# Advantages of the metric system

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• posted on October 7, 2013, 6:44 am

wrote:

In the UK we changed to the metric system years back. There are no significant advantages. Everything that is changed to metric sizes is always that bit smaller so you end up getting less for your money. The kids become dumb at arithmetic.
There are no exact divisors for problems in tens. Eg what is a third of a metre? No answer. What is a seventh of a kilometer? No answer.
Why are there 360 degrees in a circle? Why are there 2240 pounds in a ton? Why are there 1760 yards in a mile?
You can blame the French and Napoleon. They even wanted a ten day week/ten month year.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 7, 2013, 4:00 pm
On 10/7/2013 1:44 AM, harryagain wrote:

Chart.pdf

Back in the 1970's during the Arab Oil Embargo, service stations switched their pumps over to liters because the price in dollars overwhelmed the mechanical measuring systems which couldn't handle higher fuel prices in dollars and cents. I remember the absolute confusion among drivers when confronted by The Metric System when trying to fill their car's fuel tank. ^_^
In The U.S. we use the short ton which is 2,000 lbs, Folks will usually give a mile as 5,280 feet instead of 1760 yards. Our military has been using The Metric System for many years. I recall interviews with soldiers back during The Vietnam War where the soldiers described distances in meters rather than yards. I suppose the switch to metric in our military was necessary because of NATO. ^_^
TDD
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 3:45 am
The problem you had wasn't just that you were using Imperial measurements of feet and inches, you were also using fractions like 16ths, 32nds and 64ths of an inch. The metric system doesn't have fractions. In metric, all fractions become decimals, and decimals are inherently easier for calculators to crunch.
Just thank your lucky stars that you didn't have to do those calculations using Roman numerals.
It's amazing that some of the greatest engineering in history was done using Roman numberals. The buildings, aquaducts, roads, bridges and weapons of war built by the Romans were all designed and built using Roman numerals rather that the Arabic numbers we use today.
PS: One of the biggest problems with the Roman numeral system is that it had no numeral for the number "zero", and that was problematic. If, for example, a census taker noted that one farmer had no cattle, he would simply not say anything about cattle owned by that farmer, and that led to ambiguity. Anyone reading that census wouldn't know for sure if it meant the farmer had no cattle, or that the census taker simply forgot to ask that farmer about his cattle. A number for the concept of "zero" clears up that ambiguity.
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nestork

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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 11:31 am
1/16 and 1/32 for a park bench? Are you sure you weren't building a piano? https://www.khanacademy.org/math/arithmetic/fractions
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 12:53 pm

You're flummoxed by a measurement system that has been used to build just about everything under the English-speaking sun for over 1,000 years? Maybe it's you and not the measurement system.
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Tegger

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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 2:59 pm
On Saturday, October 5, 2013 5:53:01 AM UTC-7, Tegger wrote:

Had you ever _used_ the metric system for anything you would see how ridiculous the English system is.
I lived in Germany for 6 years and did all my work in metric. Cursed our stupid system the day I got back here and am still doing it some 40 years later.
One of the stupidest arguments against going metric I heard was from a mechanic. "I won't know what wrench to use with out looking at the size marking"
"Hey, stupid you don't look at the size marking on a 9/16 now, why would you have to on an 11mm?. You just reach for "that" wrench now just as you would in mm size"
One of the big advantages of metric for mechanics is there are a lot fewer bolt/nut sizes to deal with.
Harry K
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 4:47 pm
wrote:

A lie.

Irrelevant.

Stupid people say stupid things.

After many years, he probably knows which wrench to reach for without looking.

Yeah, right. <sheesh>
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 6:00 pm
On Sat, 05 Oct 2013 12:47:59 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Of course he does, just like the mechanics that use metric on a regular basis. Some people are just afraid of change, but in a couple of weeks, it is just as simple, maybe more so.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 6:25 pm
On 10/5/2013 1:00 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I imagine anyone who's been in the military would have no problem with The Metric System since the military converted to metric many years ago. Of course if any readers of the newsgroup left any of the engineering and construction corps of the military in recent years, they could tell us how things are. I wonder if there is still a 2&1/2 ton truck and 40' trailer or has everything gone metric? ^_^
TDD
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 7:24 pm
On Saturday, October 5, 2013 11:25:42 AM UTC-7, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Too bad the rest of the American economy has not caught up with what you sa y is military practice.
We are disadvantaging ourselves by clinging to an old-fashioned metric tha t is virtually alone in the developed (and underdeveloped) world.
Many years ago the government highway folks tried an experiment. They put up signs giving the speed limit in Olde English and metric. Big mistake! Of course most people went with the familiar, and the experiment died.
By contrast, Australia went cold turkey, overnight. Nobody rioted in the s treets. The older Aussies adjusted in time and the younger ones never knew anything different.
Hard to figure WHO is behind this stubborn, continuing nonsense. One guess might be business -- especially the Big Business that really rules the cou ntry. Maybe they don't want the expense of converting. But aren't they cut ting off their nose to spite their face? A short-term view.
HB
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 8:30 pm
On 10/5/2013 2:24 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Funny thing, the most resistant to the change over to The Metric System have been my overly religious friends. Perhaps it's because it breaks with tradition and their mindset is one that is more resistant to change? o_O
TDD
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 5, 2013, 10:23 pm

Reminds me of the first time I was going to change the spark plugs in my old Datsun. Went to the Autozone (or whatever) and picked up the plugs. Asked the man behing the counter about a metric spark plug wrench. He did not know so we went to the wrench display and did not see a special wrench for the plugs. Tried several metric sockts and none of them seemed to fit like they should. Tried a standard American plug wrench and it fit just fine. Had a few of them at home, so did not buy a a metric wrench that almost fit. Worked fine. Found out later all plugs at that time were American size.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 2:09 am
On Sat, 5 Oct 2013 18:23:43 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

Spark plugs are hanging on to SAE. I don't much care, but would rather have one wrench measurement standard. Why have 2 sets of wrenches? I can eyeball the needed wrench, except when inch and metric wrenches are mixed. Some are interchangeable, but others are sloppy or tight if you grab the wrong one.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 2:15 am
On Sat, 05 Oct 2013 21:09:12 -0500, Vic Smith

One think they could do would to make the metal in metric look different from "standard" bolts. It works with electrical terminals.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 3:12 am
On 10/5/2013 10:15 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

They do. They make some a little bigger, others a little smaller.
At work , we use more metric, but it does not take long to be able to tell a 1/4" from an M6.
Our industry shifted from 100% SAE to 95% metric. If you want to do commerce with the rest of the world you use metric.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 3:26 am
wrote:

A lot of metric bolts are blue. IBM used that standard to avoid confusion. The metric allens were blue too. I think that now, metric is so common, maybe they should dye SAE stuff.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 2:21 am

Curious... does anyone know if socket drive sizes are standardized imperial world wide? You know, 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4"...
Don't recall ever seeing or hearing of others
Erik
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 2:51 am

One post says, "Things like the Hazet catalogue list them in dual sizes. 1/4" 6.3mm, 3/8" = 10mm and 1/2" = 12.5mm square drive."
So you can say they are standardized. They just call a 1/4" drive a 6.3mm drive. Maybe there's a French or German mechanic who could say what they call the different drives in everyday talk,
I grew up with the non-metrics so that's ingrained in me. Seems it's no big deal to convert either. I don't bother arguing about it. The metric system has obvious advantages with some things, and plain doesn't matter with others. Only time I remember arguing about it was in college, with a science professor. He was telling us how much better the metric system was and that everything should be measured metrically. I understood all that, so I asked him if we should do it with time. Why should a day have 24 hours? Or a minute 60 seconds? He was caught off guard, and had no good answer.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 3:15 am
On 10/5/2013 10:51 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Using "military" time of 24 hours would avoid a lot of confusion.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 6, 2013, 3:46 am

I also think use of the 24hr clock would be a good thing... I'm personally not used to it and have to think a little when presented with such times, but have a feeling if immersed in it, would be an old pro in a few days
Looks like Decimal time has been dabbled with. (I only skimmed through this article.):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time
A few years back watch Manufacture 'Swatch' thought it'd be cute to do their own decimal time 'standard' as well. (Only skimmed this one as well):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Time
Think I remember once hearing of... (in Russia possibly?) 24hr UTC in use across a large area. Don't have time to look into it at the moment, but here's the UTC article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC
Erik