[LEAPSECS] tinkering with time ?

Mark Calabretta mcalabre at atnf.csiro.au
Tue Feb 1 19:00:57 EST 2011

On Tue 2011/02/01 11:37:59 -0000, Tony Finch wrote
in a message to: Leap Second Discussion List <leapsecs at leapsecond.com>

>> In the very distant future when the mean solar day is 86401 SI

>> seconds long (or hopefully well before that), the pretence that

>> the day is only 86400 SI seconds long, with its reductio ad

>> absurdum result of a leap-second-per-day, should hopefully cause

>> a re-examination of this convenient untruth.


>On the other hand, dealing with that will only require a timezone

>adjustment every ten years or so, which is perfectly tolerable.

Let me put it this way. In the distant past there were only 86399 SI
seconds in a day. Do we say today that there are 86399s with a leap
second per day to bring it up to 86400s? Or do we simply say that
there are 86400s per day?

>On the gripping hand, that will be tens of thousands of years in the

>future, by which time the Gregorian calendar will no longer accurately

>reflect the ratio between the length of the year and the length of the


Agreed. Which is to say that that the "quadratic blow out" in leap
seconds is a specious argument which should be rejected.

Mark Calabretta

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