Today is Saturday

Today is Saturday.

Or is it?

Perhaps I am claiming that today is Saturday when, in fact, it is Monday. There’s really no way for you to know. Nor have I established any agreed-upon frame of reference. Does my statement, “Today is Saturday” refer to the day I am claiming to have written these words, or the day I suppose you are reading them? If English is not your primary language, then perhaps you would not call this day “Saturday” anyway. It might be Sabado or Sobota, for example. Even if you read this immediately upon my having published it, and we share the same language and naming conventions, you may be in a different time zone. Thus, depending upon the time relative to local midnight, it might be either still Friday or already Sunday in your neck of the woods. If you are a space traveller, does the day of the week really matter? You are no longer on a rotating sphere with any reason to make note of any such discrete rotational period. As captain of an interstellar spaceship, you may have chosen to adhere to homeworld standards and demarcate each 24-hour span with a traditional name. Or you may have decided to eschew tradition and simply regard time as a non-graduated continuum, one moment sliding right into the next, as you rocket across the galaxy at some large fraction of light speed. If you did decide to assign a name to each 24-hour period, why should there be only seven of them? Seven is really an arbitrary number when it comes to naming days. We could easily make it a ten-day week. Or a five-day week. Or better yet, get rid of weeks altogether. Yeah, yeah, I know all about that “God-made-the-world-and-rested-on-the-seventh-day” story… but I don’t buy it. In my view, each 24-hour period could get its own unique name, beyond the original seven and forward on into infinity. Then we could really get creative. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Penguinday, Whoopideedooday, Oogyboogyday, and so forth. Why not? I wonder if it is coincidence that there are seven named tones on the musical scale: A-B-C-D-E-F-G. Of course, there are accidentals as well, the sharps and flats, creating half steps between some of the tones. If we apply a similar approach to the days of the week, then noon on Saturday could be called Saturday Sharp. Henceforth, I shall refer to Thursday as “Friday Flat.” I find that rather fitting. It’s not quite Friday, but it’s certainly no longer Wednesday. It’s like a Friday that falls a little bit short. Then again, for many of us, our feelings about the character of any given named day are the product of the regimented weekly lives we lead. If we free ourselves of the tyranny of the calendar, and our seven-day ritualistic lifestyles, then we will no longer have those Monday blues, or hold the weekend in such high esteem. It’s easier said than done. For now, I will continue to assert that today is Saturday. It’s up to you whether or not to believe me. Just remember: musical notes are relative, and so is time.

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