Re: [LEAPSECS] floating prime meridian

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 23:11:40 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 31 Aug 2000, Rob Seaman wrote:

> > What re-education? Mostly either 1) they need to be re-educated about
> > leap seconds every time there is one, or 2) they have absolutely no
> > interest in the subject.
> Your number 1 and number 2 are the same issue. If they aren't going
> to care about the absence of leap seconds - why do they care about
> their current presence?

Because their unpredictability complicates the design of time software.
That's *my* interest.

> But every amateur astronomer on the planet will also be able to detect
> the effect after only a few years. Anyone navigating by traditional
> methods will have to know about the changes.

Why does navigator's time have to track civil time? The Jewish and
Muslim calendars track the Moon's synodic periods using their
months: the civil calendar abandoned that principle millennia
ago. Nobody complains about the secular drift of New Moon away
from the first of the month! People who are phase-of-the-moon-dependent
(which is a byword in the programming community for "flaky") do
the necessary computations themselves.

John Cowan                         
"[O]n the whole I'd rather make love than shoot guns [...]"
        --Eric Raymond
Received on Fri Sep 01 2000 - 19:27:36 PDT

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