2017-08-10

After Present

I've just learned that there's a timescale other than "CE" (Common Era, aka "AD", Anno Domini/After [the] Death [of Christ]) and "BCE" (Before Common Era, aka "BC", Before Christ).

This new timescale is called "BP", or "Before Present".  Where "Present" is defined as January First, 1950, for reasons related to radiocarbon dating and atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, and thus also sometimes backronym'd to "Before Physics".

This makes sense to me – or more importantly (to me, personally), is pleasing to me, because I'm sick of having years reference Christ – because even if it's using the terminology of "Common Era", it's still referring to a timescale developed around ideas about Jesus.  Which pisses me off, as a staunch atheist and moderately anti-religious person.  (The latter because I see religion as harmful (see also: Salon, scholar, etc.).)

So, upon discovering "BP", I almost immediately had the thought that there should also be "AP", or "After Present", or "After Physics".  I think I prefer the latter term, and so I hereby declare that "After Physics"/"AP" should be "A Thing".  It's been talked about before, but I've not yet found anything "official"-ish that talks about using it as a thing.

I've also been deeply annoyed for a long time that BCE/CE don't recognize a year zero (0).  You can't put years directly on a number line.  This is mathematically stupid to me.

And so, therefore, I hereby declare (for the tiny amount of influence that me as an individual declaring this thing might do) "After Physics", aka "AP" to be a thing, and to be defined as, roughly, the number of years after the midnight that began the day also known as January 1st, 1950 CE.  (In UTC, presumably, though one also can presume that in most contexts, that level of detail won't matter.)  As such, the whole of the year known commonly as 1950 CE could also be referred to as the year 0 (zero) AP.  And thus the year I'm in as I write this, commonly known as 2017 CE, could also be referred to as the year 67 AP.  So here it is, August 10th, 67 AP.  And on that day, I've declare that this ought to be A Thing.  Of course, it won't be A Thing until a lot more people recognize it... but here's hoping that this blog post can start the process of propagating that meme.

I'd write up a wikipedia page for it, but I suppose that would constitute, at best, original research.

So, here's hoping other significant sources (scientific journals, major news outlets, what have you) start taking this up at some point, and it can eventually become "official".  In the mean time, feel free to link to this post as a way to provide an explanation for what is meant.  Or don't.  My hope is not for links to here so much as adoption of the term.  Hopefully wide adoption, eventually.

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