[LEAPSECS] Straw men

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Mon Jan 9 08:24:08 EST 2012

Ian Batten wrote:

> The invocation of "won't somebody think our of great^8 grand children's watches!" is disingenuous.

And it's a straw man erected by the folks who want to redefine UTC.

> It is a hell of a stretch to claim that re-aligning time zones once every ten generation is unreasonable.

Again, a straw man. The proponents of the Draft revision in front of the ITU have not suggested anything like this. But there also has not been the slightest attempt to work through the implications of such a notion.

Redefining UTC will break things immediately in astronomy and aerospace and related applications. And it will break things at unpredictable intervals over the decades and centuries to come. And it will leave any purely atomic timescale many minutes or hours in error at a future epoch with no plan for mitigation. It is not unreasonable to expect due diligence in planning for these eventualities.

Rob Seaman
National Optical Astronomy Observatory

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