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The Owls Of The World, Unite!

Apparently, in Denmark, the ‘larks’ (early-risers) are called ‘A-people’ while ‘owls’ (late-risers) are ‘B-people’. We all know how important language is for eliciting frames, so it must feel doubly insulting for the Danish night owls.

Today, in the age of the internets, telecommuting and fast-increasing knowledge about our rhythms and sleep, retaining the feudal/early capitalism work schedules really does not make sense.

And owls are by no means minority. Among kids and adults, they comprise about 25% of the population (another 25% are larks and the rest are in between). But among the adolescents (roughly 14-30 years old), owls are the most prevalent chronotype.

So, the Danes decided to organize, to eliminate being frowned upon and deemed “lazy“, and to change their society.

You can check out The B-Society website both in Danish and in English:

Why do we still get up at cockcrow and when the cows moo,
when only 5% of the population work within agriculture or fishing?

Why does everything have to take place in the same rhythm and pace,
resulting in a huge problem with our infrastructure?

Why has the societal framework primarily been arranged to suit
people working from 8 am to 4 pm?

Let the tyranny of A-time end. Let us create a B-society.
Let us create B-patterns in our work and in our families.
Let us have quiet mornings and active evenings.
Life is too short for traffic jams. Let us have more all-night shops!

Hat-tip: NBM, frequent commenter on this blog.

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Juve
    March 23, 2007

    It must be nice to be able to work from 8 til 4. Can somebody tell me if that includes lunch and breaks ?

  2. #2 Kristjan Wager
    March 23, 2007

    Apparently, in Denmark, the ‘larks’ (early-risers) are called ‘A-people’ while ‘owls’ (late-risers) are ‘B-people’.

    Yep.

    It must be nice to be able to work from 8 til 4. Can somebody tell me if that includes lunch and breaks ?

    Yep. Though most people work 9 to 5.

    A Danish workweek is normally 37 hours excluding lunch, or 40 hours including lunch (depending on wether the employee or employer pays the lunchbreak).
    I can’t remember the rules for breaks, but there have to be a couple in there as well (when I did manual labour, I usually had two breaks besides the lunch).

  3. #3 Laurent
    March 23, 2007

    Eric, I think it would certainly include “leeks and brunch”, at least with b-owls…

  4. #4 nbm
    March 24, 2007

    The Danes are (WARNING generalization) very good organizers. The B-Society went public in late December ’06 and already has almost 4000 members, mostly in Denmark. Quite a few Norwegians and Swedes are also commenting on the “dialog” page and receiving the newsletter, as we can read Danish with some struggle. (The “dialog” page has quite a few comments in English, too.)

    One of their projects which may show some promise is awarding “certification” to employers who are friendly to “owls”, aka B-people.

    (Thanks for the hat-tip!)

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