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Old 07-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
Arcesious
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Question Calendars and Time: What year is it, really?

A somewhat controversal subject of interest, I hope. Something I bet a lot of people have noticed, too. BC and AD, BCE and CE, Lunar/Solar, or Universal?

All of the calendars and clocks I see say that the year is 2009. Why?

This calendar system may be convenient, but it is debatable whether or not our calendars should be based on the supposed birth of Christ. (Let's not debate whether or not Jesus existed in this thread please)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bce

I thought this might spark some interesting discussion. If we didn't base our calendars on recorded human history, what would we base them on?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_universe

This brings into question, how would we represent our time if completely based on empirical scientific evidence and time-measuring methods?

So far, the closest I can get is a rough estimate between 13.5 and 14 billion years. And based on that esimate, this is all that I can assume about the current year: somewhere between 13,5??,???,??? and 14,???,???,???.

Perhaps we should base the current year on the age of earth since its formation or the age of our sun? 4.56?,???,??? ? Even so, estimates are still rough and precisely exact dates are very difficult to determine.

So, what do you all think about this?


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Old 07-09-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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I'd say the cosmic or mean astronomical time. Like the Aztecs of ancient times.

In general, the Chinese have their own equivalent of ours (calendar wise), so we could go off of that.

But yeah, there is also that sort of temperal shift or tweak time-space thing. Supposedly reality bends around our atmosphere or ionoshpere? I am referring to an experiment conducted recently how we had 2 ultra precise clocks perfectly synced together, kept one on earth and sent one into space...that one comes back and they are out of sync.

That's all I could think of at any rate.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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All of the calendars and clocks I see say that the year is 2009. Why?
Because Charlemagne said so.
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This calendar system may be convenient, but it is debatable whether or not our calendars should be based on the supposed birth of Christ. (Let's not debate whether or not Jesus existed in this thread please)
There's the fact that the system has been adopted and administrated by the Western world for over 1200 years gives little reason for change. It may not be wholly accurate or proper, but it's the law of land, and changing it would cause massive confusion.
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Perhaps we should base the current year on the age of earth since its formation or the age of our sun? 4.56?,???,??? ? Even so, estimates are still rough and precisely exact dates are very difficult to determine.
Because no one wants to say "I was born in 4540000000.", or you could shorten it to "I was born in 4.54 x 10^9", but even then it sounds schlocky.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Any number for a day, time, and date we happen to come up with is, has been, and always will be COMPLETELY arbitrary... so I don't see that it matters much what system we adopt.

But without time/ date keeping life would be far, far more difficult... so it's something we just can't live without.

Makes sense that it is one of the very first things the ancients actually came up with.

The current system seems to work for most of the folks I can see... so why bother to tinker with something that's functioning just fine?


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Old 07-09-2009, 10:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by edlib View Post
Any number for a day, time, and date we happen to come up with is, has been, and always will be COMPLETELY arbitrary... so I don't see that it matters much what system we adopt.
^^This.

Since we cannot determine the actual age of life/the earth/the universe, we create an arbitrary system based off of what we can understand.

It's exactly the same with every other system that mankind has created. What discussion were you hoping this sparked?

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Old 07-10-2009, 01:37 AM   #6
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I was hoping for debate over different kinds of calendars and their practicality.

Perhaps, eventually, if scientific analyzation of the universe provides, a solid, precise date of the universe's age, this could become a more considerable thing to debate. What if scientific measurements of the ages of things in the universe were perfectly precise, for the sake of argument?


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Old 07-10-2009, 03:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
I was hoping for debate over different kinds of calendars and their practicality.
Considering the amount of time and effort it took to get most of the world to use the current system, I imagine it would take something truly profound to make us change again.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
Perhaps, eventually, if scientific analyzation of the universe provides, a solid, precise date of the universe's age, this could become a more considerable thing to debate. What if scientific measurements of the ages of things in the universe were perfectly precise, for the sake of argument?
I would echo PastramiX's post.

Remember all the shenanigans that went on back in 1999? The masses were freaking out thinking that planes were going to fall out of the sky because when the clocks switched to 01/01/00 at midnight all the computers would choke on the double zeroes. Millions if not billions of dollars were spent making sure that everything was "y2k compliant". Now imagine that we waved a magic wand and decided that everything was going to a 12 digit year. Forget how much time it would take to get everyone to switch. Just think about how much money would be spent to do it. Worth it?

When everything is said and done, one complete rotation around our axis is a day and one full orbit around our sun is a year. We can slice, dice, and rename everything in between those two facts of life however we want, but if the current system isn't broken, why fix it?
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
Considering the amount of time and effort it took to get most of the world to use the current system, I imagine it would take something truly profound to make us change again.

We can slice, dice, and rename everything in between those two facts of life however we want, but if the current system isn't broken, why fix it?
Makes sense.


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