Imagine the scientists of the world got together and decided they didn’t like the meter as a unit of distance. They were tired of traveling such long distances to conferences and decided that by redefining the new meters as two old meters, suddenly the plane flight was only 1000 kilometers instead of 2000 kilometers.
I don’t think it’s very plausible. Nonetheless, we do pretty much the same thing when we change back and forth between daylight savings time and standard time.
Now there are some good arguments for the change. It means kids don’t have to stand in the dark waiting for their school bus in the winter. It means parents have more daylight to share with their family after work in the summer. There’s other advantages in that vein.
But it seems to me that you could get those advantages without actually changing the clock. Why not just have school start and end an hour later? Why not let businesses that don’t involve daylight decide to shift or not shift depending on the preferences of their work force? It might be unworkably confusing, and it could be that in the absence of an official time change most private enterprise would stick to a constant schedule anyway. I really couldn’t say. There is a possible advantage to individual businesses having different schedules – travel. If half of businesses decide they’re going to keep operating from 9-5 and the other half operate from 8-4, then it could be that rush hour would become not-so-rushed two hours. It could reduce congestion. Maybe. I’m hardly a traffic engineer though, it’s a just a hypothesis.
We physicists tend to be connoisseurs of units, and a constantly changing time standard grates a bit. To be perfectly honest that’s my main slightly quixotic objection to the time change. Opinions?