The radical plan to destroy time zones

[The] map at the top of this post gives you an idea of what the world looks like now, and what it would like if we instead stuck to single system of Universal Time. The logic of Universal Time is strikingly simple: If it’s 7 in the morning in Washington D.C., it’s 7 everywhere else in the world too. There are no time zones. Wherever you are, the time is the same.

While it may ultimately simplify our lives, the concept would require some big changes to the way we think about time. As the clocks would still be based around the Coordinated Universal Time (the successor to Greenwich Mean Time that runs through Southeast London) most people in the world would have to change the way they consider their schedules. In Washington, for example, that means we’d have to get used to rising around noon and eating dinner at 1 in the morning. (Okay, perhaps that’s not that big a change for some people.)

But in many other ways, […] the new system would make communication, travel and trade across international borders far, far easier.

I’m all for it. As someone in the UK who works a lot with people in the US and Europe, time zones can confuse.

And it’s not just internationally that time zones have surprising effects. I remember listening to an episode of Freakonomics Radio which looked at sleep. It turns out that people in the United States who left at the western edge of a time zone get more sleep, and that:

permanently increasing sleep by an hour per week for everybody in a city, increases the wages in that location by about 4.5%.

One could imagine that the effect would be similar across country borders, where two countries do not share the same time zone.

(Via Washington Post.)