# Is midnight today or tomorrow?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by dsdsds, Mar 11, 2009.

1. ### Michael 345New year. PRESENT is 69 years oldValued Senior Member

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dsdsds said:
It's probably neither (and both). But what is the standard, if any, if one is writing a contract? If I want something to expire on midnight between March 11 and March 12, how is it defined?

0h00 2009-03-12 ?
24h00 2009-03-11 ?

This contract will expire midnight of the 11th March 2018

Midnight is spelt out

3. ### Gawdzilla SamaValued Senior Member

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You could just say "This contract will expire at the end of the day on _________." However you determine the end of the day it will end. Same with the start of the next day.

And, of course, certain litigious societies will still find reasons to argument about it.

5. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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23:59 2009-03-11
00:01 2009-03-12

Not really that hard.

No contract defined to less than a minute would be enforceable - Brewster's Millions notwithstanding.

7. ### Michael 345New year. PRESENT is 69 years oldValued Senior Member

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???? I think the two dates were not given as HIS period of the contract

They were given as his 2 samples of expired dates which could be used

I'm fairly certain midnight spelt out is used

My data allowance per month staess "Your new allowance begins midnight on the last day of each month"

8. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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Not sure what you're saying.
It looked like he was just listing two ambiguous dates, and then listing a solution.

23:59 on the day in question is pretty unambiguous. That's why it's used a lot.

9. ### DinosaurRational SkepticValued Senior Member

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4,883
From RubiksMaster Post 19
Midnight is not a small slice of time, it is the dividing line between night & day.

Consider using masking tale to very carefully color three equal areas of a circle red, blue, & yellow with no actual line dividing the three regions.

In some sense, the mind considers there to be a border between the regions. However the conceptual border is neither color: It is a mental concept. How would you answer the question which color is each conceptual border?​

You might say the conceptual border between red & blue is red, in which case you should for consistency sake claim that the border between blue & yellow is blue.

Alternatively, you could claim that the question is improper due to potential ambiguity (there does not seem to be an English word for this type of situation).​

For the benefit of a color blind person, one might draw a black line to distinguish the three regions & put the words red, blue, & yellow in the pertinent regions: Then ask a person person with normal vision to assign a color to each border line. The black line border is the source of the problem.

I think the above is analogous to the question about midnight.

In some sense it is neither last night nor today, although either choice dictates the assignment of noon to either morning or afternoon.

10. ### GoldtopRegistered Senior Member

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182

23:59:59 2009-03-11
00:00:00 2009-03-12

11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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9,875
IOW; The border is a shared property of both sides?

12. ### StrangerInAStrangeLandSubQuantum MechanicValued Senior Member

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///
The border is an abstract line. It is not physical. It has no properties.

<>

Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
13. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Of course it doesn't quite work that way. This would be more accurate but still approximate;

23:59:59:000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001
23:59:59:000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002
23:59:59:000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000003

14. ### GoldtopRegistered Senior Member

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182
And then, how does that work, does it go...

23:59:59:0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000058
23:59:59:0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000059
23:59:59:0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000100

?????

15. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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9,875
It is weird, a decimal number measured in 1/60, strange.....

But yes, according to some posters, that last second is infinitely divisible. Else Time would be a quantum function instead of a continuum.
Can "Infinity" ever be more than a mathematical abstraction

16. ### DinosaurRational SkepticValued Senior Member

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If you work with military time, Midnight can be either 2400 Thursday or 000 Friday.

Using midnight is slightly awkward for for time calculations.

17. ### gmilamValued Senior Member

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I work for a company that writes time and attendance software. When I first started they allowed both 00:00 and 24:00 as valid times. I told them they needed to pick one or the other. We let the operating system decide. It allows valid times of 00:00:00 to 23:59:59.

Problem solved. At least for our purposes.

18. ### Dr_ToadIt's green!Valued Senior Member

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That's the way it's been done for many years, and it ain't broke.

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19. ### SpeakpigeonRegistered Senior Member

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779
Whatever it is, it can only be a convention.
At midnight, digital clocks will display "00:00", which may be more readily understood as the beginning of the day. On old clocks, the two hands will be on "12", which may be more readily understood as the end of the day.
Midnight taken literally as a point in time is both the end of a day and the beginning of the next day.
Please note that the point in time which is the end of an hour is also the beginning of the next hour. The same issue occurs with minutes and seconds.
It's always the modulo that does it.
EB

20. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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Controversial:
Once you realise that 24:00 or 00:00 has zero duration you can realize the only answer is neither today or tomorrow.
Mark 24:00 is a zero point and as such doesn't materially exist.
Delta t=0 therefore distance is zero. Therefore at precisely 24:00 or 00:00 the universe is zero dimensional.

Have fun ....

21. ### SarkusHippomonstrosesquippedalo phobeValued Senior Member

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Just because t=0 does not mean distance is zero, only distance travelled is zero. A brick will still have three dimensions even if it is static.

As to the OP, and probably alluded to throughout the posts, it's like asking, when you cut a piece of paper in half, what bit does the middle belong to.

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22. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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For your contra to have merit you have to explain how anything that has zero duration in time can possibly exist.
The logic is inescapable.
Mark 24:00 or 00:00 (or any other point in time) is a moment of zero duration. Therefore logically at that precise point the universe is of zero dimensions.
So the answer to the OP is neither today or tomorrow.

(remember : we are discussing an exact point in time of zero duration.)

Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
23. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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according to mainstream thought there is no such thing as absolute rest. A brick can never be at absolute rest. (not in this universe anyway)