As James Taranto would say, file this under “Questions nobody is asking:” Do we need to abolish the seven day week? The Left have already tried to mess with the Gregorian Calendar — I always cringe whenever I see “BCE and CE” in place of centuries old BC and AD — but now a Slate author proposes going down to the granular level in his attempt to upend things for no reason:
Today, advances in automation, computation, and telecommunications have routinized the large-scale coordination problems that challenged America’s 20th-century economy. The knowledge economy runs differently, and there is no longer such an overwhelming imperative for large numbers of people and goods to come together at the same place at the right times, or for those times to remain uniform across an entire society. Plummeting transportation costs and new forms of communication add to this greater flexibility. A software engineer in London can upload new code for, say, the operating system of a self-driving car at 4 a.m. on a Saturday. It will instantaneously be available to her colleagues in Boston and California whenever they need it, and their small team can easily arrange teleconferences on the fly as needed. Such activities benefit little from being organized on the weekly system.
Some may feel that the weekend is our one remaining buffer against work creep. But it isn’t! People already routinely work from home on Saturdays. Rather than a sacred refuge, Sundays are now both killing us and dying.
As for the spiritual logic for the seven-day week, I’ll abstain from making metaphysical claims, and stick to empirical ones. While some still keep the Sabbath by going to church, it’s clear Americans and Europeans no longer observe it religiously. Survey data has long showed that only about 40 percent of Americans report attending worship services weekly, and the actual level of attendance is more like half that because many respondents lie about how often they attend church. The numbers are lower in Europe: Only 3 percent of Danes, for example, reported weekly church attendance in 2004.
So how do we reinvent the week?
Hey, the template has already been created — we introduce the Metric Leisure Week! Dan Aykroyd of Saturday Night Live was goofing on this topic almost 40 years ago, with an assist from Gilda Radner, and that week’s host, Norman Lear:
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A new calendar was good enough for the French Revolution — why not us as well? The timing certainly works out well: the New York Times concluded 2013 by calling for an end to the Constitution. Slate, owned by the former parent company of the Washington Post proposes upending the calendar. Academia views recorded history as nothing but events caused warmongering unnecessary dead white capitalist men and thus can be entirely discarded.
Why not go all the way and reset the calendar to Year Zero?