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Discussion on: A future without time zones

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chutoro profile image
Casey Hendley • Edited

I work in globally distributed teams, and there is even confusion with those of us in the US because we're spread across Pacific, Central, and Eastern time zones.

However, this solves a problem that does not exist for the vast majority of people on the Earth. Most people don't work in globally distributed teams, most people are not software engineers (and I'm the Ops in DevOps for a consultancy). It would make our jobs somewhat easier, but I don't find it difficult to track multiple time zones.

We have GMT complications for mechanical watches, smart watches do it even more easily. We have an array of websites to use. This is too disruptive for anyone who isn't working in a distributed team, i.e. most of the people on this planet.

I think it's an interesting thought, but since everyone already speaks English if they work "globally" ... do we need to change that, too? ;)

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isaacdlyman profile image
Isaac Lyman Author

Hmm...do you think the future holds more distributed teams and global relationships, or less?

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chutoro profile image
Casey Hendley

It's a complex question, for sure. I earn a living by automating processes, so obviously I'm not against that. But is it not just as easy to use UTC to coordinate meeting times? That takes one calculation, no matter where you are on Earth.

Non-technical jobs aren't going away any time soon, and yes, we could argue that "so what does it matter what time it is for them anyway?" The average person isn't going to go for that argument, though.

While I don't consider time zones to be "cultural," language most certainly is. We already lose too many native languages spoken by small groups of indigenous people all over the globe. While I completely agree with your analysis of English as "a complete mess," it's the global standard already with 1.121 billion speakers (according to Wikipedia). By that chart, there would be solid arguments for all of us learning Hindi or Mandarin Chinese instead.

So, I will reiterate my stance that, while this is an interesting thought and it's fun to discuss ... I doubt it's ever going to happen (at least not in our lifetimes).