Salsa Scoop The Persistence of Time
The Persistence of TimeSubmitted Sat Feb 17 2007 15:13:51 GMT-0500 (EST)
"For everything there is a season, And a time for every matter under heaven." -Ecclesiastes Seemingly that pitilessly neutral arbiter of our days, time -- or rather, the human relationship with it -- repeatedly reveals itself a contested terrain. The latest (albeit lesser) crater to pockmark that Sea of Tranquility is coming down the pike in the form of a U.S. Daylight Saving Time -- a controversial topic in its own day, and still a hot one in Indiana -- has been pushed up several weeks in 2007, to March 11 (and given a post-Halloween end date, to the delight of candy manufacturers). The change, resulting from 2005 legislation inconveniently postdating a number of extant software architectures, is tipped for a variety of computing annoyances, and Michael Stein points out that both individual users and network administrators at Microsoft's mercy will need to be hep to the proper software patches ... in cases where they actually exist. As Judi Sohn (who recently observed of conflicting calendrical prerogatives religious and secular around the Nonprofit Technology Conference) notes, not everyone's going to do that. And since only Canada is following the U.S. reform, the existing global patchwork gets another variable for anyone working across borders. It's not the first occasion, in reality or speculation, that time and technology have crossed wires to excite confusion, but all this seems like a big yawn next to that last bust of a digital-time panic, Y2K. For anyone not tasked with managing an IT department the likely worst-case scenarios are a couple weeks' out of sync and the odd missed appointment. But then, the displacement of that pitiless arbiter (all the more cruel, most days, garbed in ones and zeroes, like the time stamp on this blog post) makes good for the soul now and again. If production lines are too rationalized, culture too fractured for a true modern carnival, the odd hour's relief might be cause to tarry for unauthorized slow food or leafing through a musty store's stacks of used printed volumes while a meeting's going on. You can always blame the time change.