[LEAPSECS] Cheating means more planning, not less

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Sun Dec 28 03:04:55 EST 2008

In message <alpine.LSU.2.00.0812272320490.23685 at hermes-1.csi.cam.ac.uk>, Tony F
inch writes:

>> DST is a trivial gimmick layered on standard time. Standard time is a

>> global system layered on the mean solar day.


>I don't think DST is trivial, nor is it a gimmick.


In addition to what it was designed to, DST changes have taken on
an unanticipated role of high-level low frequency public scheduling.

Emperical evidence shows that fewer people miss their trains right
after a DST change, even accounting for those who get it wrong by
one hour.

This indicates that DST changes actually make people adjust their

At least in Denmark, the public safety administration is actively
advocating using the DST change to test the residual current
protection relay (RCCB), "since you have to set all the clocks anyway".

We know from electricians purchases of new RCCBs that this advice
is widely taken.

I would keep DST, even if it confers no other benefits, simply because
from a societal point of view, it is beneficial to have the populations
almost undivided attention twice a year.


Poul-Henning Kamp | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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