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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Timekeeping (Of clocks and calendars...)
Timekeeping
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 06:08 | Message # 1
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[Thread split from here]

Quote (werdnaforever)
and everyone should switch, right away

No. I'm all for replacing the Gregorian calendar, but if we're going to do that then it should be with something that has a well-defined and truly meaningful epoch. Maybe something this century will qualify, or perhaps something from the recent past that hasn't sunk in yet (like the advent of the internet).





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werdnaforeverDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 06:18 | Message # 2
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
No. I'm all for replacing the Gregorian calendar, but if we're going to do that then it should be with something that has a well-defined and truly meaningful epoch. Maybe something this century will qualify, or perhaps something from the recent past that hasn't sunk in yet (like the advent of the internet).

The reason I advocate the Holocene is the ease of conversion. I like the idea of a recent epoch, but how could we universally agree on the right date to go from? I think that taking something very widely used and converting it to something more meaningful is better.
EDIT: I mean, lots of people are resistant to change, and changing a calendar is a big deal. Calendars, as a tool to make our lives easier though the organization of time, shouldn't be harder than they have to be. Converting between recent dates shouldn't take an ounce of effort more than it has to.


Edited by werdnaforever - Sunday, 09.06.2013, 06:24
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 09:20 | Message # 3
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Quote (werdnaforever)
how could we universally agree on the right date to go from?

Consensus does not need to be unanimous. If it did we'd never have a calendar. Besides, I don't think that this is a question for our generation, but for later generations. It's hard to see an epochal time or event except in hindsight. Maybe they'd pick something from our recent past. More likely a more suitable epochal event will arrive in the future, perhaps this century, perhaps next.

Quote (werdnaforever)
I think that taking something very widely used and converting it to something more meaningful is better.

The Holocene calendar hardly seems more meaningful to me than the BCE/CE version of the Gregorian calendar. The arguments for both seem equally uncompelling to me. If we're going to pick a distant time for an epoch then I'm inclined to pick something of significance which we can at least assign a year to. Something that marks the birth of science in some way seems fitting to me. We could use the time of Thales (call it 601 BC for convenience), or perhaps the time of Kepler and Galileo (1600 for convenience) as an epoch. I'm somewhat partial to the latter as human progress has been much more consistent since the birth of modern science than since the birth of naturalistic thought.

Quote (werdnaforever)
Calendars, as a tool to make our lives easier though the organization of time, shouldn't be harder than they have to be.

The conversion from the Julian to Gregorian calendar was much more troublesome than a conversion to a different epoch year, and people made it through that just fine. As long as we pick an epoch year that is divisible by 100 then it should be a trivial matter to adjust to it.

Quote (werdnaforever)
I even downloaded a program for my taskbar- now I see this everyday:

Did you set a new epoch for the calendar, or did you just write 1 in front of the year?





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Sunday, 09.06.2013, 10:57
 
werdnaforeverDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 17:56 | Message # 4
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Did you set a new epoch for the calendar, or did you just write 1 in front of the year?

Are you implying that writing a 1 in front of a year isn't setting a new epoch?

Also, the lightning pictures are neat. Did you use some kind of high speed camera, or did you get lucky several times? Maybe it's not as hard as I think to capture lightning.


Edited by werdnaforever - Sunday, 09.06.2013, 18:13
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 18:09 | Message # 5
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Quote (werdnaforever)
Are you implying that writing a 1 in front of a year isn't setting a new epoch?

Well, one is actually changing the calendar in the system itself. The other is doing this:

hh:mm:ss tt\nm.dd.1yyyy

Which I'm guessing is what you did since it's by far the simplest solution.

I did it for my epoch smile

Though I don't actually have it looking like this since I don't like the double thick taskbar, which is just as well since it looks extra bad on Vista (at single thickness though it's the best one in the history of Windows IMO).

Also, which font are you using?

Attachments: 8254062.png(5Kb)





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Sunday, 09.06.2013, 18:13
 
midtskogenDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 18:15 | Message # 6
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
As long as we pick an epoch year that is divisible by 100 then it should be a trivial matter to adjust to it.

If adaptation is at all a concern, why bother with a new epoch? It will be arbitrary no what the pick is, unless someone finds a way to precisely date the big bang or some point before which time makes now sense.

The birth year of Jesus is not known fore sure anyway, except that 1 AD is most likely NOT the year.





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werdnaforeverDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 18:26 | Message # 7
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Well, one is actually changing the calendar in the system itself. The other is doing this:

hh:mm:ss tt\nm.dd.1yyyy

Which I'm guessing is what you did since it's by far the simplest solution.

I did it for my epoch

Though I don't actually have it looking like this since I don't like the double thick taskbar, which is just as well since it looks extra bad on Vista (at single thickness though it's the best one in the history of Windows IMO).

I tried the whole 1yyyy thing but the system wouldn't accept it. So I found the Tclock program instead.
The double thick taskbar was weird at first, but eventually I accepted it and am now more used to it. Also, windows 7 and 8 leave too much room between the icons when you set it to smal icons. There was a program I found to stop that, but I didn't feel like having it run every time; I think it may have caused some kind of startup error that made me want to get rid of it.

I'm using Segoe UI Symbol because it matches everything else on my system.

Wait. You did that without any external programs? Where did you change the setting?


Edited by werdnaforever - Sunday, 09.06.2013, 18:45
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 09.06.2013, 19:29 | Message # 8
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Quote (werdnaforever)
I tried the whole 1yyyy thing but the system wouldn't accept it. So I found the Tclock program instead.

I meant in T-Clock...


What I was trying to ask before was what method did you use to get the 1 there? Was it via the code I wrote earlier (same method I used) or via another method? If so, what?

Quote (werdnaforever)
You did that without any external programs?

No, I used what you used.

Quote (midtskogen)
The birth year of Jesus is not known fore sure anyway, except that 1 AD is most likely NOT the year.

The existence of Jesus is not even known for sure. If he did exist it is thought that he was probably born c. 4 BC. They realized that the dating was off even shortly after they instituted the calendar, but by then it was too late to fix it, and it's not that important anyway.

Quote (midtskogen)
If adaptation is at all a concern, why bother with a new epoch?

Your logic here makes no sense. That is like saying that if one must take into account how much work needs to be done to do something, then why do that thing at all? It's a comically absurd notion. It is always prudent to consider the difficulties in any endeavor before embarking on it, that does not mean that it's not worth doing.

Quote (midtskogen)
It will be arbitrary no what the pick is

Of course it will, but if we're going to have a calendar founded on some symbolic epochal event then I think it should be one which has real meaning and significance to the progress of humanity and which is applicable to everyone equally. The birth of Jesus of Nazareth does not meet those criteria IMO.

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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Sunday, 09.06.2013, 19:41
 
midtskogenDate: Monday, 10.06.2013, 08:18 | Message # 9
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
The existence of Jesus is not even known for sure. If he did exist it is thought that he was probably born c. 4 BC.

Herod the Great died in 4 BC, so if we accept the account that he was born under that rule (and to reckon years according to who were in office was the custom at that time, so it might have some credibility), 4 BC will define the younger limit. What is "known for sure" is ultimately a philosophical question, but it would be pretty nonsensical not to assume that he did exist, though all the early accounts, Christian, Jewish and Roman, were written down decades after his death. We don't know for sure that Pythagoras ever lived either, and the accounts of his life and teachings probably have inaccuracies, but despite this and to some degree because of this we can for practical purposes assume that he at least did exist. It's unlikely that there will be much new evidence discovered that will cast new light of the existence of either.

There have been attempts to date both the nativity and death of Jesus by astronomical means, but I wouldn't give them much weight. The star of Bethlehem could be number of things, if it has any root in reality at all. The lunar eclipse during the crucifixion related clearly enough, but still the dating could be likely mistaken. These accounts weren't written by eye witnesses, and it would be perfectly natural for someone learning about the crucifixion years after also recalling a lunar eclipse on Good Friday around that time to make a connection even if the incidences in fact were in different years, and likewise connecting the nativity with a celestial event around the same time.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Your logic here makes no sense. That is like saying that if one must take into account how much work needs to be done to do something, then why do that thing at all?

I was saying that your options are equally arbitrary, and then concerns about adaptations are irrelevant, since there is no need then to pick something that requires adaptation.

For a new calendar epoch it should also explicitly stated whether it's based on cardinal or ordinal numbers. If you pick 1600 as your epoch, 2000 will equal 3600 AD, but will -2000 equal 401 BC, or will there be no "zeroth" year so 100 years before the new epoch will be 1499 AD?





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Edited by midtskogen - Monday, 10.06.2013, 08:20
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Monday, 10.06.2013, 09:37 | Message # 10
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Quote (midtskogen)
For a new calendar epoch it should also explicitly stated whether it's based on cardinal or ordinal numbers. If you pick 1600 as your epoch, 2000 will equal 3600 AD, but will -2000 equal 401 BC, or will there be no "zeroth" year so 100 years before the new epoch will be 1499 AD?

I am in favor of having a year 0; AD 1600 = 0 on my calendar concept.

Quote (midtskogen)
I was saying that your options are equally arbitrary, and then concerns about adaptations are irrelevant, since there is no need then to pick something that requires adaptation.

We should have a new epoch, and any new epoch would require some degree of adaptation. Ergo, there is a need to pick something that requires adaptation.

Also, I'm splitting this to a new thread since it's getting very off-topic here.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Monday, 10.06.2013, 09:39
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 04.10.2013, 01:18 | Message # 11
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
The existence of Jesus is not even known for sure.

Quote (midtskogen)
it would be pretty nonsensical not to assume that he did exist

I know this is getting off topic again (I'll split it again if a conversation develops), but I recently came across an interesting video where historian Dr. Richard Carrier explains the reasoning and evidence which convinced him that Jesus most likely did not exist. In the video he talks about originally accepting the historicity of Jesus and why he did so, and why he found the claims and hypotheses of the mythicists unconvincing. He then talks about what convinced him to investigate the matter, and what he ultimately concluded as a result of his research. Most importantly, he discusses how he reached those conclusions.



He would probably be the first to admit that this does not conclusively prove that Jesus was a myth, but it does provide a theory which explains the origins and characteristics of Christianity without a historical Jesus at least as plausibly as theories including a historical Jesus.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Friday, 04.10.2013, 01:19
 
midtskogenDate: Friday, 04.10.2013, 19:59 | Message # 12
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
He would probably be the first to admit that this does not conclusively prove that Jesus was a myth, but it does provide a theory which explains the origins and characteristics of Christianity without a historical Jesus at least as plausibly as theories including a historical Jesus.

Showing that something is possible doesn't really add to the likelihood that it is so apart from making the likelihood non-zero. It is not necessary for explaining Christianity from a non-believer's view that Jesus didn't exist, so instead of accepting Carrier's quite elaborate story for explaining how, we must consider the much simpler story: that the man told of did live, though not necessarily as written. We should always prefer the simpler explanation. I don't think much sounded plausible either. Carrier makes a big point of Paul always citing a revelation as his source, not witnesses. Of course. If you even today meet a person with a deep religious conviction, would you expect him to explain his belief based on hearsay or some divine authority?

It doesn't take many elaborate arguments to trace the Christian belief ultimately to a historical Jesus. The stories about him weren't very exceptional, and stories about miracles weren't that unusual in those days. With one exception: Stories about resurrections were likely less common than stories of miracle men. The resurrection can be explained in many ways, and one perhaps make a case for Jesus not really being a historical person. What if there were two or more men preaching similar things, and as the word spread and the years passed, the stories merged into a story of a single man, and if some stories had one man getting crucified and another stories had one man still preach at a later time, an obvious way to reconcile the stories would be to have him rise from the dead. This would be a middle path. Jesus then didn't really exist, but the stories still originate from real persons. There is nothing that I know of that supports such a view, though.

We should not trust elaborate arguments not just because they're not simple, but also because this is a religious matter and then people get awfully prone to confirmation bias.

I can't help making the observation that while pagan gods were soon explained by Christians as historical persons who through time became worshipped as gods, now as society becomes more atheistic, Carrier's talk shows a reverse symmetry: the man whom religion has believed to have lived as man of flesh and blood, is being explained as a purely mythical being. A kind of reverse euhemerism.





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