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Old 16-10-2015, 12:16   #301
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Three decimeters" just doesn't do it. Even the French don't use decimeters.

Because there is nothing wrong with 30cm.



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Old 16-10-2015, 12:20   #302
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Nobody uses 3 decimeters. It's 30 cm. And being used to it you know how long this is.
People born in Central Europe about 1900 used the metric pound - 500g - and went to the butcher to buy some 3/8 of some sausage.
Did disappear with that generation. As the guys in Spain (construction people mainly) who still calculate properties in "Pesetas" after 15 years and some inflation. Time will cure.

Playing with the decimeter: a cubic decimeter is a liter or 1000cc. That simple. A tank 150cm x 60cm x 50cm keeps in total 15x6x5=450 liters of let΄s say Diesel. The same please in inches (or foot) for gallons.... Oops: which gallon?
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Old 16-10-2015, 12:24   #303
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
It's good to hear that, in countries that have forced the metric system on the population, people still think in imperial units.
In most of those countries people don't think in imperial units. They think metric.



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That's what we do in the imperial system: Two tablespoons are an ounce. Eight (2x2x2) ounces are a cup. Two cups are a pint. Two pints are a quart. Or we can go straight to four (2x2) cups in a quart. Four quarts in a gallon. Or, just to make the math simple, 128 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2) ounces in a gallon. 128 is divisible by 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. Note that a "half gallon" (2x2x2x2x2x2 ounces) is a common measurement used in the imperial system.
And in want way is this useful?

If I search for recipes on the Internet I find two kinds: recipes that will be using 3 or 4 or more different vague units like "cups" and "tablespoons", and recipes that give all ingredients in grams. The former are usually American, and hard to get right, The latter are far easier.




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Old 16-10-2015, 12:36   #304
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

What comes to sheet sizes and lumber in imperical units (as 2by4) in building industry they are used merely as names, not as real values of measurement of anything...
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Old 16-10-2015, 14:12   #305
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Three decimeters" just doesn't do it. Even the French don't use decimeters.
Could you live with thirty centimeters?
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Old 16-10-2015, 14:13   #306
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Could you live with thirty centimeters?
Oops. See I was beat to the punch, twice, on this one.
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Old 16-10-2015, 14:24   #307
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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What comes to sheet sizes and lumber in imperical units (as 2by4) in building industry they are used merely as names, not as real values of measurement of anything...
That always drives me crazy. A 2X4 is not even close to 2" by 4", more like 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". Yes I know the "reason" why it's that way but I still think it's incredibly dumb.

In metric I believe they use a 5X10 (cm) which is a nice round number for lumber dimensions.
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Old 16-10-2015, 14:26   #308
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I recall well the day Canada went metric. ...but 1/2 hour before launch some American political dickhead got cold feet and refused to go along with the agreement. ... Cheers, Phil

We call that period "The Metric Scare".

Thank God we lived through it. One of my vehicles has both metric and inch parts, and so does my Universal diesel. Now I have both inch and metric tools in the garage, in the basement work area, in the truck, and on the boat. Luckily, the ice boats are all inch, being made in '76.
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Old 16-10-2015, 15:03   #309
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
It's good to hear that, in countries that have forced the metric system on the population, people still think in imperial units.

I believe that's because that the imperial system just makes more intuitive sense.

The decimal system is an artificial construct, which came about solely through the accident of humans having ten fingers. It's not particularly useful otherwise, since 10 is only divisible by 2 and 5.

The binary system would be a more natural way to count.

That's what we do in the imperial system: Two tablespoons are an ounce. Eight (2x2x2) ounces are a cup. Two cups are a pint. Two pints are a quart. Or we can go straight to four (2x2) cups in a quart. Four quarts in a gallon. Or, just to make the math simple, 128 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2) ounces in a gallon. 128 is divisible by 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. Note that a "half gallon" (2x2x2x2x2x2 ounces) is a common measurement used in the imperial system.

Or put another way, you can divide a gallon in half, in half again, and in half again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again. With each half, you get a common unit in the imperial system.

Now look at money. A US dollar, our basic unit, is 100 cents. Just like the metric system. One fourth of that, a "quarter", is a common concept that even young children easily grasp. Dimes and nickles are available, but that takes a little more thought. Interestingly, we don't really have a way to divide dollars into eighths, and it makes things confusing.

But that's a recent problem. The term "two bits" is a leftover phrase from the colonial period, when the Spanish dollar was used. The Spanish dollar was called a "piece of eight", which was equal to 8 Spanish reales. One eighth of a dollar or one silver real was one "bit", which is equal to 12.5 cents. Nobody called it "12.5 cents". They called it one bit. Another vote against the metric system. By the way, the word "bit" lives on in the computer world, where it's one-eighth of a "byte."

To this day, we can easily understand the concept of "two bits", or one-eight of a dollar, even though we don't have a "bit" coin any more. We have "bitcoin" now, but that's a whole different discussion.

So, my conclusion is that it's natural to think in multiples of 2, also known as the binary system. Decimal, aka Metric, is an artificial construct that's nowhere near as useful or easy to understand as its proponents suggest.
The only reason the imperial system makes more 'intuitive' sense to you is because your used to it. Either your from the older generation or the USA.

People brought up in Australia during the metric age don't use the imperial system unless parts of their work require it. I had to learn it for a machining apprenticeship, but that was because in the 70's most expensive metal work machines were imperial. By the time I finished my apprenticeship the new college had mainly metric but retained a number of imperial machines, because in the mining industry where I worked they had zero metric machines. So, I had to Lear it. And it was difficult to say the least to learn this old fraction system.

Anything in large sizes, large weights as well as anything in very small sizes are much easier understood in metric.

I work part time at a small primary school. More my hobby than work. Last year when helping the kids make a chicken coupe one of the kids casually asked if we had any 2x4's that he could use. I asked him what size timber is a 2x4 and he said he didn't have a clue it's just the 'nam 'used' for any piece that fits in your hand. He didn't even realise it meant 2" by 4", and then to explain that if you measure it, it's still not 2" by 4" really confused him.

I fly light planes and as such there are the constant calculations to be made around weights and measures and where ever the imperial system comes into it, depending on the plane, then we have 'conversions' we have to do. No where near as complicated in the metric system.

So, NO, the imperial system does not come close to making more 'intuitive' sense at all. Not even close. And I don't know about your history of ten fingers?
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Old 16-10-2015, 15:30   #310
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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That always drives me crazy. A 2X4 is not even close to 2" by 4", more like 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". Yes I know the "reason" why it's that way but I still think it's incredibly dumb.

In metric I believe they use a 5X10 (cm) which is a nice round number for lumber dimensions.
But it isn't.. It's 48x96 :-D
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Old 16-10-2015, 15:37   #311
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Both Canada and the UK use both

I tend to use feet/miles when flying/sailing or for my height and meters for measuring other stuff pretty interchangably. I use inches for short distances and mm for very short distances... it doesn't really make much sense I guess.

Also thanks to the guy earlier who used Noah's Ark as an example why Imperial was better, I spat my coffee everywhere!
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:30   #312
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Funny to see this old thread come up again. After destroying with logic all of K_V_B's objections (he never answered my last series of commentary, so I deem him vanquished), the thread has drifted to highlight another failing of the Metric system: there is simply no poesy in it. The Sensible System has many ways to express quantities of things: a teaspoon, a cup, a tablespoon, a pinch. Metric can only coldly say: 'X amount of grams'. We can say: a yard, a fathom, a furlong, a league, a mile, a foot. Metric can only say: 'X amount of Meters, or decimal fractions thereof'. We have weeks and months and fortnights; hours and days and minutes and moments--Metric hasn't figured out a way to cram time into their ten-based paradigm, (a ten-day week? A hundred-hour day? Absurd!) and so continue using the proper way, though it seems frightfully unscientific. Sure, the speed of gravity might be nine-period-eight meters per second per second squared, but how fast is a second? are they indeed using our old-fashioned second to measure their stuff because they can't come up with their own way to measure time? No doubt they've got some metrical definition of what a second is, just like they have decided how many meters to put into a nautical mile, but at the end of the day a second is a sixtieth of a minute, which is a sixtieth of an hour, which is not quite a twenty-fourth of a day! For people who claim to prize accuracy above all things, that seems rather loose.
When they try to do away with pounds and stone and hogsheads and barrels, and all the seemingly illogical associations between cubits and spans and every other wonderful thing, they are attacking the variety that gives spice to life; they would do away with the poesy that makes measuring things a delight. What a shame.
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:49   #313
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by Lars_L View Post

If one person has a length of 6’3” and another have the length of 4’10”, what is the average length?
Don't use sloppy words like "average", it has multiple meanings.
Are you talking about the mean, median or mode of the numbers?

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The base of 2.
Length. For 1 inch they take the half, and the half and so on.
But in the other direction?
12 inch for a foot. Where do the base two come in that?
Next step. 3 foot on a yard. The base two?
And how many yard is there on a mile?
Not to mention links,rods, chains, furlongs and acres
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:49   #314
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Canada went metric?!


Astounding. How come their carpenters still buy plywood sheets in 4'x8' pieces, and they still use inches to measure before they cut?


I'm all for metric, but it needs a handy unit somewhere around one foot, or one cubit, in length, so there's a handy way to describe things without pesky decimals.


"Three decimeters" just doesn't do it. Even the French don't use decimeters.
Very simple, hello sailor... There is a large portion of Canadian plywood manufacturers sent to the US for export. To retool all of the plywood mills to be able to produce both metric for domestic consumption and SAE measurements for export only to the US doesn't make economic sense.
Economics seems to drive many of these decisions.
One thing I've never been able to resolve is the difference between imperial and US gallons! Phil
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Old 16-10-2015, 23:10   #315
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
But it isn't.. It's 48x96 :-D
Here, it's 50 x 100 if it's green timber.

The size of a 4 x 2 depends on what you intend to hit with it
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