[LEAPSECS] happy anniversary pips

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Wed Feb 12 13:22:57 EST 2014

Hi Warner,

You’ll note that this particular email is addressed to you. Most contributions to this mailing list are not personally addressed. In those cases one might reasonably infer that other messages were intended as general contributions to a common forum.

> On Feb 12, 2014, at 9:09 AM, Rob Seaman wrote:


>> Meanwhile, whatever discussions occur on this list should flow from documented case studies:


>> http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/futureofutc/preprints/files/2_AAS%2013-502_Allen.pdf


>> Not untethered speculation.


> Untethered speculation? Sweet! I've never had my direct, personal experiences in a topic be called that before.

As are many of those reading this, I’m fitting time for the forum into a packed schedule of other activities. Since the list has been busy lately it is hard to keep up with all the talking points. Some of these correspond to things with which I disagree, but have no time to address. On more than one occasion lately I have therefore chosen to reference the many previous discussions on this list or its precursor, as well as the proceedings of the two meetings we organized in 2011 and 2013 precisely to discuss these topics.

Assertions on a mailing list, not just yours alone, may be called untethered if they don’t reference prior work, here and elsewhere. In particular, Steve Allen’s paper is the most complete exploration of the topic in question, and itself references a variety of resources well worth reviewing.

Many talking points here have indeed been speculative. Those who believe in hiding the signature of the synodic day within a shell game of ever shifting timezones could certainly arrange for prudent research to either demonstrate or demolish such a scheme. Absent such studies the notion is speculation.

It is not speculation, however, to point out that this notion forms no part of the actual ITU proposal, which is focused on redefining UTC to no longer serve as Universal Time, not on the remedies for such action. Those who need access to interval timescales already have such access. What the proposal does, rather, is deny access to the current solar timescale, an issue not directly related to the timezone system. One might therefore infer that the entire discussion of timezones is a ploy to achieve a short term political end, but that would be speculation.


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