[LEAPSECS] About the publics time (in-)competence

ashtongj ashtongj at comcast.net
Fri Aug 13 07:33:18 EDT 2010

A theme in this list recently has been the amount of attention the
various ITU and allied committees have paid to technical requirements
they have immediate knowledge of, and the lack of attention to public
attitudes. I think that the most important emerging time-keeping
challenge facing the public is not leap seconds, but time zones and
daylight savings time. With more people working from home, performing
intellectual piece-work for multiple companies, and dealing with
companies around the world, the "time cards" employees and contractors
are expected to complete to account for their time become increasingly
inadequate in the face of situations such as

-employees who are working from home while a daylight savings time
transition occurs, but no such transition occurs at the employers
location (if indeed the employer's location can even be decided upon)

-employees who work part of the day at an office, and part of the day at
home, in a different time zone

-employees who work using the WI-FI on a train as the train crosses a
time zone boundary

One of the justifications for dropping leap seconds is that the public
seems to deal just fine with time zones and daylight savings time. I'm
not willing to take that for granted (although these difficulties are
not a direct argument for retaining leap seconds).

Gerry Ashton

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