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When Will America Standardize its Measurement System?

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posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by die_another_day
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.


You can and do in Britain


www.guardian.co.uk...

Incidently, I openly sell a product that is only priced in inches and feet




[edit on 18-4-2008 by Essan]




posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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i actually keep a chart on the refrigerator so i know how many tablespoons are in a cup, etc. because it never made enough sense to me for it to stick. if the government said "tomorrow we're switching to metric" i would gladly throw out all of my imperial measuring tools at that moment. it's ridiculously nonsensical. although i have to say, when reading some articles from across the pond and they mention something weighing "2 stone" my brain dies a little. WTF IS STONE?! as far as i knew they came in various shapes and sizes, so how can you base a unit of measurement on that? =)



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by an0maly33
 


A stone is 14 pounds.

My problem is when Americans give their weight in pounds ..... and I have to work out how many stone it is for it to make any sense!

As for kilos ...



(btw I accept that measuring human weight in stones may seem a bit eccentric. But being eccentric is what us Britons do best
And at least it's no worse than measuring a horse's height in hands!



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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On this subject, I was testing out my new scanner today so I decided to scan my Grandparents conversion booklet that every Australian household received back in the early 1970's.

It's almost 13MB's but it is quite interesting, if you want to see the kind of things Australia did when we changed to Metric: users.on.net...



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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Here's an article by a Belgian, who's used to the metric system, talking about French and Dutch speakers borrowing the Imperial system to express themselves in every day life.

article by Joan Pontius

The first item is a jar of preserves marked "3/8 L" for three eighths of a Liter, which is the whole point of using metric in the first place--so save us all from ever using fractions again.

read the section on cooking, and discover how "teaspoon" and "tablespoon" are creeping back into metric cookbooks (!)


My argument is not that imperial is superior; merely that people think in non-decimal terms, and in fractions. Denying this is not common sense, even if it is logical.

all the best.

(edit to add)

PS., the author of the article talks to a carpenter, asking how to divide a meter into thirds. He explains that boards there are sold in 120 cm lengths so as to be divisible!

So much for being logical and universally divisible by 10!

.

[edit on 18-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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And at least it's no worse than measuring a horse's height in hands!


people do that?

when i'm making my kraft macaroni and cheese, and it calls for 1/4 cup of butter, that's just stupid. if you're lucky, your stick of butter will tell you how many tbsp are in a 1/4, 1/2, etc right on the wrapper. and if you're scooping from a tub of butter you're not going to have that measurement, and you're not going to be scooping (at least i wouldn't) with a 1/4c measuring cup. if it would just say 100ml, 100cc, or whatever the equivalent would be, it would be a non-issue to pick up some other randomly-scaled metric device and add the correct amount without putting much thought into it.

my iced tea maker can make 3 quarts of tea. my tea bags can make 8 oz of tea each. i have to first convert quarts to oz, then divide by 8 to see how many bags i need for a pitcher. retarded. i would rather be able to make 3 liters of tea using tea bags that can make 750ml each. nice and simple.

[edit on 18-4-2008 by an0maly33]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 01:27 PM
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read the section on cooking, and discover how "teaspoon" and "tablespoon" are creeping back into metric cookbooks (!)


Personally, in recipe, I prefer grams of stuff instead of teaspoon. Unless the pieces are small (like grain of rice, for example) it is imprecise to measure thing like potatoes or carrot by volume (too much empty space).

With a digital mini-scale that you can reset to zero before you add stuff, I prefer to weight things.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by Essan
 


"Continental Europe"
.

In China they actually messure your waist in inches but... yeh. When I came to the U.S. I was forced to learn measurements such as teaspoon and pints and ounces, however now I still don't remember them because the conversions are just "unusual". I can remember 10 100 1000 way better than 2 going into this and 4 going into the latter and 8 going into the latter.

I'm still hoping that these changes will be made by 2020 because why can't America do it. Why can't the government even try to persuade people to embrace the language of science. People can't be this oppinionated can they?

I believe that at home you can use whatever you want but when you're doing business and more weighted (As in important) tasks then everyone should use the metric system. It's easy, plain easy.

[edit on 4/18/2008 by die_another_day]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by PopeyeFAFL

With a digital mini-scale that you can reset to zero before you add stuff, I prefer to weight things.





We don't own a kitchen scale, metric or imperial. And we cook every day. Do you really weigh everything when you cook, instead of using a graduated spoon or cup???



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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Sometimes, the archaic ways don't seem too shabby. Imperial units can be pretty closely approximated by the lengths of body parts, not exact, but if we ever lost them, we'd figure them out again quickly, at least we would be in the ballpark.

On the other hand, the meter itself was originally slated to be the distance a pendulum moves during a one-second half-period until it was upgraded to the loftier goal of figuring 1/10,000,000 of the land distance between the earth's poles and equator. Jeesh. This one isn't quite so easy to re-figure in the event we get knocked back into the stone age by some cataclysm.

This measurement itself proved to be slightly off though, despite the heroic hard work so the newest measure of the meter is held to the length of a path of light in a vacuum after 1/299,792,458 of a second. Haha. If we just HAD to be metric people, I'd much rather go with the pendulum idea.

Also, using the Imperial system is a bit of a cultural thing at this point too. Americans tend to get slammed pretty hard for any instances of interfering with other cultures culture, so having to be conformists to an international standard would be quite ironic for a people whose daily lives center around freedom and individuality from the mainstream conventions.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:59 PM
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Originally posted by Treer
Also, using the Imperial system is a bit of a cultural thing at this point too. Americans tend to get slammed pretty hard for any instances of interfering with other cultures culture . . . .


I just don't understand decamaniacs who say:

"You should junk your ideomatic, imperialist relic of a unit system, . . . .

and become one of us by adopting our ideomatic imperialist relic of a unit system.


Because it's horrible for American to force "their way" on other people right?

[edit on 19-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by PopeyeFAFL

... 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.


Now there is an interesting article in NewsWeek about the "The Post-American World" (written by Fareed Zakaria), toward the end of the article, I found this:

www.newsweek.com...


To bring others into this world, the United States needs to make its own commitment to the system clear. So far, America has been able to have it both ways. It is the global rule-maker but doesn't always play by the rules. And forget about standards created by others. Only three countries in the world don't use the metric system—Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States. For America to continue to lead the world, we will have to first join it.


and finally this:


Generations from now, when historians write about these times, they might note that by the turn of the 21st century, the United States had succeeded in its great, historical mission—globalizing the world. We don't want them to write that along the way, we forgot to globalize ourselves.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by Treer
 


There's a massive difference between the US giving McDonalds and MTV to the world and the US accepting the measuring system used by the rest of the world


Metric units make sense. It's like A4 paper instead of Letter - slight differences, but one is FAR more thought-out than the other. The real beauty of both the metric system and A4 paper is when you're converting from one unit to another, or from one paper size to another - the units are defined in such a way that they are all related, easing conversion.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by dave420

Metric units make sense. It's like A4 paper instead of Letter - slight differences, but one is FAR more thought-out than the other. The real beauty of both the metric system and A4 paper is when you're converting from one unit to another, or from one paper size to another - the units are defined in such a way that they are all related, easing conversion.


My previous posts have linked to a number of articles that show how metric only "makes sense" if you a member of its value system.

You are right when you use the phrase "the real beauty of both the metric system and A4 paper . . ." Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Either you like Picasso, or you don't.

I've also shown how different "metric nations" are on different versions of the metric system, none of them more readily translateable than Imperial units to one of them would be.

And most "metric nations" are coming up with their own fractional measures (cup, spoon, dozen, etc.) to reflect the inherent humanity of the imperial system.

Notice, I'm not a measurement-imperialist like you; I don't insist that my system is "better" and that you should stop using what works for you. Just that I will use what works for me, and so will millions of other non-globalists.

.



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 07:14 AM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


I think you are quite mistaken in assuming that people think (or guestimate or whatever) in a non-quantified manner. By speaking of 'spoons', 'cups' and 'pint' one is not alluding to some non-quantifiable measure, or a measure of greater humanity
, rather, these units are mere representations of an alternative quantified scale.

Our scales of measurement should not be subject to our perceptions of the quantities of things such as 'a cup', but rather our perceptions of 'a cup' should be a representation of our system of measurement.

You say that people don't think in millilitres and grams? I can easily estimate most liquid quantities from 10ml up to 20 litres without reference to cups, pints and spoons.

Just the other day I was looking into buying a new computer and found myself constantly having to convert inches in cm to understand how large the things were! It's frustrating! And I understand that those using non-metric systems may feel that this debate has become a shouting match in which the metric system is trying to impose itself on others. But all I want is a universal system, regardless of what we call it, and if we look at the two systems objectively, there is no doubt that metric makes a great deal more sense.

[edit on 14-5-2008 by The_Modulus]



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by The_Modulus
 



Did you read any of the articles I linked earlier in this thread?


Individuals can think in any system they need to. Whole populations, on the other hand, particularly at work, business, or doing tasks in a hurry, find it more convenient to think in fractions. This is true across cultures, that's my whole point.

Metricization is as imperialistic as any other imposed value system. It is simply a demand that people be Eurocentric.

.



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


I agree that people can think in any quantified scale they need to, but, if we need to choose one system, particularly for the sake of convenience, then the metric system is the most rational choice. Why? Because it is consistent. Inches, feet, yards, miles are unrelated to each other, why not use a system in which the denominations are part of the same continuum?



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 12:40 PM
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When Will America Standardize it's Measurement System?

Wow... that's an old, and ongoing question... but yeah, I haven't seen it asked in ATS yet.

The rest of the world uses Metric... including the very country that invented Imperial.
I believe the US is now the ONLY remaining country to not adopt the Metric system.

I don't think a switch to the Metric system will be voluntary... I think over time, the Metric system will slowly creep in and take over all US measurements.

In Canada, we understand both, but use Metric. Mostly because we have to trade with the US... in kind, those in the US trading with Canada know both, but use Imperial.


Ever seen an English Canadian talking to a French Canadian? Ever noticed they are both speaking their own language, but they understand each other just fine? ...you as the listener, can only understand what one of them is saying.

Trading with the States reminds me of that.


You are right. The Metric system is a better system to use. Everything is base of ten, just like the number system itself. It simply makes sense. No conversions... no need to remember how many inches are in a mile, and you don't have to use fractions, meaning, it is far more feasible for use on a computer.

(ah, you probably just asked yourself "Yeah, how many inches are in a mile?"... and are considering looking it up, or converting it, don't bother, it's 63,360
here, Imperial Converter
bookmark that, you won't need something like that for Metric.)


To address the "Pint" concern. No. Actually, worldwide, it is such an old habit to order a pint... that everyone does it. Nobody orders their beer in Litres.
But, because of this, people are forgetting what "pint" means, and simply think it means a big glass of beer.
Bartenders will always ask you "Pitcher or Pint?"

I've actually overheard a college student ask "Why do they call it a pint?"


You already have half adopted Metric, and somehow mashed it into your Imperial measurements...
Ever heard of a Kilo-Ton? Or a Mega-Ton?
Thats a Metric prefix, on an imperial measurement. Why? Because the Imperial measurement system wasn't intended to be used on such a big scale... the Metric System was.

[edit on 14-5-2008 by johnsky]



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Here's an article by a Belgian, who's used to the metric system, talking about French and Dutch speakers borrowing the Imperial system to express themselves in every day life.

article by Joan Pontius


Joan Pontius! OMG! LOL! Oh man, you just took me back a decade to the heyday of the alt.bitterness newsgroup which was a bastion of intellect before all the 'tards discovered the internet and ruined everything. Joan was a big contributer there. "Bitter in Belgium" she was. Good times!

Anyway, just remember, "a pint's a pound the world around" and you'll be fine.




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