theAbysmal Calendar vs the Gregorian

26 November 2008

A Calendar Challenger, one calendar at a time.

This challenge, of putting up theAbysmal vs all of the rest of proposed and existing calendars is strictly in its role as the world’s calendar. theAbysmal was designed to facilitate the translation of dates between calendars, so that people following the Moon can more easily figure out what a day on a solar calendar may be.

note: that Common Era Calendar refers to the Gregorian Calendar using CE & BCE instead of AD & BC, but otherwise identical. Here I’ll just call it the Gregorian CE.

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from the Calendars Wikia

First: Reasons for retaining the Gregorian CE calendar:

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.
2. Everyone is familiar with it.
3. The rules of the calendar are already embedded in innumerable computer programs.
4. The calendar is an integral part of the vernacular of many cultures.
5. It maintains an uninterrupted seven-day week, which is important to religious groups.
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.

Addressing these points in kind, allow me to retort:

1. theAbysmal Calendar is more affixed to the seasons throughout the year. Each quarter starts and ends on or about either Solstice or Equinox.
2. theAbysmal uses the 7-Day Market Week, as the world is scheduled most broadly by the week. There will be no disruption in the flow of weekdays in the implementation of theAbysmal Calendar on Saturday December 22nd, 2012 CE.
3. theAbysmal Calendar begins a linear count of seconds, minutes and days as of its implementation, which is a simple arithmetic step away from the Unix Time Code and Julian Date already used in many cases. Also, the Internet broadcasts a standardized time, such that it would be a relatively easy modification to one’s operating system.
4. theAbysmal Calendar allows for the naming of days, months and so on as suits each culture,  and the observation of religious and secular calendars may go on with no disruption to any of the vernacular. (On a side note, the progression of days in September align with the numbers in Month 9 of theAbysmal Calendar. Thus, 9/11 becomes Month 9 Day 11.)
5. 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.
6. theAbysmal Calendar is using the Internet to promote itself, and is free for download, printing and spreading around free of charge (although the owner of theAbysmal’s images reserves the rights to make a living off of them). It was designed for all of the people of the world. It will allow the varied calendars of the world to continue being used, while translating between one and the other with greater ease.

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Second: Reasons for replacing the Gregorian CE (as the global calendar only):

1. The structure of the months is irregular, with month lengths ranging arbitrarily from 28 days to 31 days.
2. 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.”
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.

Once again, theAbysmal retort:

1. theAbysmal months are 4 Weeks of 28 Days each.
2. 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 CE’s and more accurate. Observe a Leap Year Day every 4 Years with an exception every 128 Years.
3. 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.
4. See point 3 above.
5. theAbysmal 52~Week Year divides evenly into Months of 4 Weeks, Quarters of 13 Weeks, and Semesters of 26 Weeks.
6. theAbysmal Date format can be introduced with set, universal rules, which will prevent such difference of standards.
7. theAbysmal Calendar follows both Lunations and Months
8. theAbysmal 52~Weeks observes a Friday and Saturday on or about each of the Cardinal Dates. theAbysmal Lunar Calendar serves as the observational Calendar, recording actual dates of astronomical phenomena.
9. 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 (Leap Year on dec 20th, New Year on dec 21st).

It appears that theAbysmal has addressed all of the above issues in some capacity. The one concern is that it may appear too complex, when truly its usage can be quite simple. One doesn’t need to observe all of theAbysmal Calendar’s cycles and time periods, but simply the ones that are relevant. One doesn’t need to observe the Lunation and the Month, or the 260~Day Calendar at all. They are simply options for consideration.

There are other points of consideration with respect to theAbysmal:

10. theAbysmal Calendar has an innate 13~base symmetry between the 260~Day (13×20), the 52~Week Year (13×4), the Lunar (Leap Years have 13 Lunations), and the 13 Constellations through which the Sun travels.
11. theAbysmal 260~Days weave an annual progression to each Day, so that with practice, we can think in terms of “this day next year, and this day last year.”
12. theAbysmal harmonises aspects from many of the world’s calendars including: Hebrew (weekdays with Latin~ and Teutonic~derived names), Buddhist Lunar (Lunar New Year at Winter Solstice), the Maya & Mexica (the 260~Days), Jose Arguelles & the law of time foundation (the 13~Moon Calendar), the Chinese (aligning the four directions with North at the bottom, the I~Ching, the tao), and the Mesopotamian (astrological & astronomical symbols).
13. theAbysmal Calendar begins each of its cycles (with the exception of the Year in the Southern Hemisphere) in darkness. Midnight for the Day, New Moon for the Lunation, Winter Solstice for the Year. 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.
0. 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. This changes our system from a chronology (first, second, third day of the month) to a numbering, where the number indicates the amount of time completed, not that taking place. The Day, Month, Week etc… taking place includes “now” which is really when all time happens.

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