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When a watch company promoted the revolutionary calendar

This attempt at a timezone-less Internet time might’ve succeeded if they had been a li’l bit better at openwashing. It was too blatantly their corporate thing, with the day starting not based on anything astronomical but on Swiss standard time (i.e. where the sun is gonna be over Greenwich an hour later). To promote their own factory.

If they had tied it to 刻 time notches or to the revolutionary calendar, but emphasized the new timezoneless nature of “beats”, we coulda had something great. The original pitch that this wasn’t meant to replace normal time but just used as a separate tool to coordinate stuff online was good. Maybe we’d have moved over entirely after a while. And they woulda been first to market, which would’ve been even more appealing if it had been (or looked like) more of an “open standard”.

The fact that they also illegally planned to broadcast over ham bands was also a pretty bad nail in the coffin, along with the hypermedialized and dorky overuse of @ and dot prefixes.

As many 180˚s and life-changing, opinion mind blows as I’ve experienced in my life as an old, this isn’t one of them because I had the exact same take then: really liked it and felt it was a missed opportunity squandered by the same two criticism I have now: The UTC+1 thing is dumb (it’s not that big of a deal—and great for Swedes) and it’s too blatantly corporate and the “.beat” (dot beat) unit name is embarrassing. I was a teenager, more critical and less gullible than I am now. We all saw that it was just a dorky watch ad campaign, quickly abandoned by its own makers.

Meanwhile, here we are in a mess of timezones and DST and I have to say “it starts in three hours” instead of being able to list a specific time. Or specific day, even, since current clock system needs a date line which wouldn’t be necessary with decimal time. (On the other hand, it would mean that having both systems in parallel would be difficult west of the date line and east of whatever point becomes the “new Greenwich”.)

The fact that it didn’t map up to normal minutes & hours was kind of an advantage because it helped disambiguate those time stamps from normal timestamps. I wish the amount of seconds in a day would’ve matched (instead it takes five “beats” to make an integer amount of seconds: 432 seconds).