theAbysmal Calendar ~ arguments for reform

Why change the calendar?

Before we get into these details, check out how theAbysmal Calendar stands up to Jacques Ellul’s 76 reasonable questions to ask about any technology.

The fundamental reason to replace the Gregorian as the de facto global calendar is its irregularity as well as its cultural bias. Arguments have been made for retaining it, as well as replacing it. theAbysmal has taken these arguments into account, and hopefully addresses each.

Arguments for the Gregorian

theAbysmal response

1. The calendar year stays in sync fairly well with the seasonal year. More exactly, the vernal equinox always occurs during a 51-hour period spread over March 19, 20 and 21. theAbysmal calendar is more affixed to the seasons throughout the year. Each quarter starts and ends on or about either Solstice or Equinox, and maintains an equivalent level of accuracy.
2. Everyone is familiar with it. Although the Gregorian is our de facto global calendar, in many cultures it is not the only calendar, and may be the less familiar. This is a presumptive argument.theAbysmal calendar retains the seven-day market week, as a familiar structure.
3. The rules of the calendar are already embedded in innumerable computer programs. theAbysmal calendar begins a linear count of seconds, days as of its implementation, which is a simple arithmetic step away from the Unix Time Code and Julian Date already in use. Also, the Internet broadcasts a standardized time, such that it would be a relatively easy modification to one’s operating system.
4. The calendar is an integral part of the vernacular of many cultures. theAbysmal calendar does not suggest doing away with the Gregorian calendar at all. It simply seeks to replace it as the global calendar. If users wish to continue using the Gregorian, they may.  The weekdays may remain, and observers of theAbysmal calendar may name the months as suits their sensibilities. The differences from month-to-month are 10 days at the most between the Gregorian and theAbysmal, which doesn’t undermine the vernacular significantly, if one choose to retain the same month names.
5. It maintains an uninterrupted seven-day week, which is important to religious groups. theAbysmal Calendar has two days that are not weekdays, but again, as it doesn’t intend to replace any religious calendars, each may continue the uninterrupted week as they will. As a global calendar, theAbysmal seeks to avoid a bias towards any one religious system. The  Gregorian is a Christian calendar first and foremost.
6. It may be difficult to promulgate changes to the calendar because all countries that use it would need to agree to make a change. The Gregorian calendar took nearly 350 years to be adopted by all countries that previously used the Julian calendar. Global communication has never been so fast as it is now. theAbysmal calendar translates between one calendar system and another, and has removed as much of the cultural bias inherent in the Gregorian, which was imposed in many places as a consequence of conquest. As a result, theAbysmal is designed to be better suited to a global community.

Arguments against the Gregorian

theAbysmal response

7. The structure of the months is irregular, with month lengths ranging arbitrarily from 28 days to 31 days. theAbysmal months are regular periods of 4 Weeks of 28 Days each.
8. The leap year rule is hard for many people to understand: “An extra day is added at the end of the second month every four years, except in years whose number is divisible by 100 except in years whose number is divisible by 400.” The Leap Year Day isn’t a weekday, so its observation doesn’t disrupt the perpetual 52 Weeks. The rule is a little easier than the Gregorian’s and more accurate. Observe a Leap Year Day every 4 Years with an exception every 128 Years.
9. The conventional 7-day-week cycle does not fit exactly into a Common Era year (there are always one or two days left over). This means that it is difficult to know which day of the week a CE date falls on. Each Year, Quarter, Month and Week begin on Saturday and end on Friday. This makes future scheduling easier, and allows people to think ahead without having to consult an external calendar.
10. The irregularity of the structure of the CE Calendar makes it difficult to formulate schedules of events occurring on certain days of the week which can be re‑used from year to year.
11. That irregularity also makes it very difficult to design schedules which can be used in any quarter (of three months), term (of four months) or semester (of six months). theAbysmal 52~Week Year divides evenly into Months of 4 Weeks, Quarters of 13 Weeks, and Semesters of 26 Weeks.
12. Despite the existence of a proposed standard way of writing CE dates (the ISO 8601 date format) such dates are currently expressed mainly either as month-day-year (in the U.S.) or day-month-year (in Europe and most of the rest of the world). This creates major confusion for people in one part of the world reading dates written by and for people in another part of the world. theAbysmal Date format can be introduced with set, universal rules, which will prevent such difference of standards.
13. The months of the CE Calendar, although called “months”, have no relation to the lunar cycles. The sequence of months and the sequence of lunations are completely unrelated, and a new moon or a full moon can occur on any day of the CE month. theAbysmal Calendar differentiates between and follows both Lunations and calendar months.
14. The leap year rules cause the timing of the equinoxes and solstices to vary by about 51 hours, which can be reduced if alternative leap year rules were adopted. theAbysmal 52~Weeks observes a Friday and Saturday on or about each of the Cardinal Dates. theAbysmal’s linear count of days, lunations and years serves as an observational calendar, recording the dates of astronomical phenomena such as new moons, solstices, planetary transits, and so on.
15. The intercalary day is inserted at the end of the second month instead of at the end of the year, which adds complexity to various date calculations. In particular, the number of days between a particular date in January or February and a particular date after the end of February is not constant. theAbysmal Leap Year Day falls on the day before New Year’s Day. Neither are a weekday, and occur after the last Friday of one Year, and the first Saturday of the next. As a result, insertion of the leap year day doesn’t disrupt the 52~week year.

There are other points to consider.

  • theAbysmal Calendar begins each of its cycles in darkness. Midnight for the Day, New Moon for the Lunation, Northern Winter Solstice for the Year and Saturday for the Week. As much as our universe and we ourselves developed and grew out of darkness (the unknown, the unknowable), so does the measures of time in this calendar.
  • theAbysmal Calendar has a Year 0 (as well as a Quarter 0, Lunation 0, Month 0, Week 0 and Day 0), which the Gregorian CE lacks altogether. Beginning with 0 works just like a digital clock. At midnight, the start of a new day the clock rolls around to 00:00. In keeping with this, the calendar doesn’t count the first day until it is completed, and then it becomes Day 1 (just like 1 O’Clock occurs after the first hour is finished). This keeps the reckoning of time consistent from the measure of seconds to centuries.

Posts of Interest

theAbysmal Calendar
Astronomical Facts
Chromatic Counter
Lunisolar Calendar
Perpetual Calendar
Abbreviations & Notation
Calendar Symbolism
Arguments for Calendar Reform


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