03-01-20: International Fixed Calendar

03-01-20: International Fixed Calendar

Chapman GrubbMarch 02, 2020

Once upon a time, I stumbled into an amazing idea. It’s called the International Fixed Calendar (or, the Equal Months Calendar). Also known by the name of two of its’ inventors – Cotsworth and Eastman. It was first presented in 1902 by Moses B. Cotsworth – it is a solar based calendar that divides the year into 13 months into 4 even weeks. It makes it possible for every date to remain fixed to the same weekday every year.

George Eastman would lead the only organization to adopt this calendar by using it within the Eastman Kodak Company between 1928-1989. There is certainly merit to the IFC. While it was never taken widespread – it is a logical and clean way to organize an institution.

This much more regular system would make all long-term coordination and planning easier. We would never have to ask the question again – ‘and what day of the week is that?’. Everything would run smoother.

The reason this hasn’t been taking widespread is because of how difficult it is to change a cultures behavior. It’s the same reason that we still haven’t changed fully to the metric system. Despite the chaotic disadvantage of the current system, it’s familiar and we don’t have to relearn anything. We don’t have to feel dumb.

I decided a long time ago that I would eventually organize rerouted co-op around the 13 week calendar. I am sure I can talk a bunch of outdoorsy folks into shifting a schedule into something that makes more sense, is easier for everyone and will allow us to play outside during everyone else’s weekdays.

Changing behavior is hard. But, we should always pursue the best possible course of action. Strategize for simplicity in the long term. Why do humans insist on making things more difficult.

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