Subject: Re: Lisp Date arithmetic library
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 15:04:41 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Julian Stecklina
| I recall DIN 44300 which told us poor Germans to name this thing turning
| mnemonics into machine code "Assemblierer" instead of the established
| "Assembler".

  Well, I have also experienced personal tragedies, but try to keep those away
  from completely irrelevant topics and not to let my impression of society or
  any particular subgroup thereof be formed by my personal experiences.  If you
  have some grievances with a particular DIN standard, you have to be pretty
  fucked up to take that out on standards in general.  Maybe most people get
  fucked up after traumatizing experiences, what do I know, but try to get a
  grip on your emotional response and try not fuck up other people, too.

* Erik Naggum
> YECCH!  Yeah, I hate that, too.  However, 2002-06-26 is correct.

| 2002-6-26 and 26.6.2002 are as easily recognized by a computer programme as
| by human eye.

  Are you blind or something?  2002-06-26 contains a leading zero so the number
  of characters in the format is constant, the position of the start of each
  element is predictable, etc.  Some people seem to be really upset with the
  use of leading zeros numbers.  Why is this?  Another personal tragedy inter-
  fering with your normal reasoning?

  You have tell the computer which format you use in order for it to get it
  right.  The various forms of "parse-by-hunch" that are used for dates get
  some dates written by some sloppy humans or computers on their behalf wrong.

  The fact is, that some people use a month-day order and some people use a
  day-month order.  This would be perfectly OK if the month-day people could at
  least have the mental wherewithal to do year-month-day and the day-month
  people could use day-month-year, and they both wrote their years with four
  digits, but the month-day people are screwed up and use month-day-year, with
  only two-digit years, so for the next 30 years, many dates will be ambiguous.
  Sort of like because you say "ten to five" for 16:50, you would write it
  50:16 or maybe -10:17 and maybe -10:17:23 to be precise.  How come people do
  not do this?  (Well, they are so nutty that they think 12 is 0, too, so just
  how much can you trust such people, anyway?  They even produce household
  appliances that, when they are used in Europe with 24-hour clocks, they show
  24:10 instead 00:10.  Since many journalists spend most of their time after
  midnight staring into microwave ovens, they also report TV programs to begin
  at 24:30.)

  The only reason to have fun with this topic is that it is so tragic that if
  we took it seriously, we would have to reinvent time as we know it.  Oh,
  wait, some Swiss clock-maker did just that, and thought, brilliantly, we
  could use 1000 units per day instead of 86400, while other people were busy
  trying to divide the second into billions if not trillions of tiny little
  pieces so each interesting thing could have its own little time unit, so
  clearly, nothing much happens in the life of people who have space for 1000
  events per day.  Still, it was pretty clever.  But 86.4 seconds per beat is
  like, sloooow, man, it's like you stab someone and it won't bleed until the
  next beat, man.  Not to mention the ultra-high precision that you would need
  in order to synchronize these things.  With an off-beat beat like that, you
  would need high-precision clocks that could synchronize at any beat instead
  of having to wait for every fifth beat to line up with a precise second.  And
  they cleverly made their 000 beat some stupid non-Greenwich meridian just to
  piss people off.  They got the idea of a world-wide uniform beat right,
  though.  It is time for such a thing, except it needs to be at a million
  beats per day, conveniently grouped in hundreds, so sloppy people can still
  use only two digits to refer to their synchronized events and precision
  people can use all six digits.  This has worked so well to distinguish sloppy
  from precision people in the past, we should not just randomly let go of such
  a simple way to gauge people.  Besides, 100 large units per day would line up
  pretty nicely with the good old "quarter hour".  This could work!  Yeah!  (I
  need to contact Matt Groening and have him make a new Futurama episode.  Ever
  noticed how a thousand years from now, they _still_ use AM/PM?  *sigh*  There
  goes my desire to be cryogenically preserved.)

| It is said that IBM is the only company violating their own standards. :)

  You just scored much lower.
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