[LEAPSECS] tinkering with time ?

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Tue Feb 1 12:50:01 EST 2011

On 01/31/2011 20:24, Daniel R. Tobias wrote:

> On 31 Jan 2011 at 15:59, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:


>> In message<12988684-B911-481B-B557-90E55CD736A4 at noao.edu>, Rob Seaman writes:

>>> On Jan 31, 2011, at 1:07 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

>>> Is there really a requirement to render the concept of "universal

>>> time" meaningless? Or is UTC merely collateral damage from an

>>> intellectually lazy campaign to "suppress TAI"?

>> There is a desire to see computers work reliably together.

> It's a rather blinkered view of things to think that the rest of the

> world needs to change millennia of precedent in order to make things

> smoother for computers, instead of the computers (and their

> programmers and engineers) using their ingenuity to make things

> better for the rest of humanity. I'm saying this despite being a

> computer geek myself.

Leap seconds do not have millennia of precedent. There's not millennia
of precedent for a globally coordinated time either. These are both
concepts that have evolved out of using local time over the past 200ish
years in the case of global time, and over the past 50 years in the case
of leap seconds. There have been big changes to time in the past 500
years. People went from not really caring about time (in the sense that
they got up when it was light, and went to bed when it was dark), to
having their lives run by clocks in the center of town (as the rural
populations moved to the cities), to moving off local time to a timezone
that was setup to make the trains run on time. Each one of these is a
step away from being absolutely dominated by what the earth was doing.
Eliminating leap seconds and coordinating civil time's approximate
synchronization to the sun via timezones would be just another step down
that path. It would just re-balance the engineering parameters yet again.


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