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# America needs to finally adopt the metric system.

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posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 03:38 AM
I know what some people are thinking: "We tried that in the '70s, and it didn't work." or "The metric system is stupid, we can measure fine." or "The metric system is un-American, we can't use it! English system all the way! USA! USA!" I'm hoping to dispel some of these myths and hopefully initiate some discussion.

To begin, a little background on the metric system. It was created in France some three centuries ago (there has been evidence otherwise; France was the first country to successfully implement its version of the metric system) and was based on the Earth, which brings me to my first point:

1 - The metric system is easier
Those in other countries will understand this, those in the United States might not be so familiar. The metric system is based off of the Earth. It was designed to be 1/10,000,000th of the distance from the North Pole to the equator. This way, if you needed to, you could reproduce the meter. It wasn't very practical, but if someone really needed to, it could be done.

That covered length. Now they needed something to measure volume. They made a 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cube and called it the liter.

And that was volume. Now they needed weight or mass. They filled that cube with water and called it the kilogram (due to historical reasons it is the only base unit to have a prefix).

And these are the only base metric units that one would encounter in daily life.

2 - The English system is harder
Let's say you have a distance of 5 miles. How many feet is that? Can you do that in your head in 3 seconds? Maybe, if you're a whiz at mental math. How about inches? It's tougher. What about furlongs? Or leagues? Or fathoms? How about rods, poles, links, chains, or yards? Good luck. And what kind of miles are they? International? Nautical? Statute? We can't even agree on the same mile!

Let's try that again in metric. Say you have a distance of 5 kilometers. How many meters is that? Well, kilo means thousand, so 5 kilometers has to be 5,000 meters. That's all. The only unit for length is the meter, nothing else. There are prefixes that make the meter larger (with powers of 10) or smaller (with negative powers of 10). 5 kilometers, expressed in the 7 most known forms, would be:

5 kilometers
50 hectometers
500 decameters
5,000 meters
50,000 decimeters
500,000 centimeters
5,000,000 millimeters

I'm not even going to try that with miles.

3 - The metric system is un-American!
This one is my favorite, because it is the most ignorant. Most Americans would argue that the metric system is un-America, when the system they use isn't American, but English! Yes, the English brought it over with them to America. The metric system is hardly American. I seem to recall separating from Britain about 200 years ago.

4 - We shouldn't switch because the other countries did! or Why should we use the metric system? This isn't Europe!

Here's a list of 10 things both Europe and the US use
1) Electricity
2) Water
3) Oxygen
4) Automobiles
5) Gasoline
6) Food
7) Decimal currency (yes, the Dollar and the Euro use base 10 counting, the same one you use to count every day)
8) The internet
9) Television
10) A system of government

I could add a lot more to this list. Saying we shouldn't do something because Europe does doesn't really work.

5 - In conclusion
Basically, we need the metric system in America. It is simple, it is logical, and it makes sense. It is the language of science and the language of manufacturing. (In fact, Americans use more metric than they think: 2 liter bottles, 60 watt light bulbs (yes watts are metric, along with volts, ohms, and amperes), kilobytes, megabytes, etc. are all similar to the metric system, pencil lead is metric, etc.)

We are the last country to not be officially metric. Our children would do better in math and science and America could once again be the scientific and mathematically competitive country it used to be.

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 03:50 AM
LOL that reminds me,when i went to university in the US, and i had to take the placement test, i couldnt take math classes because i didnt know that was a division...
But then, when u are in the last years, u start using the metric sytem in physics and stuff, hehe i was like a genious in class because i was born with it!

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:09 AM
Definately agree with you here,

America should use the metric system, in the UK it's bad enough having both but I've gotten used to it. (e.g. We still have miles on roadsigns and measure height in feet and inches, speed is in MPH). But mostly things are metric.

Metric just makes more sense.

Plus, when two countries collaborate on a project involving engineering for example, it can go tits up due to a mistake in the understanding of the units used. (I have a feeling there was a space project which had faults due to this).

for Metric.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:50 AM
In the end it really doesn't matter which measurement system you use in everyday life.

For science, its always SI (metric), and thats all that matters when accuracy is needed.

The only thing that America specifically needs to change is the way that drink sizes are measured...

Why the hell do you chaps use ounces to measure fluid?! Just use mls or pints ffs!

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:52 AM

Plus, when two countries collaborate on a project involving engineering for example, it can go tits up due to a mistake in the understanding of the units used. (I have a feeling there was a space project which had faults due to this).

You are exactly right. NASA lost a Mars orbiter in 1999 because Lockheed sent thrust units in English measurements (like the foot-pound or the pound-force, which I think are actually different things
) instead of metric measures. Science is metric. It has no place for feet and pounds. And while no one was placing the blame, everyone knew it was Lockheed Martin.

Anyway, the orbiter drifted way too close to Mars and is either all burned up and in a little pile on the Martian surface or is floating off in space somewhere. The total cost? 125,000,000 USD. I always tell people, "That could've bought a lot of road signs."

Why the hell do you chaps use ounces to measure fluid?! Just use mls or pints ffs!

I vote for milliliters lol. Easier to convert to liters (if you even call it converting, more like shifting the decimal point) from milliliters rather than from milliliters to pints. Or quarts, or gallons, fluid ounces, or fluid drams (we don't use them but just the fact that they exist...)

Oh, this will really drive you nuts. Apparently, we not only have a wet pint and a wet quart, we also have a dry pint and a dry quart lol. And the dry pint and/or the dry quart (at least one) is still being used

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:56 AM
It is about freaking time you let go of that nonsense.

I hate it when you meet a tourist and try to explain the distance to a certain location. You say: so and so many kilometers and they just look at you. Then you start to think what the hell that would be in miles...then you give up.
Or even worse, the speed limits!
And all the other stuff too! Like the size of stuff. What the hell is an inch supposed to represent? Or a foot? My foot is not a foot long.
Gosh! Who came up with this idiotic system? And who implemented it on such a grand scale? Moron!

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 05:08 AM

And all the other stuff too! Like the size of stuff. What the hell is an inch supposed to represent? Or a foot? My foot is not a foot long.

Unfortunately that was the best they used to have, back in the middle ages. Thank God someone came along and made a coherent system of units or else we'd all be using 10 different furlongs, feet, miles, ounces, drams, and pounds. In fact, we wouldn't have any of the scientific or technological advancements without the metric system. Kind of scary, actually. But I guess it was bound to happen.

And the frustrating thing is that people don't even know that they're using a flawed system. People don't care if they have to convert feet and inches into inches for a BMI calculation (the metric BMI calculation is so much easier). It doesn't make sense, but for some reason people still don't get it. I feel like the rest of the world uses electricity and we're stuck burning oil. It's as if someone placed a hundred dollar bill in front of us but we don't take it.

I wonder how many more rovers need to crash, or how many planes need to go down, or how many countries need to threaten their economic ties before we finally get our act together?

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 05:59 AM
No freak'n way.

This is America. If we want to keep our heritage of inches and miles, then we can keep our heritage. Just as the Brits want to keep their Queen of England - we can keep our inches and miles.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 06:25 AM
The system based on dozen (12 ) was used by Gauls.
Also, in French counting they still use this ancient way, like 80 = 4x20: and 90 = 4x20 10 (four twenty ten).

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 07:42 AM
Yes this is America and thats our way,why should we be like any other country,actually we use both,most construction is done in metric system ,so we will drink or 40's you can drink your liters

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 08:21 AM
It's easy to say that we need to convert to the metric system without stating how it should be done.

Here is a small list of things that would need to be changed if we did convert.

1. speed limit signs
2. exit signs
3. math text books (all of them)
4. spedometers
5. odometers
6 GPS systems
8. highway signs telling how far each town is (forget the name)
9 Gas pumps
10. Most sports fields

Just a small list to show the massive undertaking and money that it would have to be involved just so that we can be like everyone else. You could say do it a little at a time, but that wouldn't really work because most of those things I listed are connected.

If anyone has a plausible idea of how we could accomplish this task that is affordable then lets hear it.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 08:59 AM
While it makes sense, I have to tell you that though Canada has been using this for years, I have to convert kilometers into miles, and will until the day I die. Also, prefer the old system for recipes.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 09:52 AM
I think the rest of the world should use what the leader in technology and what industry we have left, uses. Inches and real pounds work just fine, thank you!

I just wish that Congress would have stipulated to foreign countries, if you take our money you take our measuring system.

The problem with the elitists in Europe who try to force this on Americans is they have no concept of large countries and long distance driving. What sounds further, 1000 miles or 1609 kilometer. Well let me tell you, I wouldn't drive that 1609 kilo-thingy because it just seems further. This same distance between Denver and Los Angles would be like 1 3/4 trips from Paris to Berlin.

As for MM sized nuts and bolts. Go ahead and use that crap. That's what a crescent wrenches are for. To get on them odd sized nuts and bolts. You can thank an English guy for inventing that because he too had the problem of using these odd sized bolts and nuts.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 10:02 AM
You forgot to mention that the American "dollar" comes from Norway ("Dalar", which we replaced with crowns sometime in history). Also, English comes from England and not America

Lets not forget that modern America is not really a nation with one cultural source, it's a multitude of different people, so basically everything there is originally from a root somewhere else. England, France and the native Americans being among the biggest sources of influence I would presume.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 10:05 AM

Originally posted by Raud
Or a foot? My foot is not a foot long.

Then you're not a real man
Just kidding.

Originally posted by FlyersFan
No freak'n way.

This is America. If we want to keep our heritage of inches and miles, then we can keep our heritage. Just as the Brits want to keep their Queen of England - we can keep our inches and miles.

You can keep our measurements (Imperial). We still use it; works just fine. I dunno why some Europeans complain, its not that hard to convert between kms and miles... how stupid do you have to be not to be able to roughly convert a number by about one and a half times.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 03:49 PM

No freak'n way. This is America. If we want to keep our heritage of inches and miles, then we can keep our heritage. Just as the Brits want to keep their Queen of England - we can keep our inches and miles.

It isn't our heritage, it's England's. *gasp* Yes, "our" English system is, in fact, English! Who knew!

You can keep our measurements (Imperial). We still use it; works just fine. I dunno why some Europeans complain, its not that hard to convert between kms and miles... how stupid do you have to be not to be able to roughly convert a number by about one and a half times.

As for converting between miles and kilometers, that is just not an option. We shouldn't have to convert. Does it make sense to use two systems of measurement? Really? And more importantly, does it make sense to use a system that uses so many different bases of counting? (There are 3 feet in a yard, but 16 ounces in a pound.) Converting is stupid. It costs money, makes mistakes, and can (but thankfully hasn't) cost lives. We wouldn't need to convert if everyone used just one measuring system.

The problem with the elitists in Europe who try to force this on Americans is they have no concept of large countries and long distance driving. What sounds further, 1000 miles or 1609 kilometer. Well let me tell you, I wouldn't drive that 1609 kilo-thingy because it just seems further. This same distance between Denver and Los Angles would be like 1 3/4 trips from Paris to Berlin.

Elitists in Europe? Please. First, the metric system is not an "elitist plot" or anything like that. The metric system was made to be simple and easy. Now what's easier, that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer or 5,280 feet in a mile? 1,760 yards in a mile? Etc. Second, it isn't just Europe. Remember, the rest of the world uses metric, which includes Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and even Antarctica (even though the only people there are scientists, and science is always metric).

I think the rest of the world should use what the leader in technology and what industry we have left, uses. Inches and real pounds work just fine, thank you!

Actually, most manufacturing is done in metric, such as computer processors or things requiring high precision. Could you imagine a 65 nanometer manufacturing process (used in creating computer processors) where, instead of nanometers (which is a prefix combined with the base unit) it said 0.00000255905512 inches? Too difficult.
We should adopt the metric system because it is easier. (Saying you don't know how many "kilo-thingies" definitely shows no knowledge of the metric system.) Furthermore, it doesn't matter how far something "sounds." America is 3,000 miles across or 4,000 kilometers across. Not a big difference.

America cannot be a competitive, scientific, and technologically advanced country if it insists on clinging to an old system of measurement. Honestly? We use a measurement that was (actually probably not) based on a human foot? Could you imagine a world where the foot is different in every town you visit? It would be chaos.

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:01 PM
I think the USA should keep the English system to remind us all that the country is based on England and the English language. It is a reminder that the country was created by England and owes everything to the mother country.

Just kidding. Throw the stupid system out. And while we're at it, destroy FAHRENHEIT for the love of GOD. I hate it!

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:03 PM

Originally posted by Totakeke

We are the last country to not be officially metric. Our children would do better in math and science and America could once again be the scientific and mathematically competitive country it used to be.

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

Do you really think that changing to the metric system would do all of that?
You're in for a big surprise.

Also, we're the last ones? So? Does that make us wrong?

Learn to stand up under peer pressure. It will build character.

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 04:06 PM

Do you really think that changing to the metric system would do all of that? You're in for a big surprise. Also, we're the last ones? So? Does that make us wrong?

Well, how much time do we waste drilling "4 quarts in a gallon! 128 fluid ounces in a gallon! 5,280 feet in a mile!" into our children's heads? Too much. And how many children sit there and wonder, "Why do I have to remember that there are five thousand whatever feet in a mile? This is stupid!"

That doesn't make us wrong, it just makes us slow.

Stand up under peer pressure? So you think that America would be conceding to something by adopting the metric system? It has nothing to do with that. It isn't a "war," it's the desire for everyone to measure as easily as possible. They even gave the metric system a small motto, "For all people, for all time."

[edit on 12-12-2008 by Totakeke]

posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 05:09 PM
You know I have this argument with an American friend of mine every few years, he claims the imperial ( Imperial Japanese ? haha ) is superior to the Metric system. I always come back with "how many cents in your dollar"? is that a full , half or quart dollar ?

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