caotropheus

Why Doesn't the U.S. Use the Metric System? Or does it? (sometimes)

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Of course everyone knows that dividing "stuff" by 1/4, 1/2, 1/8, 1/12, 1/32 and so on, is much easier than dividing stuff by 10, right?... or not so much?!

 

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I'd reckon the major reason would be the cost involved, in a country of a couple of hundred million, plus change, the price would be astronomical to convert all the machinery and electronics calibrations, I grew up using the Imperial system, and it was beginning to be phased out at the end of my school days, so I started work using both, now, I am happily, totally metrified. At the end of the day, especially nowadays when the bulk of the population carry a converter/ calculator in their pocket, it isn't such a big deal, drill bits and threads seem to be the most troublesome, but threads have always had many variants anyway . The metric system is so much more intuitive and simple, but for every metric number there is an Imperial equivelent, even if they are a little harder to use mathemattically.

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Posted (edited)

Folks,

I prefer Miles to kilometers. They are much more practical for North Americans

Kilometers were designed for European geography. The distances are much greater in North America.

When Canada adopted the metric system,  there were so many kilometers between places that people had to budget more time for their travels,  and,  some folks never even got to their destination!!

Unbelievable!

I could go on and on;  but I will spare, the i.f.i. membership and lurkership.

Happy July 4!  

For all our American members.

Sincerity,

SLAG.

Edited by SLAG
Translating Canuckese to Americanese

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Mr. Dragon.

Profound insight as per usual.

Take a bow Bunkie!

Sincerity,

SLAG.

p.s. triple chocolate cake!

Mein Gott,  will you share?

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The world still deals in 4x8 sheet goods, not 1x2 panels. The construction industry is infact hamperd buy the metric system. Most of the imperial system has infact evolved from ergonomic measurements.

 

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As long as all involved use the same system, things work. There have been instances when parts are being designed in decimals and the creator forgot to specify imperial or metric measurements with each unit or specify as a general comment as to the measurement system for the entire project.  

At my desk there is a group of rulers that cover over 28 different units of measure. Some math works better in one system than the other.

I use both sides of the tape measure depending on what needs done. 

 

If you want to have some real fun, hand someone a left handed tape measure.

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Glenn,

Also ,try using the third side, the information, there, will amaze you!

Sincerity,

SLAG.

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1,219 by 2,438 millimeters is harder to deal with than 4x8. 

Glenn, didn’t we crash a mars probe that way?

Tho I am a product of the attempted switch over during the 80’s and the military so I acualy switch between the two (tho I don’t convert them well) easily. 

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There are triangular rulers in both imperial or metric measurements, one is called a architectural scale and the other an engineering scale. 6 different scales per ruler.  

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i.f.i.,   Denizens,

Most North American laboratories,   (schools, research, industry, etc.) use metric measurement.

But the S.I. refuses to allow the use of centimeters, or centigrams.  So several countries, that have converted to metric, will not use them.

Being stuck with millimeters and meters  is a bit idiotic,  Too many millimeters = awkward.

Most other countries use centimeters for convenience. (they are not recent converts, so not so constipated).

Groceries are often not measured in kilograms. ( = 2.204 pounds). Who,  among us,  desires a one kilogram hamburger?   It would result in acute indigestion and a potential heart attack.

So 'ooo  some countries  use a "metric pound". Which is half a kilogram.  (1.102 pound), for convenience.

Regards,

SLAG

 

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Just remember just as One Country has used Imperial and bounced a probe off of Mars, We are also the first to visit Jupiter.

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Irondragon; whilst I am only 17.29 stone; or in Anvil-CWT: 2 0 18

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On 7/4/2019 at 12:03 PM, mcostello said:

Just remember just as One Country has used Imperial and bounced a probe off of Mars, We are also the first to visit Jupiter.

Mr. Costello,

Thank you for reminding the SLAG of our country's great bouncing and visitation achievements.  I had forgotten about those milestones.

Did we, then,  impose our Imperial measurement system upon the Venutians?

Or did they catch the continental ailment and go metric?

I earnestly await further enlightenment upon same.

Thanking the erudite membership  I   remain,

yours truly,

SLAG.

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For construction (and most of what we do) I propose that imperial is more practical. The metric system devides into 10 well, and multiples of as well as 1/2 and 1/5. wile imperial does 1/3, 1/6, 1/8, 1/2 , 1/4, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, etc. a lot more practice were tolerances of an 1/8” are exeptible. 

Metric has one clear advantage and that is in the way measures are defined. A meter is a a wavelength of light at a given frequency in vacume. If you have the technology to mesure the length of said wavelength then everyone is on the same page as to what a meter is. Weight is then described as a being equivalent to a given volume of pure water at a given temp and pressure, etc. again every gram is the same if one has the technology to mesure said pressure and temp as well as produce said pure water....

this is all good, but in a world ruled buy how long ones legs are (3-4 miles an hour) and how much a pinch between one, two, three or 4 fingers holds.... the metric system requires high technology wile the mesure from king olloves nose to his outstretched finger makes a yard and every one knows that...

Bottom line, the metric system works when building spacecraft from parts built on 3 continents  but it isn’t worth xxxxxxxxxxx unless you have the technology to mesure a wavelength of light in vacume. 

 

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As a machinist I do a different imperial system. My inches are broken down to thousands of an inch. I have been thinking that way for the last 40 years when it comes to making things. Even when I have a dual reading machine with metric graduations I get all garbled up and convert the print to imperial. I can judge .001" better than .0254mm.

Cars are metric now with engine sizes listed in liters and CC's, and the fasteners are also metric with the global sales. But as a gear head I think engine sizes sound better in cubic inches 426, 440, 488 rather than 7L, 7.2L,8L.  Yes, I am a MOPAR guy :D

I think the US will eventually switch along with building supplies and other items after the dinosaurs like myself pass on.

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BIGUNDOCTOR, most of what you say is how I feel, but I doubt the US can afford the conversion, unless someone like Cuba or Somalia lends them the finance.

 

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Originally defined in 1795 as one ten-millionth the distance from the Equator to the North Pole, the measurement went through a series of refinements as scientific knowledge advanced. Finally, in October 21, 1983, the International Committee for Weights and Measures redefined the meter as “the distance traveled by light in a complete vacuum in 1/299,792,458th of a second.”

The meter is a standard unit of length in the International System of Units (SI), the system of measurement used throughout most of the world. A meter is equivalent to 3.3 feet in the United States customary units, the system used in the U.S. Reference 

 

Working on vehicles is somewhat of a challenge trying to visually sort out a 1/2 inch bolt from a 10 mm bolt. About the time you get things under control the vehicle comes along that uses Whitworth units. Another set of specialty wrenches for the tool box. (grin)

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and in my electrical trade we get to add in Allen, Aircraft bolts, Square drive and Torx, and occasionally  one way heads or Allen with little pins in the center too

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Glenn,

The first measurement for the meter, that is of one ten-millionth of the distance from the earth's equator to the north pole,   was substantially wrong.

Just sayyin'.

Sincerity, 

SLAG.

Did they use a stop watch to make the latest measurement. and should we contribute funds to buy one for Mr. Stevens?

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I don't think the system matters that much in the long run.  You get proficient at whatever system you use regularly.  A guy I met once professionally could calculate in hexadecimal faster than I could with a base 10 system.

The metric system sounds better and seems better than imperial, but is it really that much easier to calculate or understand something like acceleration due to gravity at 9.8 meters per second squared compared to 32 feet per second squared?  I rarely run into calculations with easy whole integers as the components or result of an equation, so regardless of whether the measurements are done in metric or imperial (or anything else) it doesn't make anything significantly easier imho.  As long as the information means the same thing to all parties involved that's all that really matters.

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2 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

add in Allen, Aircraft bolts, Square drive and Torx, and occasionally  one way heads or Allen with little pins in the center too

Don't forget the elusive Usain Bolt

Pnut

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