Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus

From: John Cowan <cowan_at_CCIL.ORG>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 11:57:59 -0400

Rob Seaman scripsit:

> A schedule and a rule are the same thing, just regarded from
> different historical perspectives. The "leap day rule" will most
> certainly have to accommodate scheduling changes over the millennia.

Fair enough, but there is a huge difference in practical terms between
a rule that will work for at least the next six centuries and a rule
that will only work for the next six months (i.e. no leap second before

> On the other hand, I am sure we haven't exhaustively discussed
> possible refinements to the leap second "scheduling algorithm". (And
> ain't that a rule?)

I thought the whole point was that while we had a rather good prediction
of changes in the tropical year (viz. none), and therefore only have to
dink with the calendar when the current error of about 8.46 seconds/year
accumulates to an uncomfortably large value, there is simply no knowing,
in the current state of our geophysical knowledge, how the wobbly old
boulder in the sky is going to wobble next.

> The biggest difference between leap days and leap seconds is that
> days are quantized.

Can you expound on this remark?

They tried to pierce your heart                 John Cowan
with a Morgul-knife that remains in the
wound.  If they had succeeded, you would
become a wraith under the domination of the Dark Lord.         --Gandalf
Received on Mon Jun 05 2006 - 08:59:17 PDT

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