Author Topic: The Wrath of Julian Day  (Read 724 times)

Grant

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The Wrath of Julian Day
« on: December 21, 2021, 12:45:48 PM »
I'm here to rant. 

The CE/BCE calendar year notation is freaking stupid.  I get why some people don't want to use it, because it's Christian centric.  But just changing the name but not the year numbering system is utterly stupid.  It's a facade.  Your calendar system is still based around the birth of Christ, you're just trying to ignore it by changing the name.  I'd come up with a good analogy, but it's just too stupid. 

But that's all fine.  Stupid stuff is everywhere.  It's like changing "Easter Vacation" or "Christmas Vacation" into "Winter Break" or "Spring Break".  Whatever.  Ignore it all you want.  Supposedly Christians did the same thing back in the day when they took over the festival of Sol Invictus.  Whatever.

The real reason I hate CE/BCE is because they look too similar when you are trying to scan dates.  If you have a paragraph or a page that mixes the two, it takes more time and more mental effort to tell the difference between CE and BCE.  It's much easier to spot the difference between AD and BC.  Four different letters. 

The secularists need to get their poop together and stop being ridiculous.  If you want to change the system, let's go with something like the Holocene Era recommendation.  It would make things much easier anyways because you would get rid of the weird reverse dating system of BC and remove the lack of a year zero so you could do the math easier. 

TheDrake

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2021, 01:12:59 PM »
That's a fascinating library you must have! I would only imagine such dates to be blended if examining the Roman era? Good luck eradicating BCE, its been used for over 300 years. Switching to another calendar (Mayan?) is a non-starter. Nobody who got through history class wants to memorize a new set of dates, in America we couldn't even get people to use kilometers - though somehow we were mildly successful with soda in litres which I'll never figure out. And drugs in kilograms.

There have been some examples of radical calendar migration. Like the Soviet calendar built on 5 or 6 day weeks. Taiwan has their ROC calendar. But of course, for scholarly work everybody works in the Julian calendar for European work in particular.

To practically solve your problem, publishers might consider printing BCE dates in bold typeface. Or maybe a configuration setting in an e-reader.

My pet peeve is companies that insist on labeling thing in work weeks, like WW23. Then I gotta go look up what the actual due date is in normal people terms.

It's a pretty interesting subject, I'm glad you brought it up, I learned a few things poking around the internet.

Grant

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2021, 02:20:59 PM »
That's a fascinating library you must have! I would only imagine such dates to be blended if examining the Roman era?

I do have a facinating library, but I wasn't using it at this time.  I was on the interwebs, and yes it was about Roman history, and there was a bunch of dates mixed up not in chronological order that made the process ridiculous when dealing with CE/BCE.  "Hey, let's just PRETEND that Jesus isn't the center of this calendar by calling it something different". 

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Good luck eradicating BCE, its been used for over 300 years.

Watchu talkin bout Willis?  We're halfway there already.  Changed from AD/BC to CE/BCE.  The only thing missing is getting everyone to agree when the era starts. 

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Nobody who got through history class wants to memorize a new set of dates, in America we couldn't even get people to use kilometers

That's why the Holocene Era recommendation seems like the best option because it just adds 10,000 years.  We are now in year 12021 HE.  The signing of the Declaration of Independence was in 11776 HE.  Christ is born in 10001 HE.  See? Easy. 

The trouble is when it gets to converting BC to HE.  The Battle of Marathon is 490 BC but is 9511 HE.  But the plebs don't know any dates in BC anyways, and they certainly don't need to use it in their daily lives.  Go walk outside and ask 1000 people when was the founding of Rome or the approximate date of the Exodus or the death of Alexander the Great.  Hell, even I can't remember when Ad Urbe Condita took place.   

So if we're going to have a secular calendar, if you just can't stand Jesus being called lord in your history books, then make an actual secular calendar and stop trying to just pretend. 

Fenring

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2021, 02:30:57 PM »
I am actually not opposed to calendar changes, but the model that intrigued me was (can't remember its name) the one where the year is divided into 13 (I think) months of precisely 28 days each. I think it might be this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fixed_Calendar

The 365th day is a holiday following the 13th month and is not part of any month. Personally I'm totally ok with revamping either the nomenclature or structure of the calendar year, so long as the change is an efficient one allowing for greater ease of function and memory. The beautiful (and efficient) thing about this model is the calendar dates remain the same every single year, e.g. January 1st would always fall on the same day of the week and after some time you might well know by heart many of the days/dates since they would be co-dependent. This, to me, sounds like an upgrade.

Oh yeah, on a somewhat related note, I'm in favor of abolishing daylight savings with extreme prejudice, to the point of retroactively condemning to death all involved in its conception.

TheDrake

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2021, 03:01:47 PM »
The only people who care about AD or BC or BCE or CE are history buffs. The average person doesn't have a suffix on their year.

I'm saying you aren't going to convince thousands of history professors to update their slide decks and tests. The only source of support you might get is from textbook publishers, who would love to force replacements. Except they already do that by introducing annoyingly minor changes to prevent students from using the edition from 3 years ago.

You're still stuck with the inertia of thousands of books and web pages, so you'll never be free of your burden sir. However, if you are talking about web material, a plugin could be written.

This guy from the czech republic is available for development

I don't know what I like more about this site. The fact that he wants to charge people $14.72 for his windows app? The fact that he takes bitcoin? That the cash goes to Bulgaria? That you have to click the calculate button? Or that he has dozens of these things that have web based free equivalents? Or that the copyright on the Celtic Festival calculator is 2020?

Mostly its a simple search and replace /(\d+) CE/ would be the base regexp to use with sed like syntax.

 :P

JoshuaD

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2021, 03:05:50 PM »
I am actually not opposed to calendar changes, but the model that intrigued me was (can't remember its name) the one where the year is divided into 13 (I think) months of precisely 28 days each. I think it might be this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fixed_Calendar

The 365th day is a holiday following the 13th month and is not part of any month. Personally I'm totally ok with revamping either the nomenclature or structure of the calendar year, so long as the change is an efficient one allowing for greater ease of function and memory. The beautiful (and efficient) thing about this model is the calendar dates remain the same every single year, e.g. January 1st would always fall on the same day of the week and after some time you might well know by heart many of the days/dates since they would be co-dependent. This, to me, sounds like an upgrade.

Oh yeah, on a somewhat related note, I'm in favor of abolishing daylight savings with extreme prejudice, to the point of retroactively condemning to death all involved in its conception.

This sounds like it has a huge upfront cost and that it is long-term worse.

The calendar is good. Leave it alone. I'm also all about sticking with AD/BC. 

And also metric sucks.

Fenring

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2021, 03:15:25 PM »
This sounds like it has a huge upfront cost

What's the huge cost?

Grant

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2021, 03:29:11 PM »
I'm saying you aren't going to convince thousands of history professors to update their slide decks and tests. The only source of support you might get is from textbook publishers, who would love to force replacements. Except they already do that by introducing annoyingly minor changes to prevent students from using the edition from 3 years ago.


Oh, man.   The history professors are going to be the easiest to convince.  They're already the ones most concerned about their books offending somebody in their class and then having them reported to the University Inquisitors.  And all those new textbooks?  Guess who has to be paid to write them?  And their slide decks?  That's for the TA and grad students to worry about.  Plus they love good debates. 

Grant

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2021, 03:36:12 PM »
And also metric sucks.

Ahhhh.  Metric is brilliant and makes science so much easier.  But I still want imperial systems taught because I think it helps students understand complexity and helps memorization.  Simplicity is nice when you need it, but nothing exercises the mind better than complexity.  Nothing better than "How many square kilometers are in 420.69 acres, and what would be the length of a single side of a single side of a plot of land with the same area if it was in a perfect square, measured in chains?". 

TheDrake

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2021, 05:43:36 PM »
I'm saying you aren't going to convince thousands of history professors to update their slide decks and tests. The only source of support you might get is from textbook publishers, who would love to force replacements. Except they already do that by introducing annoyingly minor changes to prevent students from using the edition from 3 years ago.


Oh, man.   The history professors are going to be the easiest to convince.  They're already the ones most concerned about their books offending somebody in their class and then having them reported to the University Inquisitors.  And all those new textbooks?  Guess who has to be paid to write them?  And their slide decks?  That's for the TA and grad students to worry about.  Plus they love good debates.

But shifting everything so that 0 becomes 10,000 in your HE plan doesn't change its fixation around Jesus, it just adds a constant to the same frame of reference. so it can still offend if that's the case. They're perfectly happy with BCE and CE, except perhaps the ones with vision problems who have a specialty in the history of the Roman Empire. :)

The uneven use of the metric system still seems wild to me, we should just have converted with the rest of the world. But, you know, then we'd be acknowledging that other countries can have good ideas and we should sometimes cooperate and let them take the lead.

Of course, I'm saving some energy for being upset that light bulbs are in watts, when they really ought to be in lumens. Especially now that a "100-Watt bulb" no longer consumes 100 Watts.

Grant

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2021, 06:10:16 PM »
By shifting everything so that 0 becomes 10,000 in your HE plan doesn't change its fixation around Jesus, it just adds a constant to the same frame of reference. so it can still offend if that's the case. They're perfectly happy with BCE and CE, except perhaps the ones with vision problems who have a specialty in the history of the Roman Empire. :)

The key to any dating system is where you start counting.  The HE plan does not fixate on Jesus, it fixates on geologic history and the end of the neolithic era of human development.  It compromises with the counter argument against making it difficult to learn and translate by offsetting by a nice round number, because there is no exact event that spelled the widespread development of agriculture or the end of the last major ice age.  The fact that some people who don't like AD or BC may be satisfied with CE or BCE just shows how shallow their arguments are to begin with.  That's what I'm railing about. 

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The uneven use of the metric system still seems wild to me, we should just have converted with the rest of the world. But, you know, then we'd be acknowledging that other countries can have good ideas and we should sometimes cooperate and let them take the lead.

 ::)   America is famous for stealing good ideas.  Just ask anyone complaining of cultural appropriation.  American science stole the metric system and has run with it, but common everyday useage of the imperial system has remained the same because when you're not doing calculations, you can buy milk in gallons instead of liters and it won't make a flippin difference.  I'd much rather just order a pint of beer anyways instead of 500 ml of beer.  Even the Germans agree with me.  They use pfunden and halbnolsen all the time.  We just don't hear about it because American metric zealots have never been anywhere in the world. 

TheDrake

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2021, 08:14:11 PM »
Am I metric zealot? I suppose so, when the subject comes up. Draught beer in Germany might get pulled in pints, but the bottles are 300 and 500 millilitres. I also seem to recall that all meat prices were in marks per kg, though but the currency you'll see how long it was since I lived there. And even in the US, spirits are in ml. Maybe because it would be awkward to talk about a 3 pint bottle.

Grant

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2021, 08:37:18 PM »
Am I metric zealot? I suppose so, when the subject comes up. Draught beer in Germany might get pulled in pints, but the bottles are 300 and 500 millilitres. I also seem to recall that all meat prices were in marks per kg, though but the currency you'll see how long it was since I lived there.

https://www.quora.com/Does-Germany-still-use-any-non-metric-measurements

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And even in the US, spirits are in ml. Maybe because it would be awkward to talk about a 3 pint bottle.

750 ml?  Or it is a fifth of a gallon?   ;)   "Yessir, I'd like 750ml of Jim Beam" or "I'd like a fifth of Jim Beam"?  "Please poor me 30ml of whiskey"? 


alai

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2021, 03:53:39 AM »
Ahhhh.  Metric is brilliant and makes science so much easier.  But I still want imperial systems taught because I think it helps students understand complexity and helps memorization.
Ahhhh, educational makework.  Because there was a critical lack of scope for arbitrary cramming and rote learning without including furlongs-per-fortnight!

alai

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2021, 04:06:22 AM »
That's why the Holocene Era recommendation seems like the best option because it just adds 10,000 years.  We are now in year 12021 HE.  The signing of the Declaration of Independence was in 11776 HE.  Christ is born in 10001 HE.  See? Easy. 

The trouble is when it gets to converting BC to HE.  The Battle of Marathon is 490 BC but is 9511 HE.  But the plebs don't know any dates in BC anyways, and they certainly don't need to use it in their daily lives.
Except for course that "birth of Jesus" is a BC date, albeit one with modest error bars, in the grand historical tradition, if you believe the "most biblical scholars" estimates.  9,995 to 9,997 HE, as it were.

alai

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2021, 04:29:31 AM »
you can buy milk in gallons instead of liters and it won't make a flippin difference.
Depending on how good your fridge is...  Which reminds me, defrost cycle required for mine.  Though one'd hope that someone web-ordering on this basis for the first time would do 10s of web-research first, to avoid an embarrassment of riches or of some other nature.

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I'd much rather just order a pint of beer anyways instead of 500 ml of beer.  Even the Germans agree with me.  They use pfunden and halbnolsen all the time.  We just don't hear about it because American metric zealots have never been anywhere in the world.
Non-American metric zealot here reporting having ordered 500ml of beer in Germany any number of times -- just implicitly, of course.  Cardinal numbers are the usual denomination.  Which could have yielded multiples of 250ml, 300ml, or indeed 1l, depending on location and booze sought.  Never come across "pfunden" in use as a liquid measure (for beer or anything else), and google's best guess at that other term seems to be "either Mary-Kate And Ashley but not both", so you have me beat there.  Do you mean the Halbnösel?  If you're just citing them as reified metric (near-)equivalents, well yeah, obvs.

But if it's of any comfort, while Ireland's switched to metric for grocery measures, distances, and speeds, "creamy half-litres of Murphy's" have entered neither the national consciousness nor supranational law.  Jury's still slightly out whether people's heights and weights are metric or Imperial.

TheDrake

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2021, 11:44:45 AM »
Am I metric zealot? I suppose so, when the subject comes up. Draught beer in Germany might get pulled in pints, but the bottles are 300 and 500 millilitres. I also seem to recall that all meat prices were in marks per kg, though but the currency you'll see how long it was since I lived there.

https://www.quora.com/Does-Germany-still-use-any-non-metric-measurements

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And even in the US, spirits are in ml. Maybe because it would be awkward to talk about a 3 pint bottle.

750 ml?  Or it is a fifth of a gallon?   ;)   "Yessir, I'd like 750ml of Jim Beam" or "I'd like a fifth of Jim Beam"?  "Please poor me 30ml of whiskey"?

Well, properly poured whiskey should be measured in fingers, which is decidedly non-metric and hard to quantify. I don't think I've ever heard anyone order an ounce and a half of whiskey either, nor a jigger. The standard measure means you can ask for "a whiskey" and everyone knows approximately how much it is, depending on how well you know the bartender. :)

Regardless of the linguistic derivation and retention of "fifth", the bottle does not in fact contain one-fifth of a gallon. The conversion happened in 1980.

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After the switch, a fifth became 750ml, shaving off 7 milliliters. A quart bottle became a liter bottle, adding about 53.5ml. A half gallon became 1.75 liters, subtracting about 143ml. One pint (actually 4/5 pint) is now 375ml, deleting 98ml, although 500ml bottles existed until June 30, 1989, when they were phased out. A half pint became 200ml, around 36.6 less.

alai

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Re: The Wrath of Julian Day
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2021, 01:34:54 PM »
Regardless of the linguistic derivation and retention of "fifth", the bottle does not in fact contain one-fifth of a gallon. The conversion happened in 1980.
This also of course already happened with that most sacred of "standard"/Imperial cows, the inch.  The US and the UK had different definitions, and they redefined both to be equal...  in terms of a precise two-decimal places multiple of metric/SI units.

Once they're properly dead, they can later be resurrected as an "informal additional" unit -- the tetatrodecimetre, to its close friends!  Great news for anyone that's 5'11" -- you're now a six-footer!