Re: [LEAPSECS] independence day

From: John Cowan <cowan_at_CCIL.ORG>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 15:31:35 -0400

Rob Seaman scripsit:

> Why precisely, however, do you regret your inference? If my
> arguments were to be deemed specious, surely that would strengthen
> opposing arguments (or at least remove competing options).

Because I'm not dueling with you, but trying to communicate my point of
view. I regret, therefore, that I could not find better words
to do so.

("The fact that I was not dueling with [King] Argaven, but attempting
to communicate with him, was itself an incommunicable fact." --Genly Ai
in Ursula K. Le Guin's _Left Hand of Darkness_)

> >If the U.S. tied its legal time to the ITU, it could untie
> >it in future if that seems like a good idea.
> and later in reply to Markus Kuhn:
> >"Reader, suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member
> >of Congress; but I repeat myself." --Mark Twain (1882)
> You can't have it both ways. Either a prudent decision making
> process is being followed, or it ain't.

These are not contradictory. A good process *could* be followed; my
suspicion is that it won't be. Despite Torino, I currently trust ITU in
such matters more than I trust the oligarchy in control of my own country.

> 6) A time standard rooted in an ensemble of clocks, on the other
> hand, is subject to the vagaries of happenstance and history (like,
> say, another Napoleon). What price to ensure 24/7/365/600
> reliability? (I look forward to your riposte pointing out that the
> metric system emerged from the Reign of Terror :-)

Only in the sense that a revolution is a good time to change standards
of weights and measures (and money, as the U.S. did).

> >What is to prevent the IERS from issuing bogus leap second
> >announcements?
> Precisely the constraint that DUT1 < 0.9s. Precisely the fact that
> UTC is currently tied to an underlying physical phenomena common to all.

A self-imposed constraint, I think.

That you can cover for the plentiful            John Cowan
and often gaping errors, misconstruals,
and disinformation in your posts      
through sheer volume -- that is another
misconception.  --Mike to Peter
Received on Wed Jul 05 2006 - 12:31:54 PDT

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