[LEAPSECS] How good could civil timekeeping be?

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Thu Feb 14 17:16:59 EST 2008

In message <20080214221022.GA20007 at ucolick.org>, Steve Allen writes:

>That's what they said about changing the conventional longitudes of

>every observatory on the planet in order to get agreement on the value

>of UT starting in 1962. But in 1961 the IAU said "do it", and they

>did -- even in cases where it caused a time step in the sovereign time

>scale of a nation, and even where it introduced a new, potentially

>ambiguous notion of origin of longitude for civil mapping.

This comparison is so bogus that we ought to frame and hang it.

In 1961, the task was on a few handfulls of scientific people, most,
if not all, of them phd's, and all of them very much at home in the
subject domain.

Fiddling with time_t today would involves more than a million
persons, very few of which can readily tell you what a leap-second is.

Poul-Henning Kamp | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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