a reply to: JAGStorm
DST is a pain in the neck come this time of year.
But the problems associated with waking up in darkness and going home in darkness during the later months of the year, would STILL be a problem
without DST, unless you happen to have one of those exploitative, under paid, highly physical jobs that require one to be up at half past four in the
morning, out the door before five, in work by half past, and not return until eight at night, which is the REAL problem with winter working. Human
beings are set up, with the rare exceptions of genetics and environmental quirks resulting in other circumstances, to be awake when it is light, and
either winding down or asleep when it is dark. There are, these days, many people, including myself, who welcome the dark hours and are energised by
their arrival, whose night sight is keener, whose ability to be awake and involved with life until the small wee hours, is notable as an exception to
the general rule. But that general rule has existed since before mankind was recognisable as mankind at all.
Regardless of DST, the transition from summer to autumn, from autumn to winter, will ALWAYS feel like an absurd shock, because even without DST, you
WILL wake up one day, and realise that the sun has not yet peeped above the horizon, despite it being well past the time at which it would have risen
just a few weeks before. This will ALWAYS be in some way jarring, unless your perception and spatial awareness are virtually non-existent. There comes
a moment in every persons life, regardless of where they live or what time system they run on, where they will say to themselves "Ah... time to get
the winter clothes out of the closet and cut more firewood. The days are getting shorter." This happens regardless of whether there is DST or not.
The real issue here, is that the way we live our modern lives is unnatural and alien to our bodies, because our bodies have not had time, since our
schedules ceased to be based on natural rhythms, like day and night and summer and winter, and their procession through our lives, to evolve to accept
an artificial schedule. For example... In pre-industrial times, the number of hours you worked was more to do with how much daylight their was to work
in, largely speaking, than anything else. When winter drew in, you simply worked less hours, because there were less hours to get work done in, less
daylight to guide your toils. There were exceptions to that, guards, bakers (who have, since the techniques were first discovered, kept the most
absurd hours imaginable) and so on, but other than some notable exceptions, fewer hours light meant less hours work. Most work that needed doing back
in the day, required light, natural light to do it, so what had to be done at all, had to be done in daytime, with the sun up to light the way.
But things began to get messy right around the beginning of the industrial period, where effective methods for lighting a location for an entire 24
hour period, meant that more and more things were able to be done all the time, rather than stopping for night time. People began to work in shifts
more often, at regular tasks, rather than just guarding things. After a while, the industrial revolution really kicked off, the invention of the
electric lightbulb came about, and all of a sudden a factory owner could think of having people work later and later, or even running constantly.
This change over time may appear gradual to us, with our limited little lifespans, and our day to day struggles, but in terms of evolution, in terms
of genetic alteration to better match environmental factors, there has not been time for the human bodies we live in, to adjust to a life lived
according to any schedule other than that of nature. It is NOT normal to us humans, to be night workers, or to awaken before good light has started to
spread across the land, and not return home from our cloistered work in unnatural architectures, until after darkness has fallen. Even if you take
into account the things about the older ways of life that DID require operating at least in part on bakers hours, or late into the night, most work
was done within sight of totally natural sunlight, to which a person would be exposed, even if through cloud, EVERY day, without fail. This is not the
case now. We commute back and forth, adding huge amounts of time to our workload and adding dark time to our schedules which never used to be the case
in the same way back in time. The work that was done by the bakers of the oldest times, was done on premises right next to their homes, they lived at
their work, meaning that even they would be exposed to sunlight, even those who operated in the darkest of hours, would also get light. But now, we
travel in darkness to offices and warehouses, factories and stores, spend all the daylight hours in them, and only leave when darkness has once again
fallen over the land.
These are not natural circumstances for a person to live in. At no time in history has it been this way for any statistically significant chunk of
the human race. As a result, our bodies rebel around this time of the year, regardless of DST, because our bodies know what many of us refuse to
admit, either through ego, ideology or both, and that is that simply put, when it is dark outside we should not be working or on the way to work, but
asleep in the mornings, and we should not be commuting home in darkness, but have arrived home well before sundown, even if we intend to do something
external with our evenings. Our bodies require synergy with nature, with the sun up, sun down schedule, and not the artificial schedules imposed by
the need to amass hours at work, in order to pay bills, and function within a dysfunctional society.
Since business will never accept the necessity for people to simply do less work but be paid enough to live on, our bodies will continue to rebel,
until either the priorities inflicted on human beings by engaging with society change, or until there are simply no more humans to feel this way at
this time of year.