Daylight Savings

When I woke one of my boys up this morning, he asked me, “Why do we have to get up so early today?”

I replied, “It’s the government’s fault.”

He grumbled, “Daylight Savings.”

I went on about my business wondering whether or not I should be joking like that with my kids.  I decided that it was no big deal.  There is no reason to pretend that the government deserves reverence when it makes such completely arbitrary rules like having all the citizens set their clocks back by an hour.

Ok, so it isn’t completely arbitrary.  The story told in my circle is that it benefits the Golf Courses because people have more time to play after work.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but it would seem logical that someone is benefiting from making the rest of us jump through this hoop.

In my state, Daylight Savings time is a new thing, only a few years old.  I couldn’t quite believe it when the state decided to implement it.  Now that it has been implemented, I think it is an excellent example of how people go along with insane schemes because of opportunity cost.

I reflected on why I was assimilating to this policy when I am totally against it.  I see no practical way around it.  The hassle of trying to maintain a different clock and remembering that I am running on a different clock does not seem worth the effort.  I don’t really want to spend my time worrying about such a thing either, when it will not change the outcome.  Therefore, I comply to an irrational policy of turning my clock back an hour every single spring.  Most people I know don’t like it either, so I have to think they see no practical way around it either.  This results with a population of people performing the time changing ritual even though they would prefer not.

We joke about it because it is ridiculous, but we are pretty much powerless to change it.  We couldn’t prevent it from being implemented.  Now that it is in place, it is most likely in place forever.  The powers that be, who wanted it, got it put in place because they found the political will, and they found that will because it is benefiting some businesses in some way.  It doesn’t affect those of us that hate it to the extent that we are going to find the political will to fight to have it changed back.  We have other things that we value more that we want to spend our time on.


Captain Nemo’s Philosophy

I am currently reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with my kids.  We are maybe 1/3 of the way through, and Captain Nemo greatly intrigues me.  He seems like he might be an anarchist.  I’m so tempted to google the book to find out more about him, but I will resist and wait for it all to unfold as I read it with my children.

Last night we were reading Chapter 16 about a submarine forest where Nemo was taking Conseil & Aronnax to hunt.  It said that Captain Nemo looked upon this underwater forest as his own, and considered he had the same right over it that the first men had in the first days of the world.  I’m deep in the middle of a bunch of lectures over the history of political thought, and it reminded me of the different philosophies various thinkers had put forth regarding property.

That little sentence prompted me to discuss theories of property with the kids.        I explained that the book was articulating a particular theory of property that was basically the first user gets to claim it as their own.  Then I explained that other people held that the earth belonged to all, and that they thought it was wrong for a person to claim part of it as their own.   My daughter has a stuffed sheep that she says is a communist.  She enjoys giving her animals crazy attributes. She was holding a sheep,  so I asked her if it was the communist one.  It turns out it was her brother’s sheep, which looks exactly like her sheep.  She gives her brother’s sheep a funny voice and articulated that sheep’s views on property by saying, “Misty (her communist sheep) thinks all the property belongs to everyone, when the truth is, all the property actually belongs to me!”  Her brothers thought this hilarious, and they laughed and said that sheep was a military dictator.

It is almost bizarre how my kids have started to incorporate political views into creative play.  I’m happy to see them talking about that kind of thing.  I asked them which view they most agreed with, and they all took Captain Nemo’s position.