Useless Standards

I am for standards in general, but tonight I’ve realized a list that I’m against. I am against them because they fail in their purpose, either having no positive effect or actually making things worse.

  1. Daylight Savings Time. Who thought this up anyway? (No, it wasn’t Benjamin Franklin - go read the linked Wiki). The whole point is that we’re wasting free light from the sun - because we don’t get up early enough. There’s little to no effect (and often times that little effect is negative) on energy usage, and the demands of keeping up with daylight savings time and the various ways and points at which it is implemented are the cause of all kinds of headaches for computer programmers and people who commute, physically or via telepresence, across time zones. I’m with Benjamin Franklin - tell people to just get up earlier!
  2. Time zones. I’m not going to argue this one a lot, but it seems to me that we’re at the point where this whole idea is pretty moot. Yes, it makes a lot of sense for standardizing commerce in discrete geographical areas, but those lines are pretty blurred in places like Phenix City, GA. The military, the internet, and the airlines (indeed, all aviation) make use of standard time because it is standard. Not a random jumbly mess - if it’s 3:00 pm here, what time is it in Bermuda again? Oh, that’s in AST, so it’s UTC-4 - oh wait, do they use daylight savings time? - I can’t remember, so maybe it’s UTC-4+1? - and we’re CDT, so that’s UTC-6+1, so…. I think you get my point.
  3. The U.S. Customary System. SI (metric) is BASE 10. Whoever thought that base 2, 4, 16, 12, 2000, 5218, et cetera, was a good idea? Yes, I realize that it wasn’t all done at once and that things just sort of happened. I also realize that there’s no way to change it and have everything work out or even get everyone on board. That’s not the point. It’s a stupid standard and a better one exists.

Any other standards you like to bash? Think I’m an idiot for using GMT/Z/UT/UTC/WET or the metric system? Post a comment.