City-Data Forum Why Aren't We Measuring Metric Yet? (best, converting, sound, system)
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04-29-2007, 08:40 PM
 Location: IN 20,087 posts, read 34,235,552 times Reputation: 12438

We have been using the English system for so long that I doubt that we will be converting to the metric system anytime soon.

04-29-2007, 10:58 PM
 124 posts, read 334,437 times Reputation: 47
Quote:
 Originally Posted by KerrTown But why not just teach one system, S.I.? Forget the U.S. system. In fact liquids measured in ounces are listed as U.S. fluid ounces so as not to confuse the British with their Imperial ounce. Did you know that the law defines the U.S. system by S.I. units? Legally 1 mile is 1.6 km. And in a 1959 treaty, the inch was standardized into 2.54 cm. DYK there were originally 5000 feet (or 7.57 furlongs) in a mile until Queen Elizabeth I changed it to 5280 feet so it will be exactly 8 furlongs. That could be one of the stupidest decisions in history. BTW do even know what a furlong is or even use it? A furlong is meausre of distance 40 rods (220 yd or 660 ft) long. A rod is 5 1/2 yd or 16 1/2 ft long.
That's what I was suggesting. Why are we continuing to use an outdated and difficult system? I guess the better question is, why are we trying to use two systems?

04-30-2007, 07:30 AM
 Location: Perth, Western Australia 9,595 posts, read 22,732,242 times Reputation: 3472
Quote:
 Originally Posted by mtb83201 That's what I was suggesting. Why are we continuing to use an outdated and difficult system? I guess the better question is, why are we trying to use two systems?
It's not a difficult system to me since I've used it before and know plenty of conversions. I can understand it being difficult at first for foreigners and some new immigrants, but I so no problem with that. How can it be difficult to people raised with it? Sure there are a lot of numbers to remember but in metric there are plenty of different kinds of units to remember just like in your current system which IMHO are just as hard to remember all the extra numbers.

04-30-2007, 10:27 AM
 124 posts, read 334,437 times Reputation: 47
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ColdCanadian It's not a difficult system to me since I've used it before and know plenty of conversions. I can understand it being difficult at first for foreigners and some new immigrants, but I so no problem with that. How can it be difficult to people raised with it? Sure there are a lot of numbers to remember but in metric there are plenty of different kinds of units to remember just like in your current system which IMHO are just as hard to remember all the extra numbers.
It's difficult in that the numbers do not coincide. You have to remember that there are 5280 feet in a mile, water boils at 212 degrees, etc. Most people don't remember that stuff. But even with metric as a minority, people know that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer, 10mm in a centimeter, water boils at 100 degrees, because it's easy to remember. You can't deny that it would be easier to use just one simple system, instead of confusing everyone trying to use two systems. Of course people are going to go with the more familiar system. We are creatures of habit. I just wish the metric system was that more familiar system.

04-30-2007, 10:53 AM
 Location: Greater Houston 4,428 posts, read 8,525,453 times Reputation: 2031
Ounces? Which one--liquid or solid? Not only U.S. has to be infront sometimes but ounces have two meanings. Try looking at a tube of oatmeal. It tells you the product in ounces but without looking at the metric value, it is hard to tell if it was measured by volume (liquid) or by weight (solid; mass in metric).

Did you know that weight is just how much force is exerted by gravity and that mass is a measure of how much matter the object contains? The U.S. customary system cannot measure mass. S.I. can measure both. Weight would be measured by Newtons and mass by the gram (or kilogram in S.I.). That's why a person would weigh differently on the moon but their mass is still the same.

BTW can you tell me how many inches are in a furlong without using Google or a calculator? Base-10 makes conversions easy by moving a decimal. The prefix system makes moving that decimal (and measuring in general) a breeze. Did the founders think that they and their ancestors have used Lsd. so long that they would not convert to decimalized currency or the Gregorian calendar?

Table of common prefixes:
• Mega - b x 1,000,000
• kilo - b x 1,000
• hecto - b x 100
• deka - b x 10
• base unit (b)
• deci - b x .1
• centi - b x .01
• milli - b x .001
• micro (µ) - b x .0001

See SO SIMPLE!!!

Last edited by KerrTown; 04-30-2007 at 11:05 AM.. Reason: table

04-30-2007, 08:56 PM
 Location: Perth, Western Australia 9,595 posts, read 22,732,242 times Reputation: 3472
Quote:
 Originally Posted by mtb83201 It's difficult in that the numbers do not coincide. You have to remember that there are 5280 feet in a mile, water boils at 212 degrees, etc. Most people don't remember that stuff. But even with metric as a minority, people know that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer, 10mm in a centimeter, water boils at 100 degrees, because it's easy to remember. You can't deny that it would be easier to use just one simple system, instead of confusing everyone trying to use two systems. Of course people are going to go with the more familiar system. We are creatures of habit. I just wish the metric system was that more familiar system.
Yes, the number part is easy, but in both systems there are so many different kinds of units, most people don't remember most of them anyways.

A "calorie" is actually a metric unit, but Canada labels food only in "joules." (kilo joules.) Funny that it was metric but they decided to abandon the familiar unit and go with one mostly scientists understand.

When you are working with equations, some of the metric prefixes are also used to denote other ideas while using metric units in the equation at the same time.

I believe if the U.S.A. had always been metric instead, it'd only vaguely help at most the average non-scienceminded citizen. It would make a bit more difference to people involved with math and science at a professional level, but it can still be confusing since the prefixes were already taken to represent other ideas, long before metric existed.

04-30-2007, 11:37 PM
 Location: Greater Houston 4,428 posts, read 8,525,453 times Reputation: 2031
Using a ruler marked in inches, it is hard to figure out which markings mean which fraction of an inch. It is hard to tell if the ruler is graduated in 1/16ths of an inch or 1/32nds of an inch. So I have to count all 16 or 32 graduations to make sure because sometimes the ruler does not state if it is graduated in 1/16ths or 1/32nds of an inch. Plus the denominators change everytime you move upward. The first graduation in 16ths is 1/16th of an inch, then 1/8th, then 3/16ths, then 1/4th, then 5/16ths, and so on. Decimal inches are not even marked in the 16ths or 32nds graduations. In order to use decimal inches, I have to use a new ruler with different graduations.

I cannot build in inches because of this so I use metric. With metric, I just count to 10 to make sure there are 10 mm within a cm. The problem with is that there are no tools available in metric. The tape measures and markings on power tools are exclusively in inches.

04-30-2007, 11:45 PM
 Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen 2,794 posts, read 9,661,709 times Reputation: 1425
The Metric Dollar

Quote:
 Originally Posted by dennis s Because this is America son...................... That's why! ... no really....................... cause it's so haaaaard that's why
The U.S. Dollar is already Metric. We could say:

\$1 = dollar
\$1000 = kilodollar

10¢ = decidollar
1¢ = centidollar

What's so hard or un-American about that?

Last edited by Winston Smith; 05-01-2007 at 12:06 AM..

05-01-2007, 12:19 AM
 Location: Greater Houston 4,428 posts, read 8,525,453 times Reputation: 2031
Quote:
 Originally Posted by cre8 The U.S. Dollar is already Metric. We could say: \$1 = dollar \$10 = decadollar \$100 = hectadollar \$1000 = kilodollar 10¢ = decidollar 1¢ = centidollar What's so hard or un-American about that?
Agree.

Would you have this: \$0.00 or this: £3 2s. 6d. (alt. £3 2/6). Try adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing those numbers. You might have a better appreciation for decimals/S.I. metric.

05-01-2007, 12:32 AM
 Location: Dilworth - Charlotte, NC. 549 posts, read 2,145,273 times Reputation: 241
We should convert since the world is becoming a smaller place.