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View Poll Results: Should the United States convert to the metric system?
Yes, almost the whole world use the metric system! 36 43.90%
We should use both! 6 7.32%
Nah, Imperial is better 34 41.46%
I don't care 6 7.32%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-08-2009, 07:59 PM
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,944,871 times
Reputation: 2978


I'm an engineer an I support SI.

There are actually very few things which are measured in English units simply because the English system is an obsolete holdover from the dark ages when the physical world consisted of what you could see, carry, and walk to.

Every scientific measurement uses SI. There's no such thing as a pico-inch or mega-mile. With distances measured in base-12 and food measured in base-16, the English unit system is simply and quite obviously bassackwards. It's time for it to go the way of the Dodo.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:06 PM
2,881 posts, read 4,618,763 times
Reputation: 3584
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Just one quick question....

If the World (besides the ignorant back-water countries like the United States) are all using Metric, why does the World produce nearly all of its Plywood sheeting in the size of 1220mm by 2440mm? Wouldn't it be better to force them to make the sheeting in sizes like 1000mm by 2000mm?

No Metric System proponent has ever answered this question when I asked it. They all must be scared of the answer.
In this particular case it's architectural conventions. We have standard 8' high rooms, with 4' widths so they can be fitted horizontally and vertically, and all manner of other contingent measurements spring from this basic building block, like 16" on center studs. Then plumbing and electrical are also affected. Now, we could say, Adjust the codes then. But in the simple case of height, it would have to be adjusted upward. I doubt we would acquiesce to lower ceilings for the sake of the metric system. That means standard building heights get adjusted way upward. Costs, public and residential planning and established tolerances would have to be completely gutted and reassessed.

So there's inertia and there's practical inertia. It's hard enough to get things right as a home improvement amateur homeowner. Think of the headaches for professionals across the field of construction. Manufacturers would have to machine (and sellers would have to maintain) stock for two separate measuring systems for the maintenance of millions upon millions of current homes and public buildings, awaiting their unimprovable, undamageable perfection, or their ultimate demolition so only new metric buildings exist.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:54 AM
Location: Seattle
6,962 posts, read 9,057,027 times
Reputation: 3793
I still don't understand why TVs and monitors are measured in inches everywhere in the world (even Europe). I am used to inches when I talk about display sizes and I am from Europe. I have no idea how many cm the TVs should be if I don't convert it from inches. That's weird
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:17 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
149 posts, read 489,096 times
Reputation: 122
Sorry but the question is sort of moot. Metric is here and expanding all the time. Try buying a 16, 32 or 64 ounce bottle of Coke - a pint or fifth of whiskey - just try to use your old wrenches on your new Ford or Chevy - and thank God our monetary system is decimal (I can't imagine using pounds, shillings and pence) - check the label on your bottled water - and just what is the displacement on that engine in your car (can your say "liters")?

The military switched over to metric years ago. Latitude and longitude have changed from degrees, minutes, seconds to the more practical use of decimal degrees. One US cent weighs 2.500 grams - a nickel weighs exactly 5 grams. Don't even try to figure out how much they weigh in ounces!

The English system is gradually being edged out in this country and we will all be better off for it.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:06 PM
Location: New York City
2,789 posts, read 5,312,823 times
Reputation: 1813
Metric is much better. I lived in a country that used metric and now live here. I still get very confused sometimes.

Like converting fractions of a mile to yards and feet? Quick, how much longer is 1/4 mile than 1000 feet? In metric on the other hand, 1km = 1000 meters and very easy to divide. 1/2 a kilometer = 500 meters. 1/4 = 250 meters.

With fluids, it's even more confusing. Since sometimes ounces are used (which are really a measure of mass) and sometimes cups and pints (measures of volume). Quick, are 2 pints of beer more than 40 oz? Again, with metric it's much easier. 1 liter is 1000 milliliters. 1 liter of water weighs exactly 1 kilogram. Imperial simply has too many units - gallons, quarts, pints, cups, fl. oz and none of them are easy to convert to, say, cubic inches or cubic feet even though they measure same thing.

Temperatures in Fahrenheit are completely random. What is so special about 0F? or 100F?
Just a confusing system in general.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:59 PM
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,976,124 times
Reputation: 6687
Originally Posted by poster View Post
Sorry but the question is sort of moot. Metric is here and expanding all the time. Try buying a 16, 32 or 64 ounce bottle of Coke.
Try? I've done so or a relative has for me. (I prefer cans or the glass bottles, but the glass bottles are harder to find) Did they switch to something else in North Carolina?

Originally Posted by MrMarbles View Post
Temperatures in Fahrenheit are completely random. What is so special about 0F? or 100F?
I agree on this. In the case of inches and feet they are based on something even if it's something no longer relevant. Fahrenheit I don't think is that much older than Celsius and its starting point is not significant so far as I can tell. Celsius is based in things in nature in a clear and obvious way. This makes it less an "appeal to laziness" and actually an appeal to something real and natural. I might have some nostalgic connection to Fahrenheit, but mostly I think switching to Celsius would be good.
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