[LEAPSECS] WP7A status and Re: clinical evidence about time and sun

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Thu Dec 18 16:46:37 EST 2008

Rob Seaman scripsit:

> And how precisely is this making your point? In the absence of a

> coherent zoneinfo scheme like Steve Allen's, you are asserting that

> the (literally) rock solid basis of mean solar time anchored deep in

> the Earth,

Nothing anyone can do will change the value of mean solar time.

> be replaced with a completely unreliable mapping that

> varies under diverse authority both in geographic location and by

> decade and century.

I'm pointing out that we are *already* doing that when establishing
local time.

> Again - civil time is clearly a flavor of mean solar time, whether or

> not we decide to cheat by embargoing leap seconds or by sloshing the

> timezones around. For example, we have sent missions to Mars, and the

> obvious and immediate response of the projects operating equipment on

> the surface was to establish a mission clock synchronized to Martian

> mean solar time.

Mean solar time is very important for certain purposes. So is moonphase,
but I don't hear you howling against the Gregorian calendar and demanding
the immediate imposition of the Jewish (or Babylonian or Chinese) calendar.

> There are two types of time - interval and Earth orientation. Civil

> time clearly has more to do with the latter than the former.

Oh, absolutely. I'm not disputing that.

> Why is this controversial?

If you got the money, honey, they've got the time. If not -- they've still
got the time.

> At the very least, someone promoting this proposal should show the

> rest of the world and themselves the respect of creating some sort of

> actual plan for what options might exist when the embargoed leap

> seconds turn into minutes and hours.

Actual plan: Switch to DST and double DST when the difference between
mean solar time and local time becomes embarrassingly large. (And if
Urumqi isn't embarrassed, why should Washington be?)

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org http://ccil.org/~cowan
If a traveler were informed that such a man [as Lord John Russell] was
leader of the House of Commons, he may well begin to comprehend how the
Egyptians worshiped an insect. --Benjamin Disraeli

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