Tuesday, 07 November 2000

It all started when I was looking for a program to sync my home computer with one of several time servers on the Internet. The government runs several of these machines, which are considered to be “the correct time,” so I started my search at their Web page.

As with most Web surfing, I got distracted while looking through the site. Among other things, they had information about how the atomic clocks worked and how leap years are calculated. Did you know that there are also leap seconds? The site also had job postings…I could not resist a look.

One opening caught my eye, but it required a Ph.D. and several years experience in nuclear physics, a degree in astronomy, space science and other lofty qualifications. It had to be the single coolest job title in the world. The position was called “The Directorate of Time.” With a job like that, even President of the United States would rank down along-side burger-flipper at McDonalds.

Then I got to thinking about the possibilities.

Do you dread birthdays? Hate the though of growing older? Simply change how long the year is. Loathe tax time? Just set it up so April 15th never comes.

Imagine never being late for dinner, work or a big date. If you’re running a bit behind, just redefine the time. “Oh, you must be mistaken, I can’t be late. My watch says 7:30 on the dot.”

FedEx, UPS and their ilk would be at your mercy. “Next day air” would take on a whole new meaning with a day that was only 10 hours long.

Why stop there? Go for “metric time.” In addition to 10 hour days, you could mandate 10 minutes to an hour and 10 seconds per minute.

Of course, every silver lining has its dark cloud. Friends would always be asking for more holidays, longer weekends and more hours in the day (so they could get everything done.)

In a way, I’m glad that I wasn’t qualified…I’d never be able to take the pressure.

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