# Why Don't We Use the Metric System?

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• 07-09-2005
ober
I know first-hand how stubborn it can be to get someone to convert, however, it is slowly happening. I work for a multi-national company, which (my portion of the company, the lab) is 2/3 European. Engineers spend a lot of time just converting numbers back and forth just to figure out what test results mean.

So, in building a new lab, my software group is going to create all the interface screens entirely in metric. Since the data analysis tool can display the information in metric or english units on the fly, the people that don't want to change won't have to, but we'll force the test techs and the majority of the engineers to the metric system (and the software team as well, I suppose).
• 07-09-2005
major_small
Quote:

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

I was comming in here to say this.
• 07-10-2005
confuted
What are you people TALKING about? The United States uses only the metric system. All the other units you think you see on road signs and bottles (miles, quarts, etc) are legally definted portions and multiples of metric units. They have been since 1958. ;)

On a slightly more serious note, if you really want people to convert, why not start using the units yourself? If someone asks about the weather, tell them it's 22 degrees and sunny outside, and while you're at it, tell them the beach is only 15 km away.
• 07-10-2005
xErath
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Fitlike
All systems of measurement are ultimately arbitrary - a metre, for example, is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_system
Quote:

The most important unit is that of length: one metre was originally defined to be equal to 1/10 000 000th of the distance from the pole to the equator along the meridian through Paris. (...) Due to the difficulty of actually measuring the length of a meridian quadrant in the 18th century, the first platinum prototype was short by 0.2 millimetres. More recently, the metre was redefined as a certain multiple of a specific radiation wavelength, and currently it is defined as the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in a specific period of time. Attempts to relate an integer multiple of the metre to any meridian have been abandoned.
Which means that the meter actually is 1/10 000 002th of a half meridian. The idea has good. The measurement not. Techonology problems...

Why the US didn't adopt the metric system? When the first settlers arrived at the american country in late 17th,early 18th century Britain and France were not best friends, dispite both trying to build a sea empire. Also France itself at that time has at civil war, which lead to the creation of their Republic. These and more facts didn't conviced Britain to inherit the metric system, so they keep the feet, yard, whatever., which has passed to the American colonies.

A king (which I don't recall it's name), probably british, stretched his arm horizontaly to the side (left, right, who cares?) and stated:"Thy yald shalt be thy distance from thee tip of my nose to thee tip of my middle finger.". :p Yes, this did happen, although not those exact words!
• 07-10-2005
Epo
Maybe back when all those British people were tired of being British people ran away and made up a new country called America (well, after stealing it from other people), they knew they'd made a couple of people angry back home. So, preparing for a war, Americans adopted a new measurement system, incase any battle plans fell into the hands of their Brit cousins. "Their base is 100 yards southeast? What's a yard?! I need some tea and crumpets".

And Farenheit can be explained because they wanted to scare tourists off by making the numbers seem bigger than they actually were (c'mon, big numbers are scary), so people would be afraid of melting if they visited America (or tried to invade it).

The truth is, it was all just to spite the mother country.
• 07-10-2005
major_small
Quote:

Originally Posted by confuted
On a slightly more serious note, if you really want people to convert, why not start using the units yourself? If someone asks about the weather, tell them it's 22 degrees and sunny outside, and while you're at it, tell them the beach is only 15 km away.

sometimes I do, but then they call me bad words and demand I stop fooling around and give them a 'real' measurement...
• 07-11-2005
C+noob
Quote:

Originally Posted by prog-bman
Because we are american.

by him saying tose comments you just dissed yourself btw Celsius is way better

• 07-11-2005
Govtcheez
Quote:

Originally Posted by C+noob
by him saying tose comments you just dissed yourself btw Celsius is way better

oo ice burn
• 07-11-2005
major_small
Quote:

Originally Posted by C+noob