like many other people who spend a lot of time online, i have friends beyond the stricture of proximity. this makes timezones and trying to remember everyone’s individual utc offset a bit of a pain.
that’s why a few years ago i devised this system of time with my friend joop.
it’s based on splitting the day into four elements:
- 🔥 fire (00-06 utc)
- ☁️ air (06-12 utc)
- 💧 water (12-18 utc)
- 🌱 earth (18-24 utc)
this way, the time can be told as the same for every person. for example, as i’m typing this the time is 4 hours 21 minutes into water, or mid-water, for everyone in the world. nice and easy.
all i have to remember is that, for me, i’ll tend to be asleep during fire and working from mid-air through to late water.
this method is particularly useful for toki pona which already has limited vocabulary for talking about time in more absolute terms.
in toki pona, i call the system tenpo ko (“elemental time”) and the time blocks are 🔥 tenpo seli, ☁️ tenpo kon, 💧 tenpo telo and 🌱 tenpo ma.
these can also be specified further with the modifiers open, insa and pini for beginning, middle and end respectively.
for the time i gave above (4h 21m into water) i could therefore say:
tenpo li telo insa
another longer toki pona example using tenpo ko:
tenpo seli pini la mi moku e kili mute·
tenpo kon la mi o lanpan e kili sin