Re: Before Now

Dan Fabulich (
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 22:50:04 -0800

Eugene Leitl wrote:

> I agree that we need a new calendar. However, for purely technical
> reasons. I'd like to be able to specify an event in spacetime,
> anywhen, anywhere, with the highest prossible precision, period.

Relativity gets our way, unfortunately. Perhaps you've heard of the
famous experiment where two atomic clocks are perfectly synchronized,
then you take one of them in a jet and fly a good distance at
some mach coefficient, only to land and find that the two clocks are
minutes off?

To make this work to the accuracy you'd like, we'd have to pick an
official central reference point, universally declared to be the
location and time by which to compare all other reference frames moving
at whatever speed in relation to our magic focus.

And where would you have this spot? The earth's spinning around the
sun, the sun is whirling off into space; and I don't even want to
THINK about what space is doing. ;)

All of this is pretty insignificant when you talk about our day to day
lives. The gross approximations we use for time zones are perfectly
acceptable for keeping schedules and business meetings in New York while
video-conferencing in Los Angeles, but when you're talking about the
precision of atomic clocks, it starts to matter.

Really, I don't see a purpose for a new calendar or timing system. I
mean, sure, you can call the measuring system outdated, but you're
really not making much of a statement by trying to switch units, IMHO.

-He who laughs last thinks slowest-