An update in which I argue that Daylight Savings Time is an Instrument of War.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Jean Luc Picard is tortured by O'Brien until he finally admits that he sees five fingers when O'Brien only holds up four.
I don't think it is unreasonable stretch to apply this same paradigm to Daylight Savings time.
DST is an idea born from one of America's most beloved charlatan narcissists Benjamin Franklin, who invented the concept as a means of scorning the French while simultaneously keeping French women as mistresses. And technically, he didn't really mean it. There was no such thing as standardized time in 1784, so really, Franklin was just being a dick.
Turns out, DST was actually invented by a New Zeland shift-worker who couldn't get enough time off to pursue his passion of bug-hunting. DST was invented again by a guy who felt like it just wasn't ok for Londoners to sleep as they choose, and besides, dusk really fucked up his golf game.
The first fullscale implementation of the deployment (and therefor rationing) of time was a product of deluding the masses to fuel the war machines.
Germany, Austria and Hungary were the first to adopt a time shift as a way of tricking people into using less coal during World War One. And because you can't coordinate having your soldiers kill other soldiers if both sides are using different clocks, Britain and her allies adopted a similar measure shortly thereafter. And the United States joined up in 1918.
If you're looking for a thought technology that rattles the pubic and keeps them stupid, there are few that are as effective, I think, as telling people that their natural chronobiology is wrong. Suddenly, you're tearing people away from their biological connection to nature for no other reason than it suits the war machine.
And there's plenty of evidence that keeping people stupid is exactly what DST accomplishes. The National Institute of Health suggested in 2001 that pubic health officials "should probably consider issuing warnings both about the effects of sleep loss" due to "Forced changes in the circadian patterns resulting from DST."
But what do we do about it.
I am afraid there is only one solution that I can think of, and Timothy Leary thought of it first. We are, I think, stuck with DST as a society. And in that case, the only possible recourse we have is civil disobedience. In this case, I suggest when you go to fall back this autumn, you set your clock back to Fuck-You:30.
Stay strong, my friends. Believe in your heart that you are right. You see only four lights. You see only four lights.