Re: [LEAPSECS] Risks of change to UTC

From: Daniel R. Tobias <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2006 14:30:04 -0500

On 21 Jan 2006 at 10:11, M. Warner Losh wrote:

> I maintain that for human activity, there's no need for leap seconds
> at all. In each person's lifetime, the accumulated error is on the
> order of a few minutes. Over generations, the problems with noon
> drifting to 1pm can trivially be solved by moving the timezones that
> civilian time uses.

What about when that accumulated difference is over 24 hours, so the
offset between solar-based time and atomic time is actually on the
order of days? Will people be able to deal with a civil time
standard that is based on an offset from a "UTC" that says it's
Monday when all actual points on Earth have the local date at
Saturday or Sunday? Many Web sites (including Wikipedia) use UTC as
the standard for date/timestamps; will this be a reasonable thing
when this causes the date of postings to be far off from what is
being used locally? And when, at some future point, the Gregorian
calendar itself needs adjustment to handle the fact that it doesn't
get the length of the year precisely correctly (and the length of the
year in terms of solar days is changing due to the lengthening of the
day, anyway), will this adjustment be done to the UTC standard (why,
when it doesn't follow astronomy anyway?), or as an additional offset
to local times (which could result in different countries having
different dates as in the Julian/Gregorian transition period)?
== Dan ==
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Received on Sat Jan 21 2006 - 11:28:26 PST

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