Re: [LEAPSECS] Consensus rather than compromise

From: Rob Seaman <>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 11:01:52 -0700

On Aug 31, 2005, at 9:54 AM, M. Warner Losh wrote:

> : (running to their own little timezone not being good enough),
> Might I suggest that digs like this make rational discussions
> difficult?

I agree with the general sentiment - after six years we're all a bit
over sensitized and perhaps too willing to take shortcuts in both
reading messages and writing our own replies.

That said, irony does have a useful place in productive communication
- even in highly technical discussions. I have to agree with Ed
Davies' assessment of the mechanism being suggested. It does sound
like we are being encouraged to replace the worldwide timezone system
with the adoption of ad hoc local usage, perhaps down to the level of
municipalities and isolated mountaintops. In an extreme analysis,
the "fix it all in the timezones and leap hours" proposal amounts to
a return to nineteenth century practices of clock time diverging
between one railroad station and the next. I don't believe that
extreme would occur any more than you do, but this is the area of
phase space we're exploring at the moment. And if a standard were to
be implemented that relies on the tweaking of local timezones to
compensate for a drifting non-solar fundamental reference, it is not
remarkable to expect that mechanisms for avoiding the slapdash
creation of ad hoc timezones and for allowing the appropriate
tracking of historical timestamps would be considered in advance and
perhaps be implemented under the force of law.

It isn't sufficient for any of us simply to claim that our own pet
proposal has no negative ramifications and to leave it at that.

Rob Seaman
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Received on Wed Aug 31 2005 - 11:02:54 PDT

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