wikipedia "Leap Seconds" collaboration

From: Neal McBurnett <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 23:06:39 -0700

> Rob Seaman wrote:
> >>I hope we can all continue this discussion in a more positive manner.

It is the nature of email lists to be good at stimulating discussion,
and bad at generating clear resolutions. Thus was the FAQ born. But
we have a more modern technology than FAQs, the wiki, which can more
effectively funnel passionate energy from groups of people with
diverging ideas into coherent descriptions of a variety of viewpoints,
suitable for enlightening the world. Imperfectly, to be sure, but
better than a mail list....

I think the thing we need to do is build on what clarity we can find
in the moment, and document it at wikipedia. If the folks discussing
the "Jesus" article can arrive at a relatively stable set of positions
(and last time I looked, they had done remarkably well, considering),
surely we can also.

Note the relatively successful policy of presenting things from a
"Neutral Pointof View" (NPOV):

So would folks be willing to collaborate at

and related pages?


Neal McBurnett

On Sun, Jan 22, 2006 at 11:47:15PM +0000, Ed Davies wrote:
> >I'm of the opinion that messages on this list (no matter how
> >"tricky" :-) are always positive. Timekeeping is a fundamental
> >issue. It would be remarkable if there weren't diverse opinions.
> >Any negative aspects of this discussion are related to those who
> >don't choose to participate. Which is to say, those who claim to
> >have decision making authority over UTC at the ITU, for instance.
> >
> >The folks on this list appear to cluster into two groups (speak up if
> >your opinion diverges from both):
> >
> > 1) Civil time should remain layered on UTC. UTC should remain
> >largely unchanged. Leap seconds should continue.
> >
> >and
> >
> > 2) Civil time should be layered on some flavor of interval time.
> >That timescale might be a variation of TAI called TI. TI will not
> >have leap seconds.
> OK so far. Actually, I've yet to see any argument which would make
> me deeply unhappy with either of these outcomes.
> >The proposal submitted to the ITU is neither of these. It is:
> >
> > 3) Civil time should remain layered on UTC. UTC should be modified
> >to no longer be a useful approximation to "universal time". Leap
> >seconds will be issued 3600 at a time.
> >
> >You all know where I stand - but there are worlds of difference
> >between #2 and #3 as alternatives to #1. All three proposals face
> >the same looming quadratic emergency.
> Again, OK so far except perhaps a quibble that it seems to be widely
> expected that the leap hour probably would never happen.
> What bothers me about this discussion is that we don't seem to be
> able to get beyond bouncing backwards and forwards between 1 & 2.
> As soon as anybody puts up any proposal for further detail with
> respect to either of these possible outcomes almost all of the
> response comes back in the form of arguments for the other outcome
> rather than sensible discussion of the idea in itself.
> <joke>
> Maybe for the next little while we should assume one or other
> outcomes each week (1 in odd ISO 8601 numbered weeks, 2 in even
> numbered weeks) and carry on all the discussion in that context.
> </joke>
> Ed.
Received on Mon Jan 23 2006 - 00:07:05 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Sat Sep 04 2010 - 09:44:55 PDT