Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Antti Rasinen

The year is a good as it is, but I'd definetly change the epoch. The current "year zero" is at one of the most interesting times in Western history splitting it down the middle rather crudely. I'd move the year zero either to the invention of writing or perhaps to the invention of agriculture.

Imagine: Egyptian empires at year 2000 HiE (Historical era), Rome at 3500 HiE, Modern eras at 5500 HiE.

Another update would be the work week. Occasionally one needs a longer weekend, sometimes a shorter one is enough. I'd restructure the work week as four days of work, one day of rest. Four work, one rest. And finally four work, three rest.

Holidays: at each equinox and solstice. Plus the national holidays.


I've seen one of these redesigned calendars very nicely explained here

It would be nice to see something like that become a reality sometime in my life.
It shows a lot of creativity and consideration for a multitude of factors.


Your post made me stop and think about the whole idea of a calendar. Life and the world exist calendar or not. Today would be even if not defined by the calendar as Tuesday, August 14, 2007. So it's all made up ... however, my initial thoughts are just the reverse: the calendar defines reality. Presumably because that is the way I have become conditioned to think about it.

The calendar is useful in life because it lets us coordinate stuff happening. It also lets us (makes us?) get things done because the clock is ticking. This is good in many respect. It can be bad in many respects.

So I'd say I'm ok with the one we have, maybe my redesign is about how I perceive time and what I let the calendar impose that is outside of what I want.

Randy Bosch

The new calendar:
40 weeks with 9 days each - 6 workdays and 3 weekend days. We will have longer, more productive workweeks (6 days each, with 12 fewer "start up - shut down" experiences bracketing each week - fewer "Mondays"!), and every weekend will be 3 days long (more rest and recreation, hopefully fewer "Monday malingerers". The remaining 5 days in a non-Leap Year will be the 5 major Holidays - plugged in as close to their cyclical recurrances as possible and making 4 day weekends when they occur.

Problems? Oh, a few. First and foremost, loss of the 7 day week is a big religious challenge. So the day names will stay at 7, since Sundays are a workday (or malingerer holiday) for most, and most find calendar dates as valuable as obscurely named days...and who says a month has to start on the "1st"? Credit card companies are using a 21 to 24 day "month" already to increase their yields!

Tom Haskins

The ecoliteracy movement suggests we rethink our street address as a location in the local watershed. Where do we live as the water running downhill sees us? We could also rethink calendars from our current "linear accounting that proceeds like clockwork" version back to cyclical and celestial accounting. Each day could be a number of sunrises until the next full moon, solstice/equinox and lunar/solar eclipse. Birthdays and anniversaries would be placed in the context of the planetary cycles in the heavens that astrologers account for precisely. Just as the post office cannot deliver to watershed addresses, businesses and scheduled entertainment cannot run on celestial time. So we need a synthesis, the best of both calendars. I suspect we would pay more attention to patterns in our ups and downs (like biorhythms, menstrual cycles, periods of creative fertility/stagnation, etc) if our calendars kept the "sky in mind" as well as grounding us in our schedule commitments.

Roger von Oech

A lot of good thought and ssuggestions.

Antti: It's interesting that when I was thinking about the calendar, one of the things that escaped me was the "Year One" issue. Good additions!

Peter: I checked out your link. Fascinating stuff. How'd you like to have been born in the month of "Newton"?

Dean: The calendar, like the watch, does define a great deal of our social intercourse.

Randy: Good suggestions. Probably good for commerce AND recreation. How about months? Where do they fit in?

Tom: Provocative. It certainly would place us more in the context of the "heavenly spheres." I wasn't familiar with the concept of street addresses with the local watershed and ecoliteracy movement.


being born in the month of Newton would mean that the B-Day would be celebrated on 1st of July (even if the author suggested 4th of July) This way it will always be Sunday and will probably kick start the week long party that will start on 1st of July and end on 7th (why celebrate for a day when there are 7 available) I would make Newton month and the fist week in July "short hours" time (3-4 hours a day work days).


How about we fix the fact that "dec"-ember is not the 10th month? Leap day would make a lot more sense coming at the end of the year instead of two months in. Here's to the year starting on March 1st! The weather's better anyway. ;-)

Roger von Oech

Peter: Interesting idea putting your bonus week "Newton" in the middle of the year (in summer) rather than the end of the year in winter. I wonder, though, when people would rather have this bonus week: in the summer when things are nice, or in winter when the days are short and people could use some cheering up?

Nancy: Right you are about "Dec"ember not being the 10th month. Same applies to September, October, and Novmber. How about brand new month names altogether?

Steven Oesterreicher

The Thirteenth Calendar

Ever since I learned about our calendar, many years ago, I’ve been confused. Since then I have had thirty plus years working as a programmer, who always sees a problem and tries to come up with the most logical and easy solution. Just recently I decided to tear into the calendar and came up with this as my solution.

Since the calendar is really how we keep track of time in our universe, I think it ought to be a beautiful as the whole universe. Since there are about 365 ¼ days a year; that is around 365 ¼ days to circle our sun; I propose we just re-group the months into thirteen 28 day groups. This will give us 364 days in a logical structure that would be ever month the first through the seventh would be a week; Saturday through Sunday. Likewise the 8th through the 14th would be the second week of the month and 15th through the 21st would be the third week and the 22nd through the 28th would be the fourth week of the month. The extra day or two (this would the leap year) would be extra days, not named except for FreeDay, when the entire world would party.

We would call the months just like they are right now; January through December with an extra month to be named by the committee to determine how to get the entire Earth over to this new calendar structure.

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