[LEAPSECS] How good could civil timekeeping be?
seaman at noao.edu
Fri Feb 15 03:45:05 EST 2008
> Because I live in the real world.
POSIX is indeed a facet of the world we've built. I might argue that
better system engineering practices might have avoided its
limitations :-) but we have to deal with the technology we've inherited.
Note, however, that the actual real world is part of the real world,
too. I'll restrain myself from waxing too poetic here since it seems
to drive some people crazy, but facts like weather, and natural
resource limits, and all the ideas in Jared Diamond's books, and solar
effects on communications, and lightning strikes, and the difficulties
facing oceanic cables, and - yes - the fact that we live on a
rotating, orbiting platform do indeed continue to impinge on our
civilization. One could argue that these effects are increasingly
Throw out all the rest of the system engineering best practices that
for some reason also seem to be controversial. Might it not be
prudent to actually perform a risk analysis of key technologies such
as transportation, communication and pipelines to look for failure
modes associated with the sought eradication of mean solar time? I
mean - like before actually eradicating it?
A dearth of imagination as to how such dependencies could possibly
exist is not a logical refutation. Whereas we have several decades of
evidence that leap seconds are survivable if proper precautions are
taken, such as seeking shelter underground every New Year's Eve,
stockpiling canned goods, and keeping candles and Y2K certified
matches at the ready :-)
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