# Thread: Why Don't We Use the Metric System?

1. The minute had its own reason for creation (presumably to do with base 60), but I was talking about the nautical mile. It was a practical unit of measurement. Hence, it is no more arbitrary then, say, the metric system, even with the new, extremely precise definitions.

2. Originally Posted by Ken Fitlike
>>may seem arbitrary<<

No, it's still arbitrary - what is 1 'minute'?
60 times the half life of a specific isotope of cesium, duh. It makes perfect sense.

3. No disrespect intended to your good self, Zach, but I didn't say the metre wasn't arbitrary, I said all units of measurement are ultimately arbitrary. So, yes, the nautical mile is no more arbitrary than metric or any other measurement; precision is irrelevant to that discussion, as is the relative practical utility of any unit of measurement to those who use it.

It's tempting, though, to consider units based on a priori mathematical relationships (eg. radians) as non-arbitrary - tempting but still wrong.

Thanks for the base 60 description, BTW.

edit: >>60 times the half life of a specific isotope of cesium, duh. It makes perfect sense.<<

The choice of Caesium and a particular isotope of that element demonstrates the arbitrary nature of that one. Duh, indeed.

4. Hmm... Sorry if I came off defensive there. It wasn't intended.

And, of course, with radians, they are dimensionless anyway.

5. you have it all wrong... the reason we use different bases now than before is because people are gettin dumber... see the babylonians used base 60 cause they were ........ing smart... and its all going down hill we in America use the English system of measurment because nobody knows how smart we are that way... but we know the Europeans are dumb with their base 10 measuements... HA!

and that is also why computers use base two(no matter what technical B.S. you've been told) because they are soooooo dumb.

6. Originally Posted by Ken Fitlike
The choice of Caesium and a particular isotope of that element demonstrates the arbitrary nature of that one. Duh, indeed.
If you rearrange the first three letters in the correct spelling of cesium, you get "sec", which is of course short for "second".

7. My move involves wiping off the full-flavoured coffee that sprayed over my monitor when I read your post and, naturally, pointing out that the correct spelling of that particular element as defined (arbitrarily, of course) by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), which the USA is an associate of, is in fact Caesium, although in deference to the USA's strong condemnation of un-American vowel deployment, the bastardised spelling of cesium has apparently been accepted since 1993, according to wiki, anyway.

And, of course, if you rearrange the first three letters of the actual, proper spelling of caesium you get 'ace' which is obviously useful when playing cprog tennis.

8. Alas, I have been slain!

9. It would cost a lot of money to upgrade/replace machinery in factories that do not already use the metric system. It wouldn't be worth it. That's just my take on it I don't actually know.

10. Well, there was a big push to convert to metric in the 70s. People were just too stubborn to convert.

11. base 12 was invented by evil merchands who made ppl pay more than they actually would have had to because teh customers weren't able to check their change anyway. and even if they managed to checked it the merchand would have said: "sorry, but you must check your change immediately. now its too late"

edit:
and if i remember correctly, the nasa once lost a space probe because they had 2 teams working on it, and one team was either using miles or gallons while the other team used kilometres or litres.
well, anyway they didnt put enough fuel into that thingy.

i wonder how many companies could have converted for that money

12. The probe crashed into MARS. That's awesome. I want to become an engineer just so I can ........ up a multimillion dollar project because I forgot to convert units (that would totally be me)

13. ## misunderstooddddddd

They based the system of measurement off a system of meaurement, huh? "Your foot is 12 yazzes long, so that will be a foot. Also, yazzes will be called inches!"
No silly, What I meant was a foot was re-re-re-defined every time the monarch changed and that they might have forgotten to redefine inches or something; any way the foot of a king is arbitrary, isn't it?
and if i remember correctly, the nasa once lost a space probe because they had 2 teams working on it, and one team was either using miles or gallons while the other team used kilometres or litres.
well, anyway they didnt put enough fuel into that thingy.
DUH...

14. Originally Posted by Govtcheez
> 12 months in a year

That's only been true since Augustus, though. Besides, that only applies if you use our calendar, which many people don't.
Ummm, believe it or not, the Romans actually did not invent the time scale, it was the Babylonians, who lived in Babylon. They measured the amount of time between full moons, and thus, the name month. Romans then copied this idea.

Just thought I should let you know.

15. Originally Posted by Nebbuchadnezzar
Ummm, believe it or not, the Romans actually did not invent the time scale, it was the Babylonians, who lived in Babylon. They measured the amount of time between full moons, and thus, the name month. Romans then copied this idea.

Just thought I should let you know.
Ummm, believe it or not, your post has very little to do with mine.

Just thought I should let you know

The Julian calendar is solar, not lunar.

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