We don’t live the way our ancestors used to live. Now if we want some information, we just use the Internet. We can make as many copies of a document as we may want using photostat machines. Our ancestors had to get them typed out only a few copies at a time. Today we can talk to anyone on our mobile phone at any time from any place. We don’t have to go to a PCO to talk to someone. We can transfer funds instantaneously through mobile banking but it was not possible in the past. Obviously we have come a long way to live a life which is much more éclat than the life of our ancestors.
They used to measure distances in miles, furlongs, yards, feet and inches which was far more cumbersome than the metric system of kilometres, meters, centimetres and millimetres.
Today we have extended the technology of printing colour photographs using only three cartridges of ink to the manufacturing industry.
Can you imagine what awaits us the next?
We are not living in the way our ancestors have been living. Surely, the same way, the next generations would also not be living the way we are living. But have you thought what changes may take place?
But can you think of the changes they may have in their life?
I don’t know what changes you may envisage but if you asked me, I shall count upon the following change.
CHANGE EXPECTED IN THE SYSTEM OF TIME-MEASUREMENT
If we look back at the history of the calendars, we get flabbergasted to see the changes that have taken place from time to time in the method of synchronizing the solar years and the calendar years all over the world in different communities.
The Julian calendar’s predecessor, the Roman calendar, was a very complicated lunar calendar, based on the phases of the moon. It required a group of people to decide when days should be added or removed in order to keep the calendar in sync with the astronomical seasons, marked by equinoxes and solstices. Julius Caesar consulted an Alexandrian astronomer named Sosigenes and developed a solar calendar, first of its kind, which was based entirely on the time taken by the Earth to take one round of the Sun and introduced it in 45 BCE. He introduced the concept of leap years to make a year 365.25 days long by making all the years divisible by 4 as leap years. The leap years were of 366 days instead of 365 days.
But in 1582, Gregory Pope XIII made an amendment in it by making the years divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400 as non-leap years thereby making a year 365.2425 days long and renamed the Julian calendar as Gregorian calendar.
But, later on, it was realised that even this calendar did not synchronise with the tropical year since Earth takes, on average, approximately 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds (365.242189 days) to complete one full orbit around the Sun.
So, even this calendar would have to be amended to accommodate this deviation. The introduction of such a complex system of the leap years raises doubts in the mind whether it was absolutely necessary to have had such a complex system of leap years?
In a way the current system of time-measurement bears many similarities with the outdated system of distance-measurement which comprised of measuring distances in term of miles, 8 furlongs to a mile, 220 yards to a furlong, 3 feet to a yard and 12 inches to a foot as follows.
- Even though the Earth takes approximately 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds (365.242189 days) to complete one full orbit around the Sun, some years of the calendar have 365 days and some 366 days. Since a circle consists of 360 degrees the Earth rotates at a speed of 1.0145616 days per degree. Can we not redefine the time unit in a way that we may be able to say that the Earth travels at a speed of one degree per day?
- Even though the Earth takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds (23.934444 hours) with respect to the stars but our clocks show it to consist of 24 hours.
- We can’t calculate mentally which week starts from which date and ends on which date since but for the February of 28 days, no other month has full weeks in a month. Would it have been better to have 30 days in all the months and have 3 decadays (Each decaday consisting of 10 days) in a month as we have in Czech Republic and Russia instead of having 52 weeks (Each week consisting of 7 days) in a year?
Surely, it is possible.
I won’t say that this is the only way we may solve the problem of time-measurement but surely it can be sorted out in the following manner also.
THE OUTLINE OF THE PROPOSED SCHEME
- We may have as many days in a year as the number of the degrees in a circle, that is, 360 by resizing the “Second” – the basic unit of time-measurement. We may make it 365.242185 / 360 times bigger. By doing so the Earth would take exactly 360 days to take one round of the Sun and we can say adieu to the leap years.
- We may have 12 months in a year as now, but to have each month of 30 days only.
- Each month may have 3 decadays (Each decaday consisting of 10 days) instead of 4 weeks.
- Each day to have 24 hours as at present. Each hour to have 60 minutes as usual and each minute to have 60 seconds as usual.