Re: "names for points in time"

From: <ut1-mail_at_ASTHE.COM>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 00:28:50 GMT

> But "names for points in time" can have a meaningful relationship
> to the flow of time in the physical universe without necessarily
> having anything to do with spatial-orientation-of-earth.

Yes, one can construct meaning out of non-spatial-orientation-of-earth
related "names for points in time". TAI is a nice time scale
that I'm rather fond of in certain aspects. :-)

But what should "carry the day" (pun intended) in terms of things
like civil time, UTC, etc?

> I think
> the historical fact that people used to treat the earth's rotation
> as the ultimate reference for the passage of time is not the most
> relevant factor in the determination of how we should measure time
> going forward, though history and tradition do need to be honored
> and not gratuitously thrown away.

Here we may have to agree to disagree a bit here.

Much of the driving force behind calendar/time reform has been driven
by increased understanding of the spatial orientation of the Earth.
This increased tie between "names for points in time" and "spatial
orientation of Earth" has been one of the fundamental factors behind
calendar/time reform for a very good reason: it mattered to key people.
And the vast majority of the rest put up with years not having
360 days, or lunar months nor staying in sync with the solar year,
mean solar vs local solar time, time zones, or leap days ... some
objected when these reforms were introduced (a few still object)
but most people have come around to the same idea.

Now we have some people who seem to dislike uncertainly, wanting to
reduce the relationship between names for points in time" and "spatial
orientation of Earth". I think it would be a unfortunate step backward
if our calendar/time became less tied to the "spatial orientation of
Earth", IMHO.

For those who feel that "names for points in time" should be less
tied to the "spatial orientation of Earth", use something TAI-like.
For those who have problems with the chaotic / complex motions of
things such as the Earth, use something TAI-like. For those who worry
about the unpredictable nature of leap seconds (or even anti-leap
seconds), use something TAI-like.

For me personally: my computers, and my precision clocks deal with
leap seconds rather well. And I have no problem with accepting that
future "names for points in time" are uncertain. I think that is a
fair cost for using a time scale that is tied into the "spatial
orientation of Earth".

All the above is just my humble opinion ... you opinion may vary.
I accept and respect that.

chongo () /\oo/\
Received on Thu Jan 30 2003 - 16:29:14 PST

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