Re: [LEAPSECS] Accommodating both camps

From: Michael Deckers <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 16:50:59 +0000

   Poul-Henning Kamp wrote on 2006-01-25:

> If we abandon leapseconds today to avoid getting computer problems,
> we still have several hundred years of time to decide how to
> deal with any long term effects.

   I do not think so. When civil time is no longer connected to solar
   time (which is more than abandoning leap seconds!), then this affects
   legal and cultural issues all over the world, and a difference of a
   minute or so may well be relevant. Such a difference can accrue
   in 60 or 80 years.

   I am not just thinking of lawyers trying to exploit the difference
   between legal time in Britain (which is GMT) and the time scale
   disseminated by the NPL. What I find much more disquieting is first,
   that some problems may become apparent only very late, when the difference
   between TI and UT is large enough, and, secondly, that it appears to
   be very difficult to say which areas of daily life will be affected.

   On the other hand, I believe that most if not all of these problems
   will not be life-threatening -- whereas many of the problems with
   leap seconds and computers may well be. So this, rather than other
   technical merit may finally decide the question. But again, giving up
   leap seconds in UTC is not the same as accepting atomic time as civil

   Michael Deckers
Received on Wed Jan 25 2006 - 08:51:22 PST

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