Hey, guess what?  I’m posting something that’s not about Emerson.  It’s about the book I wrote. (…am writing/am editing.  Didn’t know I wrote a book?  It’s some really atrocious sci-fi and I’d love reader opinions!  Email me if you’re interested).

As kind of a last minute think, I converted most of the time in the book into metric units, but because metric time is pretty terrible, time in the book is pretty terrible.  This is complicated by the fact that the numbers in the book all use base-twelve instead of base-ten.  I really need to get this buttoned down instead of sailing with my sails flapping, so below is what I’ve been thinking about.  For some people this may get a little complicated, so I apologize.  For others this may seem simplistic and elementary, so I apologize to them, too.  (Apologies all around!)

Before we start, you’re going to need to understand the numbering system.  In base-twelve, twelve is usually written as 10.  That’s because you count: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, 10 (substitute A and B for symbols of your choice).  To make things easier to remember for you (and me!), when I mean 12 I’m going to write it as 1Ɵ.  When I use the SI prefixes hecto-, kilo-, mega, etc.; what I really mean is 1ƟƟ* (twelve squared), 1ƟƟƟ* (twelve cubed), 1ƟƟƟƟƟƟ* (twelve to the sixth), etc.  Got it?  Quick check: what does 3*4 equal?  That’s right! 1Ɵ.  And 3*4Ɵ equals 1ƟƟ.  Now that that’s straight, let’s begin.

The second is the base unit of metric time.

1 second.

1 hectosec = 1ƟƟ seconds = 2.4 of minutes.  A handy unit of time.

1 kilosec = 1,ƟƟƟ seconds = 28.8 minutes.  Still pretty handy.

1 megasec = 1,ƟƟƟ,ƟƟƟ seconds = 33.9 earth days (standard 24 hours per day).  That’s a huge, unwieldy jump, but there’s no convenient intermediate prefix.

1 gigsec = 1,ƟƟƟ,ƟƟƟ,ƟƟƟ seconds = 163.5 years (365.25 days per year).  Ugly!

What I propose are inserting a few extra “metric” units to deal with time in my base-1Ɵ system, the way the standard metric system uses a tonne to replace megagrams.

1 ke (borrowed from here) = 1Ɵ kilosecs (5.76 hours)  There are four ke in a day (metric, not earth) (23.04 hours), or 5 in a workday (27.65 hours).  Don’t forget that this is the exciting future of space exploration, and planetary colonists may have days of all sorts of lengths. Most people have a mixture of workdays and days to calibrate their metric day to their planetary days, so they don’t have too long before metric daytime and planetary daytime coincide.  Don’t get too excited, though – you still work on a regular metric day, but maybe not as long.  This makes 1 megasec = 3Ɵ days, or 1 month!  And there are 1Ɵ (twelve) months in a year!

1 metric year = 1 kiloke =  1Ɵ megasecs (1.14 years).  In metric time I am only 29.6 years old!  A kiloke is a pretty convenient unit of measurement, I think.  This also means that the gigasec is a century (1ƟƟ years)!  How handy is that?

What do you think?