[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Tue Feb 8 16:22:21 EST 2011

Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> Sometimes it is civil, sometimes it is military, most of the time it is corporate.

We have frequently debated vocabulary here. This is why I suggested a glossary would be a good idea.

"Civil timekeeping" has often been taken to mean something like "the common worldwide timescale underlying the timezones and serving manifold purposes for everybody excepts specialists (and often for them as well)". I reject the attempt to equate "civil timekeeping" with "the big mess of timezones administered by random governments worldwide including foibles like daylight saving". In particular, the only reason DST works is that we have standard time to fall back on, and the only reason the standard timezones work is that they have UTC to fall back on.

> And finally: The reason I react to your mantra about "best systems engineering practises" is that the time window for that is long past,

Rather, the window was never opened. The ITU has done nothing except pursue this one insipid initiative since day one and has trampled every effort at consensus. They ignored the results of the meeting at Torino in 2003 and they have refused to participate in this list.

System engineering is like quitting smoking. It's better if you start earlier, but starting late is better than never starting. Arguing that an inherently technical issue is best addressed by crappy engineering is - well - dumb.

Not to mention that the current standard is viable for centuries yet and any haste was artificially injected by the ITU themselves in the first place.

> "Politics is the continuation of systems engineering with different means".




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