Unrelated facts for April 13: the third one


A piece of software which I will never write, but which someone should:

Many people are habitually late for things. Some people attempt to compensate for this by setting their watch five or ten minutes fast, on the theory that by doing so they’ll trick themselves into actually showing up on time. The problem with this is, the fact that they know they’ve set their watch ahead means that they know it’s not really that time, so it’s okay to show up five or ten minute later than the watch says, and wind up being later than ever.

Therefore, someone needs to program a watch or PDA that is able to read in your appointment book, and gradually adjust the displayed time based on the urgency and number of upcoming appointments: if you’ve got a can’t-miss plane flight coming up, the clock will gradually speed up as the flight approaches until it’s as much as 15 minutes fast. For an everyday business meeting maybe it’d only be five minutes fast. If you don’t have any appointments scheduled, the clock would display only approximate times, like “half past nine”. On free weekends or holidays it might be no more specific than “Afternoon.”

It should also be internet-enabled, so it could check the traffic and weather reports; if there’s a five-car pileup on the interstate between you and the office, you might get woken up ten minutes earlier than usual. But you wouldn’t know you’d missed out on some sleep, because it would still display the same old time as always.

Since the displayed time would be constantly adjusting itself, you wouldn’t be able to mentally calculate the actual time; you’d have no choice but to trust the displayed time. And therefore would show up for things on time.

This is a great idea. You should go use it to make lots of money, and then give some of it to me.