Standard Daylight Time??!!

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Jul 17 22:46:48 CDT 1996

> Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 19:45:30 -0600 (MDT)
> From: Jerry Bricker <lcjbrick at>
[was] Subject: Re: Value of 'naming'
> I wonder if Standard Daylight Time went over well with the world's
> various inhabitants when it was first introduced.
> ... a system clearly devised to service an
> entire planet.  Are we talking about anything less when proposing
> standardized common names?

Not at all. I love analogies --they're so full of holes. As we look
around the world, we find that lots of people don't use or need the
clock to run their day. Lots more do run by the clock. Funny thing is,
in different parts of the world, the same clock times mean different
things; or to put it another way, people do the same sorts of things at
different times of the day; they have retained their basic cultural
habits, e.g., of calling 9 o'clock at night "dinner time" in one place
and "bedtime" in another; of calling 6am "too early" in some places and
"too late" in other places.

But, we drift....

> Local names will certainly go by the
> wayside.

I guess I wouldn't argue with that --regional cuisine is going the
same way. Regional accents ditto. Soon, we'll all be one big happy
homogeneous, dull family. Sure is something to look forward to.

> Isn't that the reason for the standardization?

Perhaps that ("a system to serve the entire planet") is why we all
agree that the international codes and schemes of nomenclature have some
merit. But I don't hear anyone suggesting, until now, that we should
also have a world-wide standardization of common names?! Like someone
asked earlier --which language? Now, if what you really meant was let's
just have one and only one name for everthing, where the common and
scientific names coincide one to one, and are suggesting that such a
world will be a better place to live, I say MacDonalds on you.

>  I suggest that
> taking the long view (one to two centuries) is what is involved here.

One world, one language, one people. Again, I say no thanks.

> Of
> course, we Americans (most of the recent contributers to this thread)
> can't imagine such a commitment due to our politician's and public
> servant's unwillingness to commit to an issue for more than the latest
> soundbite!

Politics is hardly the issue we've been arguing. We've been arguing the
issue of whether it is wise to foment the abandonment of yet another
dimension of cultural and experiential differences that a one-name
system would bring to the world (specifically, the issue of what to
teach our children, wherever they come from). Monoculture is certainly
not something that "Americans" have a monopoly on (except in the many
foolish agricultural/forestry practices that have been a recent past
tradition), nor are Americans in the rightful position to ask the rest
of the world (including Kentucky, Maine, the Florida panhandle, the
Navaho Nation, the Kogi, etc) to abandon their linguistic cultures.

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