[tz] Moving more zones to 'backzone'

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Thu Aug 18 23:07:57 UTC 2022

    Date:        Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:38:26 +0100
    From:        "Clive D.W. Feather" <clive at davros.org>
    Message-ID:  <Yv5O4iwq0A5stFUp at davros.org>

  | On Tuesday you wrote:


  | | All that we'd require is evidence that there's someone setting the time
  | | in some region, which people in the area actually use
  | And I've been working with that.

But you've done nothing which would provide any believable evidence.

Do you believe that I control the time in the UK, merely because I
recite a copy of the UX time acts and claim that I hereby annouce
that by my authority that is the time in the UK?

Even if I demonstrate that everyone (or almost all of them) are actually
setting the clocks the way that I said they should?

That's absurd.

So were your examples.

On the other hand, when the British parliament does exactly what I just
said I could do, we do accept that they control the time in the UK.

Do you see any difference between the two?

  | Why does it need to be different?

Because that's one of the ways that you can demonstrate that the
people using you as the authority for the time are actually doing
that (actually, that it is you is irrelevant, tzdb zones define the
fact of a timezone being in use, not its origins, except maybe in some

Otherwise we're likely to assume that your street are using British
time because it is British time, legislated by Parliament, and not
because you said that your street should do so, don't you think?

  | So if I sit down and write that, and one other person says that's what
  | they're using to set their watch, then I have demonstrated that I'm an
  | authority. Right?

No.   You can get people to say almost anything, if it seems harmless
for them to do so, particularly if there's some kind of reward involved.
You need to get them to do something different than they would otherwise

To take an analogous example from another field.   Say you're at a magic
show, and there's one of those stage hypnotists.  He (or she) proceeds to
prove that they can hypnotise people, and does that with the usual swinging
whatever which the audience is instructed to watch, along with the usual
soothing banter.   The hypnotist then proclaims the whole audience is now
hypnotised, and instructs everyone to remain for as much of the rest of the
show as they like, then leave, and go on with their life as normal.   And
everyone does.   Proof of hypnosis working?   Does it change anything if
someone from the audience claims that yes, they were hypnotised?

  | > That's just grandstanding.
  | Yes. But it's what you've been saying.

No, it isn't, it is the way you have been misinterpreting what I am saying.
Perhaps I'm not as clear as I could be (many of these messages originate
in the early hours of the morning, I'm half asleep already).

  | You need to actually define "authority",

Yes, that's what I am trying to do.

  | at which point you're smack bang
  | back into politics, which is what we need to avoid.

That's impossible.   All politics means in this sense is that people
disagree about what is right.   Doesn't matter what the rules are,
some people will either disagree with the rule, or with its application.

I do understand that some people cannot tolerate being asked to justify
a decision they have made, so can only operate when in an environment
where there are rules that tell them exactly what they have to do at
every step, and leave no room at all for discretion.   That's what usually
leads to abominable operations, as it is very rare for anyone to be able
to imagine all the possible future scenarios that may arise when they write
the rules, and leads to "it's no-one fault, everyone did what they were
supposed to do, it is just the system" type excuses for abject failure.
That's not the kind of thing I feel inclined to be a part of.

  | You also need to demonstrate where Eucla gets its "authority" from and why
  | I don't have the same "authority".

You do.   They changed the time they operate in, that's the demonstration
of their authority (and it has lasted decades).   All you need to do is
do the same thing.

  | Unless you're basing it *ONLY* on the fact that time in real use is
  | different. At which point you're agreeing with my position.

No, that's one way to demonstrate authority.   As I understand it, Eire
and the UK operate under the same timezone rules, right?   From that would
you accept (would anyone) that Eire is under the authority of the British
Parliament?  (or vice versa).   That is, that because the times are the
same there must be just one authority?

They each clearly have the authority to alter the time if they see fit.  All
countries do, or almost all, Australia doesn't in general, the Australian
states do instead.   Maybe there are others like that.   There is more than
one kind of authority.   Similarly whether you regard Palestine or Kosovo
(or others similar) as countries or not, it is clearly indisputable that they
have the authority to alter the time in their region of control.   Palestine
has done do (I think) Kosovo has not.   That alters nothing - they could, and
we know they could - which means giving them a zone prepares everyone for
when that happens, if it does, and does not require endless end stations to
be reconfigured, just updated.

  | I don't know what time Sealand, the world's smallest micronation, runs on,
  | but it meets that description.

Then we give it a tzdb entry.

  | But you're going in circles. You're saying that someone demonstrates they
  | can change the time by changing the time.

No, I am not.   I was talking (writing) mostly about how you would do it
in your street, and I think I might have once said that your other option
was to have the British Parliament delegate control over the time in your
street, to you - that would be another way to get a Europe/Dalek_High_Street
zone created, without actually changing the time.   Good luck.

  | > I don't think it is a good idea to encourage
  | > that kind of idiocy, do you?    The current rules do.
  | We don't seem to have had that problem so far.

No, we don't - but that's largely because (almost) everyone able to
control the time has a zone already.   That's because of the (now abandoned
apparently) policy that all countries get at least one zone.   (IMO countries
never was the right designation, that invites other peoples problems to
descend upon us, which we don't need - but something to the same effect is
the right way).

New countries don't appear all that often, so there has been very little
need to be concerned about that.

But once politicians discover that their country has been downgraded to
appear as subservient to their neighbour, and that they can easily fix that
by making a relative harmless alteration to their time rules, can't you
imagine some of them being very tempted - and once one or two make it happen,
successfully (remember, your objective seems to be mindless following of the
written guidelines - which means a new zone whenever times differ after 1970,
and you apparently want no room for discretion - that would invite politics)
isn't it likely that lots of others would jump on the bandwagon.   We're
talking about politicians here remember, the kind of person who'd love to
be designated as the Saviour of XXXland's timezone.


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