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Old 10-11-2014, 08:59   #106
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

IMO, the main reason for staying with old style non-metric system is psychological. It is cozy, fuzzy and warm as we can all relate to a foot, a yard or an inch but meters, millimeters and kilometers are cold, impersonal and highly theoretical.

Actually from the economic point of view a wholesale conversion to metric system would be a boom to the economy and would allow our physical plant, tools and some such to leapfrog directly from 19th century into 21st.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:08   #107
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Agree with Island Time. Additionally, it would make US products more marketable overseas.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:23   #108
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by bgallinger View Post
Who needs metric when America can send a B-52 bomber up to 35,000 ft., fly at 500 mph with a payload of 24,500 pounds, then drop a 750 Lb. bomb through a 3 ft. x 3ft. window!
Nuff said.
I have 0.15 mile to my busstop. If you measure in imperial units, how do you say? 0.15 mi or 264 yd? (I shall admit that I used the computer for the convertsion).


I fully understand way the engeneers use the metrick system and use there brain for the construction and let the PR department take care of the conversion.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:43   #109
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

The most compelling reason to switch to metric that I have heard in my lifetime was this:

"Human penis size.
...while fully erect ones have an average length of 6 inches (15 cm) and a diameter of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), resulting in an erect circumference of 4.71 inches (12.0 cm)
" (wiki)

Don't know about others but to me 15 sounds much better than 6.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:45   #110
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

As a scientist born and raised in the USA, I use either without a thought (like two languages), but there is no question which is better and easier (so I won't even bother to state it!). Sadly, imperial measurements are like the 1-cent coin, too politically unpopular for anyone to stand up and do the right thing. I guess everyone knows that the scrap value of a 1-cent coin is more than its face value? As a silent protest (because anything else is a waste of time), I throw every penny I get into the recycling bin, if everyone did that they would quickly stop making them! Sadly, it won't do me any good to go to the local hardware and ask for 30 meters of 5mm galvanized wire...

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Old 10-11-2014, 10:08   #111
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
OK ask an average joe to add 3/32 nds + 7/64 +1 /8

So that's 6 + 7 + 8

Hmm... 21/64

Make it harder next time
Exactly.

However, in all seriousness, metric is much easier to deal with. That being said, I would suspect that child learning to have to reduce those fractions to the largest common denominator before adding the numerator makes for better math skills. You and I an do that in our heads, many can't as they may not even know the process.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:14   #112
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

I need to buy a new riding lawnmower . I have a large yard. Should I buy a 105 cm version or the 135cm?
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:25   #113
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
If only they had the balls to go for it back then instead of running scared from industry....

(dives for cover,, )
Probably soon, the resistance came from the automobile industry. Except for Ford, all the others now belong to metric countries anyway.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:42   #114
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Actually the conversion was scheduled in the early 70s (under Nixon I believe) to take 10 years to complete by the early 80s. And it was almost done but Reagan was under the heavy influence of the industry (not just auto) and backtracked on that commitment big time. I was in high school in the late 70s and remember our shop teacher b*tching about it but still teaching us in metric as well.

Funny but that non transition was one of the reasons why US autos in the 80s and beyond were a tough sell to the Europeans and Asians as they are totally tooled for metric. It's one thing to sell a 15inch sreen computer which will be obsolete before needing a non-metric tool to service it but to try to sell a car with thousands of non-metric parts to a metric market is a non starter. So once again our industry "leaders" shot themsleves in the foot by their total myopic approach to the big picture.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:52   #115
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Even though they resisted it, U.S. automakers are all pretty much metricized now anyway - for the very reason that to produce for a world market you need to use metric tooling. I haven't found any imperial fasteners on my '08 Ford escape. My 1999 jeep is about half-and-half. My 2000 ford van is mostly metric. The kia, well, it's metric of course.

As a 'merican, I wish we would have metricized in the 70s. Water freezes at 32? Boils at 2whatever? That's kinda silly. And, I wouldn't need two sets of every wrench and socket in my toolkit.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:07   #116
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Actually us old school guys have used a Constuction Master calculator for years.
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They have been made for about 30 years and make feet inches and fractions easy. And just press that M key and it converts to metric. You can get a CM phone app but I'd rather use the CM itself because it's way cheaper to replace after construction abuse than my phone.

So what size is a 4'X8' sheet of plywood over there? And a 2X4?
I live in New Zealand now, and its 2400x1200 for some and 2440x1220 for others,hangover i guess.framing timber comes in 90x45,140x45 and so on,a lot of the old guys here still use inches when refering to framing but pretty much everything else on site is in metric
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:15   #117
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Speaking of Noah, I didn't make that up.
We know you didn't make that one up. A couple of guys in the middle east a long time ago did.

Quote:
No, I wasn't being silly about what the length of a meter is. How many people have the equipment to measure the wavelength of whatever it is in a vaccuum ready-to-hand? How many colleges or scientific institutions have it? It's a really hard thing to measure, but without it how are all their balls-accurate metric rulers calibrated?
The same way as a yardstick. So there is no more accuracy there than anywhere else.
Maybe you should ook up how "yard" is defined, and how it has been defined in the US for the last century and a half... And why.


Quote:
It was an American rocket which made it to the moon, sent from a country who had not yet given themselves over wholesale to the metric system, while Russia, which had, lost.
Oh now, russia lost the race to the moon because it was metric?
May I point out to you that at the moment the US does not have the capability to send people in space, let alone to the moon. Russia or China however...

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
The bar and the wavelength are just attempts to correct a faulty unit. It didn't change where intent of the definition. It was faulty in that it had no intuitive value to humans and the earth is not a perfect sphere.
No, defining a unit in a way that does not require the existence of a physical object is superior to one that does. As the Brits found out when a fire in the house of parliament destroyed their standards. De US has defined their customary units in function of metric units since then.

Quote:
The foot has only one of those faults. It's intuitive but had to be standardized since not everyones feet are exactly the same length (I'm lucky, with shoes on I'm usually within 1/4")
The foot is not intuitive at all. Not to me. But then "intuitive" is highly subjective. When the foot was a common unit in Europe it's length varied from 250mm to 370mm. That's how intuitive it was...
The metric was designed by the French in order to facilitate trade, as up to then every town in Europe had it's own definition of "foot".
(Btw, royal body parts never played a role in the definition of the length of a foot)
It's only since the mid 20ieth century that the US foot is officially the same length as the UK foot! (A feat that was achieved by defining the Yard as being 0.9144m)

Quote:
I'm in engineering and deal with surveyors. I'm comfortable moving back and forth between systems but never have I heard of a "gon". Maybe it's similar to a Smoot.
Maybe you used a different term, or the usage was uncommon where you work. I went to school in Dutch. When checking out theodolites from the equipment room we would always check that the clerk hadn't slipped us the one T2 that had a 360° circle. All the others had 400 "gon" circles. in continental Europe that is the norm.
Edit: See this:
Gradian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Where metric is very useful is when cooking. When a recipe is all g and ml all I need is a scale. When "cups" and "tablespoons" and "ounces" come in it gets awfully complicated.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:17   #118
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post
I live in New Zealand now, and its 2400x1200 for some and 2440x1220 for others,hangover i guess.framing timber comes in 90x45,140x45 and so on,a lot of the old guys here still use inches when refering to framing but pretty much everything else on site is in metric
Here , Everyone at my timber yard, will buy timber in imperial, so a 8x4 sheet of chip is just that , as is a 2x4. however the actual timber size is metric

I grew up pre-decimalisaton, so its was all L.S.D land anyway ( and no not the drug - silly)

Dave
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:34   #119
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Even here in 'merica, when I go buy a 2x4, it's not 2" by 4" anyway. So the imperial one is "wrong" too. 90x45 actually makes more sense than knowing a 2x4 is really 1 1/2 x 3 1/2.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:35   #120
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

I was raised and educated in metric system in Europe. I learned the imperial system in Canada and then I went back to metric when Canada converted from imperial to metric. Then, I had fallen back to imperial after moving to US.

I don't care which system I use for measurement and calculations, both are familiar to me. What I hate is having two sets of wrenches and sockets, and second guessing what system was use for screws and bolts on my boat. Even supposedly metric hardware, like Volvo Penta, has some imperial screws and bolts thrown in by the boat manufacturer. It's a mess ... I suppose.
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