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Metric vs. Imperial system smack-down

Here's a funny (and over-the-top) diatribe on the advantages of the Imperial over the metric measurement system:

The metric system also fails to be sized appropriately for humans. Because of its derivation, units of measure are divisible by ten, but ill-suited for labor that does not involve extensive mathematical computations. Is it any wonder that a man is still six feet tall? Measuring a six-foot, 31-year-old man's height in centimeters (182) makes as much sense as measuring his age in months (372).


Imperial versus Metric

That formulation is wrong, one versus the other. We do that with OSs too; the Mac versus Windows simply proves that we are idle too much of the time. Each system has advantages. When I am doing research, measuring chemicals, and such I use the metric system. When I am describing the redhead in the apartment down the hall I use the imperial. The metric system ain't sexy.

I use both.

Down with the Imperial system!

100 centremetes is a meter. Simple. A human brain can work that out and translate between them with ease.
36 inches is a yard. Ok, so what's 7 yards? Whip out those calculators people.

The metric system was developed once science was matured and people were able to create a proper, legitimate measurement system that makes sense.
The imperial system is a culmination of primitive ideas like the length of a standard foot. The system works but its gumby and disconnected from itself. It's just like anything else, before we developed proper materials to make clothes, we used pre-existing materials from animals and vegetation. You don't see anyone wearing pocketless 'imperial' bush clothes in the developed world do you? It's same with ideas of how we got here. Today, we have proper tools to try and figure it out the correct way, in the past we all made up our own gods and killed as many people as possible to make them popular. These days we recognise how stupid that is.

I do agree though, it's sexy to say "she's 6 foot". However, this is only because we have been doing it for so long. Try on "she's 182 high" it'll eventually replace obsolete references.

Down with all Imperial systems!!


"Ok, so what's 7 yards?" yards maybe?

"before we developed proper materials to make clothes"

Like cashmere, wool, cotton, linen, silk and leather maybe? Synthetics are good for mountain climbing, and a few other highly specialised applications, otherwise unattractive, useless and ugly.....a bit like your metric system.

If your system is so great why don't we metricise the calendar and the clock?

As a german scientist I

As a german scientist I might be full of prejudice, but COMMON!
Ever looked at the definition of the Fahrenheit Scale?
That's just rediculous!

That's all there is to say about it

Metric is better... why again?

"Metric is the work of the devil! My car gets 82 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it!"

First, to the fellow complaining about Fahrenheit. So what? Celcius is based on the freezing and boiling points of pure water at sea level. You're offended that those two exact items don't end with zero in our scale. But outside the lab, who cares? I rarely encounter pure water and I don't live at sea level. And even in the lab, unless you're working with pure water at sea level, can't you do calculations just as easily with any other two arbitrarily chosen numbers to create your scale?

I should add that while the freezing temperature of water is of some interest to me, usually when I'm checking weather and driving conditions, the boiling temperature is not. I couldn't care less. The only time boiling water is of interest is when I'm in the kitchen, and I don't measure it -- I either wait until I see it bubbling or I listen for the whistle, depending. Very empirical, I know, no fun at all. As for measuring when a roast is done, to me it's just a number. Who cares if it's 140 degrees or 60, as long as I have the number that matches the scale I'm using?

Dividing by 10 is natural, people do it all the time. Like in cooking... oh, wait. People like to double and halve, don't they? Wow, totally unnatural.

Seriously, ignore the sarcasm a minute and think about it. 8 ounces to a cup, a little odd, but it's just doubling three times. Two cups to a pint, two pints to a quart, 4 quarts to a gallon. If you're doing calculations it can be a bit daunting but if you're scaling things, doubling or halving is quite natural.

I'll grant you that 3 teaspoons to the tablespoon is a little different, but we're back to powers of 2 after that, since two tablespoons make an ounce.

16 ounces to a pound is pretty straightforward, and then 2000 pounds to a ton.

12 inches to a foot... more dividing by twos and threes there. I note that 12 has more factors than 10 does. I don't know if that's significant, but if I'm going to claim superiority, or at least parity, I might as well get every advantage I can. :) Three times that for a yard, then 1760 of those for your average mile. Yep, that's another strange one.

But how often do we convert between magnitudes? I mean, really? Sure, calculating the inches in 7 yards is more difficult than calculating the millimeters in 6.4008 meters, but just how often do you feel a need to do either? Why not convert to angstroms while you're at it? Or light years?

I'll be among the first to admit our system isn't perfect. But I have to defend that it's not quite the nightmare the Metric N... oh, sorry, about to invoke Godwin's Law there. Um, not quite the nightmare the Metric Evangelists make it out to be.

It's really mostly a matter of what you're used to.

BTW, did you know three meters is almost exactly 10 feet? Shy by less than two inches, in fact. If you're engineering a bridge, the difference is important, but if you're ordering network cable, either will do just as well. :)

P.S. One furlong per fortnight is a mile every 16 weeks. Now was that really so hard? ;)
P.P.S. Even in decimal monetary systems we like to use halves and doubles a lot. One and two cent euros, 5 and 10 and 20 cent, 50 cent is 1/2 euro, 1 and 2 euro coins. Similar with American money, except we like our 25-cent quarter dollars and don't like twos very much. But if you look at it that way, it does seem like we (humans) are still trying to find ways of doing halves and doubles inside the metric system.

Well, it *was* a humor piece, I thought...

... or was it? The subject seems to have hit a nerve, at least for some. Jeffrey seems to be having fun with it, though.

Metric vs Imperial

Metric would be great, if it were loaded into the back end of a manure spreader and put on last year's alfalfa... Speaking of which, how big is an acre? Well, the answer is simple. How big is the tooth?