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monsoon

Metric System of Measures

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I was not arguing that we should keep the imperial system completely. Most people in scientific fields already use metric. Children in school (at least in Minnesota) learn both systems including energy units in 9th grade physics.

It makes sense to use the metric scale on an international level... but basic things like "a foot of snow", fahrenheit, and miles per hour should stay, in my opinion.

And like I said before, I like cooking with "cups" and "tsp" and Tbsp's, etc. That's a personal preference.

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I was not arguing that we should keep the imperial system completely. Most people in scientific fields already use metric. Children in school (at least in Minnesota) learn both systems including energy units in 9th grade physics.

It makes sense to use the metric scale on an international level... but basic things like "a foot of snow", fahrenheit, and miles per hour should stay, in my opinion.

And like I said before, I like cooking with "cups" and "tsp" and Tbsp's, etc. That's a personal preference.

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The imperial system is very difficult compared to metric. In the first week of nursing school, an indepth imperial measurements course was presented. Let me tell ya, this was NOT an easy class. People were forced to study for hours for the test. No one in a class of over 50 people made 100%.

As someone said earlier, how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon? How many pints are in a gallon? How many quarts? Jeeeez...it makes my head spin, even though this is the system I've grown up with!

Metric couldn't possibly be so difficult to learn as imperial. How many Americans could make an "A" on an imperial measurements test?

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I like the new look and new features by the way.

I just think the argument is redundant. Perhaps we should reform the spelling of the English language so that it's simple and everyone else in the world can understand it. That's just the thing about imperial measures as with the English language...

It's tradition based with added elements over time. Why, for example a baker's dozen 13 when a dozen is 12? Because bakers feared in 13th century England severe punishments if they shortchanged customers, so they would make 13 of a product so that in case one was burnt or eaten or lost, they would get the 12. Bakers still use the "baker's dozen" today because it is more efficient to fit 13 'muffin' cups onto a rectangular sheet in a hexagonal format. Why don't they just make 10 so that it's easily divisible? 12 is actually a much more divisible number than 10 is, being divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 while 10 is only divisible from 1, 2, and 5. Maybe we should convert to a base 12 system if we want to be so convenient and flexible.

The mile, for example, was originally 5000 feet long, but was changed to 5280 feet to conform to the more common usage of rods during Queen Elizabeth I's reign.

The English, for example, still use the "stone" to calculate their weight, which is 14 pounds. Why? I don't know.

I guess I'm just fascinated with the history of measures and things like that, thus the reason I don't think changing is necessary. And I won't budge an inch on the fahrenheit vs. celsius debate. Celsius is crap for measuring air temp and that's just that.

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So would speaking the same language, using the same currency, and having an international government.. but again, tradition and emotional attachments.

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So would speaking the same language, using the same currency, and having an international government.. but again, tradition and emotional attachments.

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Exactly. The old Brtish monetary divisions were confusing. Why should there be 212 pence in a pound?

Its not an issue of learning the metric system. If I were forced to use it I would master those skills once again, as I have very rarely needed to use anything beyond cm/m/km since undergrad. To me its a matter of convenience. If the math behind measuring becomes easier it will be that much better for everyone.

One important impact of the metric system would be in architecture and engineering, where the concept of 'scale' blueprints would become irrelevant. You would just simply measure the distances and then add or subtract zeros as needed.

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frankly, i don't see a reason to switch anything but science to the metric system. and science already uses it (and any scientist who doesn't is only hurting him/herself). it's so ingrained in our heads what a mile, pound, degree fahrenheit, US gallon, foot, inch, etc are that there's just no reason. it doesn't hurt us or set us back so long as our scientists use scientific units (which is generally understood to be metric). if it ain't broke, why fix it?

this discussion was recently on slashdot and the general consensus there was that it's just not worth it for everyday life. it would really throw 95% of americans off (myself included) and that does not automatically mean we're inferior, we just don't use it on a daily basis, nor do we really have a reason to.

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That argument would suggest that Americans are either too stubborn or too slow to accept change that every other country save a couple of 3rd world places, has gone through.

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That argument would suggest that Americans are either too stubborn or too slow to accept change that every other country save a couple of 3rd world places, has gone through.

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but what's the point of the change? the only thing it does is disrupt americans. there's no real benefit to the country to make the switch.

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I'm all for the change. It is the common measurement for science. I can use the two systems interchangeably without even thinking about it now. When I hear or see inches or miles, my little brain automatically converts to metric measurements. It really isn't tough at all once you learn a few basic conversions. If people just start using it, you get it!

Imagine though how much it would cost to change all of the speed limit signs! :rolleyes:

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