Re: [LEAPSECS] the tail wags the dog

From: James Maynard <james.h.maynard_at_USA.NET>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 06:43:28 -0800

Rob Seaman wrote:
> On Jan 24, 2006, at 12:50 AM, Peter Bunclark wrote:
>> I don't think Rob meant the above to be a complete course on
>> navigation!
> ...although as a fan of Patrick O'Brian I am qualified not only to
> teach navigation, but also the violin and Catalan. You should see me
> in a Bear costume.
>> Good example of a timekeeping decision made by a (very tiny)
>> minority over the majority.
> The issue here is the meaning of the preposition "over". It is not
> unusual for we anointed of Hephaestus (the god of dweebs) to be
> placed in the position of making decisions for others - who may not
> even be aware an important issue is being considered. The more
> fundamental question is whether the requirements of the majority are
> properly considered and given appropriate weight.
>> How nice indeed, it would be, if the months were fixed to match
>> lunations.
> Quadratic despair still lurks, of course, since the month is
> lengthening for exactly the same reason as the day. Well, despair
> would be lurking if we tried to match the length of the month (a
> natural phenomenon) to an SI unit (such as the second).
> Rob
The problem is not that the SI second is not based on a natural
phenonemon (it is), but that the periods of the various natural
phenonema (rotations of the earth about its axis revolutions of the
earth about the sun, revolutions of the moon around the earth, etc.) are
both incommensurate and changing.

James Maynard
Salem, Oregon, USA
Received on Tue Jan 24 2006 - 06:43:55 PST

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