sleeping and waking

“Snoozers are, in fact, losers”– Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker 10 December 2013.

The time zone is a technical artifact. We have socially-mandated wake times that correspond to day/night shifts, but these often seem at odds with our biologically optimal wake times. What would it be like if we eschewed our now standard time schemes and found a way to make our work correspond with when we are naturally “most” awake? In the early 19th century the U.S.A. had 184 separate time zones, determined by, often, when the sun reached its zenith at a particular place. We no longer use the sun’s location in the sky in the same way to determine time, but should, or even could, we?


Standardization has certainly been the norm for centuries, for all sorts of measurements, but is standardization in our best interests? On a social, perhaps even global level, the answer seems obviously yes. On an individual level, however, the answer might be no. How can we resolve this issue? A move to the local away from standardizing models would certainly be difficult, but is there a future where this type of problem would no longer be a problem? 


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