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When Will America Standardize its Measurement System?

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posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 05:52 PM
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I find that the use of the imperial system is relatively archaic and impractical in a modern world of science. When you go to continetal Europe or Asia, you can't ask for a pound or cup of whatever. You can't ask for a gallon of gas. You can't ask them you record your height in inches. This is why America is having a hard time exporting.

However, standardizing seems to be a non-existent process. There are still AP/IB chemistry teachers in the U.S. that allow their students to use ounces and inches. Even in national standardized tests the imperial units are still used. This has to change, because its a sign of laziness and ignorance all on top of the fact that it's hindering the current generation of youths. Realize that nearly everything (non-scientific) in the U.S. is still measured in this resilient system.



Oh this is why NASA f'ed up the Mars Climate Orbiter.

Britain is getting there... America isn't even trying from what I witnessed.

There's a cost, but it's nothing compared to the amount spend in the Iraq war.







en.wikipedia.org...





The current effort toward national metrication is based on the claim that industrial and commercial productivity, mathematics and science education, and the competitiveness of U.S. products and services in world markets would be enhanced by completing the change to the international standard measurement system based on metric units. Many or most Americans, however, remain unconvinced of this position, or disagree over whether and how to pay and enforce complete conversion, which, if undertaken, could possibly incur considerable expense in the near term for millions of businesses and government agencies.




The International System of Units (abbreviated SI from the French Le Système International d'Unités[1]) is the modern form of the metric system and is generally a system devised around the convenience of the number 10. It is the world's most widely used system of units, both in everyday commerce and in science.[2] An extensive presentation of the SI units is maintained on line by NIST, including a diagram of the interrelations between the derived units based upon the SI units. Definitions of the basic units can be found on this site, as well as the CODATA report listing values for special constants such as the electric constant, the magnetic constant and the speed of light, all of which have defined values as a result of the definition of the metre and ampere.[3]




posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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There was a movement in the 70's. I was in elementary school at the time. It was basically abandoned.

I think some large contingent of Americans somewhere actually has 12 fingers.

I dont look for them to try it again, the uproar would be terrible. Think of all the people who want to make 'english our OFFICAL language'

Those same people would be up in arms if we tried to standardize ourselves with the rest of the world. We are special dontchaknow

[edit on 15-4-2008 by pavlovsdog]



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 06:50 PM
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Maybe it is a conspiracy to keep the kids down. Make it incredibly hard for them to learn basic math and science (comparatively to metric). Turn them off of learning this stuff at a young age.

Beyond that, think about how much time is wasted for students learning imperial units, when you can learn the metric system in about 15 minutes.

King Henry Died, Mother Didn't Care Much (for all you metrics out there)



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:07 PM
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I totally think that we should turn to meteric. But most people in the USA dont agree with me on this subject. Little do they know is that the meteric system is very easy to learn. I learned it in less than a week when I traveled abroad for school. Too bad most people are too stuborn to change their measurement system. I dont see why the u.s. has to have its own measurment system.

I think the biggest proplem in the u.s. is arrogance and stubborness. These 2 things are the only things holding us back from changing an outdated system.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:13 PM
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When will everyone standardize to the American system of measurements. Great question.

Tried this silly metric stuff in the 70's. Carter tried to ramrod the rest of the world's crap on us. It didn't work then, won't work now.

There is no real reason to change highway signs to kilometers, if we do anything, it will be in Spanish. Most mechanical stuff is already converted to the odd socket sizes. It's just fine the way it is now.

Next thing you know, we will be told we're driving on the wrong side of the street!



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 05:32 PM
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The United States will have to go along with the metric system as soon as the New World Order gains control and starts working on standardizing all measurements, including currency. Look for this near the end of this century.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 07:42 PM
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they already are, in order for the US to compete they have to offer stuff in the metric system.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by pavlovsdog
 


Well the english as official language is another topic... but that was/should be our officianl language not spanish. Any my other favorite quote from my grandfather is... Don't fix it if it's not broke.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 11:05 AM
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In agriculture, many nations USE the US imperial system (ironic name) in a de facto sense now.


The pro metric crowd always points to the value of a decimal system for the sciences. But in agriculture, a decimal system has a fatal drawback:

not enough divisors.

See, a bushel of wheat is 60 pounds. If I'm a share-cropper or a landlord, I can figure out what my share of the harvest is. 60 can be divided by the following:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 20 and 30.

Whereas 100 can be divided by . . . 2, 4, 5, 10, 20. only 5 divisors, and oneof those, 4, creates groups (25 each) that cannot be halved, thirded, or quartered.

You may not think agriculture matters, because you don't do it for a living. But all your food had to be measured, and the workers and owners paid. And a 60 or 16 or 12 sub-unit system provides more divisors.

If you owe your landlord a third of the harvest, whats a third of a hundred bushels? easy: 33 bushels and 20 pounds. Whats a third of a hundred liters (besides being much less grain)? Lets see. . . . 33.33333 litres. And who keeps the remainder. The same transaction repeated thousands of times over, and someone is making off with a measurable portion of your profits.


Pounds are measured in 16 ounces. You cannot divide that in thirds; but you can cut it in half, and half again, and again and again and again. You have a quarter of an ounce. Do that with a kilogram and you have what--- 15.625 grams. An unwieldy number to say the least, not intuitive at all. now lets say you have a manufacturing (or laboratory) process where you repeat the above dividing by an odd number of times. Lets say 13 times. How many ounces will you have? Easy, three and a quarter ounces. How many grams from subdividing the killogram thirteen times? 203.125 grams----a number most people cannot calculate without an electronic calculator.

Another thing about agri units is that the bushel and the acre are "rules of thumb" that a worker in the field can estimate without measuring. In dry land, 2 bushels of wheat will plant an acre? how many kilos of wheat plants the hectare? well, its about 30 liters of wheat to the hectare, but it's much easier to make mistakes when counting in thirtys instead of twos.

Then theres the problem with the arbitrariness of many metric units. Every celsius degree covers almost 2 and a half fahrenheit degrees, so it's actually much less precise. Sure, you can move the decimal; but doing so you end up rounding off the remainders. And when you are calculating the length of a growing season, and you know that corn requires "110 degree-days," the math gets imprecise faster when measuring in larger units.

Basically, the metric system is useful when converting between scales: grams to kilograms, millimeters to kilometers. Great for science.

But the old system has other things going for it, that make it quite tenacious. It is intuitive. At 6 ft. tall, I wear size twelve boots, and can literally pace of an area in "feet." And the first knuckle of my index finger is quite close to an inch. Which is why many nations still measure lumber in English units.

Why do such things matter? Well in business, as opposed to science, it helps if you can measure something "in the field" (or warehouse or granary) even when you don't have scientific equipment available. An "acre-inch" of water may drive an engineer crazy; but most farmers can eyeball that much irrigation. Can you estimate 102790 liters as accurately?

Either system has advantages and drawbacks. What I'm saying is, the advantages of the Imperial system make it intuitive for people doing business, which is why metric is little used after 150 years of being a legal unit system in the US.

Or maybe you'd prefer the short/scientific answer:

France never conquered us.




www.users.zetnet.co.uk...




[edit on 17-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Or maybe you'd prefer the short/scientific answer:

France never conquered us.

[edit on 17-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]


Honestly, for the USA to switch to the Metrics System, has nothing to do with France.

Here where I live (Quebec/Canada) we switched to the Metric system, in the 70's and I'm glad we did.

Except for my personal Weight & Height, I no longer use the Imperial US system of measure. I'm 51 year old, so this will be harder as an habit to break.

For me, temperature are in Celsius, speed and distance on road are in Km/h and Km (especially when I do bicycle ride, I have a better notion of what a 20 or 30 km ride means), at the grocery store, kg or grams are King, etc.

For me car fuel consumption in mile per gallon means nothing, I'm now use to liter per 100 km (like my car is doing 7.5 L/100km).

Now except for the USA, is there another country that is not Metric? I doubt it (UK is metric, since the 60's).

I which the USA switch to the Metric system, for several reasons:

1- Metric system is far more logical.
2- In medicine, all pills or injection quantity are all in Metric (so many mg or cc of this medication, etc.) otherwise you life will be in danger (errors will occur if there was 2 systems).
3- In electricity, I don't think that we have an imperial equivalent of Watts, Volts, etc.
4- But the most important aspect of the US switching to the Metric system (in fact the S.I. system (Système Internationale)) will be for the symbolic gesture that being in tune with the whole planet will represent. So instead of doing Cavalier Seul the USA could be like any other country.

After 8 years of Bush, the USA has a lot of catching up to do, so the Metric system could be a nice start.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Or maybe you'd prefer the short/scientific answer:

France never conquered us.

[edit on 17-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]


Honestly, for the USA to switch to the Metrics System, has nothing to do with France.

Here where I live (Quebec/Canada) we switched to the Metric system, in the 70's and I'm glad we did.

Except for my personal Weight & Height, I no longer use the Imperial US system of measure. I'm 51 year old, so this will be harder as an habit to break.

For me, temperature are in Celsius, speed and distance on road are in Km/h and Km (especially when I do bicycle ride, I have a better notion of what a 20 or 30 km ride means), at the grocery store, kg or grams are King, etc.

For me car fuel consumption in mile per gallon means nothing, I'm now use to liter per 100 km (like my car is doing 7.5 L/100km).

Now except for the USA, is there another country that is not Metric? I doubt it (UK is metric, since the 60's).

I which the USA switch to the Metric system, for several reasons:

1- Metric system is far more logical.
2- In medicine, all pills or injection quantity are all in Metric (so many mg or cc of this medication, etc.) otherwise you life will be in danger (errors will occur if there was 2 systems).
3- In electricity, I don't think that we have an imperial equivalent of Watts, Volts, etc.
4- But the most important aspect of the US switching to the Metric system (in fact the S.I. system (Système Internationale)) will be for the symbolic gesture that being in tune with the whole planet will represent. So instead of doing Cavalier Seul the USA could be like any other country.

After 8 years of Bush, the USA has a lot of catching up to do, so the Metric system could be a nice start.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Or maybe you'd prefer the short/scientific answer:

France never conquered us.

[edit on 17-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]


Honestly, for the USA to switch to the Metrics System, has nothing to do with France.

Here where I live (Quebec/Canada) we switched to the Metric system, in the 70's and I'm glad we did.

Except for my personal Weight & Height, I no longer use the Imperial US system of measure. I'm 51 year old, so this will be harder as an habit to break.

For me, temperature are in Celsius, speed and distance on road are in Km/h and Km (especially when I do bicycle ride, I have a better notion of what a 20 or 30 km ride means), at the grocery store, kg or grams are King, etc.

For me car fuel consumption in mile per gallon means nothing, I'm now use to liter per 100 km (like my car is doing 7.5 L/100km).

Now except for the USA, is there another country that is not Metric? I doubt it (UK is metric, since the 60's).

I which the USA switch to the Metric system, for several reasons:

1- Metric system is far more logical.
2- In medicine, all pills or injection quantity are all in Metric (so many mg or cc of this medication, etc.) otherwise you life will be in danger (errors will occur if there was 2 systems).
3- In electricity, I don't think that we have an imperial equivalent of Watts, Volts, etc.
4- But the most important aspect of the US switching to the Metric system (in fact the S.I. system (Système Internationale)) will be for the symbolic gesture that being in tune with the whole planet will represent. So instead of doing Cavalier Seul the USA could be like any other country.

After 8 years of Bush, the USA has a lot of catching up to do, so the Metric system could be a nice start.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 




We have more than enough electronic tools to do this. In China they still sometimes use the abacus and the metric system, yet they're fine. Once you get into higher levels of industry, traditional measurements cannot be used as it is not universal. America is a big and important country and thus it should definitely get out of its isolation chamber and move on, it shouldn't take another Pearl Harbor like situation to cause these types of changes.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by PopeyeFAFL

Except for my personal Weight & Height, I no longer use the Imperial US system of measure. I'm 51 year old, so this will be harder as an habit to break.



So, you begin by advocating a system you yourself don't completely follow? Interesting. Can we pick and choose the parts of the metric system we use? Since that's what we do now . . .




Now except for the USA, is there another country that is not Metric? I doubt it (UK is metric, since the 60's).


Well, Canada Itself is not fully SI compliant, as this pro-metric article mentions:

article


Since the old metric system was almost unknown in Canada, SI (the International System) was adopted almost without discussion. It is worth noting that the kilogram-force and the bar are not used. On the other hand, dieticians still use kilocalories, and doctors use millimetres of mercury. . . . Sometimes "miles per gallon" is mentioned, and cars are rated in horsepower.


So, Canada has never fully adopted the "SI," and neither have a lot of other nations officially listed as "using metric." The real question is which version they use, since the system itself has been revamped 3 times since 1792.




I which the USA switch to the Metric system, for several reasons:

1- Metric system is far more logical.


Not in agriculture, as I've highlighted. And it's been fiddled with 3 times in the last 220 years because many of the units (like the "old calorie") turned out to be on a scale no one could use. I've already highlighted how a decimal system doesn't have enough divisors to be truly intuitive. For much of business, "logical" isn't a selling point---usability is.



2- In medicine, all pills or injection quantity are all in Metric (so many mg or cc of this medication, etc.) otherwise you life will be in danger (errors will occur if there was 2 systems).


But pressures of Oxygen in Canada apparently use an obsolete, pre-SI unit, the mm of hg. Ironically, it is the USA that uses the modern SI unit. imagine that!




4- But the most important aspect of the US switching to the Metric system (in fact the S.I. system (Système Internationale)) will be for the symbolic gesture that being in tune with the whole planet will represent. So instead of doing Cavalier Seul the USA could be like any other country.

After 8 years of Bush, the USA has a lot of catching up to do, so the Metric system could be a nice start.


I'm not sure why America should want to by "like any other country," any more than your country would want to be like the USA.

But you're right in one sense: every nation interprets the SI in its own way. So claiming that Canada or any other state "adheres to SI" is largely symbolic.

If the US system is so illogical and unworkable, why does it concern you. Certainly the US system will wither away, as America becomes an economic backwater, eventually those contrary people south of you will pay the economic price for not copying their neighbors.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 08:50 PM
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I think we should do a limited switch, because for scientific purposes it's much easier in math, however like dr_strangecraft said, units like the bushel and inch and acre were created for practical reasons which make them easier to work with in some cases.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 09:33 PM
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To dr_strangecraft.

With time and a bit of effort, I can switch to the remaining old system legacy and get rid of it (my own weight & height, on my driver license it is in Kg & cm).

There will perhaps always be stuff in odd measure (like steel gage or oil barrels), but the whole world is Metrics, so let get over it and switch (with time, the rest can be address).

At work, I use CATIA (Computer Aided Design Software, especially in all aerospace Industries, around the world) it was initially a French Software (but it is push & marketed by a separate entity) it is all in metrics (even if as we work in it (in inches), there is a scale factor to convert everything in cm).

So when we share drawing and 3D components around the world with joint-venture partners, everything is ok (because the entire database is metrics).

I think that all car bolts are Metrics, since a long time (every bolt or screw are 10mm, 12mm, etc. your imperial keys are close enough). But since all car parts are manufactured all around the worlds, the S.I. system is used to avoid problems and reduced cost (but an N.C. machine can probably handle both units).

One anecdote: when my father died without a written will, there was a battle between one of my sister and myself. My sister thought that my father tool box (with some specialized tools that he needed for his work - toolmakers) was worth a lot of $$$.

So, that stupid sister managed to get this evaluated (by a judge, mind you), and the ruling of the judge was:

Since Canada has switched to the S.I. system, it was declared of having no value (all those caliper & micrometer, etc. were Imperial units) and therefore I could keep them.

I told you, there was good reasons to switch to the Metrics system, LOL.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by lonemaverick
I think we should do a limited switch, because for scientific purposes it's much easier in math, however like dr_strangecraft said, units like the bushel and inch and acre were created for practical reasons which make them easier to work with in some cases.


I understands that point (it is like people in UK, still calculating their own weight in "Stones"), but I'm sure people in Europe don't count the area of their land in acres (they might use other units to do some trade).

So, if everybody switch to metrics (which country are left in the non-metrics group, only the USA?), with time, units will be streamlined, etc.

And then (in 50 or 100 years) from now, everybody will buy the metric equivalent of 4x8 plywood sheet and 2x4 piece of wood (which does not even measure 2 x 4) and everything in life (so trade around the world will get simplified).

With time again, home building code will get adjusted and the 16" distance between lumber will get a metric equivalent, etc. and all parts of everything in life could be sold all over the world, with ease.

Anyway, keep it, if you want, but the rest of the world has already moved (but because of USA resistance, some countries may have done an half-half job), so let finish the job.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 10:16 PM
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I was about to say the opposite.

With the passage of time, you'll see the metric system "humanized."

Many people like to drink beer in "pints." A liter just isn't close enough.

I think you'll begin to see "3/4 of a liter" and "four meter wide" easements, etc. In other word, making metric less abritrary.


But why do you care so much that America, Liberia and Bangladesh are the last nations that haven't "officiall" metricated?

Why aren't you posting threads about how "backward" England is for driving on the "wrong side" of the road? Only about 3 nations still do that. Why don't you castigate them for not being "like other countries?"

Maybe some of us like doing things "our" way.


.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
I was about to say the opposite.

With the passage of time, you'll see the metric system "humanized."

Many people like to drink beer in "pints." A liter just isn't close enough.

I think you'll begin to see "3/4 of a liter" and "four meter wide" easements, etc. In other word, making metric less abritrary.


But why do you care so much that America, Liberia and Bangladesh are the last nations that haven't "officiall" metricated?

Why aren't you posting threads about how "backward" England is for driving on the "wrong side" of the road? Only about 3 nations still do that. Why don't you castigate them for not being "like other countries?"

Maybe some of us like doing things "our" way.


.


There is a joke saying that England will switch from driving of the "wrong side" and adopt the "good side", but because it is expensive to switch over, it will be only for the cars this year, trucks the next year, LOL.

Now, here (Québec) we have our beer in can of 500 ml, you see also 355 ml & 710 ml which probably correspond to some odd Imperial quantity (those odds quantity only exists because of trade with the USA). If everybody will be metric, it will probably be streamlined to 500 ml, 750 ml, 1L, etc.

My only point, for having experience it (Canada adopting the Metric system) is that with time, people adjust quite well.

Switching to the Euro's for several countries in Europe was far more complex, but they did, could you imagine if the USA, Canada & Mexico was to adopt a common money, by the way, right now the Canadian dollar is worth equal or someday more than the US $, it will only be possible, if the USA kept their dollar, they could not accept to change it for something else, but the Europeans did. So now tourists don't waste money on exchange as they cross countries borders (like in happens to me in my trip to Europe in 1991 & 1994).

So just like having the same currency for Europe help moving goods (and allow customers to compare prices) having the same units system allow an easier trade of goods among nations, therefore more standardizations, less difficulties selling goods abroad, etc.

Now if the USA, want to remains alone in their little corner, and savored their diminishing power, for as long as they can, so be it.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by PopeyeFAFL
 


Cars are all not metric or not all SAE. I have a 2002 Chevy camaro, half the bolts are metric, half are standard. Its a real PITA to work on. I am still standing by my statement of don't fix it if it's not broke.



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