Time, for Internet

A Swatch Internet Time clock, timer, and stopwatch.

I’ve been thinking about my time spent buildings things for this blog. I’ve made some useful things, some interesting things, and ideally some that are both. 

But I worry some of them are rather insubstantial. I’d like to spend more time building bigger things. 

Time is a tricky thing. For most of human history, we didn’t have standardized time, nor clocks accurate enough and stable enough to keep time over long oceanic voyages. When we left for a great adventure it’d be reasonable to leave your clocks behind. They’d do you no good out there. 

These days, clocks are necessary on the greatest adventures (that’s why they put the excellent clocks in the adventure-assisting space systems). I too have been using a clock of sorts for this little adventure, although at a pace too slow for metronomes: I’ve been posting every four or five days (almost always four, but I wanted to avoid posting on a day when I was moving). It’s three months of posts today at that pace. 

But when building bigger things, it’s normal to need more time. Partially because thinking of useful and interesting bigger things is harder. So I want to post every week (I suppose this will be on Thursdays), with a post every once in a while for a for-pay mega-project. There are some projects that involve sending text messages, for instance – can’t give that away for free. We’ll see how this goes. 

But as long as we are talking about taking the time for the Internet, we might as well mention Swatch Internet Time. No time zones, decimal, compact, increments of roughly the same size as we already use. Turns out that Ancient China used a decimal time system equivalent to this for quite some time (and may have had a ten day week if I understand 旬 as a measure of time correctly). 

Much simpler than our current system, but the people who could standardize time first got to set the standard, so here we are. 

Well, I think we should adopt that system again. 

Internet Time