- Eliminate jet lag
- Extend people's lives
- Improve people's health
- Remove a major impediment to global commerce
- Complete the metric system
- Eliminate all problems associated with leap years
I propose that we take advantage of this observation, revamp our system of time and do it right. Ever since the invention of the light bulb and shift work, the connection between people's sleep-wake cycles and the hours of day and night have been completely disrupted anyway, so it should be no big deal.The precise idea is this. We replace the current day with a New Day (ND) which is about 25.05 hours long. This length is chosen so that there are exactly 350 ND in a year. Since the ND is independent of the daily movement of the sun, there is no need for time zones: the entire earth uses the same time.
Let's think about what this means. No matter where you travel, when you arrive the time is the same as the time in the place you left. Hence benefit #1. With the ND, we all get an extra hour in our day, effectively extending our lives by about 4%. That's benefit #2. The ND corresponds to our natural biological rhythms, hence benefit #3. Benefit #4 results from the elimination of time zones and because everyone's work day is the same. No more scheduling phone calls at odd hours to talk to your remote office!
The adoption of the ND gives us the perfect opportunity to change the definition of an hour to something more metric, so perhaps we have 10 New Hours in a ND, 100 New Minutes in a New Hour, etc. It just makes sense. Time is the one area where the metric system has not had much impact; let's take care of that little problem right now. (Benefit #5)
Since there are now exactly 350 ND in a year, we can have 10 New Months of 35 ND each. Each New Month could have five New Weeks consisting of (in a nod to tradition) 7 ND.
Benefit #6: there is no need for leap years anymore because the ND is defined in terms of how long it takes the earth to go around the sun. Think of the savings in simplified accounting, programming and calendar production! (The same calendar works year after year!)
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most profound. I urge you to join with me to advocate for this elegant solution to many age-old problems. Let us adopt the 25 hour day as soon as possible. A New Day is coming!
Update: I have recently learned of an alternative proposal in the same spirit: The 28 Hour Day which was featured in digg.