tinkering with the calendar

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tinkering with the calendar

Phil De Rosa
I sometimes wonder what the reason is for tinkering with the calendar

I sometimes wonder what our reasons are for tinkering with the calendar. Is it to produce and promote a simpler, common world calendar for everyone’s everyday use, or to perhaps consolidate the ecclesiastical position of the seven day week as being the best as opposed to any other calendrical configuration of the week such as for example a simple decimal week? Seven day weeks are not found in any natural cycle and they really represent what? While recognizing that there are powerful religious forces that seem to insist on absolute unbroken continuity of the seven day week it must not be forgotten that these are the same forces whose shamans of ‘primitively ignorant’ ancient and not so ancient times insisted that God ordained the geocentric position of the Earth in the Universe. It was science that proved them wrong and brought reality down to earth. It is the defenders of the seven day week, their knowledge and thinking still locked in the past, who have their adherents cower in their modern caves, i.e. their houses of worship, when there is an eclipse and have them recite prayers of fear and prayers against natural disasters even in 2006. They are still in denial that an eclipse is a natural phenomenon and not a portent of disaster. They use this to bring fear to their followers and keep them ignorant and opposed to change while keeping themselves in power? The seven day week should not be considered sacrosanct to the point where its’ continuity cannot be minimally interrupted for one day at the end of the year, if necessary for the common good. Probably hundreds of changes have been made to calendars over the millennia and other changes are still to come. If it is honestly believed that the seven day week is really the simplest and best option or that for the foreseeable future we must be pragmatic and put up with it for a while longer we can still demand minimal change. Why don’t the various religions have all their celebrated holidays observed on fixed days like many national holidays are in civil calendars? Many holiday events are celebrated on say the closest Monday rather than on the exact day or date that they actually happened. Washington’s (Feb. 22) and Lincoln’s (Feb.12) birthdays are always observed on the third Monday in February, and Martin Luther King’s (Jan.15) birthday is always observed on the third Monday of January. What is really important is not celebrating the exact day or date of the happening but rather the meaningful contribution made to society by that person or event. Christ’s birth is off by about four years for Christ’s sake. Some religious days of observation are always held on the same day of the week every year including leap years, e.g. Good Friday and Easter Monday, why can’t they all be? Within the next few centuries the whole world will be educated and we will no longer be in thrall of Voodoo-like high priests or awed by their incantations. We may be flitting from one galaxy to another, if we haven’t (or have) destroyed our Earth in the interim, and heaven forbid, may even be forgetting about the Moon that we left behind. In terms of a common world calendar, the seven day week and observational calendars will then be a thing of the past, and will have been relegated to the museums of antiquity to join the sun dial and Imperial System of Weights etc. Thank God the calendrical Babel will be no more.

Phil De Rosa – Linking Nature and Commonsense

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Re: tinkering with the calendar

VictorEngel
Dear Philip and Calendar People,

It would be great if you could divide your writings into paragraphs.
That would make reading your posting much easier.

> I sometimes wonder what our reasons are for tinkering with
> the calendar. Is it to produce and promote a simpler, common
> world calendar for everyone's everyday use, or to perhaps
> consolidate the ecclesiastical position of the seven day week
> as being the best as opposed to any other calendrical
> configuration of the week such as for example a simple
> decimal week?

I suspect the reasons are as many as the calendars.

> Seven day weeks are not found in any natural
> cycle and they really represent what?

Yes they are. Did you not see my recent post with "Circaseptan"
in the subject line? Try googling circaseptan to find examples.

> themselves in power? The seven day week should not be
> considered sacrosanct to the point where its' continuity
> cannot be minimally interrupted for one day at the end of the
> year, if necessary for the common good.

In my view, the 7 day week is separate from most calendars with
the obvious exception of leap week calendars, and a few others.
As far as I know, weekday is separate from the Gregorian calendar,
for example. If you chose to have 6 day weeks instead, you would
have no problem pasting that into the Gregorian calendar, replacing
the seven day week at the same time.

On the other hand, the seven day week is the only perpetual cycle
we currently have, other than Julian day number, that is constant.
Your proposal, however minor, would utterly destroy anything that
relies on this fact. Countless algorithms, for example, get day of
week by taking the day number modulo 7. That is extremely simple.
But put even one exception to the 7 day week cycle, and you can
no longer use these algorithms.

> Probably hundreds of
> changes have been made to calendars over the millennia and
> other changes are still to come. If it is honestly believed
> that the seven day week is really the simplest and best
> option or that for the foreseeable future we must be
> pragmatic and put up with it for a while longer we can still
> demand minimal change. Why don't the various religions have
> all their celebrated holidays observed on fixed days like
> many national holidays are in civil calendars?

Are you serious? Do you even know anything about these religions
that your propose to change?

> Within the next few centuries the whole world will be
> educated

How optimistic.

> and we will no longer be in thrall of Voodoo-like
> high priests or awed by their incantations. We may be
> flitting from one galaxy to another, if we haven't (or have)
> destroyed our Earth in the interim, and heaven forbid, may
> even be forgetting about the Moon that we left behind. In
> terms of a common world calendar, the seven day week and
> observational calendars will then be a thing of the past, and
> will have been relegated to the museums of antiquity to join
> the sun dial and Imperial System of Weights etc. Thank God
> the calendrical Babel will be no more.

Looks to me like your palantir is rose-colored.

Victor
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Re: tinkering with the calendar

Joan Griffith
In reply to this post by Phil De Rosa
I think the time will come when there will be a single calendar, but
in the meantime, surely you jest. People do not do things because they
make sense, but because they remain superstitious to this day.
Joan

On 6/14/06, Philip DeRosa <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
>
> I sometimes wonder what our reasons are for tinkering with the calendar. Is
> it to produce and promote a simpler, common world calendar for everyone's
> everyday use, or to perhaps consolidate the ecclesiastical position of the
> seven day week as being the best as opposed to any other calendrical
> configuration of the week such as for example a simple decimal week? Seven
> day weeks are not found in any natural cycle and they really represent what?
> While recognizing that there are powerful religious forces that seem to
> insist on absolute unbroken continuity of the seven day week it must not be
> forgotten that these are the same forces whose shamans of 'primitively
> ignorant' ancient and not so ancient times insisted that God ordained the
> geocentric position of the Earth in the Universe. It was science that proved
> them wrong and brought reality down to earth. It is the defenders of the
> seven day week, their knowledge and thinking still locked in the past, who
> have their adherents cower in their modern caves, i.e. their houses of
> worship, when there is an eclipse and have them recite prayers of fear and
> prayers against natural disasters even in 2006. They are still in denial
> that an eclipse is a natural phenomenon and not a portent of disaster. They
> use this to bring fear to their followers and keep them ignorant and opposed
> to change while keeping themselves in power? The seven day week should not
> be considered sacrosanct to the point where its' continuity cannot be
> minimally interrupted for one day at the end of the year, if necessary for
> the common good. Probably hundreds of changes have been made to calendars
> over the millennia and other changes are still to come. If it is honestly
> believed that the seven day week is really the simplest and best option or
> that for the foreseeable future we must be pragmatic and put up with it for
> a while longer we can still demand minimal change. Why don't the various
> religions have all their celebrated holidays observed on fixed days like
> many national holidays are in civil calendars? Many holiday events are
> celebrated on say the closest Monday rather than on the exact day or date
> that they actually happened. Washington's (Feb. 22) and Lincoln's (Feb.12)
> birthdays are always observed on the third Monday in February, and Martin
> Luther King's (Jan.15) birthday is always observed on the third Monday of
> January. What is really important is not celebrating the exact day or date
> of the happening but rather the meaningful contribution made to society by
> that person or event. Christ's birth is off by about four years for Christ's
> sake. Some religious days of observation are always held on the same day of
> the week every year including leap years, e.g. Good Friday and Easter
> Monday, why can't they all be? Within the next few centuries the whole world
> will be educated and we will no longer be in thrall of Voodoo-like high
> priests or awed by their incantations. We may be flitting from one galaxy to
> another, if we haven't (or have) destroyed our Earth in the interim, and
> heaven forbid, may even be forgetting about the Moon that we left behind. In
> terms of a common world calendar, the seven day week and observational
> calendars will then be a thing of the past, and will have been relegated to
> the museums of antiquity to join the sun dial and Imperial System of Weights
> etc. Thank God the calendrical Babel will be no more.
>
> Phil De Rosa – Linking Nature and Commonsense


--
Joan
Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness,
consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of
eternal peace.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
US general & president (1890 - 1969)
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Re: tinkering with the calendar

Palmen, KEV (Karl)
In reply to this post by VictorEngel
Dear Victor and Calendar People

-----Original Message-----
From: East Carolina University Calendar discussion List
[mailto:[hidden email]]On Behalf Of Engel,Victor
Sent: 15 June 2006 14:51
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: tinkering with the calendar

VICTOR SAID:
In my view, the 7 day week is separate from most calendars with
the obvious exception of leap week calendars, and a few others.
As far as I know, weekday is separate from the Gregorian calendar,
for example. If you chose to have 6 day weeks instead, you would
have no problem pasting that into the Gregorian calendar, replacing
the seven day week at the same time.

KARL SAYS:
So would this also apply, if we were to choose to have a 7 day week that would be occasionally extended to ensure that there would be exactly 52 of these weeks in every year of this calendar or some other calendar?

Karl


08(04(19

Blueday big-Y
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Re: tinkering with the calendar

VictorEngel
In reply to this post by Phil De Rosa
Dear Karl and Calendar People,

> VICTOR SAID:
> In my view, the 7 day week is separate from most calendars with
> the obvious exception of leap week calendars, and a few others.
> As far as I know, weekday is separate from the Gregorian calendar,
> for example. If you chose to have 6 day weeks instead, you would
> have no problem pasting that into the Gregorian calendar, replacing
> the seven day week at the same time.
>
> KARL SAYS:
> So would this also apply, if we were to choose to have a 7
> day week that would be occasionally extended to ensure that
> there would be exactly 52 of these weeks in every year of
> this calendar or some other calendar?

Why not? One could, for example, make 12-31 and 02-29 always have the same
weekday as the previous day. But I don't see much advantage in doing so.

Victor
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Re: tinkering with the calendar

Amos Shapir
In reply to this post by Phil De Rosa
The seven-day cycle predates current religions, and even though sanctified
by them, it is used by non-religious people too.  The simple reason is that
it's useful, for any type of business which requires scheduling and
planning.  There is nothing magical about the number 7, any constant
sequence will do; but it has the great advantage of already being in use
everywhere, so there's no reason to change it just for the sake of change.

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Re: tinkering with the calendar

scott colmes
In reply to this post by Phil De Rosa
Phillip,

Your essay fails on several grounds:

1. You ask about the purpose of tinkering with the calendar. If the purpose
is to really create a real change, then you want a calendar that has an
actually chance of being used, which would surely be one that preserves the
familiar perpetual week.

2. There is nothing particularly rational about the week, but there is
nothing particularly rational about the number 10 either.  The use of 10 is
very widespread amongst cultures that count at all, but it's still only a
custom. Computer science has found it worth the trouble to largely abandon
it favor of base eight (and powers thereof). (We should have started out
counting with the eight fingers and using the thumbs as counters.)

3. Seven has the cultural advantage of uniting otherwise often fractious
civilizations.

4. Using an ancient artifact expresses respect for earlier people, ignorant
though they were, and modestly acknowledges that we might not know
everything yet.

5. Seven has the practical advantage that it fits neatly into a near year,
and even more so with Dr. Bromberg's Sym and similar leap week systems.

6.  Such systems, though making use  an irrational heritage artifact, are in
fact "rational", in a sense,  in that there are few kinds of units, and they
all fit--all days are in a given week, all weeks are in a given month, etc,
there are no extra kinds of entities, orphan units,  or overlaps.

7. Your wish to impose a "scientific" system on the world smacks of cultural
imperialism.

8. Your opening move of attacking and insulting the people whom you would
have to win over ("Voodoo-like, cowering in caves" etc ) would only drive
them away (if this were real) and reduce the zero chance of getting anywhere
to an even more zero chance of getting anywhere.

9. Like many strongly anti-clerical postings here, this emotive approach
would not appear as evidence of a superiority in values and behaviour to
those whom you would win over, nor in fact as a great difference from the
angry self-righteousness of many of them.

All the best,

Scott

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Re: tinkering with the calendar

Deckers, Michael
In reply to this post by Phil De Rosa
   On 2006-06-14, Philip DeRosa penned thusly:

>  In terms of a common world calendar, the seven day week and
>  observational calendars will then be a thing of the past, and will have been
>  relegated to the museums of antiquity to join the sun dial and Imperial System
>  of Weights etc.

   That's a deal: we can keep the good old Gregorian calendar
   as long as we keep the pint.

   Michael Deckers
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Re: tinkering with the calendar

Palmen, KEV (Karl)
In reply to this post by Amos Shapir
Dear Amos and Calendar People

-----Original Message-----
From: East Carolina University Calendar discussion List
[mailto:[hidden email]]On Behalf Of Amos Shapir
Sent: 15 June 2006 17:24
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: tinkering with the calendar


The seven-day cycle predates current religions, and even though sanctified
by them, it is used by non-religious people too.  The simple reason is that
it's useful, for any type of business which requires scheduling and
planning.  There is nothing magical about the number 7, any constant
sequence will do; but it has the great advantage of already being in use
everywhere, so there's no reason to change it just for the sake of change.

KARL SAYS:
Except possibly to get exactly 52 of them in each calendar year.
Then the day of the week of a particular day would then depend on the leap day rule of the calendar.

The 7-day week can be used without knowledge of any calendar.

Karl

08(04(20
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Re: tinkering with the calendar

Palmen, KEV (Karl)
In reply to this post by Deckers, Michael
Dear Calendar People

Googling 'calendar tinkering' gives a website that is campaigning against changing the school calendar to have 'year round schooling' with no long summer holidays.
http://www.summermatters.com/

Karl

08(04(20

-----Original Message-----
From: East Carolina University Calendar discussion List
[mailto:[hidden email]]On Behalf Of Michael Deckers
Sent: 16 June 2006 09:45
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: tinkering with the calendar


   On 2006-06-14, Philip DeRosa penned thusly:

>  In terms of a common world calendar, the seven day week and
>  observational calendars will then be a thing of the past, and will have been
>  relegated to the museums of antiquity to join the sun dial and Imperial System
>  of Weights etc.

   That's a deal: we can keep the good old Gregorian calendar
   as long as we keep the pint.

   Michael Deckers