Space in Metric system vs Space in Imperial system

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    6 Responses to Space in Metric system vs Space in Imperial system

    1. Well, the first is real and useful, the second is bollocks


    2. I always get into these international conversations between people from Canada and Europe saying how backwards Americans are for using the imperial system, and nothing boils my blood up more than not only unearned but also completely wrong intellectual superiority.

      But everything is base 10 it makes it all easier to convert!

      This the most cited reason for using the metric system is using the base 10 formula. Kilometer is 1000 meters, a kilogram is 1000 grams ect. But everyone seems to fail to realize that you can do the same thing with the imperial system.

      Take the kilopound, it’s 1000 pounds, a cenipound could be 1/100 of a pound. You’ve just taken the base 10 advantage of the metric system and applied it to the imperial system with little to no reducation of training.

      Also the reason why the conversions of imperial are always 3 feet = yard, 12 inches = 1 feet is because base 3, 4 numbers have more factors than base 10.

      Numbers that can divide by base 10

      1, 2 ,5, 10
      Numbers that can divide by base 12 (12 inches = foot)

      1,2,3, 4, 6, 12
      Numbers that can divide by base 16 (16 Ounces = 1 Pound)

      1, 2, 4, 8, 12
      As a result you can divide 12 by 3 or 4 without ending up with decimals or reconverting the whole unit system. This is why it has been used for centuries because it was easier to deal with in everyday life without ending up in tedious decimal places.

      Imperial is arbitrary and unscientific, It’s based on a kings foot for example!

      News flash, metric is just as arbitrary and unscientific as the imperial system.

      Take a Metre for example. A meter was based between the distance between the north pole to the equator and was designed to be 1/10 000 000 of that distance. And then it turned out to be wrong, to fix that and to base it on a more scientific number it became the distance a speed of light traveled in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 seconds.

      Wow like that couldn’t have been done with by a yard! A yard could have just been redefined as the distance the speed of light travels in 1/274131050 seconds and would have been just as scientific.

      Literally every measurement in metric not only is completely arbitrary but is based on an object that doesn’t even exist. A kilogram is based on several prototypes that are sealed and not allowed access to, or this theoretical silicon sphere that weighs 1kg, but nature prevents you from making a 100% perfect sphere, so it’s not even possible to have in the first place.

      Why doesn’t America just follow the rest of the world?

      I don’t know, maybe every reason on earth? Economical? Engineering? Cost of human life?

      Yes, people will die directly as a result of officially changing to the metric system. Take the Gimli Glider where a passenger jet ran out of fuel half way through the flight because someone refueled it in pounds rather than kilograms.

      Also it will take forever if not impossible to convert to the metric system, and no country in the world can claim to be fully converted.

      Go look at European websites for goods and services and see how many times imperial measurements come up.

      Samsung’s German website sells TV sizes in Inches

      Hunting Rifle maker Sako in Finland sells their gun lengths in inches

      Home Depot in Canada still sells their lumber in inches

      Why? Because when you decide to use metric, the rest of the worlds machines built in imperial don’t magically change to metric. Screws, nuts, bolts, robotic cutting devices, ect on assets expected to last 20 years were built using imperial standard. Now when you make everything metric the dimensions are not the same so you end up with awkward measurements like soda bottles with 591ml.

      As a result people who were going to be the “metric generation” ended up learning the imperial system anyways, and we have come to the worst case scenario of only knowing metric system in a world advertising itself as imperial.

      How do I know? Because I’m a Canadian born in the late 80s when they instituted the metric system, and I still get angry everytime I get into an argument about the metric system inside of a steakhouse that is serving steak by the Oz.”Metric is the only way to go! Can I have the 16 oz. Prime Rib please?”

      Whats more annoying still is that the conversion process is insanely expensive.

      Did you know a road sign costs over $400 to install? Now imagine replacing every roadsigns in the United States for $400 a piece for that system. Then pay for education, and also pay for the inevitable mistakes that will result of switching.


    3. “I think units should work for us, not the other way around,” he told me. “The fact that ‘the rest of the world does it’ is a fairly weak argument to me. There are LOTS of things that are prevalent in the rest of the world that I would not want the U.S. to do.”

      So, without further ado, here is Jim’s Top 10 list (or a ‘Jim rant,’ as he describes it) of reasons to hate SI units:

      1. I don’t like being told by the government what to do, especially in an area where the free market can make a perfectly good decision. You may not LIKE the decision, but it is almost always the most efficient one. Countries that have switched to SI have done so only because their government made it the law of the land.

      2. Many of the SI units are not “metric” in actual use (defined as “a unit that uses the metric prefixes for powers of ten.”) For example, degrees C is never KiloC or milliC or PetaC, it is always just C. What is the temperature of the center of the sun? The Wikipedia article reports the temp as 1.57 x 10^7 K. Celsius is not inherently better than F, just different. In fact, Fahrenheit has more precision since it is about half the size of a degree C and thus is “handier” for everyday use.

      3. Most people, and publications, are very spotty about following the SI rules. For example, hardly anyone uses a length unit larger than km: The distance to the moon is almost always quoted as 400,000 km (not the more SI-correct 0.4 Gm or 400 Mm. Note how funny Gm and Mm even look and sound!) The same Wikipedia article on the sun reports the distance to the sun in km, and light minutes. It reports the diameter in km and earth radii. It also reports luminosity as 3.8 x 10^26 watts, and the galactic period in years (not the SI unit of seconds). Seconds are NEVER quoted with metric prefixes when larger than 1 (megaseconds, anyone?).

      4. Most SI countries don’t consistently use the SI units. For example, in Europe, tire pressure is almost always quoted in Bars (atmospheres). I did some work on a nuclear station in Spain and was surprised to learn that they do NOT use the Pascal as the pressure unit, rather they use Kg/cm^2 (mass per unit area? Not even a pressure unit in any classical sense) and mmHg, and they also do not use m^3/sec as volumetric flowrate, rather they use a variety of units including metric tons/hr, liters/sec, kg/sec, kg/hr, m^3/hr, liters/min, and kilo-metric tons/hr. They tend to “make up” a unit that is convenient for the application (sound familiar?).

      5. Many SI units are just dumb, they are made just to be infuriatingly consistent. For example, the unit of radioactivity that I used in college is the Curie, which is approximately the radioactivity of a gram of Radium (3.7×10^10 decays per second) which is a useful unit size for the real world. The Si unit is the Becquerel which is 1decay/sec. Thus any actual amount of radioactivity will be billions of Bq.

      6. Many SI units, in my opinion, were made just so another favored person could have a unit named after them. For Example, the REM is the customary unit of absorbed radiation dose. The recently (late 70’s) named SI unit for absorbed dose is the SEIVERT, which is equal to 100 REM. Not better, just different. When I was a kid, the SI temp was Centigrade, then it was changed to Celsius. That is better?

      7. SI units are not handy. The proper unit for volume, m^3, is just too huge to be useful (except for concrete I suppose). The area unit is not handy for land measurement. The meter can’t be divided in thirds exactly (as a yard and a foot can, since they are based on 12ths). The “handy” unit for small volumes, the liter, is not even a proper SI unit. Quick, how many liters in a cubic meter?

      8. It is irritating that many groups that purport to be on board with SI don’t use it. Astronomers use light-years or parsecs, for example instead of 9.46 petameters (a light year), and they use AUs and earth radii frequently (very handy units but definitely not SI). Nuclear physics uses barns for absorption cross-section (equal to 10^-24 cm2). Examples abound.

      9. There is no standard prefix use for square or cubic units, for example … m^2. What is 1000 of those called? A kilometer squared? Isn’t that a square one km on a side, or a million m^2? I hear the term “thousands of square km” but what exactly do they mean?

      10. The vaunted ability of changing the units by merely adding a prefix is highly overrated, in my opinion. For example, I have NEVER wanted to calculate how many teaspoons are in a cubic yard, as I have never wanted to know how many millimeters it is to the moon (start with 400,000 km, it is no easy task for a non-engineer type to convert that to mm, or even harder to dm or cm).


    4. Someone needs a tonne of Xanax…


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