Monday, July 14, 2014

Let's Decimalize Time!

Hey everybody, it's 26th of Messidor and you know what that means! Today is Bastille Day! What the hell is that? I'm glad I pretended you asked. Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille and the subsequent French Revolution. Yeah, French.
Républic française, foutre yeah.
I don't know about you, but
I'd probably cut his head off too.
The nation most popularly associated with surrender and pretentiousness is actually quite badass and they didn't just cast off the tax-happy shackles of some prophyria-addled king, like some other tri-corn hat-fans I could mention. Instead, they invented a special head-chopping machine which they used to murder the shit out of their own aristocracy in a years-long parade of horror. Sounds kind of harsh right? Well check out the painting of Louis XVII there on the right, smirking and swathed in ermine while everybody else was busy toiling away and starving.

Then, as a further middle finger to the natural order as understood by 18th century europeans, they rebooted the bourgeois gregorian calendar replacing it with their own crazy-town version starting with the Revolution as year one and ending twelve years later when everyone realized that their new calendar was stupid and confusing.
You know how annoying it is when Facebook gets an update and changes
everything you're used to? Now imagine someone did that with your concept of time
and then enforced compliance with the threat of the afore mentioned head-chopper.
Above:the betamax
of time-keeping systems.
Oh, and speaking of time, the revolutionaries then tried to decimalize time by replacing the barbaric 24-hour day with 10, 100-minute hours. Crazy? Sure, but then keeping track of increments of time as small as minutes and seconds was only as old the mechanical clock, so I guess for most people it wasn't all that weird. So how well did it work? Perfectly. It worked perfectly well which is why we totally use the 10-hour clock to this day. Huh? What's that? I can't hear over the sensibly metric ticking of my timepiece.

Ok, so not everything they tried to do was a resounding success, but you don't see a powdered-wig wearing French king running around barking orders, do you? Well then I'd say the revolution turned out pretty well. Anyway, Happy Bastille Day!
Like so many of us, the French revolutionaries thought they
 could just guillotine their problems away...they were kind of right.

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