Re: [LEAPSECS] Monsters from the id

From: Rob Seaman <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:29:28 -0700

On Jan 12, 2006, at 10:07 PM, John Cowan wrote:

> If local 0000 is the middle of the night, the practical
> requirements of legal time are pretty much satisfied.

And the point I'm making is that you can't shift timezones at will to
accomplish this without creating seams in legally realized time.
Just making the dark "stay put" would result in ambiguous
timekeeping. Daylight saving time layered on solar locked standard
time is a different thing from attempting to use an overtly similar
mechanism to compensate for the misappropriate substitution of
interval time for solar time.

> There will be no catastrophic collapse, just a gradual local
> adjustment as needed.

What starts out as "gradual" (also known as "ignored completely")
will end in the same familiar quadratic rush. Nothing about your
notion mitigates this.

>> It may not sound like it, but I am willing to be convinced otherwise
>> - but you'll have to do a lot better than rivaling the scant length
>> of the ITU proposal. How about a detailed scenario of exactly how
>> you see this working for a couple of neighboring but distinct local
>> timezones? What is the precise mechanism that might be used?
> A sovereign country will notice that there is too much discrepancy
> between solar time and legal time to be comfortable: perhaps kids are
> waiting for school buses in the dark, as happened in the U.S. in 1974.
> The country will then adjust its legal time, perhaps in coordination
> with its neighbors, perhaps not.

That's 54 words (counting "U.S." as two) versus 138 (not expanding
acronyms) for the ITU proposal. You and PHK can do better. How
about the broad outline of a complete (if informal) proposal covering
all the issues that have been raised?

>> Rather, civilian users deserve as good or better a timescale as the
>> technical users (who ultimately can take care of themselves).
> Good for what? (This is not a rhetorical question.)

Let's start a list of uses of civil timekeeping! Folks are
encouraged to add to the list:

1) provide a system for uniquely sequencing historical events
2) allow events in distant lands to be compared for simultaneity
3) avoid disputes over contractual obligations
4) minimize the potential for political disagreements
5) satisfy religious requirements
6) keep it dark near 00:00 and light near 12:00
7) support educational goals ("Yes Virginia, the universe actually
makes sense.")
8) allow coal miners to aspire to be amateur astronomers
9) permit the construction of sundials - public clocks with no moving
10) tie an individual's first breathe on her first day to her last
breathe on her last day

I fear Im afraid were dreadfully lost Im afraid!

Rob Seaman (for Rudolph Yaber)
Received on Thu Jan 12 2006 - 22:29:51 PST

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