1340: "Unique Date"

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1340: "Unique Date"

Postby WilliamLehnsherr » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:40 am UTC

Image

Text: If our current civilization lasts another 8,000 years, it's probably fair to assume the Long Now Foundation got things right, and at some point we started listening to them and switched to five-digit years.

This looks familiar. I almost feel like I've seen this comic before. Randall's probably not the first person to make this joke, but it still made me laugh.

EDIT: Forgot to add the text.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby gormster » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:07 am UTC

So... does the date in the comic change every day?

Edit: no.
Last edited by gormster on Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:10 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:13 am UTC

"Today is yet another unique date of the rest of your life."

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby poxic » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:15 am UTC

gormster wrote:So... does the date in the comic change every day?

It's a static .png, so maybe not.

On the other hand, it's Randall, so maybe.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby San Fran Sam » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:02 am UTC

It's also the first day of the rest of your life. what are you going to do with it?

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Kazza3 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:52 am UTC

San Fran Sam wrote:It's also the first day of the rest of your life. what are you going to do with it?


Make pancakes.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Icalasari » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:34 am UTC

San Fran Sam wrote:It's also the first day of the rest of your life. what are you going to do with it?


Nothing significantly different

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:47 am UTC

The Long Now people want us to switch to a 5 digit year. If you are going to propose a change, why not do it properly the first time around. Why not make it 6 digits or even 10 for a nice round number.

Or screw it all and switch to star dates.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:53 am UTC

LNF define "long term" on a ten-thousand-year scale, though.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:56 am UTC

The only date/time I'm considering getting excited about is 2016-12-08 04:02:00. But it'll probably be cold and dark where I am and I'll probably be asleep.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Jorlen Corbesan » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:12 am UTC

This being my 21st birthday, it strikes a kind of funny chord. I think that I'll be remembering this one.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Flumble » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:22 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:The only date/time I'm considering getting excited about is 2016-12-08 04:02:00. But it'll probably be cold and dark where I am and I'll probably be asleep.

Don't you mean 2016-12-08 04:00:56?

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:28 am UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:The Long Now people want us to switch to a 5 digit year. If you are going to propose a change, why not do it properly the first time around. Why not make it 6 digits or even 10 for a nice round number.


Or even better: Why not simply accept that the number of digits is not constant? After all we have almost 8000 years to get used to the idea (and to implement it in our computers).

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:35 am UTC

It's also a rhetorical gesture and nothing to do with practicality...?
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:10 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:It's also a rhetorical gesture and nothing to do with practicality...?


Fair enough. But even as a rhetorical gesture for thinking long-term, I find their 5-digit proposal to be less than successful.

I do love the Long Now Clock, though. Now that's what I call a successful rhetorical gesture, and it might even have some practical value in the long run.





A

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:51 am UTC

PsiSquared wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:The Long Now people want us to switch to a 5 digit year. If you are going to propose a change, why not do it properly the first time around. Why not make it 6 digits or even 10 for a nice round number.


Or even better: Why not simply accept that the number of digits is not constant? After all we have almost 8000 years to get used to the idea (and to implement it in our computers).

Wait, I thought the number of digits in our years weren't constant. I've never heard anyone name the date of emperor Augustus' death 19th of August 0014 or 19th of August 0014 AD. It's usually 19th of August 14 AD or 19th of August 14. I guess this would extend to 19-8-14, 19-08-14, 14-08-19, 14-8-19, or for the weird format: 8-19-14 (or 08-19-14).

I think people often use leading zeroes for days and months, but I've never seen them for years.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby NeatNit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:09 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I think people often use leading zeroes for days and months, but I've never seen them for years.

You must not be looking. In technical writing or data, when the date is written in a certain constant format such as yyyy-mm-dd, the number of digits is ALWAYS constant. Months, days, AND years. Yes, that would mean 0014-08-19 for the date you mentioned.

However in spoken language and in most literature, people tend to use whatever format looks least ridiculous. This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used, what comes before what, or even omitting large parts of the data by saying stuff like 'in the beginning of the 19th century' instead of the actual date.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Klear » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:20 am UTC

NeatNit wrote:However in spoken language and in most literature, people tend to use whatever format looks least ridiculous. This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used, what comes before what, or even omitting large parts of the data by saying stuff like 'in the beginning of the 19th century' instead of the actual date.


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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:22 am UTC

NeatNit wrote:This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used...

Or you can swallow the gerbil and go for CE.
I just found out that, rather brilliantly, ISO-8601 represents 1BCE as 0000, so that xxxxBCE is represented as -[xxxx-1].
EDIT: corrected -[xxxx+1] to -[xxxx-1].
Last edited by orthogon on Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:51 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:34 am UTC

NeatNit wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:I think people often use leading zeroes for days and months, but I've never seen them for years.

You must not be looking. In technical writing or data, when the date is written in a certain constant format such as yyyy-mm-dd, the number of digits is ALWAYS constant. Months, days, AND years. Yes, that would mean 0014-08-19 for the date you mentioned.

However in spoken language and in most literature, people tend to use whatever format looks least ridiculous. This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used, what comes before what, or even omitting large parts of the data by saying stuff like 'in the beginning of the 19th century' instead of the actual date.

To be honest, I'm not an historian so I rarely see notations of years between 1000 BC and 1000 AD outside of popular writing.
orthogon wrote:
NeatNit wrote:This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used...

Or you can swallow the gerbil and go for CE.
I just found out that, rather brilliantly, ISO-8601 represents 1BCE as 0000, so that xxxxBCE is represented as -[xxxx+1].

Sometimes ISO just does ridiculous things. It would be fine if they implemented a new fixed calender to go with it, but they just went with this one deviation.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:55 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Sometimes ISO just does ridiculous things. It would be fine if they implemented a new fixed calender to go with it, but they just went with this one deviation.

Good point: there's no month 0, nor day-of-month 0, so why should there be a year 0? The struct tm solution still takes the biscuit by counting months from zero but days of months from 1. That catches me out every single time.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Klear » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:56 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
NeatNit wrote:This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used...

Or you can swallow the gerbil and go for CE.


I never understood how CE is different from AD =P

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:00 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
orthogon wrote:
NeatNit wrote:This causes some inconsistencies, such as when 'AD' is and isn't used...

Or you can swallow the gerbil and go for CE.


I never understood how CE is different from AD =P

Well, for international use, it's helpful to be able to communicate a date without necessarily acknowledging in the process that you consider Jesus of Nazareth to be your Lord. Chronology and religious adherence are not exactly the same thing. :P
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby hamjudo » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:01 pm UTC

Under the system foist upon me, 2014-03-09 02:34 AM never happened at all.
2014-11-02 02:02 AM will happen twice.
I hate it.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Jackpot777 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:09 pm UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:This looks familiar. I almost feel like I've seen this comic before. Randall's probably not the first person to make this joke, but it still made me laugh.


There was a Neil deGrasse Tyson tweet on 12/12/12.

"If you happen to enjoy the uniqueness of 12h 12m 12s 12/12/12, then don't forget 12h 12m 13s 12/12/12. It's just as rare"

EDIT - couldn't find a screenshot of 2012, but I found this from 2011.

Image
Last edited by Jackpot777 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:49 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:28 pm UTC

San Fran Sam wrote:It's also the first day of the rest of your life. what are you going to do with it?


Or it's the last day of your life so far. What will you do to atone? :oops:


BTW-- ancient joke from the late 90's, via usenet --
Some programmer works his butt off to fix all possible Y2K code bugs (anyone remember those good old days?), and is so overwhelmed upon completion that he puts himself into a cryogenic container with instruction not to be resurrected for 8000 years. When he's awakened, the folks who greet him inform him that his code fixes worked, and there've been 8000 years of bliss. But now they really need his help. "You see, there's this looming Y10K problem..."
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Archgeek » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:57 pm UTC

Ah the Long Now. Has that clock been built yet? Ever since reading about them in a science magazine, I've dated checks and college papers with a leading zero on the year. Oddly, no one ever mentions it.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:16 pm UTC

Is this really such a problem? From what I understand, the Y2K issue was because a four-digit year was saved in two-digit format (1980 -> 80), this leads to an issue when the centruy rolls around and 80 could mean 1980 or 2080, right? But now we store our dates as four digits. So, 2014 could, be 02014 or 12014, right? Buf if, at the turn of the, uh, whatever you call a 10,000 year period, we simple switch the date format to 00000, how can anything be adversely affected? All dates previously entered will simply be displayed with a zero to the front. All dates entered after the switch will have a 1 in the front. There will be no issue of 2014 possibly meaning 12014. The only issue I can see is the UI's having to be updated to display a 5 digit year. And certainly we have a few thousand years to do so.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby PhilHibbs » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
orthogon wrote:Or you can swallow the gerbil and go for CE.
I just found out that, rather brilliantly, ISO-8601 represents 1BCE as 0000, so that xxxxBCE is represented as -[xxxx+1].

Sometimes ISO just does ridiculous things. It would be fine if they implemented a new fixed calender to go with it, but they just went with this one deviation.

What's ridiculous about a date system where you can do subtraction without an IF statement?

And I always thought it was odd that the Long Now Foundation just stuck an extra zero on the start of their dates, given that they also state that adding a digit to an arbitrary-length fixed year figure just amplifies the problem in the long run. I suppose if you add enough zeroes that the universe will have decayed into quarks before the problem occurs, then you've swept the problem under a sufficiently large rug.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:35 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
CharlieP wrote:The only date/time I'm considering getting excited about is 2016-12-08 04:02:00. But it'll probably be cold and dark where I am and I'll probably be asleep.

Don't you mean 2016-12-08 04:00:56?
I get the second one (if you treat each pair of digits independently--else it would be 03:39:56). Is CharlieP's suggestion just a failure to subtract 4 from 4 properly?

3216-08-04 02:01:00.5 will be interesting as well.
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:51 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Flumble wrote:
CharlieP wrote:The only date/time I'm considering getting excited about is 2016-12-08 04:02:00. But it'll probably be cold and dark where I am and I'll probably be asleep.

Don't you mean 2016-12-08 04:00:56?
I get the second one (if you treat each pair of digits independently--else it would be 03:39:56). Is CharlieP's suggestion just a failure to subtract 4 from 4 properly?

3216-08-04 02:01:00.5 will be interesting as well.


So... what date corresponds to the hex string for breaking DVD DRM? :mrgreen:
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Unclevertitle » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:06 pm UTC

Alt Text wrote:If our current civilization lasts another 8,000 years, it's probably fair to assume the Long Now Foundation got things right, and at some point we started listening to them and switched to five-digit years.


Or we could just reset the date to year 1 after 9999. Because honestly who cares? Heck maybe some future civilization several tens of thousands of years from now will look at our primitive 4 digits per year calendar system, see how it ends before 10000 AD and freak out about how it's a relevant prediction of the apocalypse happening in emoti-year :D :( :cry: :) :idea: !

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Introbulus » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:24 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:"Today is yet another unique date of the rest of your life."

Today is always the mosst enjoyable day
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby NeatNit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:33 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Sometimes ISO just does ridiculous things.

Tell me about it. A while ago I read that they defined Monday as the first day of the week instead of Sunday. The only reason for this, I believe, is that Sunday is the Christian day of rest. Sure, let's ignore the fact that in countless languages including my own, Sunday is literally called "first day", Monday is "second day", etc. Let's just throw ALL THAT away, and contrary to ALL LOGIC define Day No. 2 as the first day of the week. Just because we feel like it.

ISO is dumb, and should AT BEST be regarded as random recommendations. Nothing more.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:40 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Klear wrote:I never understood how CE is different from AD =P

Well, for international use, it's helpful to be able to communicate a date without necessarily acknowledging in the process that you consider Jesus of Nazareth to be your Lord. Chronology and religious adherence are not exactly the same thing. :P

Which has always struck me as questionable reasoning.

1) the number still refers to to the number of years since the (approximate) birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It's not as though there was another world-changing event that happened then, and we're saying "this other thing is the epoch we're counting from". Saying "This is the 2014th year of the Common Era, which begins at the birth of Jesus" doesn't seem materially different from "this is the 2014th year since birth of Jesus." (And if we did pick such an event, it would not be universally important to all ~7 billion of us, so someone on the planet would feel oppressed by that choice. Or, more likely, some professional victim-identification organization would feel oppressed for them.)

2) As a USAan, I can say "Queen Elizabeth" without acknowledging that she's "our" Queen. Similar to any non-USAan saying "President Obama". The "our" in "the year of our lord" isn't really part of the translation of "anno domini".

I mean, I'm not offended by the idea that AD 2014 is also Heisei 26. Why should I be? He's not "my" Emperor, he's just "an" Emperor. Similarly, I'm not offended by the secular or religious Romanness of January or July, nor by days of the week named after Norse deities...

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:51 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:...The "our" in "the year of our lord" isn't really part of the translation of "anno domini".

True, I was lazily relying on the traditional translation. I don't know much about Latin, but is it fair to say that the translation is closer to "year of the Lord"? I know Latin doesn't have definite or indefinite articles, but is the distinction encoded in some other way?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby Klear » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:12 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Well, for international use, it's helpful to be able to communicate a date without necessarily acknowledging in the process that you consider Jesus of Nazareth to be your Lord. Chronology and religious adherence are not exactly the same thing. :P


I'm not acknowledging Jesus of Nazareth to be your Lord, I'm acknowledging him to be pretty much the most influential person in the history of the western civilization. Besides, if you still cound the "common era" from his birth so it would seem you agree he was quite an important fellow.

Edit: I see Mikeski already made that point. It also helps that in Czech we write "př. Kr." meaning simply "before Christ". There is the "př. n. l." alternative (before our era), but that's A) longer, B) been established by the communists.

NeatNit wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Sometimes ISO just does ridiculous things.

Tell me about it. A while ago I read that they defined Monday as the first day of the week instead of Sunday. The only reason for this, I believe, is that Sunday is the Christian day of rest. Sure, let's ignore the fact that in countless languages including my own, Sunday is literally called "first day", Monday is "second day", etc. Let's just throw ALL THAT away, and contrary to ALL LOGIC define Day No. 2 as the first day of the week. Just because we feel like it.

ISO is dumb, and should AT BEST be regarded as random recommendations. Nothing more.


I'm sure you must be very angry about September, October, November, and December.

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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby jpvlsmv » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:47 pm UTC

PsiSquared wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:The Long Now people want us to switch to a 5 digit year. If you are going to propose a change, why not do it properly the first time around. Why not make it 6 digits or even 10 for a nice round number.


Or even better: Why not simply accept that the number of digits is not constant? After all we have almost 8000 years to get used to the idea (and to implement it in our computers).


Or even better: Switch to a different base when this one's full. For example:

After '99, instead of solving this whole Y2K problem, we simply continue to year A0, A1, .. AF, B0, etc... We don't have to do anything to fix the storage issue for another 82 years (from now) and I'll be retired by then. By the end of 19FF, I'm sure storage space will be cheaper than it is now, and somebody will change the code to store 4 digits (or switch to base-36 and use the rest of the ASCII alphabet)1

A simple regex can be used to distinguished between the old-style CE (or "Common Era") dates and these in the S/HE "Standard/Hex Era"2

Similaryly, after year 9999 CE (38D8 in S/HE) is A000 EHE (Extended Hex Era), and we don't have to worry about anything for another 0x6658 years. (Note that we run out of 4-digit CE years well before we run out of 4-digit S/HE years.)

Today, Feb 38, 19A7 is the most uniquest day ever.

--Joe
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:52 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
CharlieP wrote:The only date/time I'm considering getting excited about is 2016-12-08 04:02:00. But it'll probably be cold and dark where I am and I'll probably be asleep.

Don't you mean 2016-12-08 04:00:56?


Oh, yeah. Crap.

It might have been better had I thought of 2015-12-09 06:03:00 a bit quicker. :lol:
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Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:59 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Is CharlieP's suggestion just a failure to subtract 4 from 4 properly?


Yes. :oops: I blame our modern system of five-day weeks and two-day weekends, and the concomitant brainsluggishness when restarting the cycle on a Monday morning...
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