Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Irregular Calendars

A post from Austin Kleon reminded me of the proposed conceptual international fixed calendar:

(Click to view full-size)

Basically: each year would be 13 months of 28 days each, plus a bonus day at the end of each year, for a total of 365 days. This way, the first day of each month would always be a Sunday, the 2nd would always be a Monday, the 3rd a Tuesday, and so on.

I’ve encountered this idea before and I do understand the appeal of the regularity, especially from an engineering perspective. But after living through the last year of the pandemic and the lockdown where every day, week, and month passed feeling more or less the same, I now feel like having every month be the same might not be a good idea.

Can you imagine, under this scenario: Christmas and other holidays would always fall on the same day every year; If you were born on a Wednesday, your birthday would be on a Wednesday every year. You’d never get a weekend birthday party! Also, imagine all the date processing code us programmers would have to rewrite!

It doesn’t seem likely that we’d ever change our calendar system, it seems far too ingrained in us culturally. Even if humanity eventually expands to the stars and forgot all about Earth’s 365 days, we’d probably still be wondering whether February of the current year has 29 days or only 28. The only way our calendars would ever change would probably if we met an alien civilization with a completely different culture and thus need a common standard for datekeeping.

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