[tz] tzdb under the ASIS&T microscope

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sat Mar 16 23:14:41 UTC 2019

tzdb was the subject of an academic study published at the most recent annual 
meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology:

Hauser E. UNIX time, UTC, and datetime: Jussivity, prolepsis, and 
incorrigibility in modern timekeeping. Proc ASIS&T. 2018;55(1):161-70. 

For those of us not into the lingo, "jussivity" refers to how much a word or 
concept commands or exhorts us, and is related to the jussive mood of verbs in 
some languages. For example in the Latin phrase "doceas iter" ("teach the way") 
in the Aeneid, the mood of "doceas" means that people ought to teach the way. 
"Prolepsis" refers to foreshadowing, as in a proleptic calendar that is 
projected backward into the past or projected into the future. "Incorrigibility" 
refers to the property of a belief that a person cannot give up; here, the idea 
is that tzdb provides its own grounds for truth and its users can't (and don't 
want to) correct tzdb.

As you can probably tell from my having to explain the words in the title, the 
tz mailing list was not the intended audience of this paper. Still, it can be 
amusing to see how outsiders see us.

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