A Flexible Calendar

Today’s guest post comes from big idea man and dealmaker Spin Williams.

I love Leap Day because it breaks the mold and gives us a peek at the future!

And the future I see is one where we are freed from the tyranny of the calendar! At The Meeting That Never Ends, we’re recommending that our clients invest heavily in anything that tracks, catalogs and manipulates time.

The next big growth area is not energy or financial services or Greek yogurt. It’s Time! Giving people control over their time is what freedom is all about! And we believe the world is moving inexorably towards a future where time is totally de-regulated and completely governed by the market!

For example, back in the day you had to be present in front of your TV set to catch a particular program at a specific time. If you didn’t obey the clock, you were out of luck. Today, it doesn’t matter when you want to watch – your favorite televised experience waits for you and provides itself at the touch of a button whenever you are ready!

I believe someday it will be the same with our calendar. No more February, March, April proceeding in their uninspired sequence of orderly days, one after another. That tired old system is entirely predictable and far too constraining.

The calendar of the future will be self designed and totally changeable. Everyone will still get 365 and 1/4 days each year, and in that year there will be 52 Mondays, 52 Tuesdays, etc. But if you want to live all your Mondays in a row and get them out of the way, that’s up to you! If you want to sell all your Fridays to a rich person in exchange for a large amount of cash and an equal number of their Wednesdays, you can do that! Conversely, if you want to burn through all your 104 Saturdays and Sundays starting on April 4th and finishing on July 6th, be my guest!

If you do this, of course you will suffer terrible consequences, but self-inflicted misery is also the hallmark of freedom!

Bottom line – people are hungry for liberty and time is the last great dictator – a heartless oppressor who is destined to fall. Mark my words – this will happen! The smart investor stays ahead of mega-trends, so place your bets and get ready for the Temporal Spring!

It sounds farfetched but I recall when Spin told me punctuation was unfairly rationed and a free American should get to have as many exclamation points as he wants. That came true for him, through sheer force of will!!!!! Could he be right about the rest of it?

How would you arrange your deregulated calendar?

52 thoughts on “A Flexible Calendar”

  1. i am afraid i would start stealing from my 1-4am slot for excess projects i am trying to get done. i may need to begin taking naps from 2 in the afternoon until 215 but i will make those naps last 3 or 4 hours and catch up later. i would slide some of february and march into ampril and may and i would take those 10 perfect days we get every year whne the sun is perfect and the temp and humidity are ideal and extend them to last for 3 or 4 days every time they come around. i would spend a couple of november wednesdays to extend those perfect afternoons. i would need some help keeping track or i would find as i get to the end of the year the leftover january would pop up in novemeber and december and id have to steal from next april for a bit of a break. i think i would be out of aprils through 2065 in about 2 or 3 years. i would arrange to take my vacations always in the winter but if you go to arizona in the winter for your summer vacation is it winter there or summer there? and i dont think poor people or illegal aliens should get to choose, can i spend my 80th birthday right now and get iti out of the way and then come back to the summer when i was 21 if i didnt spend that already? planning is going to need to be a little more focused i have a feeling. i think i would hate to find out i have november and december wednesday and thursdays in abundance and i am toast on saturdays for the next decade. if the same discipline holds true for calander as it does for eating excersize and saving, america could be in trouble. can we paly video games for calanders insttead of points. i bet my jkids could help me create a anal retentive calander hog would would rack up april may and junes like a wizard. better get practicing. up and at em there on a snowy leap day. 5 appointments today could be interesting trecks. i think i’d put those off til next week if i could. maybe its not suh a good idea.

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  2. This is just a reminder that our dear friend Margaret (“Plain Jane”) had a really bad fall several days ago, broke some major bones and remains hospitalized. The fact she is not emailing her friends can only mean that she is unable to do that now, for whatever reasons, and that means we aren’t doing her a favor if we try to write to her. I guess we just wait. If I hear from Margaret, I’ll instantly share any information.

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    1. I’m lurking, Steve. Major pain issues still, and kept very busy much of the day, but I’m still very much with you, just don’t have a lot of surplus energy to squander. Here comes the OT (in here, that’s occupational therapist). Later.

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  3. OT-wishing pain-free progress in therapy and suggesting an addition to Sunday’s calendar.

    Grammy-nominated folk singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and storyteller John McCutcheon will perform a benefit concert for EPES on Sunday March 4 at 4:00 p.m. at the University Lutheran Church of Hope, 601 13th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, http://www.ulch.org. Tickets can be purchased from Maureen Henderson at church, by emailing her at mhenders1@comcast.net, or calling 952-941-0169. For more information about John McCutcheon go to http://www.folkmusic.com.

    EPES (Educacion Popular en Salud), was founded in 1982 during the military dictatorship in Chile by Minnesotan Karen Anderson in 1982. It was inspired by a vision of quality and fairness in health care for the poor, offering training and support for community health groups.

    If you’ve only heard John McCutcheon’s recordings but never seen him in concert I would recommend seeing him live for a chance to hear his humor, story-telling, and range of performance. I am on call over the weekend but am hoping to get to the concert…but I am a McCutcheon groupie.

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  4. I hate to burst Spin’s bubble (well, not really) but his time plans won’t work, unless everyone in the world stops have any sort of relationship with anyone else. Sure, I would love to get rid of all my Mondays in a row, but other people with whom I am inextricably linked on Mondays maybe won’t want to use their Mondays the same way i do. I think this idea speaks to a thinking error that demonstrates that Spin is a quite schizoid individual with no social skills or capacity for social reciprocity.

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    1. On the contrary, I think Spin’s vision is already here in our 24/7 world, just not with the positive consequences he has in mind.

      The ever increasing expectations that we should be accessible whenever someone else wants us to be is another aspect of this.

      We have a fluid calendar, it is control that is getting harder and harder to maintain.

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      1. I can see your point. My comments to Spin are a result of yesterday. I am still feeling gnarley and irritable and it is all Dale’s and Steve’s fault. First they gets me thinking about gnosticism, then they encourage me to be critical of others’ spending. It is fortunate we are having a dessert table at work all day. Perhaps some sweets will imporve my mood.

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      2. 35 years ago schools had to have bomb threat response plans. In my principal’s plan I and one other teacher stayed in the building. Really. So we got a bomb threat at 11:25 because that’s when the principal’s secretary opened the mail. Everyone but us and the cops were up at the arena. We sat in the cafeteria and ate fried chicken that was going cold sitting in pans all over the place. The threat came in a letter by which it could be deduced who wrote it. The FBI wanted to make a banner case of catching and punishing the ninth grade girl. So they had me giving out writing assignments in which they hoped she would write certain words they wanted to match to the letter. She finally did. But the the night before they FBI was going to move in, the family abandoned their rented trailer house and fled. They did not find her.
        About two weeks later I was in the office and answered a phone; a voice I immediately recognized made a bomb threat. The principal was not eager to do it but had no choice and was about to evacuate school, when a man called from a store downtown. He was a tourist who was passing a pay phone and heard the boy calling the threat. He grabbed the boy and held him. Then he called the cops and us. But we still had to evacuate even though the boy admitted it was a hoax.
        It seems surreal to remember all this.

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  5. Good morning to all. I will have one or two more days of using this old cranky backup computer while I wait for the part for my better computer.

    I am really bad at managing time changes. Day light saving throws me off. Shifting days around would not work very well for me. I can see that it might be a help when I end up with conflicts and need two days to do something when I only have one available. I can’t imagine how the time shifts would work. Would you be able to be in two places at the same time so that you wouldn’t miss things your are expected to do with other people while you are moving on at the same time to do something on another day or do you disappear unexpectedly from the day that you give up to go to another day?

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  6. Whoa. I find it hard enough to keep track of a calendar now – I’m not sure how I would do with this…what is it called? system? day/month lottery? The only think I can think of right now is how to take all those unbearably hot, humid days and manage them somehow so they have very little impact on me. Not sure how to do that unless they all come when I’m able to go somewhere cooler.

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  7. PJ – think of you every time i walk to the barn and play with the goats and think who would do this if i couldn’t? i often forget that my body can be broken heal quickly.

    to speak to the question: i’m retired. most every day is the day i want it to be. but it’s difficult to follow my younger, working friends’ schedules and work in visits. friday is just another good day – same as monday. i only use the calendar to keep track of where the does are in their gestations. Kona will be first on March 25 (day 150 of her gestation). so today makes it day 125 for K, day 122 for Lassi, day 119 for Dream, day 105 for Alba and day 99 for Juju-dhau. Crema, one of Alba’s triplet doelings from 2010) had triplet doelings of her own last sunday (day 147 for her). even they don’t follow the calendar sometimes. 🙂
    wow. the wind is amazing up here – out of the NE coming straight off the big lake. uff da.
    stay warm, All.

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  8. I was just in a presentation yesterday about essentially culture and technology – it was a presentation by a cultural anthropologist who works at Intel. She studies how people interact differently with technology based on culture, geography, gender, etc. Very interesting. Perhaps most interesting to me, and salient to today’s topic, is that while the “early adopters” of tech used to be gamers (read: white men living in the U.S. in their 20s and early 30s, probably unmarried), the trend has shifted so that women are the early adopters. This is especially true since the advent of all of the “time shifting” technologies – think Hulu or your DVR for movies and TV, Facebook for connecting with friends, etc. It was a fascinating presentation, and really got me thinking about how much “time shifting” I already do…

    That said, I think Renee is on to something. Even if I shift all of my Mondays to November, I still need to be available for my work colleagues on a set schedule of some sort, probably continuing the 5 days on/2 off schedule regardless of the day of the week. Though really, the sweet joy of sleeping late on a Saturday morning would be as luscious if I had a string of Saturdays all stacked up to use at once. While I understand that modern physics tells me I should be able to bend time, and it is tempting from time to time to stretch and hour here and there or shrink a day a bit, moving whole days and months would only get confusing.

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  9. I’ve recently spent a week studying my daughter and grandson, and I am chewing on various impressions. One is that Molly doesn’t really need to manage her time better by rearranging it and making her use of time more efficiently. What she needs is an ability to say “no” to proposed activities so she would have fewer demands on her time to manage. As it is, if she ever cleared a golden two-hour slot on Saturday morning she would just fill it with some new task. Sometimes it takes discipline or even courage to say no.

    At the same time it would help if she could relax her sense of how hard to work as a mother. She had the idea that Liam would “go stir crazy” if we didn’t do a lot of fun things (each of which would involve a plethora of transportation, parking and other problems). Liam didn’t need a heavier schedule of things to do. He thrived on a simple program of lots of Mama, lots of Grampa and plenty of toys. I want to be careful here, for Molly is a superb mother and I don’t mean to chime in with cheap shots based on one four-day visit.

    So I regard Spin’s efforts to cram more into our daily calendar with contempt. What we need is just the opposite. I don’t want to do more stuff as much as I want to be able to enjoy the stuff I most want to do. Things like pushing a little yellow car around with my grandson while going “RUMbababa! RUMbababa! Burble, burble, burble! Wow, Liam, there aren’t many sounds more impressive than an aluminum block Shelby V8 Ford engine!”

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    1. Perhaps Molly could steal a few hours or a day from when she’s retired. Might as well make it summer, too. June 25, 2060. She could enjoy the free time and then return to time with her young Liam. Those of us who didn’t pay enough attention to “they grow so fast” would love the opportunity to jump back to that time.
      This somehow assumes that while she’s in 2060, he’s being well taken care of in 2012 so she wouldn’t have to worry.

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      1. oh yes, I am often mindful that all too soon, I will be on my own again, with plenty of time to do things that necessarily don’t include the s&h-and all too soon, he will be going far beyond what I can even comprehend. Theoretical physics makes my head hurt, he thinks it is cool (which is not to say he really understands most of it, but he does think it is cool).

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    2. I couldn’t agree more, Steve. A book I read about a woman who became king of a village in Africa drove home the point. Africans have time to sit on the porch and visit (or push a car around with grandson making engine noises). Americans are so busy and so caught up in technological ways of keeping in touch that they don’t pay attention to the people they’re with at the moment (e.g. a family eating “together” at a restaurant, but so busy pushing buttons on their phones that they never speak with each other). So – let’s clear the calendar and wipe out those “to-do” lists!

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  10. OT but weird. The campus on which I work is surrounded by law enforcement doing a building to building search due to a bomb threat. We can leave campus but have no guarantee we will be allowed back. Our building is not considered a target (I hope they know that for a fact).

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    1. You’ve been having a lot of interesting things happening where you work. You might want to take another hit from the dessert trolley just to be sure.

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    2. Didn’t you have another recent incident with the campus being cleared? Makes me wonder about the weather up there (you folks breathing thinner air maybe?) and/or how useful time shifting might be on your campus…hope all remain safe.

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      1. Earlier this month there was a conern about a possible armed individual roaming campus. That proved not to be the case, and the armed individual had commited suicide at a park nearby. This, I suspect, is a hoax called in due to discontent with the University over a scandal involving bogus degrees awarded to students from China. I just hope I this is over by lunch so I can go home and eat and be allowed to return at 1:00p

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  11. I don’t know if Spin realizes it, but the weather we are having on this leap day just gave a day as a present to hundreds or thousands of students and teachers all over the state of Minnesota, and moved it to somewhere else on the calendar. His idea is working already, but it had to work for everyone in a particular district on the same day. (Most school calendars have “snow days” built in, so if the weather is too bad for school you make it up another day. In our district, we make it up on Easter Monday.)
    This addresses some of the problems in linking up with other people anticipated by Anna – we all have to make the same switch – February 29 for April 9! However, if some member of the district had been looking forward to a four-day weekend over Easter, they no longer have that option… Also, for parents who suddenly had to arrange child care because the buses could not travel on the country roads I don’t think it is very much fun.
    A flexible calendar is interesting to think about but very confusing. But I do like the idea of a whole lot of those perfect April and May days in a row (if you could control the weather as well as the calendar). So if Spin ever gets it to work, I might be a somewhat-tentative low-volume consumer.

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  12. Greetings! It sounds intriguing, but it would quickly become ANARCHY!

    Stayed home from work today because I’m such a driving wienie. Driving 35 miles with a crappy old car on dangerous roads would make me berserk. They seemed OK with it at work. Hope that still holds true tomorrow when I go back.

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  13. My objection to the calendar are the names. We need descriptive ones for months like the Indians used. “The Month of Harvesting Wild Rice.” We do not have to have 12. We could come up with a number of months that fit activities. The first half of November could be “When Testosterone and Lead Fly in the Woods.”
    The day names are very old-fashioned. We should call it Moonday, but move that name to Friday since it is the tail end of the week and people feel like . . . well, you knowing, making quasi-obscene gestures as they walk out the door. Monday should be Panday with the goat as a symbol, when all the working folk have been thrown in the frying pan. Wednesday should be Baboonday when we all feel like throwing things.

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  14. Completely OT: I’ve been playing and playing a new Celtic CD, Karan Casey and John Doyle’s release called “Exile’s Return.” Karan Casey has one of those voices that sound like she’s singing with a mouth full of Drambuie, and you’d sure like to kiss her. Doyle might be even better; his intricate and inventive guitar work has me cheering out loud.What a lovely thing to listen to while watching snow tumbling out of the clouds.

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  15. I just posted on facebook: “Here on the cusp of the Minnesota River Riviera we have no snow on the ground, 26 degrees, a bit of wind, and dry and safe roads.” An hour west of here my daughter is buried in snow. There is nothing falling or on the ground here.

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  16. I am having enough trouble making sense out of the Julian calendar, not even gonna thing about Spin’s evil plan. Deregulated calendar indeed.

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