[LEAPSECS] leapseconds on trains

Nero Imhard nimh at pipe.nl
Thu Nov 17 16:32:13 EST 2011

On 2011-11-17, at 21:56, Warner Losh wrote:


> On Nov 17, 2011, at 1:17 PM, Nero Imhard wrote:


>> I would say that the use case is quite irrelevant. The use case dictates the choice of time scale, not the other way. Fundamentally changing the definition of a time scale is an insult to those who have made a deliberate choice, regardless their numbers or importance. It makes proper engineering impossible.


> The friction here represents the friction in real life as society continues the transition away from strict solar time to more of an elapsed time paradigm. Should we embrace the shift, or should we be true to the past.

I assume that "we" here means "consumers of broadcast time". The question then becomes whether to keep broadcast time based on UTC or switch it to a time scale without leap seconds. Put that way, I don't have a very strong opinion (I probably would favor a change) but...

Primary purpose of time broadcasts seems to be dissemination of legal time. You can't just change it, it has to follow the the definition of legal time to stay useful. So, getting legislators to switch would be the proper way to get rid of leap seconds in both daily life and broadcast time. This might prove difficult, but it's the only way.


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