Re: [LEAPSECS] A lurker surfaces

From: Zefram <zefram_at_FYSH.ORG>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2007 19:40:40 +0000

John Cowan wrote:
>I think that's over the top. Bureaucratically it is just too annoying
>if the large majority of people have a work shift that overlaps legal

Same for years too: the Roman calendar was naturally arranged so
that the annual period of growing and harvesting things was entirely
encompassed by the calendar year. Imagine how annoying it would be if the
summer overlapped the legal year end. Oh, wait: southern hemisphere.
Somehow they cope without a season zone offset six months from the
northern hemisphere.

Seriously, I think a work shift crossing days is a trivial matter.
Everyone will cope, just as they already cope with activities that span
midnight. Your diary page will be headed "2007-01-02/03" instead of
"2007-01-02". I don't see things getting much more difficult than that.

I have an idea what might precipitate the switch to UT, too. Part of the
acceptability of current timezones comes from the fact that geographically
nearby regions have fairly similar legal times, differing by only an
hour or two. The exception is in the Pacific, where a few islands
away the timezone differs by a whole day. People arrive a day late to
catch planes; there's a measurable economic cost to this difference.
I think Pacific airlines will be the first to give up on timezones,
and adopt UTC, so that the schedules are less confusing. Then people in
the region will gradually accept `airline time' for everyday purposes,
and then it'll start to become official.

New Zealand was the first country to officially adopt a standard timezone
nationally (GMT+11:30, in 1868). Perhaps they'll also be the first to
switch to national use of UTC. (Not counting Morocco, for which UT is
a geographically natural timezone.) Welcome to Wellington, where office
hours are 21:30 to 05:30.

Received on Tue Jan 02 2007 - 11:41:14 PST

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