[LEAPSECS] Ghosts of Leap-seconds past and future

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Sun Dec 26 22:01:32 EST 2010

Poul-Henning Kamp replies to...well, apparently himself:

>> ...but Poul-Henning Kamp said:


>>> 1. There is no "international civil timekeeping", civil timekeeping is a national legislative matter.


>> and later appeared to be arguing the exact opposite:


>>> The entire point of the Meter Convention and of eliminating the leap-second hack from UTC, is that we don't need to deal with each government one by one.


> Ahh, how much time do we need to spend on you trying to twist words Rob ?

These discussions will continue for at least the next two years as we wait for the acolytes of timekeeping to gather in hushed conclave to settle these matters too weighty for mere mortals. The ITU has wasted more than a decade pushing their naive agenda. The astronomers here will oppose this agenda until the question is resolved (one way or another).

Good example BTW of a loaded question (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question). Is it twisting words to point out that a party with a strong position need not resort to logical fallacies? (Or contradictory arguments?)

> Is this waste of time what you call "proper engineering" ?

Another loaded question, but ok, the answer is "yes". The first step in system engineering is to draft a statement of the problem (the "problem situation" in this particular system engineering formalism):


It is obvious that no consensus exists on the concept of civil timekeeping. No real progress will be made until there a common vision exists of the nature of the problem. There is one shared problem space. Various parties have suggested numerous possible classes of solutions. This is the essence of system engineering. One problem = many possible solutions. First understand the problem, then entertain solutions.

The ITU, rather, have monomaniacally pursued one-and-only-one NON-solution for a decade, and have assiduously avoided characterizing the problem they claim to seek to solve.

"Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!"

So yes - I will continue to rattle my chains.


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