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View Poll Results: Should the US switch to metric units?
Yeah, ASAP!! 71 73.96%
I dunno. Let me think about it. 7 7.29%
Now why would anyone use the metric system? 18 18.75%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:39 AM   #111 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
The funny part is that even Europe isn't fully converted to metric
And it goes well beyond the ratchets.
We still use inches for plumbing and the like.
This is an important point. You can say all (or certainly most) cars are metric now. But that makes some sense in that most cars are internationally produced, they don't last more than a decade before they are scrapped, and the manufacturers would prefer we buy new ones even sooner than that.

But most people don't replace their plumbing every decade. Or the studs in their walls. Or lots of other things that are not metric based. American precision machining of steel parts used to be the standard and envy of the world (in quality, if nothing else) - and much of such machinery, tooling and parts are still widely in use today, and not exclusively in America.

There would be much profit to be made in scrapping it all and imposing obsolescence to serve a different standard. But why? To accommodate who? For what purpose?

It begs the ultimate questions: Who will pay? And who will benefit?

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:15 PM   #112 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Unless we assume that a pace is two steps, but then we get into binary systems
Yes, a pace is two steps, and binary is the wave of the future :-)
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:41 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Much as I despise Imperial measures, it's awfully difficult to write poetic prose using liters and meters.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:57 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Or philosphy:

John Michell; A Defence of Sacred Measures
Quote:
Sacred measures are those units which relate to natural constants on more than one scale and demonstrate the unity between the macrocosmic body of the universe and the human microcosm. The present British units, the foot, mile, acre etc, are by this definition sacred; the metric units are not. The origins of the two systems and the implications in their use are contrasted in the following paragraphs.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:45 AM   #115 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
That makes all the meters go red!
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It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

Last edited by RedDevil; 12-14-2015 at 03:58 AM.. Reason: iPad smileys don't show on other devices, apparently.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:49 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
That makes all the meters go red! 😀
I dunno... I think he has a good point in that English units are often a lot handier to use for everyday things than metric. A mile? Well, that's a thousand paces (straight from the Romans), so anyone who can keep count can figure out how far they've walked. A cup is a handy size for something to drink out of, dividing things by halves is easier than tenths, sixes and dozens pack much nicer than fives and tens...
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Old 12-13-2015, 02:10 PM   #117 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I dunno... I think he has a good point in that English units are often a lot handier to use for everyday things than metric. A mile? Well, that's a thousand paces (straight from the Romans), so anyone who can keep count can figure out how far they've walked. A cup is a handy size for something to drink out of, dividing things by halves is easier than tenths, sixes and dozens pack much nicer than fives and tens...
Only if you are used to English units.
For those who grew up using metric it combines usability with logic. A liter of water weighs one kilogram and its volume is 0.001 cubic meter. Easy.

Before old Nappy laid down the lines every country had its own measures and they were all different. The meter is based on 1/10,000,000 of the distance between the north pole and the equator, as measured over the surface.
So nobody 'owns' it, it is a property of our planet.
So much less quirky than the 'average' length of a collection of medieval feet.
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It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:19 PM   #118 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Only if you are used to English units.
For those who grew up using metric it combines usability with logic.
Nope. How many strides in a kilometer? What fraction of a liter is that coffee cup on your desk?

As for being properties of the planet, have you ever walked from equator to pole? If not, then you have no way of relating to the meter, do you? (Except that it's just about the distance to your outstretched fingertip, if you're an average-sized adult male, and what else is a yard?) So the "natural" relations of all the other units fall apart. Likewise, the logic is only logical if you somehow convince yourself that the decimal system was somehow ordained by natural law, rather than the happenstance of humans having 10 fingers. Sure, it's useful for some things, but there are times when binary (halves, quarters, etc) or duodecimal (sixes and dozens) are far more convenient.

Consider the waste involved in shipping & storing 5-packs of beer or soda, for instance.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:44 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:46 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Gentlemen! Do not spoil such wonderful thread with pointless flamewar, please. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but they are just tools. Tools so people can talk to each other. What is sad is to give it away for mere profit, but i can imagine politicians do not want more conversion faults. (was it Climate Orbiter?). It all reminds me taxi drivers revolt against Uber or destroying the machines in 18. century. Shift happens. You may delay it, but it will happen eventually.

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