With a wry smile, Benjamin Franklin proposed the basic idea for daylight savings time to the Journal of Paris in 1784 but it remained dormant until 1916 when the Germans adopted the idea during WWI. The UK fell next, with Newfoundland and the US close behind in 1919. Despite small pockets of resistance in half a dozen states, it remains an accelerator to natural perception of the seasonal shift that kicks us into accumulation mode as daylight wanes.

The effects are felt across all age groups, all nationalities, all types of people. In the morning, 6 am looks like 7 am so the early risers feel behind right out of the gate. Lazy teens are no better as 11 am looks like noon and the days are short enough already what with school taking up most of the time anyway. Darkness arrives an hour early with predictable results on traffic. Monday’s commute will be one of the worst of the year as freeways crawl with light dependent drivers thrown into the black.

But instincts developed over millions of years quickly kick in. A sense of urgency prevades our existence as schedules shift to capture the dwindling daylight. With holiday shopping bearing down, we dig in and accumulate wealth as fast as possible. Everyone’s out for a quick strike. Festivals and rituals resonate the theme. It’s time to bring in the crop.

The markets show a confoundedly significant jolt around the rolling back of the clocks, though I leave the particulars as an exercise to the counters.


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