pedagogically barren?

From: Steve Allen <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 13:41:14 -0700

On Tue 2003-06-03T17:41:50 +0100, Markus Kuhn hath writ:
> makes UTC the "GPS time". I'm not sure where terminological nitpicking
> will lead.

My point was that I believe the current list of offered solutions are
not wild enough. If the SRG had clout I would expect to see it
persuading the Galileo system to adopt TI = UTC at the time of launch,
and then I would expect to see them persuading the GPS maintainers to
switch GPS time to match that Galileo TI as a part of the next GPS W1K
rollover. Or I would expect to see them convincing Galileo to adopt
GPS time. Otherwise I would like them to be explaining why these are
not feasible.

Something that does seem obvious from the colloquium is that TAI is
absolutely, definitely doomed except as a historical footnote. Only
the Galileo system design argues for its continued notice by anyone.
That is not the result that I would have expected.

> If memory serves me right, this came out of William Klepczynski's talk,
> but I don't recall specific examples being given there. I hope the
> slides of all the talks will be posted at some point.

If only PowerPoint presentations are posted in the absence of detailed
written arguments and references to published discussions then the
colloquium is pedagogically and archivally barren. Nobody who was not
there can benefit from it.

> Ron Beard's view on this was that we should at present focus on
> technical needs and technical difficulties. Legal needs and legal
> difficulties should be discussed later and separately by lawyers and law
> makers and can in this particular case probably be solved fairly easily
> by updating the relevant legislation to catch up with technical
> developments.

At their day jobs most of the SRG seem more deeply involved with
technology than with pedagogy and dialectics. This is certainly a
noble (and possibly even a Nobel) cause, but as they say here in Santa
Cruz, legislators and their constituencies will want to "Question
Authority". This is especially so if it means their garden sundials
will diverge and their descendants will be handed a problem to solve.

> Just look at the sorry state of the use of SI
> units in United States legislation to get the idea.

We do use SI units. 1 (international) inch is defined to be 0.0254 m.
This is accomplished permanently without causing grief or needing
anyone ever to notice. Inexorably changing the time of noon is not
the same. That will require significantly more legislative attention,
persuasive justification, and refutation of rebuttals. Nothing of
this sort has not been forthcoming so far.

Steve Allen          UCO/Lick Observatory       Santa Cruz, CA 95064      Voice: +1 831 459 3046
PGP: 1024/E46978C5   F6 78 D1 10 62 94 8F 2E    49 89 0E FE 26 B4 14 93
Received on Tue Jun 03 2003 - 13:41:31 PDT

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