[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Tue Feb 8 09:55:43 EST 2011

Tony Finch wrote:

> the whole point of universal time is that it's the default timscale

> for civil use and only specialists should need anything else.

Seeking consensus, I said:

>> Stephen should add this to the consensus building list.

Tony said:

> Does that mean that you agree that its very tight coupling to earth

> rotation is a historical artefact rather than a necessary feature?


> i.e. "whole point" or "main point"?

I clarified in another message. (Also, note that "history" itself is often an affirmative argument and "artifactualness" is beside the point.)

Regarding your current question, I would personally assert:

Coupling civil timekeeping to Earth rotation is a necessary feature.

I suspect some others here might not be willing (yet) to promote this to "consensus" :-)

Phrases like "tight coupling" are misleading. The ITU position has only ever been to remove *all* coupling. On this list we have often discussed various ways to relax the current constraints. It is the ITU who have been inflexible.


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