Interplanetary time

If you ask yourself what time periods are the most fundamental to how humans keep time, two jump out at you: a day and a year. Wherever you are in the world, at whatever time in history, you could always be sure that it would get dark and then light again in the time period of a day, and in most parts of the world you could be sure that it would get cooler and then warmer again in the time period of a year.

So it would seem that these are the most natural intervals for humans to use in measuring the passage of time. But I would argue that this might not be the right way to look at it. One day some intrepid humans may very well leave our little earthly sphere and explore the universe, perhaps settling onto other planets. When they get there they will undoubtedly find that our earthly day and year have no particular meaning, other than as a kind of nostalgia.

I would suggest, should the situation arise, that we humans replace these merely geological temporal units by one that we will be taking with us wherever we go – a unit of time that is built into our very DNA, and that we can be sure will travel with us to the farthest reaches of the Universe.

There is only one logical candidate for this distinction: I propose that humans adopt, as one interplanetary year, the time interval of nine months.

3 Responses to “Interplanetary time”

  1. Bernadette says:

    Yeah! The time it takes to birth a human. I guess I’m asking the question of Huhhhh?????? :-)

  2. ben k says:

    Maybe a bit too species specicific. By the time our kind is out partying across the universe, we may have engineered or evolved a different gestation period… and we may be mixing with other species from other places. While I like the sentimentality of retaining an Earth based reference, practical consideration may require a more universal unit of time, agreeable and understandable to intellects from elsewhere. Of course, by then, our whole concept of time might be different because it may no longer be necessarily linear…

  3. ben k says:

    …. and, wondering. If the concept of “month” is gone, can we still have nine of them?

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