[LEAPSECS] What timekeeping system should the Terra Nova settlers use

Hal Murray hmurray at megapathdsl.net
Mon Oct 3 13:39:12 EDT 2011

> How would the people on this list who advocate for various treatments of

> future timekeeping in our own world deal with that situation?

Fun question. Thanks.

I'd setup two separate timekeeping systems.

For measuring time (and frequency) in scientific experiments, I'd use some
fixed unit and give it a new name to avoid confusion. I wouldn't tie it into
dates, just use kilo and mega and giga for longer time spans.

For solar time of day and calender dates, I think you either need rubber
seconds or something like leap seconds. Are there any other options?

If leap seconds happened more often the software would get debugged. If leap
seconds were really rare, you could ignore them as long as the mechanisms for
distributing UT1-UTC could handle the drift for some reasonable time span.
Your great-great-...-grandchildren will have to sort it out, but that won't
be a problem if they all escape to a new planet first.

If you want to start over, I'd use 100 seconds per minute, 100 minutes per
hour and 10 hours per day. (no AM/PM) Or something like that.


What do the people at JPL do when they want solar time on Mars? I assume
they have two clocks on the wall like some places have a second clock running
on a different time zone.

Humans naturally sync to Earth solar days. What happens if a "day" is half
or twice as long? Years ago, I worked a 6 day week without any troubles, but
I get tried if I try to stay up for 2 days.

These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.

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