[LEAPSECS] happy anniversary pips

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Mon Feb 10 11:57:13 EST 2014

On Feb 10, 2014, at 9:02 AM, Rob Seaman wrote:

> On Feb 9, 2014, at 11:20 AM, Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:


>> On Feb 9, 2014, at 11:13 AM, Rob Seaman wrote:

>>> If anything has prevented leap seconds from death it is the weakness of the proposal itself. And the real-world distinction between Universal Time and Atomic Time; "Death to leap seconds!" is the rallying cry of somebody who wants to pretend that two distinct concepts are the same thing.


>> It is more of a 'Atomic Time is a completely adequate basis for civil time' by rejecting the notion that exact alignment to snyodic day is a requirement. Apart from some naming sophistry, that's the root of all the discussions and disagreements here.


> There’s a lot that could be said in response, but I’ll just point to the proceedings of the Charlottesville and Exton meetings:


> http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/futureofutc/preprints/

> http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/futureofutc/2011/preprints/


> and to various links including the archives of this and the original leapsecs mailing lists:


> http://futureofutc.org/links.html


> There is also a link to the ISO position on terminology. And, of course, it isn't "exact alignment" that would be sacrificed, but any alignment at all. Like I said, it is an attempt to confuse two different concepts.

We disagree here then. Atomic time is adequate for civil needs. The small divergence can be handled the same way we handle differences in time between the sun and the UT time now: time zones. These times zones would move on a scale of multiple decades or centuries. This would suffice to keep the clocks on the wall aligned to the sun in the sky to the same error as we have today. It moves the alignment from one part of the system to the other. It doesn't confuse any concepts at all, but rather properly applies them to an alternative solution.

I get that people don't like this, and that there's some resistance to it on aesthetic grounds dressed up in the guise of technical arguments about universal not meaning what it has always meant, and that entrenched interests aren't unhappy enough with the status quo to risk changes...


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