyone already has ISO WeekDate calendars, just be writing week-numbers in the left margin of each page.

Michael Ossipoff






On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 11:21 AM Peter Meyer <[hidden email]> wrote:
Litmus said:

> I'd be happy to be part of any group aiming to come up with a viable
> strategy that would find the common ground regarding "where we want
> to be" in terms of Calendar Reform and take us there from where we
> are now in a simple, logical, step by step approach.

I think most of the old-timers on this list (including its founder,
Rick McCarty) would agree that Calendar Reform, in the West, at least,
is a dead horse, if Calendar Reform means either (a) a major change to
the Gregorian Calendar or (b) its replacement by some other calendar. 
The principal practical reason is that Gregorian Calendar functions are
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

That said, there is a bit more to be said.

There's no reason why some group or segment of society (or even all of
it) should not use some alternative calendar in parallel with the
Gregorian.  The ISO 8601 Calendar is probably used by some businesses,
though I can't name any.  And Wiccans might like to use a Wiccan
calendar.

And the West is neither the whole world nor is it destined (manifestly
or otherwise) to maintain some kind of dominance over the rest of the
world for all time.  Quite a few Asian countries (e.g. China, Vietnam,
India) also use lunar calendars, whether officially or otherwise.  This
is mainly due to the fact that they used these calendars for many
hundreds of years (or even thousands of years) before the West imposed
the Gregorian Calendar upon them.

The only chance I see for a new (or revived) calendar to be introduced
on a wide scale is if there is a social or cultural reason to do so,
and this is only feasible if the calendar is supported by some
government.  The only example I know of is the possible introduction by
the government of Kazakhstan of the revived Ancient Nomad Calendar
(a.k.a. the Kazakh Nomad Calendar), for use by all Turkic-speaking
countries, in order to promote traditional Turkic culture.  But this
would not really be a Calendar Reform, but rather the promotion of a
particular calendar for use in parallel with the Common Era Calendar
(a.k.a. the Gregorian, so named because it is the calendar used in
common by all countries of the world at present).

Regards,
Peter
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Re: Calendar Reform

Amos Shapir-2
In reply to this post by Michael Ossipoff
Hi Michael and calendar people,

About 95% of the cost of software systems is in maintenance, not development.  A calendar program by itself is not very complicated, and does not cost much to produce, distribute, etc.  But a calendar program is *everywhere*!

Every file carries a timestamp (some systems have billions of them); even though such timestamps are usually stored in an internal system-depended form, every time a human looks at one, it should be presented in the frame of a calendar.  And of course, arranging events and scheduling tasks are intimately dependent on calendar programs.

The main problem -- and main cost -- of changing a calendar is that it takes time.  During that time, it's a nightmare trying to keep up with who is using which calendar when.

Besides, precisely because the calendar program takes care of all the internal details, people usually do not care about them, they just use whatever the program puts out.  So the first question a management would ask when such a change is suggested, is: Why?

On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 8:17 PM Michael Ossipoff <[hidden email]> wrote:

Can Peter support this statement that I've underlined immediately-below?:

[quote]
Gregorian Calendar functions are 
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

[/quote]

We hear about the cost of a calendar-changeover, and the savings that would result from a more regular calendar, but we don't hear support for those claims.

For any particular individual, household, government agencies or business, it would be a matter of purchasing--or being given--software for a new calendar.

In comparison to what individuals, households, government agencies and businesses ordinarily spend anyway, the purchase of one program doesn't sound prohibitive.

Of course 30,30,31 lwnm would bring at least a bit of immediate savings because it wouldn't be necessary to write new annual schedules for each year due to successive years starting on different days.  But ISO WeekDate would bring even more savings, because it just completely eliminates the computationally-cumbersome months.

Consider how much simpler would be every computer-program involving dates, when it would no longer be necessary to deal with the variable-length months, and numbering within those months. That simplicity and convenience would be immediate, with the adoption of ISO WeekDate. 

I feel that, likely, just as the changeover cost is exaggerated (some have said that it needn't cost significantly more than the the "Y2K" problem and the recent switch to 4-digit years), so is the benefit maybe exaggerated a bit. I mean, how much is it really costing a business or government to rewrite an annual schedule once per yeat (especially when a computer program can write it)?

Adding lines to a computer-program to deal with our idiosyncratic months adds to the job of writing a program involving dates, but, once it's been written once, it might not continue be be any problem.  ...but I'm not sure about that. I like the great computational-simplification of dates programs with ISO WeekDate.

Also, a paper Caesarian-Gregorian calendar can be easily used as an ISO WeekDate calendar.  Just number the weeks appropriately.

If it's in the U.S., with Sunday in the leftmost column, that isn't a problem, because you know that the week, by the new calendar, really starts on Monday, and that the Sunday in the leftmost column really belongs to the previous week.

That means that, if we immediately switched to ISO WeekDate, everyone already has ISO WeekDate calendars, just be writing week-numbers in the left margin of each page.

Michael Ossipoff


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Re: Calendar Reform

Michael Ossipoff
Amos--

Thanks for the information. Those are the answers that I was asking for.

One thing that stands out is that there it seems futile and unnecessary to work for convenience-reform that practically no one cares about.

I like calendars, including the current standard civil calendar, and that's what draws me to the subject.

Michael Ossipoff

On Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 3:01 AM Amos Shapir <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Michael and calendar people,

About 95% of the cost of software systems is in maintenance, not development.  A calendar program by itself is not very complicated, and does not cost much to produce, distribute, etc.  But a calendar program is *everywhere*!

Every file carries a timestamp (some systems have billions of them); even though such timestamps are usually stored in an internal system-depended form, every time a human looks at one, it should be presented in the frame of a calendar.  And of course, arranging events and scheduling tasks are intimately dependent on calendar programs.

The main problem -- and main cost -- of changing a calendar is that it takes time.  During that time, it's a nightmare trying to keep up with who is using which calendar when.

Besides, precisely because the calendar program takes care of all the internal details, people usually do not care about them, they just use whatever the program puts out.  So the first question a management would ask when such a change is suggested, is: Why?

On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 8:17 PM Michael Ossipoff <[hidden email]> wrote:

Can Peter support this statement that I've underlined immediately-below?:

[quote]
Gregorian Calendar functions are 
built in to the zillions of computer systems running in the West and
the cost of change would rival the U.S. annual 'defense' budget.

[/quote]

We hear about the cost of a calendar-changeover, and the savings that would result from a more regular calendar, but we don't hear support for those claims.

For any particular individual, household, government agencies or business, it would be a matter of purchasing--or being given--software for a new calendar.

In comparison to what individuals, households, government agencies and businesses ordinarily spend anyway, the purchase of one program doesn't sound prohibitive.

Of course 30,30,31 lwnm would bring at least a bit of immediate savings because it wouldn't be necessary to write new annual schedules for each year due to successive years starting on different days.  But ISO WeekDate would bring even more savings, because it just completely eliminates the computationally-cumbersome months.

Consider how much simpler would be every computer-program involving dates, when it would no longer be necessary to deal with the variable-length months, and numbering within those months. That simplicity and convenience would be immediate, with the adoption of ISO WeekDate. 

I feel that, likely, just as the changeover cost is exaggerated (some have said that it needn't cost significantly more than the the "Y2K" problem and the recent switch to 4-digit years), so is the benefit maybe exaggerated a bit. I mean, how much is it really costing a business or government to rewrite an annual schedule once per yeat (especially when a computer program can write it)?

Adding lines to a computer-program to deal with our idiosyncratic months adds to the job of writing a program involving dates, but, once it's been written once, it might not continue be be any problem.  ...but I'm not sure about that. I like the great computational-simplification of dates programs with ISO WeekDate.

Also, a paper Caesarian-Gregorian calendar can be easily used as an ISO WeekDate calendar.  Just number the weeks appropriately.

If it's in the U.S., with Sunday in the leftmost column, that isn't a problem, because you know that the week, by the new calendar, really starts on Monday, and that the Sunday in the leftmost column really belongs to the previous week.

That means that, if we immediately switched to ISO WeekDate, everyone already has ISO WeekDate calendars, just be writing week-numbers in the left margin of each page.

Michael Ossipoff