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    Re: Leap second on December 31
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2017 Jan 2, 10:05 -0800

    I described a straight-forward system for managing the offset in time that results from abandoning the leap second process: we wait until it accumulates to half an hour (which won't happen for centuries) and then assume that local and national governments will adjust their time zone and daylight time rules to remove the offset if they wish to do so.

    And Geoffrey, you replied:
    "Ah yes, this is the form of solution that falls into the class.... "Let's stop what we are doing as it is a minor inconvenience, and leave it to future generations to sort out the resulting problems, whatever they are.""

    Well, you could look at it another way: "Let's take power away from a team of bureaucrats who decide things for us and arbitrarily adjust the world's calendars, and let's put power back in the hands of local sovereign governments." Bureaucrats lose power. Sovereign peoples take back power... A crazy idea!

    See what I just did there??

    In any case, the idea that we are putting off dealing with time inconveniences until some later generation comes along is something that we have had in the English-speaking world since 1752. After all, adopting the Gregorian calendar eliminated the small inconvenience of calendar drift and replaced it with the long-term problem of centennial leap year rules. Arguably, John Hamilton Moore and his "New Practical Navigator" were victimized by this process. Maybe his descendants should sue! The difference, of course, is that the rules are fixed. And similarly, we have rules in place whereby regions, states, and countries, can shift their offset from Universal Time as they see fit. They do this now, today, in the 21st century. Who knows what cyber-future awaits us in 500 years. We surely can only dimly imagine. But what we can do is leave the choice up to those future people and their legislators to decide whether they're worried about an additional thirty-minute offset from solar time or not. We're not burdening them with a problem anymore than the Gregorian calendar burdened the citizens of the year 2000, in the far distant future when the calendar was designed, with the exotic 400-year rule for leap years. Inserting an hour is actually much easier than inserting a second. We do it every year in mid-northern latitudes...

    Frank Reed

       
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