[LEAPSECS] "UTC is derived from TAI"

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Mon Mar 15 01:10:38 EDT 2010

Steve Allen contemplates the circularity of time:

> "UTC is derived from TAI" ... There is only one TAI, and it comes next month from BIPM Circular T. ... As a practical matter, TAI is derived from all the various versions of UTC(k) which are maintained by the contributing national labs.

Demetrios Matsakis seems to be saying we can cleave TAI completely from this great circle of time:

>> However, there is only one UTC, which has many realizations. The true UTC is determined not from the realizations, but from the clocks behind those realizations.

Steve then queries whether UTC has Buddha nature:

> At the end of the flower sermon Buddha said

> I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the

> true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not

> rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of

> the scriptures.

And echoes Marcus Aurelius:

> yet I find that for the sake of practicality I must ask:


> How do I get this one, true UTC? Where do I find it?

> How can I share it with others?

"Ask yourself, what is this thing in itself, by its own special
constitution? What is it in substance, and in form, and in matter?
What is its function in the world? For how long does it subsist?"

Demetrios responds with Heraclitus and Parmenides:

>> It is everywhere and it is nowhere.


>> It is expressed in its difference with the realizations, yet it is of the same substance as they are.


>> It is a prediction of the future and a concept of the now, yet a thing of the past.

We may not be able to step twice into the same river of time. And perhaps the river itself is an illusion. (El Rio del Tiempo - a former ride at Epcot that has been itself a victim of time.) But this begs the question (sorry, that's Aristotle) of how best to build a time delivery system in the actual physical world (the purview of philosophers like Democritus on the theoretical side with Archimedes pinch-hitting for the empiricists).

Warner circles us back around to the Subcontinent from the Peloponnesus:

>>> Is it not true that all suffering comes from desire?

"For the love of money is the root of all evil"

Desire is attachment to something transient (nothing more so than money in 1 Timothy 6). Desire, and thus the suffering it creates through the inevitable loss of the object of desire, requires ignorance of transience. The Eightfold Path leads to the cessation of suffering, not only through the elimination of evanescent attachments, but also through freedom from self-delusion regarding their impermanence.

Atomic clocks, even in ensemble, are the definition of transience. We may desire otherwise, but by doing so delude ourselves.

The ultimate "clock behind the realization" of civil timekeeping is the spinning Earth. This is the right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

It is past time for the suffering to end.


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