[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Mark Calabretta mcalabre at atnf.csiro.au
Wed Feb 9 20:22:07 EST 2011

On Wed 2011/02/09 11:44:14 PDT, Warner Losh wrote
in a message to: leapsecs at leapsecond.com

>The speculation on the list is that in the absence of a central

>authority, local governments will act as their people request when it is

>staying dark too late and parents can't get their kids to bed with the

>sun still shining, or have to drive to work in the dark too many days of

>the year.

Yes, it seems a likely response. The underlying assumption is
that people expect the Sun to be roughly overhead at noon to
within a tolerance of about an hour.

>There's a natural force here that pushes the governments,

>each at their own pace, to implement the change. Given this natural

>push, and the complete chaos of timezones today, it is natural to think

>this is a good solution to the problem.

Leaping timezones would be tenable if they all leapt at the same
time. However, I think we agree that that won't happen.

Currently the main chaotic element of timezones is concerned with
the start and end date of DST. The chaos is restricted to two
periods, sometime in autumn and spring, and it only amounts to one
hour to and fro.

Leaping timezones, each "at their own pace", can only add an extra
level of chaos, one that will eventually lead to multi-hour offsets
that continue to grow over time.

Mark Calabretta

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