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
What is a seventh of a kilometer?
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.
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. ^_^
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.
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.
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? ^_^
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I found this.
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.
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
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
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:
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