Standard Personal Time

ClockFuzzy-logic time has fascinated me ever since I installed my first copy of RedHat Linux back in 1997. The system clock could be configured to report time in human terms rather than as numbers. It would say ‘about five’ instead of 04:58:23. This made sense to me and still does.

A multitude of different applications now offer this type of time display and the ‘fuzzy clock’ seems to have gained a certain popularity with Internet enthusiasts as a browser add-on.

The idea of making a wrist watch based on the same principle has also been launched – and patented. No such watch is to my knowledge yet available commercially though. The closest aproximation is manufactured by Fossil which offer us consumers a watch telling us the time in Frank Gehrys handwriting instead of a conventional digital display. I am waiting for the fuzzy one though!

As mentioned initially, the fuzzy clock reports time in a human readable form which has considerably lower resolution than a traditional analog or digital watch. Current implementations of fuzzy clocks are mostly based on a set of simple algorithms (common to all users) which determine such things as that the timespan between 8:43 – 8:47 equals “about a quarter to nine” in human terms.

But I want more out of my fuzzy-logic wrist watch. I want the ability to customize my watch to better suit my own personal time perception, hence the title of my post: “standard personal time”. I want my watch to realize that time is non-linear. You know; the way some days days seem strangely long, mainly the boring ones, whereas on other days, hours fly by barely noticed. Time on earth is relative to longitude, why shouldn’t it be relative to individuals as well?

During business hours, high resolution time makes sense. My watch should report time to at least the presicion of +/- one minute during these hours. After all, being late for or skiping client appointments most probably wouldn’t do good things for the company.
However, on sunday mornings time doesn’t matter that much! In my own case it would be more than sufficient if my watch told me that it was past breakfast time and currently leaning towards lunch (and possibly that it was time to get up and out of bed).
When on holiday a resolution limited to morning, midday, afternoon, evening and night might even be sufficient for most purposes.

In short I want variable resolution time that changes throughout the day, throughout the week and throughout the seasons – adapting to its bearers life-rythm. I want freedom from the tyranny of absolute time. Since when did seconds matter in everyday-life anyway? Maybe when boiling an egg, but that’s it. And I don’t particularly like boiled eggs!