The Joy of Standard Time

Something I’ve noticed recently is that the end of Daylight Saving Time causes a lot of traffic. Think about it. There are the people that go home at a certain time of day, typically around 5:00. Then there are the people that go home when it gets dark.

When it gets dark at 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening, things aren’t so bad. But when it suddenly gets dark just after 5:00, you end up with everybody trying to go home at once. Unaccustomed to the sheer volume of people on the road, drivers become frustrated, and soon the roads are full of maniacs. The surge in maniacs on the road leads to a surge in the number of collisions on the road. And of course, a collision on the road means that the traffic gets even worse as everyone slows to get a gander of the spectacle. And so the loop feeds back upon itself and back upon itself until the last of the herd of the smoke belching cattle inches its way home, only to repeat the journey again the next day.

That is what is really wrong with this country. Strange and weird artifacts formed at the intersections of economies, things that seem reasonable to individuals but are ridiculous when compounded. Yet they’re readily dismissed by one and all as being “just the way things are.”

Perhaps it was foolish to imagine, in the 1950′s, that by the year 2000 we’d be living in an orderly utopia of science and rationality. Perhaps even the year 3000 is asking too much. No, we’ll probably even then be complaining about the clock change, traffic jams, and spam.

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