[LEAPSECS] BBC article

Peter Vince pvince at theiet.org
Thu Nov 17 08:31:38 EST 2011

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your reply. That is fascinating. I wasn't aware of
the lack of leap-seconds in most of Canada. How does that work? Are
they 16 seconds ahead of the rest of the world? That's one of the
reasons I love this chat-group - little bits of knowledge from people
in a wide variety of locations and professions shared amongst all
interested parties!

I can see that countries would want to be able to decide for
themselves what their civil time is. Already it is accepted that they
can set a time zone, and while the base reference time is tightly tied
the mean solar time, that is fine. However should we dramatically
loosen that tie, I can see that not all countries might want to follow
- politicians could be arguing about it indefinitely! In this
increasingly technical age they would have to take advice from experts
in the field lest their decisions made international communications
next to impossible. I can see the possibility of some of them wanting
infinitely flexible time-zones, so they could set their time to be
mean solar time, while still referenced to the international base
time. What a whole can of worms that would open! :-)



On 16 November 2011 21:59, Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> wrote:

> On Wed 2011-11-16T21:32:01 +0000, Peter Vince hath writ:

>> The concept is simple: "from

>> day X, there will be no leap-seconds in civil time, and that timescale

>> will be known as <insert name here>."


> There is a semantic blur in this statement.


> As things stand in, for example, Canada, civil time in Quebec

> has leap seconds, but civil time in the other provinces does not.


> Even way back in 1884 the delegates recognized that no international

> accord could dictate the nature of civil time in any jurisdiction.

> A brief glance at the archives of the tz mail list will quickly

> make it evident that civil time remains a zoo of unruly inhabitants.


> The ITU-R has authority over the nature of the time scale recommended

> for use in radio broadcasts.  The manner in which that corresponds to

> civil time is a matter left to the local authorities.


> --

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