Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Time of Day

I have a slight problem with the conventional way of describing the time of day. With am and pm and the idea that there's only 24 hours in a day and that every day exists. This way is based around when you sleep, when you get up, and when you're awake. Only it's not when i'm awake. Ifyou ask someone what day it is between midnight and 2am, how often do people get it right? is 4am early or late?

I come to this point today because, being a uni student, and having everything due over 4 days, my sleeping patterns no longer resemble the convention. On wednesday night i stayed up late working on a project. Late enough for it to become worthwhile to stay up a bit later and hand it in, rather than getting 2 hours' sleep and risk sleeping past the deadline. Bythe time i got to bed it was midday thursday. Up untill then, i was still saying "today" and meaning wednesday.

The next morning, i got up at 8pm thursday and started working on the next assignment, that i'm still working on now. It's due at 5pm on friday (today) and i'm guessing i'll be there till the bitter end. The question is, what day is it? thursday or friday? and if it's friday, where did thursday go?

one day later

It's now saturday, i ended up staying awake late enough to go out last night, so i was up untill just after midnight. I conclude that there are certainly more than 24 hours in a day, time is only limited by being 24 hours times the number of days, including those which you don't experience. Also, experiencing any particular time of day is mutually exclusive with its congruences of 24 on certain other days.

Following on from this logic, i experienced wednesday's am, pm and "qm" (hereby defined as being the first 12 hours after pm ends). experiencing wednesday's qm is mutually exclusive with thursday's am. I then experienced friday's "pre-m" (hereby defined as the last 12 hours before am starts), am, pm, and a few minutes of qm. friday's pre-m is mutually exclusive with thursday's pm. I did not experience thursday at all. Nor did i experience the first few minutes of saturday's am.

So how long is a day? well if you're up before pre-m you would just call it the previous day, so the day starts at 12pre-m, or rather at whatever time after that you get up, but before 11.59pm otherwise you would call it the following day. From here the day continues through qm, rm, sm ad infinitum until you sleep (beziehungsweise stop sleeping, if you want to call wednesday night a part of wednesday). Any individual day can be any length of time. On average, it will be 24 hours if you experience every day exactly once. It will be more if you skip days, it will be less if you have days twice, e.g. on monday you have a siesta, after which the day becomes monday(II). The longest day i have ever experienced was from 6am (when i woke up), through 2.30 sm (when i finally went to bed - 2.30 am the morning after next) to some time in the "tm" (when i stopped sleeping and woke up the "next" day), so was either 44 hours (if you don't include time spent sleeping) or about 60 hours (if you do).

According to this way of describing the time of day, you only have to cross the calender when you wake up and you will never be confused about what day it is. This seems much more logical. My problems are solved.