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A note on dating conventions

Daniel is a mathematician who has devoted a great deal of time to doing things with squares. You can find him on Twitter @NBigons.

Throughout the following text we will use the notation FIT to indicate our currently accepted calendar convention. FIT stands for "Friday Is Thursday" and supersedes the previously accepted CE calendar (the so called "common era"). The historical circumstances that led to the transition are widely misunderstood, even today, and since they will be an integral part of our study of 21st Century history of the First United States of America (FUSA), we will briefly address them here.
It surprises and confuses many students who first learn of it that the FIT calendar is identical to CE, save that we are precisely one day behind. When studying a primary source from this prior era, for example, you can mentally correct the date by understanding that it was actually the day before, as we understand it. Even more puzzling to students: the shift was not caused by the usual solar disturbances or even a failure in their primitive digital timekeeping. The shift occurred for what can only be described as sociological concerns.
We can surmise from the extensive (and frankly burdensome) record of the "discourse" of that era that the denizens of the FUSA had by that point split into two epistemological tribes. Which is a fancy way of saying they hated each other's guts and didn't believe a word the other said. The level of antagonism reached such a point that family and social bonds were frequently severed and simple matters of arithmetic could become controversial.
Although the mentality of any era is hard to appreciate in retrospect, this is a particularly challenging case. On the morning of False Thursday, the point of deviation, roughly one half of that nation decided it was a Thursday and not in fact on a Friday. They changed their clocks, watches, computers to accord with this. They ran their public and private lives according to this adjusted schedule and were greatly aggrieved when fellow citizens contradicted them. Many were fired when they didn't turn up to work the following day, believing (quite rightly) that it was the weekend. Soon setting the court dates for all the wrongful dismissal cases became a matter of deducing the allegiances of the presiding judge. In short, chaos ensued (see Chapters 5,6,7).
Today, when these events are mentioned, it is treated as some kind of silly colossal mix-up and the kind of pointless argument that unfortunately typified a society unwilling to give priority to the global crises the world faced (see Chapters 1,2,3,4,9,10,11,12,13). In fact, it would have been unambiguously clear that False Thursday was indeed very much a Friday, and that one side was very much acting in bad faith. That said, the number of people who likely benefited financially from the shift is very small (see Section 5 in Chapter 4, The Grift).
It should be noted that the First United States was not the only nation state in the world at that time. When the other nation states finally capitulated to the new calendar (except France; see Section 4 in Chapter 8, L'heure Francaise), it was done with a historic degree of resignation. Why the citizens of the FUSA who knew full well what day it was had also capitulated has attracted many theories. But we will only address the most widely accepted (see Section 3 in Chapter 8, The Banality of Arguing).
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021


Author Comments

I put some jokes in but they just made the nightmare worse.

- Daniel James Woodhouse
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