New Year's Eve 2023

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Exiting The Year of the Rabbit and all I will say on that front is that 2022 was better in many ways than 2023 for me, but I am grateful for a lot this year. I am grateful for my job, my children, my neighborhood and my new church. I want to go into 2024 with gratitude and determination.

Something I really enjoyed was this X/Twitter thread by @oldbooksguy about the French Revolutionary attempt to make a Scientific Metric Calendar to replace our inherited Gregorian Calendar.

The thread:
The French Revolutionaries invented a new Calendar. Minutes: 44% longer. Days: from 24 to 10 hours

The goal? Make time-keeping more “scientific”

The result? Total disaster

The story of the French Revolutionary Calendar banished by Napoleon, on this day, 218 years ago

About the Gregorian Calendar, it was introduced by a papal decree in October 1582, so it's 441 years old. It made small modifications to the Julian Calendar, which goes back ~2000 years to the Roman consul Julius Caesar. 

The calendar was proposed by Roman consul Julius Caesar in 46 BC as a reform of the earlier Roman calendar, which was largely a lunisolar one.[2] It took effect on 1 January 45 BC, by edict.

The changes to the calendar that have survived are the ones that have made slight changes to the existing calendar. It's a legacy program that we all use to organize everything. The revolutionary fervor that inspired a complete rewrite of the old calendar was just like the frustrated re-write the whole thing in rust meme. It's tempting to throw out everything because there are deeply entrenched aspects of it that you can't just ignore or delete. On the software "rewrite it in rust" side, it's a lot of legacy code that can be memory unsafe, and introduce security vulnerabilities. On the calendar side, it's the centrality of the 7 day week and it's Abrahamic religious significance.

The lesson of the history of the Gregorian calendar should be something programmers should learn, we should deal with legacy code in a way that doesn't devolve into simplistic revolutionary "rewrite it it in rust" thinking. We should understand why things are they way they are, before resolving to destroy them. This is the same idea behind Chesteron's Fence.

Next year is the Year of the Dragon 🐉 in the Chinese zodiac. I was born in 1988, so I'll be 36 next year, which is 12*3, meaning that next year is my year. I take this uncritically as a good sign. Don't ruin my vibe. Have a Happy New Year!

#time #gratitude #programming #rust