Re: [LEAPSECS] what should a time standard encompass?

From: John Cowan <jcowan_at_REUTERSHEALTH.COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 17:45:41 -0500 (EST)

Steve Allen scripsit:

> Yes, but the reasonable solution is to develop protocols that permit
> the distribution of as many different forms of time as are deemed
> useful, and then to educate time users to choose the time scale that
> suits them best.

I agree. However, civilians can only handle one timescale, and that is
civil time.

> It would be just as easy for a legislature to assert that TAI become
> the civil time standard.

It would deeply suck, however, for some to switch to TAI while others
remained on (the current definition of) UTC. Sometimes it's better to
change what a name refers to than to change the referring name.

After all, what is summer time but a gimmick to get people to go to work
earlier? Can you imagine the backlash from legislation that said "From
date X to date Y, all businesses, schools, etc. will open an hour earlier?"
No, it's easier to change the labels in such a case.

> Here be the crux. Some one or some agency is inevitably going to have
> to take the public risk of proclaiming this decision.

Right you are.

> Who are the parties making this decision? I suspect that they may
> indeed fear the ridicule of posterity, for they appear to be setting
> this process up as a multi-year initiative by multiple committees
> whose membership is obscure, meetings to attend, and minutes published
> in proceedings with low circulation and exorbitant price. It will be
> hard to blame anybody for whatever result happens.

One horselaugh is worth a thousand syllogisms.
        --H.L. Mencken

Her he asked if O'Hare Doctor tidings sent from far     John Cowan
coast and she with grameful sigh him answered that
O'Hare Doctor in heaven was. Sad was the man that word
to hear that him so heavied in bowels ruthful. All
she there told him, ruing death for friend so young,
algate sore unwilling God's rightwiseness to withsay.   _Ulysses_, "Oxen"
Received on Mon Jan 27 2003 - 14:45:50 PST

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