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US switch to metric already?

mathdebator
Posts: 72
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7/2/2013 8:40:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
How long do you predict it will take? 50 years? 100 years? I live in the US and always use Celsius and kilometers myself. I even had the idea of gathering my town and making everybody agree to post a secondary speed limit sign in km/h. I think baby steps like that would work.
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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7/2/2013 10:03:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/2/2013 8:40:20 AM, mathdebator wrote:
How long do you predict it will take? 50 years? 100 years? I live in the US and always use Celsius and kilometers myself. I even had the idea of gathering my town and making everybody agree to post a secondary speed limit sign in km/h. I think baby steps like that would work.

We like our way of measurements an ours works for us just as yours works for you. So shutup and fvck off
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Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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7/2/2013 11:26:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Nah, it really is totally retarded. It's like the US wanted to get rid of everything except the absolute worst hangovers of British rule.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/2/2013 11:53:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
We tried to switch in the 80s (I think it was the 80s) and no one was on board. The American public was totally not interested. If we want to measure things in our sovereign state in our own system, we should be able to.
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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7/3/2013 3:19:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Oh sure, no dispute there. It's still a phenomenally dumb system though. Fahrenheit is mental.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/3/2013 3:33:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's a great SNL skit from the 80s about the "New Metric Alphabet". Couldn't find a clip on Youtube. But I promise it was funny.
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AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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7/3/2013 11:30:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The UK is nearly as bad / worse. Also, what about switching to base-12. ;)

People like what they're used to and hate change, even if it is better.

We should measure car power in KW, distance/speed Km and Km/s and we already use Celsius here.
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darkkermit
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7/3/2013 5:13:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Do you know how fvcking annoying it to constantly switch from metric to english units in engineering school. There are so many fcking units you have to keep track of.
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cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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7/3/2013 6:02:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/2/2013 11:26:58 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
Nah, it really is totally retarded. It's like the US wanted to get rid of everything except the absolute worst hangovers of British rule.

to you it is
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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7/3/2013 6:07:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 11:30:07 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
The UK is nearly as bad / worse. Also, what about switching to base-12. ;)

People like what they're used to and hate change, even if it is better.

We should measure car power in KW, distance/speed Km and Km/s and we already use Celsius here.

Switching to base 12 and the metric system? That's as bad as base 10 and the imperial system.. I think I prefer base 10 with the metric system though.
AlbinoBunny
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7/3/2013 6:44:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 6:07:11 PM, Enji wrote:
At 7/3/2013 11:30:07 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
The UK is nearly as bad / worse. Also, what about switching to base-12. ;)

People like what they're used to and hate change, even if it is better.

We should measure car power in KW, distance/speed Km and Km/s and we already use Celsius here.

Switching to base 12 and the metric system? That's as bad as base 10 and the imperial system.. I think I prefer base 10 with the metric system though.

All the same units (except they impregnated metric a little with the power of 10 I think) but just with milli as 12^-3, micro 12^-6 etc.
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AlbinoBunny
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7/3/2013 6:45:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 5:13:24 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Do you know how fvcking annoying it to constantly switch from metric to english units in engineering school. There are so many fcking units you have to keep track of.

LOL. Which ones?
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Enji
Posts: 1,022
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7/3/2013 9:00:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 6:44:31 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 7/3/2013 6:07:11 PM, Enji wrote:
At 7/3/2013 11:30:07 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
The UK is nearly as bad / worse. Also, what about switching to base-12. ;)

People like what they're used to and hate change, even if it is better.

We should measure car power in KW, distance/speed Km and Km/s and we already use Celsius here.

Switching to base 12 and the metric system? That's as bad as base 10 and the imperial system.. I think I prefer base 10 with the metric system though.

All the same units (except they impregnated metric a little with the power of 10 I think) but just with milli as 12^-3, micro 12^-6 etc.

If you're saying a base 12 metric system, then that's essentially an entirely new measurement system. It would arguably be more useful - benefiting from the advantages of base 12 and from the metric system - but due to the prevalence of base 10 and the metric system in science and most of the world, I don't think the longer-term benefits of such a change would outweigh the short-term costs.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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7/5/2013 11:25:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's hard to say, but I don't see the U.S. changing to metric any time soon because there is no compelling reason to do so. The main reason would be in manufacturing, but modern machine tools are programmable and don't have an inherent unit of measure. Common tools like thermometers and speedometers are also programmable. Possibly social pressure from communicating internationally will move the standard, but that doesn't seem effective.

The situation has some aspects similar to adopting English as a standard language. There is a lot more pressure to adopt English by people who have international contacts. I think that as automatic translation software gets better, that pressure will ease. Metric units are so specialized and the translation so easy that there isn't much pressure.
AlbinoBunny
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7/5/2013 12:05:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 9:00:30 PM, Enji wrote:
At 7/3/2013 6:44:31 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 7/3/2013 6:07:11 PM, Enji wrote:
At 7/3/2013 11:30:07 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
The UK is nearly as bad / worse. Also, what about switching to base-12. ;)

People like what they're used to and hate change, even if it is better.

We should measure car power in KW, distance/speed Km and Km/s and we already use Celsius here.

Switching to base 12 and the metric system? That's as bad as base 10 and the imperial system.. I think I prefer base 10 with the metric system though.

All the same units (except they impregnated metric a little with the power of 10 I think) but just with milli as 12^-3, micro 12^-6 etc.

If you're saying a base 12 metric system, then that's essentially an entirely new measurement system. It would arguably be more useful - benefiting from the advantages of base 12 and from the metric system - but due to the prevalence of base 10 and the metric system in science and most of the world, I don't think the longer-term benefits of such a change would outweigh the short-term costs.

If there weren't aspects such as Kg being a base unit (introducing a ratio of 1000), which does make sense in a way, then we could effectively just have similar base units, instead of 10^3 we'd have 12^3.

I don't think many people seem too bothered about ease of use though. I do this parallelism is a good approach though, like running imperial and metric side by side. England has a little of this, and pretty much every young person I know (I do know quite a few engineers though) agree metric is better. The older people who didn't grow up with it don't like it because it's change. I think this could work as well with base-12, but most people like things staying the same, being familiar, and oppose most change which don't obviously, greatly and immediately make their lives better.
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drhead
Posts: 1,475
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7/5/2013 11:30:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/2/2013 8:40:20 AM, mathdebator wrote:
How long do you predict it will take? 50 years? 100 years? I live in the US and always use Celsius and kilometers myself. I even had the idea of gathering my town and making everybody agree to post a secondary speed limit sign in km/h. I think baby steps like that would work.

We like the imperial system because we're masochists. It's too easy to have everything in multiples of 10, with everything based off of water (1 mL of water = 1 cm^3 of water = 1 gram of water, 1 calorie = amount of energy needed to heat 1 cm^3 of water 1 degree Celsius). Instead, we like having confusing concepts like the fluid ounce and regular ounce and having an extremely arbitrary hierarchy of units (1 mile = 1760 yards? Why 1760?). We also like our thermometers showing the freezing and boiling points of water as the nice arbitrary amount of 32 degrees and 212 degrees respectively.

On a personal note, I find myself using the metric system more often. I find it to be very convenient for monitoring the temperature of electronics, since there is the easy to remember rule:
70 degrees is definitely safe
80 degrees is safe but concerning
90 degrees is bad and you should feel bad
100+ means fix your cooling system before your computer is a smoldering pile of ashes

There's not an easy to remember set of thresholds like this with Fahrenheit. I think we should teach both methods of measurement, but try to emphasize metric as better, because it is better.
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DetectableNinja
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7/6/2013 12:03:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I personally use a bizarre mixture.

On the Imperial side, I use pounds/ounces, Fahrenheit (which I will maintain to be better than Celsius), and miles for long distances.

On the metric side, I use meters for shorter distances, and liters.
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AlbinoBunny
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7/6/2013 2:15:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have a drink with an energy rating in KJ as well as Kcal today. Is it kind of sad that that made me happy?
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Bannanawamajama
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7/17/2013 1:17:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well as an Engineer I like metrics because it works out well for tough calculations, but for my everyday life Imperial Units aren't so bad. Farenheight is nice because its smaller denominations so its a bit easier to comprehend temperature changes for me. At least in terms of like outside temperature or cooking. And for distance, I like miles better, plus having feet is nice because meters are too big sometimes but centimeters are too small. I wouldn't mind switching to Kilograms though, it'd make me feel less fat.
RoyLatham
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7/17/2013 3:54:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Herr Fahrenheit set 0 as being about as cold as it ever gets outdoors, and 100 as being about as hot it ever gets. For most people, that's a logical way think of temperature.

Engineers don't work in base 12, but rather usually pick either inches (for small objects) or feet (for large objects), then work in powers and decimal fractions of that unit. There are some exceptions.

In navigation, the standard unit is the nautical mile, which is 6076.1155 feet or 1.852 km. It's about equal to one minute of arc at the equator. Navigation charts are not made marked in radians. English unit prevail there.
bloof
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7/24/2013 2:47:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Trying to switch fully to metric would be a nightmare. You'd need to replace all road signs and mile markers. GPSs would need all need to be changed. Recipes would need to be tweaked along with thermometers. The benefits (which are a matter of opinion) are definitely not worth the cost to change things.
But also, Kelvin is the only part of SI units that don't relate to any other basic SI unit. Fahrenheit added by 460", with 0" being absolute zero, relates just as much as Kelvin does to the rest of the SI units.
But, if we did colonize a new planet with people who can have a fresh start, a variation of metric with base 12 would be perfect! And really, to them it's still 10 (in base 12) to the whatever power!
the_croftmeister
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7/24/2013 2:57:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/24/2013 2:47:48 AM, bloof wrote:
Trying to switch fully to metric would be a nightmare. You'd need to replace all road signs and mile markers. GPSs would need all need to be changed. Recipes would need to be tweaked along with thermometers. The benefits (which are a matter of opinion) are definitely not worth the cost to change things.
But also, Kelvin is the only part of SI units that don't relate to any other basic SI unit. Fahrenheit added by 460", with 0" being absolute zero, relates just as much as Kelvin does to the rest of the SI units.
But, if we did colonize a new planet with people who can have a fresh start, a variation of metric with base 12 would be perfect! And really, to them it's still 10 (in base 12) to the whatever power!

To be honest, I'd use base 30 if it were me. Easy division by 2, 3 and 5. But you don't have to change everything at once. Also, there are alternative reasons for Kelvin (and no SI using country uses it commonly anyway).