Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Vague o'clock

Specify vagueness with statistical bounds
  [vote for,

People have an annoying habit of not being accurate in their time measurement. e.g. "let's meet for coffee" "Sure, how about we meet at Runcle Mac Buncle's Uncle's café. when suits you?" "Great idea. I'll meet you there at 2.30 this afternoon"

What happens? They actually turn up and meet you at 2.29.47 catching you unawares and, quite frankly, ruining your day and setting what should have been a pleasant friendly meeting off into a depressing round of blame, recrimination, and setting up a life-long grudge and recrimination trigger.

Proposed is that any time, past or future, is specified in the form of hour:minute:second ± estimated error margin.

So our hypothetical conversation could instead have gone "Great idea. I'll meet you there at 2.30 ± 3.5 minutes this afternoon" and all would have been well.

Sensible people will naturally keep a tally of the expected and actual results of such scheduled events and can offer suitable feedback on your rate. "Actually, on average over the past 6 months or our scheduled meetings, you have been more accurate than that, but biased slightly to the early side. I suggest 2.30 +4.7 -0.9 would be a more accurate estimation of our actual time of meeting". "Thanks that's very helpful. But actually my toaster needs a new rubber O-ring and I am not sure how long it will take to buy it in Anastasia Gonard's Toaster and Doorstop Repair Supplies Warehouse. Hence my conservative estimate" "OK that's all right then! See you as arranged anyway!

pocmloc, Oct 03 2020

https://sodabred.tu...aked-idea-by-xenzag [xenzag, Oct 03 2020]

Flintstones Caveman time https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uq7noaMwLfg
[xenzag, Oct 04 2020]

I'll do it directly. https://www.google....12&bih=612&dpr=2.63
[pertinax, Oct 06 2020]


       Do a search in the halfbakery for "time-twigs" and let me know what you find?
xenzag, Oct 03 2020

       I always use the suffix "ish" for this. People always understand "I'll be there 2:30ish"
Voice, Oct 03 2020

       And for the first time ever, I must remind all that there is no such thing as time. I lost my watch a few weeks ago, and I won't be replacing it. Read Ekhart Tolle. There is no time.
blissmiss, Oct 04 2020

       Here at Camp Teacup, the shop clock was consuming batteries at a ridiculous rate, so we just quit feeding it batteries. The spriteliest member of the camp taped a clever note to the front of the clock; it says 'NOW'.
Sgt Teacup, Oct 04 2020

       How do you know things aren't happening all at once?
Voice, Oct 04 2020

       They are happening all at once... you just can't perceive it that way.   

       Thank you to those who have learned throughout life that nothing exists but the present moment. The past is gone, the future not here yet. This Moment. Time is just something man named to keep things orderly. Before that, it didn't exist. The cavemen didn't have time, did they? Time could be a concept if you follow the sun and the moon and listen to your body for signs that you need food or sleep. But even that is a made-up reality. I believe.
blissmiss, Oct 04 2020

       //The cavemen didn't have time, did they?// I distinctly recall an end of workday hooter sounding in The Flintstones
xenzag, Oct 04 2020

       I would think that the perceived precision is associated with the way the time is expressed.
Eg: "quarter past two" is imprecise, so a large error margin is implied, whereas "two thirty seven" is much more specific, so a smaller error could be inferred.
I guess it's sort of "significant figures" (to be a maths geek about it...) but involving fractions and a bit of weirdness.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 04 2020

       Right [ns] but that implied vagueness is context-specific. There are some towns where "quarter past 2" could mean any time between 2:20 and 2:45, while in other contexts such as meeting someone from a train would imply something more like 2:11 to 2:19.   

       Hence the necessity for always using standard error notation to express the accuracy expected or required.
pocmloc, Oct 05 2020

       [pocmloc]; yes, that is true.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 05 2020

       I'll think about this mañana...
RayfordSteele, Oct 05 2020

       Compare "dreckly".
pertinax, Oct 06 2020

       <obligatory> We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!
spidermother, Oct 06 2020

       No, we already have those. We just demand that other people tighten up their standards and express themselves clearly and unambiguously.
pocmloc, Oct 06 2020

       OMG...run, there's a Spider in the bakery and it's old and dusty and hasn't been seen for a long, long, time.
blissmiss, Oct 08 2020


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