Internet Time

We know about time zones. If you live in an area that practices it (or know people who do), you know about daylight saving time and the fierce debate surrounding it. Time is time, right? Sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, twenty-four hours in a day. When you stop and think, it sounds like the Americans invented the way we measure time and then imposed their system on the rest of the world and not the rest of the world and the scientific community trying to convince America that the metric system actually makes sense.

Meanwhile, everyone’s glued to their computers, trying not to miss a thing because the next big thing will come up any minute, and besides, a day is an eternity in Internet time.

Wait, Internet time? Does that exist?

It really does. It’s a decimal approach to time that doesn’t use time zones at all, instead dividing the day into a thousand .beats. That’s right, .beats. The name’s silly, but conversion is easy–well, if you’re used to converting ridiculous numbers in your head. Look at this chart.

1 .beat = 0.001 day
1 .beat = 0.024 hours
1 .beat = 1.44 minutes
1 .beat = 86.4 seconds

1 day = 1000 .beats
1 hour = 41.666 .beats
1 min = 0.6944 .beats
1 s = 0.01157 .beats

I have a math degree, and those conversions would be a steep learning curve for me. I can imagine the layperson who has a hard time figuring out a tip due to apathy trying to figure this out. No wonder it never caught on.

Either way, I have the clock on my desktop set to Internet time. As I write this, it’s @140. That was not intentional.

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