[LEAPSECS] Definition of Standard time - Brooks Harris

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sun Feb 16 13:39:41 EST 2014

On Feb 16, 2014, at 11:20 AM, Brooks Harris wrote:

> Only a comprehensive plan which aims to fix the obvious and well known problems is going to head off the "kill Leap Seconds" movement.

I think the momentum and general conservatism of the powers that be will do more to kill the plan than any other comprehensive plan. the status quo is powerful enough and works well enough that people are unwilling to risk a change.

> Or will we just roll over and watch 4500 years of timekeeping tradition evaporate?

The kill the leap second stuff doesn't kill 4500 years of timekeeping tradition. Leap seconds broke with tradition my making minutes longer than 60s. It accepted there's an error between the time in London and the time we coordinate on and that's OK. The leap second moved one step away from the sun by averaging out the noise into discrete steps.

Moving to atomic time doesn't undo 4500 years of timekeeping tradition. In fact, it restores the tradition of all minutes being the same length. In many ways, it is the next logical step in moving away from being beholden to the wobbles of the rock we live on by increasing the error we accept and providing a way for civil time to sync to the sun that leverages the current mechanism that civil time uses to sync to the sun. After talking here, though, it is clear the time isn't right for this move...


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