The Human Experience Issue that has my Panties in a Wad
Why is it that our standard for measuring time is so inconsistent and unpredictable? Today is Wednesday February 25th; What day of the week will be March 25th? This seemingly basic calculation is more cognitively engaging than I am comfortable with, so I would have to look at a calendar app to find out. Do you have the same problem? Maybe this should be easier.
As a user experience designer by trade, this issue has me up in arms. It is inexcusable that the human species should have to continue measuring time by a device as shoddy as the Gregorian calendar, established in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. His contribution to the calendar system was to add leap years. Predecessor to the Gregorian, was the Julian calendar, established in 46–45 B.C. Two of our months are still named after Julius and Augustus Ceasar. The rest of the months seem to be named numerically, but are entirely wrong. (‘Deca’ means ten, yet December is is the twelfth month). It is also worth noting that calends, in it’s original roman use, was the book of accounting. So it is that our tool for measuring time was created for one purpose: collecting debts. Yes, we still have debts to pay on the first of every month, But TIME is a dimension that deserves an accurate and consistent tool for measure. The Gregorian calendar system is anything but scientific, yet we live in a culture that prides itself on being the most scientific in history(!?!).
A good practice for solving user experience problems is to approach them from “First Principles”, to borrow a term from Elon Musk, serial entrepreneur of some of the most exciting projects on the planet. This practice is the process of boiling something down to it’s most fundamental truth, reasoning up from there — instead of using analogies to compare two problems that are fundamentally different. Reasoning from first principles is how we will need to reform our broken calendar. Time is beckoning for us to measure her astutely, that we may enter a higher collective level of consciousness. The moment is ripe for calendar reform.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in joining this movement, recommending and sharing this post would be a much appreciated start ; ) Next, you might consider having a look at the 13 moon / 28 day calendar. I would love for you to join me in taking up what I believe to be the most important work on the planet: embracing a new calendar.
I’ll leave you with one of the sharper statements I’ve come across in José Argüelles’ foundational work on this subject:
If you have a crooked standard of measure, and follow it because your parents were also following it, you have become a crooked man. It takes a crooked man to walk a crooked mile and build a crooked house. The issue of calendar reform is both logical and moral. Bad logic leads to bad morality. An error in time dooms the mind. Apocalypses are the reward for bad timekeeping. To remove yourself from the fires of your own self-created apocalypse, change your calendar. In a world of harmony, there is no apocalypse.
— José Argüelles, Author of Time and the Technosphere