1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

The Metric System... Why not?

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Affairs' started by ElasticNinja, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    183
    Posts:
    4,488
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010

    Aug 29, 2010
    4,488
    472
    183
    Student
    Cork City, IMF, EU
    Given that the US is one of only three countries still officially using the imperial measurements system.. can anyone outline reasons to keep it (or nuke it...)
    seems odd that the most technologically advanced country on Earth still uses such a backwards system.
     

    Advertisement

  2. batgeek

    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    93
    Posts:
    752
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010

    Sep 4, 2010
    752
    175
    93
    Systems Engineer
    Suffolk, VA
    or maybe we can just continue to use both. /shrug
     
  3. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    Moderator
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    2,043
    Posts:
    20,549
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009

    Aug 1, 2009
    20,549
    17,001
    2,043
    Male
    Mobile phone retail
    Inverness, UK
    Firstly, maybe there's no reason to change? How about a population of several billion, plus the infrastructure to support it, which are used to the system? Or the enormity of the task of switching over? I can still remember how much pain the UK went through in going metric, and our population was only circa 5 million.
     
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
    Rank:
     #4
    Points:
    3,238
    Posts:
    25,094
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010

    Sep 22, 2010
    25,094
    14,055
    3,238
    Teachaaa
    Jinan, China
    The UK done it in a half baked manner, even though metrification took place back in the '70s. One fills up the car with diesel or petrol in litres, yet drive in miles-per-hour(MPH), and all the road signs are in yards. One buys milk by the litre, yet one still buys beer by the pint

    They should have gone either completely metric, Ireland and Canada, or just not bothered at all, USA.
     
    Member243850 likes this.
  5. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    183
    Posts:
    4,488
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010

    Aug 29, 2010
    4,488
    472
    183
    Student
    Cork City, IMF, EU
    better education
    but most are also familiar with the meticulous system too - only a few hundred million aren't
    has to be fone sooner or later
     
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
    Rank:
     #4
    Points:
    3,238
    Posts:
    25,094
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010

    Sep 22, 2010
    25,094
    14,055
    3,238
    Teachaaa
    Jinan, China
    Metric mishap caused loss of NASA orbiter - CNN

    'CNN NASA lost a 125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agencys team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation, according to a review finding released Thursday.'

    ....maybe not such a good idea to use both. The idiom 'singing from the same hymn sheet' comes to mind here.
     
  7. Dark Jedi

    Dark Jedi Guest
    Rank:
    None
    Posts:
    0
    Joined:

    We tried to convert to the metric system back in the 70's during what the carter years and even had one city some where convert totally to the metric system. The kids had no problem doing the metric measurements but it was the adults that had the problems and most was just to lazy to learn a new method.

    Like they say cant teach an old dog new tricks.

    I think we should go to the metric system. I would guess it would make foreign trading a lot easier?
     
  8. batgeek

    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    93
    Posts:
    752
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010

    Sep 4, 2010
    752
    175
    93
    Systems Engineer
    Suffolk, VA
    don't blame the system, blame the individuals.

    one would think attention to detail would be of huge importance at NASA...

    silly old me just working on my truck, and have no problem differentiating when i need to use a metric tool or a standard tool.
     
  9. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    843
    Posts:
    19,535
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010

    Jul 9, 2010
    19,535
    4,045
    843
    Male
    Engineer
    'neath a cactus
    Funny thing is that within some parts of the U.S. Government conversion to the metric system is still on-going...

    http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/metric/upload/1136a.pdf
     
  10. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    233
    Posts:
    4,836
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010

    Sep 24, 2010
    4,836
    806
    233
    We are the most technologically advanced country on earth, and yet we somehow make the system work.

    We must keep it because we still have need for it; a set of Snap-On Metric Tools would do me no good. But we must change to some degree because the metric system is being forced upon us.

    Bob
     
  11. Knewz

    Knewz Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    821
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010

    Oct 22, 2010
    821
    72
    78
    Tech
    Georgia
    reasons to keep? cause this is america. we dont change we just keep doing something until everyone else starts doing it too.
     
    stonehenge1861 likes this.
  12. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    183
    Posts:
    4,488
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010

    Aug 29, 2010
    4,488
    472
    183
    Student
    Cork City, IMF, EU
    yes but every country CHANGED from the imperial system to SI/Metric
    only Burma [:rolleyes:], Liberia [:eek:], and the USA continue to officially use them
     
  13. cjr72

    cjr72 Android Enthusiast
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    43
    Posts:
    292
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010

    Jul 30, 2010
    292
    43
    43
    I think the US' difficulty in switching over to the metric system is in part a symptom of our federal system. It makes top-down wholesale changes difficult, for better or worse.
     
  14. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    843
    Posts:
    19,535
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010

    Jul 9, 2010
    19,535
    4,045
    843
    Male
    Engineer
    'neath a cactus
    But that, in and of itself, does not make metric the better measurement system. It's already been stated that the U.K. also continues to use both systems (dispensing gasoline by the liter but beer by the pint).

    Here in the U.S. both systems are also used. Speedometers list both miles and kilometers per hour. And if I walk into a market to purchase a bulk quantity of a popular soft drink I can end up with a plastic bottle holding 2 liters of that particular beverage. Alcohol is frequently sold in fifths which translates to a fifth of a gallon/750 milliliters. Medication is commonly dispensed in MG's (milligrams) or CC's (cubic centimeters).

    The U.S. continues to move slowly towards the metric system. But when you have to re-educate over 300 million people, conversion takes time (especially when many are resistent to the change).
     
  15. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    183
    Posts:
    4,488
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010

    Aug 29, 2010
    4,488
    472
    183
    Student
    Cork City, IMF, EU
    with all respect, metric is definitely the better system without a doubt
    the imperial is not logical and is based on the sizes of object, and does not follow the 10 system
     
    Member243850, MonmouthDroid and cjr72 like this.
  16. Crude

    Crude Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    143
    Posts:
    1,152
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009

    Nov 26, 2009
    1,152
    129
    143
    Nexusville
    Lets just leave things alone for now. If Obama gets a second term he can show that down our throats too....;)
     
  17. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    843
    Posts:
    19,535
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010

    Jul 9, 2010
    19,535
    4,045
    843
    Male
    Engineer
    'neath a cactus
    If metric is so much better than imperial Shadow, why do parts of Ireland and England still use some imperial measurements?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/11/world/europe/11iht-metric.4.7465265.html

    Unless I'm mistaken, people don't yet walk into a pub and order 568 milliliters of beer. They order pints.

    It's likely to expect that at some point in the indeterminate future, all nations will move to the metric system. Till that day comes we'll continue to support multiple systems of measurement just as we support different languages, different currencies, and different idiologies.
     
    EarlyMon likes this.
  18. Ichapp

    Ichapp Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    36
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011

    Mar 3, 2011
    58
    7
    36
    The reason for this is that they, like the US, are rather resistant to the massive infrastructure change. The metric system is better because it is intuitive, and being structured on base ten, much less arbitrary than the imperial system.

    The best example I can think of to illustrate this would be to look at something simple, like basic units of distance, like feet, miles, metres and kilometres. I can quite easily tell you that there are one thousand metres in every kilometre, but I would have to look up how many feet are in a mile. After doing so, I can say that the number is 5280. (Note that my inability to pull this fact without aid is due to my education always consisting of the metric system and never learning the imperial system. I fully realize that there are hundreds of millions of people who find this task trivial.) To me, five thousand two hundred eighty seems a little bit arbitrary and hard to remember.
     
    MonmouthDroid and ElasticNinja like this.
  19. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    233
    Posts:
    4,836
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010

    Sep 24, 2010
    4,836
    806
    233
    The metric system is racist.

    Also, which metric system do we use? There are 12 different metric systems used world wide and an inch can be measures 23.34 mm or 32.85 mm depending on the particular system you use.
     
    ElasticNinja likes this.
  20. Ichapp

    Ichapp Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    36
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011

    Mar 3, 2011
    58
    7
    36
    At this point I'm finding it difficult to tell whether you are presenting your honest perception of these matters or knowingly posting untruths and misinformation in an attempt to stir the kettle and elicit from readers a negative reaction. If it is the former, I would ask that you point me to some source that corroborates your claims, as after a few quick Google searches, I was unable to find anything of the sort.

    As for the question you posed, we use the International System of Units, often abbreviated to SI. One of the main attractive features of SI is the almost total independence of any artifacts. Every base SI unit save for the kilogram have been redefined using fundamental physical properties which can be reproduced in adequately equipped laboratories. There are attempts being made to do the same with the kilogram.

    With this amount of standardization, your claim that an inch varies so much can only be due some fault of the inch and its measurement system. I found reference to a disparity between the international foot and the survey foot, though this difference is nowhere near the magnitude that you suggest.

    tl;dr The internet is serious business.
     
  21. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    843
    Posts:
    19,535
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010

    Jul 9, 2010
    19,535
    4,045
    843
    Male
    Engineer
    'neath a cactus
    Not really! Speaking for myself I've had 50 years of experience with feet and miles and knowing that a mile is 5280 feet is pretty well ingrained in my brain. And if you want to make it even more interesting we can discuss nautical miles which are actually 6076 feet or 1852 meters.

    The metric system has inherent value, of that I have no doubt, but, in my personal opinion, the metric system tends to be more logical to those born and raised in it. To those of us born and raised around the imperial measurement system a meter is roughly equivalent to a yard (3.2 feet). A kilometer is roughly 3200 feet or about 60% of a mile.
     
  22. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    233
    Posts:
    4,836
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010

    Sep 24, 2010
    4,836
    806
    233
    Well, I think I was just being silly.

    I occasionally joke around to lighten the night. Also, I had a few very nice whiskeys. Bad combination. Anyway, I am surprised that you actually asked Mr. Google if a) the metric system was actually racist, and b) that there are different metric systems out there.

    I never post untruths. Well, this one was, but if you review my posts, you will discover that I have passion and I am seldom wrong about what I post. So no untruths here. Also, I never, EVER knowingly post mis-information. Feel free to start the search.

    So lighten up and let me assure you that the metric system is not racist.

    Bob
     
  23. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    233
    Posts:
    4,836
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010

    Sep 24, 2010
    4,836
    806
    233
    Agreed. Odd that so many think we need to change to the metric system. Or perhaps I do not want to replace my tools. Anyway, I agree. The metric system is usefull in some cases.

    Like birthdays. My metric birthday is as follows:

    I am currently: 20 kDays + 198 days old.

    Next metric birthday when you turn 21 kDays old: Sat May 18 2013

    10th metric birthday was Wed Apr 6 1983
    20th metric birthday was Sun Aug 22 2010
    30th metric birthday is Thu Jan 7 2038
    40th metric birthday is Mon May 25 2065

    Metric Birthday

    I expect gifts.

    Bob
     
  24. Ichapp

    Ichapp Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    36
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011

    Mar 3, 2011
    58
    7
    36
    That's completely fair and I did point out that there are those of you who use and are completely familiar with these arbitrary numbers. But that doesn't change that they are just that: arbitrary. Why are there twelve inches to a foot? Why three feet to a yard? Why 1760 yards in a mile? Where did these numbers come from? The system is not intuitive like SI is. Base ten is the number system most commonly used, we may as well take advantage of this with our measurement system.

    And I completely understand your resistance to changing over. You've been indoctrinated in imperial for decades, much as I've been indoctrinated with metric. The places you live have used your system for at least a hundred years. Infrastructure has been based on the imperial system. Hell, here in Canada (a place where we officially use SI) there are relics of bygone days: head out into the country and it's divided up by mile roads, like a grid; buy a weigh scale and it tells you how many pounds you weigh; go to a bar and order a pint of beer or a double scotch on the rocks (shots are unstandardized but most accept them as each being one and a half ounces).

    I'm fine with all of these because it's the way I grew up and if any of it were to change overnight, I'd be a bit at a loss (and wonder how the hell anybody managed to move so many rural roads so quickly). Bob, you keep mentioning your set of tools: I don't mind your spanners and whatnot, but dear god, the slotted screw? Please tell me you hate these as much as I do.

    Being silly is fine, I just wasn't sure and as I indicated, the internet is serious business. I ignored the racist comment in regards to my Googling, and I'll take your word for the untruths (until you give me further reason to doubt your sanity :p).

    It is my hope that some day in the not-too-distant future we all switch completely to SI. It won't be easy, even for those of us who have supposedly already done so, but it's a good goal to take steps toward.
     
    ElasticNinja likes this.
  25. nunyazz

    nunyazz Android Enthusiast
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    98
    Posts:
    644
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010

    Sep 7, 2010
    644
    90
    98
    Not gunna happen, Just like we will never switch to the Euro.
     

Share This Page

Loading...