Do you want the metric system in the USA?
Feb 2, 2010 at 8:50 AM Post #107 of 122

fenixdown110

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Posts
2,555
Likes
14
I feel like sticking my head in a blender just about now. Anyone want to join?
 
Feb 2, 2010 at 9:12 AM Post #108 of 122

itsborken

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2007
Posts
1,882
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by happyxix /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As a 4th year mechanical engineering student who have to learn 2 stupid unit systems... YES


Such problems, wasn't that taught to you back in middle school? I'd think that would be second nature by now, especially at the Senior level courses. Do you think if they eliminated it your GPA would take a big jump up especially since engineering gives partial credit if the concepts are right and the numbers were just punched into the calculator wrong?

Have you ever wondered what your career would be like if you were born 35 years earlier and had to do the work on a slide rule because scientific calculators didn't exist? There was always the option of looking up the values in the CRC math tables too. There's always the claim how things are so tough now, but believe me, things have been worse.
 
Feb 2, 2010 at 2:40 PM Post #109 of 122

scompton

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Posts
6,060
Likes
24
Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzVinyl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
"Do I want the Metric system in the USA?"

No, I don't.

And the funny thing is when I was a youngster in Elementary and Jr High, (long ago boys and girls) it was widely thought that metric was coming, like it or not, and we all studied the conversion charts.

And, as I recall, there were some Interstate mileage signs at that time that ONLY had km milage listed.

This was supposed to put all doubts aside that "metric was coming".

Seveal decades later...here we still is... :)

...





Quote:

Originally Posted by itsborken /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I remember as a teenager Ohio had an occasional dual mileage/km sign posted on I-70. Anybody know if they are still up?


I never saw one that was kilometers only. Ohio is where I remember seeing them them, on 80S (now 76). They were gone there by the early 80s.
 
Feb 23, 2010 at 5:47 AM Post #110 of 122

ChopTart

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Posts
25
Likes
0
3rd year chemical engineering student - yes please.

Quote:

Originally Posted by itsborken /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Such problems, wasn't that taught to you back in middle school? I'd think that would be second nature by now, especially at the Senior level courses. Do you think if they eliminated it your GPA would take a big jump up especially since engineering gives partial credit if the concepts are right and the numbers were just punched into the calculator wrong?


Just because it was presented at some point earlier on doesn't mean that it's anywhere near as intuitive as the metric system. For instance, a slug is 32.17405 pounds mass. Why the arbitrary conversion number? Why even bother with such a unit at all?

I think it's more a matter of conforming for the sake of simplicity. The only real reason I can conceive we still use imperial is entrenchment, and that's not much of a good reason at all in my book. All it does is add to the confusion (e.g. Mars Orbiter).
 
Feb 23, 2010 at 6:11 AM Post #111 of 122

marvin

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Posts
2,580
Likes
17
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChopTart /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think it's more a matter of conforming for the sake of simplicity. The only real reason I can conceive we still use imperial is entrenchment, and that's not much of a good reason at all in my book. All it does is add to the confusion (e.g. Mars Orbiter).


The US going to metric doesn't really solve problems of that type. The space/defense industry is very legacy system heavy and there ain't enough manpower or money to convert those drawings and documents to metric. As a result, they would still feature a lot of converting between metric and Imperial even if the US switched to metric overnight.

I will offer a counter proposal though. The US should convert to metric around the time the rest of the world converts to English.
evil_smiley.gif
It's all a matter of convention anyways, and might as well unify around the dominant standard.
 
Feb 23, 2010 at 6:13 AM Post #112 of 122

Landis

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Posts
1,656
Likes
24
Location
Toronto, ON
Give into change!

I mean hell, drug dealers use it, liquor distributors use it, milk and juice use it and medicine too.

Sometimes I like to change things up and I swap measurements of weight and volume. "I'm going to store to grab a kilogram or two of milk!", "This bag weighs a few litres!" etc.
 
Feb 23, 2010 at 6:43 AM Post #113 of 122

SoupRKnowva

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Posts
4,660
Likes
120
Location
Seattle, WA
Quote:

Originally Posted by Landis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Sometimes I like to change things up and I swap measurements of weight and volume. "I'm going to store to grab a kilogram or two of milk!", "This bag weighs a few litres!" etc.


hahaha, i think thats one of the funnier things ive read all day
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 1:16 AM Post #114 of 122

Drag0n

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Posts
3,706
Likes
14
I been using both to some degree for years. They taught us some metric in school in the 70s. Our measuring devices have both. Im not seeing the problem. I already know that when talking to someone out of the USA, i use metric, and i also have to convert currency denominations also. I like keeping both. Give you guys a centimeter and youll take a kilometer!!! :Standard-and-Metric-Smiley:
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 4:03 AM Post #116 of 122

itsborken

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2007
Posts
1,882
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChopTart /img/forum/go_quote.gif
3rd year chemical engineering student - yes please.



Just because it was presented at some point earlier on doesn't mean that it's anywhere near as intuitive as the metric system. For instance, a slug is 32.17405 pounds mass. Why the arbitrary conversion number? Why even bother with such a unit at all?



As a 3rd year ChE (before I transferred to Com Sci because I enjoyed modeling/simulation a heck of a lot more than all the other courses combined) I know where you are coming from. I can tell you that I don't remember a 'slug' ever coming up in Unit Ops, Thermo, or any of the other courses. Yeah, there's some crazy units of measure out there but that doesn't mean they are in normal use, even in ChE. You're going to scare people away from the field :)

I'm all for using metric for engineering and science. It just doesn't add any value for day to day living.
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 4:55 AM Post #117 of 122

taylor

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Posts
1,089
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by itsborken /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As a 3rd year ChE (before I transferred to Com Sci because I enjoyed modeling/simulation a heck of a lot more than all the other courses combined) I know where you are coming from. I can tell you that I don't remember a 'slug' ever coming up in Unit Ops, Thermo, or any of the other courses. Yeah, there's some crazy units of measure out there but that doesn't mean they are in normal use, even in ChE. You're going to scare people away from the field :)

I'm all for using metric for engineering and science. It just doesn't add any value for day to day living.



I agree completely.

3rd year engineering student here also. So yes, I know the entire SI system like the back of my hand.

And, yes, I've had this argument with my friends before.

The biggest argument tossed around in favor of the metric system is that it makes unit conversion easy.

However, none of my friends has ever been able to explain to me why that is important.

Yes, if you're driving down the road and see "120km/hr" (which is completely ironic, since hour is not a SI unit... it's arbitrarily defined as 3.6 kiloseconds), you don't have to pull out a calculator to know that it's 120,000 meters per hour, or 0.120 megameters per hour. But do you ever NEED to know these conversions?

Feet to inches and ounces to gallons or ounces to pounds are just about the only conversions that are used on a semi-regular basis (dependent somewhat on your profession).

Critics of the Imperial system love to point out all the goofy little units (furlong, league, grain, slug, rod, fathom, stone, etc.) but what they don't mention is that those units have completely gone out of style.

Yes, 32.17405 is a really weird conversion. But be honest - when was the last time you ever had to convert a weight to the unit of "slugs" in real life. I highly doubt that anyone here has ever needed to use these weird units. These units ARE weird, yes, but they aren't inconvenient for people because we never have to use them.

The same holds true with even the more common conversions. If you're driving down the road, and see the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, do you care how many feet per second it is? How many fathoms per minute? No. Your speedometer has a tick mark at 60 mph, and you line up the needle with it. The majority of time, when dealing with units in everyday life (not in any field of science or engineering), you don't have to do conversions, so it doesn't matter how difficult that conversion is.

The only imperial units that still are widely used are inch/foot/yard/mile, ounce/cup/pint/gallon, teaspoon/tablespoon, ounce/pound/ton, and second/hour/minute/day/week/month/year.

And those are so mentally ingrained into Americans that while change is possible, there would be a generation of inconvenience as people are forced to convert back and forth.

The advantage for imperial units for Americans is mental imagery. Just like how English is our native tongue, Imperial is our native unit system. If I wanted to learn French, I could, but mentally, I'd have to translate everything I hear back to English, comprehend it, formulate a response, and mentally translate it back to French. Same with units. I can pick up an object with my hand and "guesstimate" its weight in pounds. I can look at something and "guesstimate" how many feet long it is. But I can't do that in metric. I can convert to metric with ease, and I probably use metric units more than I use imperial units, because I have a thorough education in science, but Imperial is still my native unit system.

Given enough time, people would be able to adapt to a different system. However, the transitional period would be massively inconvenient, as many people would probably be carrying around calculators or conversion tables until they became mentally "fluent" in the new unit system.
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 6:54 AM Post #118 of 122

chadbang

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Posts
5,993
Likes
30
Sure, why not? Although in the back of my mind I'll be thinking: "Centimeter, that's about an inch." "Meter, that's about a yard..."
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 3:48 PM Post #119 of 122

krmathis

Head-Fi's Most Prolific Poster
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Posts
34,761
Likes
76
Yeah, would make life easier for those of us who already use the metric system.
No conversions needed...
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top