Becoming a millionaire

I have talked about the stupidity of daylight savings time adjustments before, but I am inspired to address the subject again. The reason for this inspiration is that I am visiting the US this week and I will not get home until next Monday. While I am away, on Saturday night, the clocks in Europe will be changed, but they will not be messed with in the US until a week later. So I will be going home, confusingly, against a 7 hour time change and have a week of confusion thereafter. If we really must carry out this senseless procedure, why can’t we come to some agreement over the date?

This aside, I recently came across a new angle on the senselessness …

I was discussing the lack of logic of daylight savings with a friend, who tried very hard to sell me on the benefits. I was, of course, unconvinced. So, I tried a new tack: what about all the effort involved in making the change twice a year. How much time is wasted? Around the world, there might be, say, a billion people adjusting their clocks. Maybe it takes them 5 minutes twice a year. That adds up to 10 billion minutes – 167 million hours. There is a lot that could usefully be achieved, given that number of man-hours.

My friend rejected this argument, saying that since it was only a tiny bit of time for each person, so it was insignificant really. Taking that angle, I had a idea, which could make me rich. I am going to ask every resident of the United States to give me a penny. That is not much. Nobody is going to miss it. But, when the collection is complete, I will have over $3m, which would be very nice. But it ain’t going to happen …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2011/10/28/becoming-a-millionaire/