[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Tue Feb 8 16:11:17 EST 2011

On 02/08/2011 13:55, Rob Seaman wrote:

> Warner Losh wrote:


>> The current ITU proposal would have the effect of moving the coupling of the Earth's rotation from the time that is broadcast (now called UTC) to the timezones that local governments promulgate.

> This would be chaos for anyone needing to compare timestamps in different locales and eras. If a simple table of second-scale adjustments is deemed unacceptable, how about squabbling over timezone policies for many thousands of nations, provinces, states and cities? The point is that the common UTC makes these negligible now, but wouldn't later because it is being demoted to take the place of TAI.

How would it be any different than today? Every few hundred years, the
government moves the time zone. Heck, they do that now every few years
anyway. Each government would be able to move it as they saw fit, or
follow other government's leads. If the US move and Canada doesn't,
then what's the harm?

>> While not explicitly stated in the proposal something like this would naturally happen every few hundred years.

> There is nothing natural about it and whatever plan is developed the ITU should explicitly include massive issues like this in the process.


> The ITU has no plan. The ITU has performed nothing that even vaguely resembles due diligence.

I don't disagree that there's no plan. In the absence of a plan people
will say 'it is staying light too late, we need to adjust the timezone,'
which is why Arizona doesn't follow DST: when they did, people didn't
like it so they adjusted (or rather asked the Department of Commerce to
allow them to do it, since DoC is what sets the timezones in the US).

>> I'd be willing to agree that "Coupling of Civil time to the earth is required."

> Great! Consensus!


>> Coupling of the successor to UTC isn't required, or at least there's not consensus that it is required.

> As there is no consensus that it isn't required...


> Rob


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