# Metric Time

This is a discussion on Metric Time within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; As I sit here late at night I contemplate about time. It is in so many bases. Nanoseconds - seconds ...

1. ## Metric Time

As I sit here late at night I contemplate about time. It is in so many bases.

Nanoseconds - seconds = base 10
minutes and hours = base 60
days = base 24
week = base 7
month = ABOUT base 30
year = either base 365 or base 12
decade - millenium = back to base 10

So, time is constantly changing bases.

As members of the CBoard, I think we should all create our own system of time and call it Metric Time! Totally in base 10!

Lets try it!

2. One of my books said they wanted metric dollars around the
french revolution hence the base 10
1 cent penny, 10 cent dime, 100 cent dollar, 1000 cent 10 dollar etc
But then because the scale would require carying too much change
they added a base five scale, 5 cent nickle, 25 cent quarter

3. So, time is constantly changing bases.
Is this really correct? It appears from your post that units of time are being measured in different bases. Time itself is not changing bases, only its measurements are.

1 year = 12 months
roughly 1 month = 30 days
1 day = 24 hours
1 hour = 60 minutes
1 minute = 60 seconds

All that is happening here is that time is being decomposed into smaller units of measurement.

4. The 60 second time came from the old days of Babylonia. The Babylonians had a number system with a base of 60. While base 10 for time seems logical, there are just too much erratic behavior in the Lunar Cycles; just look at leap years and daylight savings. Besides, we know exactly how many times Berillium oscillates in a second, so that's good for our Atomic clocks.

But then again, I'm just a crazy American who shuns SI units.

5. Base sixty for minutes and hours is fine with me, as is base 24 for a day, and base 7 for a week. What annoys me is that the lengths of a month and a year do not have constant values.

I think we should make time scale in hexadecimal.

6. unfortuanely, base 10 is very difficult to measure Earth's time in.. i've tried to do this before and it failed miserably.

It turns out, as unfortunate as it is, that we really don't have any other widely useable way to measure time.

7. Why not just measure stuff in seconds, hektoseconds, kiloseconds, femtoseconds, attoseconds, and whatever else there is?

So a year would be ~31.5gigaseconds.
Each month is ~2.6gigaseconds.
Each day is ~86.4kiloseconds.
Each hour is 3.6kiloseconds.
Each minute is 60 seconds.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

You could base it on hours, or anything else, but a more logical measurement than a second is probably a good idea.

Well, there's a constant(yeah, I know there's some doubt here) speed, and we already have distances, so how about speed of light per meter(or kilometer, or something that makes it more convenient, like AU)

kilometer/speed of light comes out to be 3.3e-6 seconds per unit, so that's probably too small. With megameters/speed of light, it comes out to be 0.003, so 3kilounits~=1second. So that would make it:

One year would be 105megaunits
One month would be 8.7 megaunits
One day would be 388 kilounits.
One hour would be 12 kilounits
One minute would be 200 units

All of my measurements are only accurate to one digit, since I don't know any more than 3e+8 for the speed of light in m/s.

Anybody care to name this unit?

8. Well... unfortunately, unlike for other units whose definitions are pretty much arbitrary (foot, meter, Kelvin, etc) there is a very strong natural unit for time. In fact, there are two of them, and their ratio is not a power of ten. That's the problem.

The units are the day and the year. Society simply could not run properly if the 'day' was not a unit; there'd be no way to post a consistent set of hours (i.e. business hours) except through a mathematical equation. The year is a slightly more dispensible benchmark than the day, but its relation to the seasons means that agriculture and holiday schedules could not be properly separated from it.

However, we could in principle make the day 10 'hours' long and have each hour consist of 100 'seconds', since those definitions are still quite arbitrary. And weeks and months could be abolished as well (the month no longer correlates with the lunar phases anyway). But I see no practical way to eliminate either the day or the year, so above the level of the day the system would "de-metrify".

Edit:

Flarelocke, your unit would be called the megameter, as it could be used both to measure distance and time. Although, to avoid confusion, maybe light-megameter would be better; in the same way light-year, the distance light travels in one year, is a year of distance. (If that made no sense, read a bit about relativity.)

9. Once space travel becomes popular, a 300kilounit day might be more to the liking of those in space(approx. 25 hours) because in space, even the length of a day(and thus the sleep/wake cycle) is arbitrary.

It has been found that the circadian rhythm of people who cannot see the sun for an extended period of time is closer to 24.5 hours than to 24.0.

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