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Change Schedules Instead of Clocks

Dear Editor:

"Everything ought to be as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Would you like that extra hour of daylight on summer evenings offered by daylight savings time without ever resetting your clocks or watches?

Simple solution: Fix a summer schedule and a winter schedule for work, school, worship - for whatever you do, and have each start at a month's beginning and end at a month's end, like this; Summer schedule May-Oct., "School" start 7 a.m. Winter schedule Nov. -April "school" start 8 a.m.

"School" is just a convenient illustration. In summer we would start school or work an hour earlier than in winter. Consequently, we get home an hour earlier, so we can enjoy an extra hour of daylight in the evening. That's what we get when we go on daylight savings time, but it involves resetting all our clocks first one way and six months later in the reverse direction.

"No big deal," you might say. Not for an individual, but for the nation as a whole it's another matter. We, in the US alone, live in nearly 20 million households, each equipped with at least 10 clocks and watches. We drive 200-300 million cars and trucks; virtually all have a built-in clock. We go to work, schools, restaurants, stores, houses of worship every one studded with clocks that must be reset twice a year.

In our house, one or more of these time-keeping devices usually gets overlooks, and then stays incorrect until it's time to "reverse the clock." Let's stop fooling around with watches and clocks. Instead let schools, businesses, broadcasters; local, state and federal government publish a winter schedule and a summer schedule, and be done with it. It will work in all time zones, and the two schedules are unlikely to need changing from year to year. Albert Einstein would approve.

Some people will resist making such a change "on principle." Or because it "will lead to socialism," or "the Founding Fathers did not put it in the Constitution."

Think it through twice before mounting the barricades! Clocks were few in the 18th century; pocket watches were expensive jewelry, and wristwatches were not invented yet, and the advent of daylight savings time itself was a good idea when resetting time-keeping devices involved far fewer clocks and watches than we have today. Why stick with it when there is a simpler way?

Cordially,

Emil B. Rechsteiner

Boston Road

Groton Herald

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