I regard this blog post to be among my most important. It supervenes earlier ones on the same topic. I regard this as a new Copernican Revolution in the keeping of time. Nicolaus Copernicus, you will recall, reduced the number of “epicycles” needed to explain the “retrograde” (backward moving) motion of the planets in the night skies involved in the model of the solar system given by the Almagest of one Ptolemy (not from the ancient Egyptian dynasty that bears that name).
The new model Copernicus offered reduced the number of epicycles from 80 something to 30 something, by specifying that the earth revolved around the Sun, as did the other planets, and this relative motion of the planets created the appearance of retrograde motion in the nocturnal skies.
What we did not notice in the Copernican [Scientific] revolution is that the revolution had its precursor in time. We keep time just this way — with many epicycles that are unnecessary.
We do not need weeks or months at all in our calendars. And Ockham’s razor bids us “shave these off.” This would mean that proper time-keeping practices would have us number first the year, and then each day would also bear a number, namely 1 – 365. This would tell us the time of year at a glance. We simply do not need weeks or months, or names for particular days of the week — i.e. Monday, etc. We should simply drop these from our vocabulary, and name each day by its #.
This Copernican revolution of time eliminates a whole batch of unnecessary clutter — temporal epicycles. I believe it was these temporal epicycles in our timekeeping system that caused the retrograde (cultural) motions [Economists might call this a cultural Fibonacci retracement — grin], that we call the Renaissance and Reformation – just after or during the Copernican revolution.
This new way of timekeeping leaves us with only the “annual” epicycle preventing a thoroughgoing “linear-progressive” ideal of our grasp of temporal development.
There does not seem to be any good reason, other than current convenience (because of established tradition), to go on using the arbitrary “second” as a basic unit of time. It constructs minutes, and minutes hours, and then hours construct days.
Both the daylight 12 hours or so (solar day) and the night-time 12 hours or so (lunar night) should be broken down into 5 equal units of time. This mimicks our hands and feet, units of 5, making up ten, the most natural number for treating question of management of the environment. According to the principle of necessity (or economy), we should always work in tens or else fives, round numbers, whenever possible.
I propose that we call these 10 units, each one, the “penteos,” or five-fold unit, even though we would have ten, five for the day, and five for the night. Each penteos would last 2.4 hours (144 minutes) on our current time-scale. This would replace the “hour” as an arbitrary unit of time-keeping, with the unit suggested by the principles of the light of nature.
The new (replacement for the) “minute,” would be 1/100th of a penteos, lasting 1.44 minutes by our current scale (about 85 seconds, instead of 60). This would be called a “Pentos,” dropping the “e” from the term for the “hour” (PentE os). This shows it to be the same kind of thing, but shorter.
1/100th of a new “minute” or the penteos, we would call the “pendon” (similar to the word “Second”), which would last about .85 seconds, as measured by our current scale. This is non-arbitrary, even if it artificially averages out each day and night as exactly 12 hours — when Alaskans never see this happen in their, quite northern, world.
What if this new timekeeping accidentally allows seasons to drift across the calendar? It makes no difference since we have no months. If day 360 lands us in hot weather times (what we now call July), who cares, since we do not have a July!
This puts an end to excessive, needless and quite-Christian, timeframes, and promises the new Copernican Revolution — and New Enlightenment — just around the corner.