Re: [LEAPSECS] Time-of-day inventory (was: more media...)

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 12:54:04 -0400

Rob Seaman scripsit:

> Time-of-day is a concept that predates civilization. The sun rises - so
> do the cavemen. The sun sets - the men return to the cave.

But that was then and this is now. Let us suppose, to make the
calculation simple, that this is the equinox, and we will neglect that
"revolting little object", the equation of time. The scene is western
China, and the sun is rising. Are the locals rising too? Not they.
They are arriving at work, for the clock on the wall says 0900, and they
of course have been up for hours.

> Sure, we could just make a stab in the dark that nothing major might
> break and simply cut all the world's clocks loose from time-of-day.

They already are. The world's clocks, broadly speaking, indicate LCT,
and LCT shows secular deviations from LMT -- to say nothing of apparent
solar time -- that are already measured in tens of minutes, typically,
and hours in some places and seasons. (Or even a whole day; there are
many points on the globe at which LCT is not well defined.)

> I don't understand why the precision timing community is treating a
> fundamental change to their fundamental standard with less respect
> (or at least, attention) than a bug in a data structure.

The term "precision timing" is quite precisely equivocal between time-of-day
and interval time, however! To my mind, the fundamental standard is
the length of the SI second.

"Clear?  Huh!  Why a four-year-old child        John Cowan
could understand this report.  Run out
and find me a four-year-old child.  I 
can't make head or tail out of it."   
        --Rufus T. Firefy on government reports
Received on Thu Jul 24 2003 - 09:56:00 PDT

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