Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus

From: John Cowan <cowan_at_CCIL.ORG>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 17:47:34 -0400

Rob Seaman scripsit:

> One might suggest that the accommodation between civil time and legal
> time is of more interest.

I'm not sure what you mean by "civil time" in this context. For some
people, civil time is synonymous with standard time; for others, it
means the time shown by accurate clocks in the locality. I try to
avoid it, therefore.

> The sun certainly came
> up on that day and rose the following day about 24 hours later.

Yes, but the day was labeled 1845-01-01 and the following day
was labeled 1845-01-02. There was no day labeled 1845-12-31 in
the Philippines. Consequently, the year 1844 had only 365 days
there, and the last week of 1845 lacked a Wednesday.

This was not a calendar transition, but a (drastic) time zone transition
involving moving the International Date Line to the east. (The IDL at
sea is a de jure line, but on land it is de facto and dependent on the
local times chosen by the various nations.)

> When they did that, what did they call it? "The day after December
> 30, 1844?" "Next Tuesday?" (Which begs the question, of course.)

They called it "New Year's Day" or "January 1, 1845" (in Spanish).

> In any event, the case you are basically making is that in throwing
> off the yoke of their colonial masters, the Philippines specifically
> chose that their legal time should match their civil time and that
> their civil time should agree with local solar time.

Not at all and by no means. Rather, it was Spanish America that had
ceased to be part of Spain; the Philippines switched to Asian time
because they were still a colony (and remained a Spanish colony until
1898 and an American one until 1946) and were no longer trading heavily
with the Americas; most of their trade was with the Dutch East Indies
and China, and it was commercially useful to share the same day.

Is a chair finely made tragic or comic? Is the          John Cowan
portrait of Mona Lisa good if I desire to see 
it? Is the bust of Sir Philip Crampton lyrical,
epical or dramatic?  If a man hacking in fury
at a block of wood make there an image of a cow,
is that image a work of art? If not, why not?               --Stephen Dedalus
Received on Mon Jun 05 2006 - 14:48:11 PDT

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