I am having some trouble understanding what exactly
00:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), 1 January 1970 means.
Below are two possible ways to interpret
00:00:00 according to my understanding, or rather, according to my confusion:
- a point in time of zero duration, functioning as a divider between days. Under such a definition, being a divider, it belongs to no day, falls on no day in particular, and is rather defined not by a single day but rather by the two days it divides, so
00:00:00 1 January 1970doesn't make sense. What would make sense under this definition would be to say 00:00:00 between 31 December 1969 and 1 January 1970, or simply (since that's redundant) the point in time between 31 December 1969 and 1 January 1970.
- an interval in time having a duration of 1 second starting from the beginning of 1 January 1970 and ending 1 second later. Under the second definition
00:00:00 1 January 1970makes sense but then the concept of seconds elapsed since
00:00:00 UTC, 1 January 1970doesn't make sense as you can't measure distance from an interval but only from a point. Unless what we really mean (under this definition) is seconds elapsed since the beginning of
00:00:00 UTC, 1 January 1970I.e. since the beginning of the interval denoted by
00:00:00 UTC, 1 January 1970.
Based on the answers I received I think the correct way to view it is a point in time of zero duration that by convention indicates the earliest point in time in the day next to which it appears. Yet I am not fully convinced that this is a rigorous definition. It's like defining 1 to be the lowest number in the set [1, 2). It's a circular definition as the duration of the day is itself defined using the
00:00:00 point in time. Maybe I am indeed reading too much into it.