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  #51  
Old 08-01-2019, 06:46 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
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Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
But I don't know why 30 degrees is better than 86.
That's the wrong question, though. A better question is "why do I need a measuring scale that changes my familiar 86 degrees into the confusing and vaguely communist 30". The answer is that because 30 is the answer produced by a better scale, which itself is produced by a better system. That system is better partly because it makes it easier for all of to calculate measurements in our heads, but (IMO) because it eases the job of engineers and scientists who make things that help make our lives easier and more interesting.

How hard is it to adopt this? Take a good look at your own temperature scale. It probably breaks down
0. damn cold (below 0C)
1. water freezes (0C)
2. i'm chilly (10C)
3. i'm cool (15C)
4. i'm fine (20C)
5. i'm warm (25C)
6. i'm hot (30C)
7. really hot (35C)
8. hell with this, I'm visiting my mother in Minneapolis (40C)
9. hottest desert hot (45C)

Nice round numbers in Celsius, but all kind of weird random numbers in Fahrenheit. The point is not that round numbers are better, the point is that if we're talking about everyday familiarity, you're only talking about 10 temperatures, so fewer degrees is better. Actually I'd like to see the above scale reduced to just 10 degrees, but scientific calculations also use basic relationships like 1 degree per 1 gram equals 1 of some other measurement, so it would mess that up.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 08-01-2019 at 06:51 PM.
  #52  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:06 PM
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The OP should always use at least three decimal points AND use the word "approximately":

"The distance to St. Louis is approximately 174.683 kilometers."
  #53  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
How hard is it to adopt this? Take a good look at your own temperature scale. It probably breaks down
0. damn cold (below 0C)
1. water freezes (0C)
2. i'm chilly (10C)
3. i'm cool (15C)
4. i'm fine (20C)
5. i'm warm (25C)
6. i'm hot (30C)
7. really hot (35C)
8. hell with this, I'm visiting my mother in Minneapolis (40C)
9. hottest desert hot (45C)

Nice round numbers in Celsius, but all kind of weird random numbers in Fahrenheit.
Not I. The broadest span in which my subjective experience differs is 5F rather than 5C, and it's often tighter than that. Sometimes I feel fine just 2 degrees F hotter or colder. Granted, that is more than 1C, but it's debatable whether units should be slightly finer than, or exactly equal to, the smallest appreciable difference. I'm in the same boat with regards to cm versus inches to measure height, since the inch is the smallest appreciable difference in height to me but I could see someone wanting a slightly finer scale; except that in the foot versus the meter, the foot wins easily with regards to height because people rarely deviate from "1-meter-something".
  #54  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:26 PM
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Not I. The broadest span in which my subjective experience differs is 5F rather than 5C, and it's often tighter than that. Sometimes I feel fine just 2 degrees F hotter or colder.
I was speaking more toward our everyday habituations of "what is hot weather? What is cold weather?" But if you want to speak to finer degrees of comfort, amazingly enough, Celsius has you covered. 1 degree C is equal to 1.8 degree F. I hope you aren't going protest that you can really detect a difference of 0.2F.

Quote:
I'm in the same boat with regards to cm versus inches to measure height, since the inch is the smallest appreciable difference in height to me but I could see someone wanting a slightly finer scale; except that in the foot versus the meter, the foot wins easily with regards to height because people rarely deviate from "1-meter-something".
Honestly I can't detect any coherent reasoning here except an appeal to habituation.

I can say the foot doesn't win any contest except which measurement you learned earliest. If precision like 'foot' meant anything, Americans would also insist on saying "9 furlongs away" because "about a mile" isn't quite precise enough.

Of course if you dispute that reasoning, consider the appeal to popularity: there's also the fact that most of the world has zero problems saying 1.75 meters tall instead of 5'9". It's actually more precise than what you're accustomed to.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 08-01-2019 at 07:29 PM.
  #55  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:32 PM
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I've been metric for most of my life, but still cannot get my head around cm to measure vertical heights.

When you hear police reports (for example) of a suspect being wanted for questioning over some crime, and they say, "...dark hair, Caucasian, 180cm tall..." I have NO CLUE what that is. I just cannot visualise it.

But tell me the person is 5' 8" or 6' 3" and I'm fine and dandy.
Height was one of the last holdouts in Aus after forced conversion. That and bookshelves. Eventually everybody who knows their height in feed and inches dies out. And everybody who reads books.
  #56  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
It is better if the constant is accessible (I can't generate a specific wavelength of light, but I can definitely freeze water). It is best if the constant is relevant (I cook when I boil water. I avoid roads when water freezes).
But boiling water is "Put water on stove, wait for it to boil" and roads don't freeze at 32F or 0C because the road absorbs heat, cars drive over it, it gets salted, etc. So in neither case is there a "relevant constant".

Outside of scientific applications, there's probably very rarely a "relevant constant" (whether you're baking at 350 or 352 isn't going to matter; check your brownies to see how they're looking) and no one is arguing against Celsius for scientific applications.
  #57  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:40 PM
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The math is easier with metric. Talking to most people on the planet is easier with metric.
  #58  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:49 PM
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Definitely not a DFW regionalism. I grew up in Central Illinois, now live in Southeastern Missouri, everyone I've known has always given driving "distance" in time.

In fact, to hear foreign YouTubers tell it, all of us Americans do it.
Pretty much everywhere I've been in the US, transit distances are given in units of time. It doesn't matter what the mode of transit is, either. Driving, walking, taking the train, canoeing, whatever--how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B is what counts.
  #59  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:50 PM
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Talking to most people on the planet is easier with metric.
By the numbers, I'd be best off speaking Mandarin when talking to a resident of planet Earth but it almost never really works out that way.
  #60  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:01 PM
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By the numbers, I'd be best off speaking Mandarin when talking to a resident of planet Earth but it almost never really works out that way.
How many people speak Mandarin? About 900 million out of about 7.35 billion people.

How many people use metric? About 7 billion out of 7.35 billion people.

Choose your battles.
  #61  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:02 PM
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Choose your battles.
Exactly.
  #62  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:23 PM
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Just multiply inches by 2.54 and you will get centimeters
Feet multiplied by point-three-o-five will give you equivalent meters
You multiply pounds by .45 and you'll get kilograms it's true
A gallon times three-point-seventy nine will turn to liters for you

[and others]
  #63  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:32 PM
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There are two types of countries.

Those that use the metric system,

And those that have walked on the Moon.
  #64  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:33 PM
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Height was one of the last holdouts in Aus after forced conversion. That and bookshelves. Eventually everybody who knows their height in feed and inches dies out. And everybody who reads books.
Don't even get me started on the bookshelves.
  #65  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
How hard is it to adopt this? Take a good look at your own temperature scale. It probably breaks down
0. damn cold (below 0C)
1. water freezes (0C)
2. i'm chilly (10C)
3. i'm cool (15C)
4. i'm fine (20C)
5. i'm warm (25C)
6. i'm hot (30C)
7. really hot (35C)
8. hell with this, I'm visiting my mother in Minneapolis (40C)
9. hottest desert hot (45C)

Nice round numbers in Celsius, but all kind of weird random numbers in Fahrenheit. The point is not that round numbers are better, the point is that if we're talking about everyday familiarity, you're only talking about 10 temperatures, so fewer degrees is better. Actually I'd like to see the above scale reduced to just 10 degrees, but scientific calculations also use basic relationships like 1 degree per 1 gram equals 1 of some other measurement, so it would mess that up.
Honestly I'm fairly confident that non-Americans do not care what system is currently used in the US (unless they're involved in the country in some matter). But the simplest explainer scale I know of is the following
  • <0C Freezing
  • 10C Cold
  • 20C Warm
  • 30C Hot
There's even a simple rhyme for tots; 30 is hot, 20 is nice, 10 is cold, 0 is ice.

Last edited by orcenio; 08-01-2019 at 09:45 PM.
  #66  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:48 PM
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I'm American. I'm also a retired high school science teacher. Therefore, yardsticks feel short to me. If someone states a distance or length in centimeters or meters, I automatically get a decent mind's eye image of it. I can teach anyone how to have a basic feel for the SI units in just a few minutes if one is interested. The definitions for inches, feet, and miles have been legally defined in metric units in this country for over a century. I'd be favorably impressed by a fellow American casually using metric units.
  #67  
Old 08-01-2019, 10:37 PM
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As an American, I believe the time has come -- indeed, it's been here for two centuries -- for the U.S. to convert to the Metric System and Celsius. I've been trying to force myself to use those systems in my daily life, because The Buddha said to be the change you want to see.
/nitpicks

- The metric system is now known as International System of Units (SI) ... well actually since 1960 but "it's tasking longer than we thought" to get everyone to just to metrify, let alone change the name.

- Celsius (Centigrade scale) IS part of the metric or SI

- While the U.S. has not officially adopted the SI, it is being used in many industries. Contrarily, Canada, the U.K, et al. have only adopted partial metrification which creates a complex system of weights, measures, etc.. depending on the product, industry, etc..



As a contractor, I prefer the imperial system or USCS. It's what I know, I can do the math faster, I can visualize plans better, and I can estimate sizes easier. With a tape measure, I can read, calculate, and mark measurements much faster I know instinctively which wrench/socket will fit a bolt and know exactly how long a screw or nail is, on sight.
Is this learned behaviour? Some of it... but the SI system has it's limitations and I don't see many of my trades willing to metrify any time soon.

Of course, sometimes you do run into metric, so you need to have those mm wrenches, sockets, Allen keys, etc. on hand... and pray someone hasn't lost your 10mm again!
  #68  
Old 08-01-2019, 10:45 PM
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Interestingly, the one other hold out I've noticed is that most people (I know anyway) still use Fahrenheit on their oven thermostat, even when there is an option to set it to Celsius.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Height was one of the last holdouts in Aus after forced conversion. That and bookshelves. Eventually everybody who knows their height in feed and inches dies out. And everybody who reads books.
What type of feed do you use?

Last edited by Sparky812; 08-01-2019 at 10:48 PM.
  #69  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
We have measuring scales to quantify real things. It's absolutely required that the reference points are distinct (some physical constant). It helps if the constant is universal (a wavelength of light is good). It is better if the constant is accessible (I can't generate a specific wavelength of light, but I can definitely freeze water). It is best if the constant is relevant (I cook when I boil water. I avoid roads when water freezes). And it helps most if the system is mathematically easy to work with (metric is powers of 10, vs powers of 2 times 3 which somehow add up to a mile of 5,280 feet).

The metric system strives to provide all of these. That's why most of the world has adopted it. The imperial people is stupid and is only followed by countries that want to demonstrate they're so powerful they don't need to be smart.
Is the 3 spaces after a period a metric space, I've only seen 1, or 2 by ancient people?

To be clear: the US does not and has never used Imperial measurements. US contemporary, which are similar, but completely different when talking about liquid measures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
How many people speak Mandarin? About 900 million out of about 7.35 billion people.

How many people use metric? About 7 billion out of 7.35 billion people.

Choose your battles.
The UK is just waking up, but they use miles and pints, alongside feet, inches, and pounds in some contexts. Alongside stones. Australia and Ireland have some non-metric as well. Meanwhile all US packaging has metric measurements alongside ounces/fluid ounces. IOW, these things aren't cut and dried.
  #70  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:42 AM
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Of course, sometimes you do run into metric, so you need to have those mm wrenches, sockets, Allen keys, etc. on hand... and pray someone hasn't lost your 10mm again!
Although it's metric/SI, around about 1/2" is still the size that's used most often: the one you want is your 13mm spanner.
  #71  
Old 08-02-2019, 04:14 AM
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I don't get celcius. Other than being less precise and having 0 and 100 corrospond to freezing and boiling... What's the value?
That 0 and 100 correspond to freezing and boiling. And there's no loss of precision, but there is one capital C and two little s's: Celsius.
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Last edited by Nava; 08-02-2019 at 04:15 AM.
  #72  
Old 08-02-2019, 04:51 AM
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As an American, I believe the time has come -- indeed, it's been here for two centuries -- for the U.S. to convert to the Metric System and Celsius. I've been trying to force myself to use those systems in my daily life, because The Buddha said to be the change you want to see.

But I'm concerned? Do I sound like a pretentious twit when I say that St. Louis is a 175-kilometer drive? Or when I say it's about 27 degrees outside when it's the 1st of August? Or when I say, "the 1st of August" rather than "August 1st"?
There's a British guy -- see link below, which I hope will work -- who would I think, in his self-conferred role as defender of old-fashioned measuring ways: regret your described "making-over" efforts. However, IMO Rees-Mogg is himself the ultimate poster child for pretentious twittishness, but of the backward-looking kind (in everything, not just methods of measuring stuff.)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a9022981.html
  #73  
Old 08-02-2019, 06:48 AM
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You will probably get the opposite reaction that I get when i use American up in Canada. Have no use for the metric system and as an American, the only time you should be using Metric is when buying drugs and Ammo. Other wise its like getting a hooker and only wanting to cuddle.
Not sure what part of Canada you're in, but in Ontario, the use of non-metric units is still alive and well. I might confuse people with my US-sized gallons, but other than that, it would generally not be a problem.

FWIW, I'm pretty much metric in my daily life, just because it's convenient. Other than mile post markers, the USA is already pretty much metric, for those who want to be. I mean, what more do metric people want? Violate free speech by forcing publishers to ship only metric cook books?

We could mandate that auto speedometers are metric, and change our signs, but that doesn't really make us any more competitive with the rest of the world.

Every time there's a "we should become metric" thread, I always ask, "what does it mean to become metric"? No one ever really answers.

Oh, and to the OP, depending on context, yeah, using metric units sounds pretentious. For me, switching units is just part of the normal code-switching of my everyday language.
  #74  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:08 AM
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people know what a 2-liter bottle looks like, anda standard wine bottle is 750 ml, so I think referring to beverage bottle sizes in ml or liters is more acceptable & understandable than using kilometers.
ummm........it's gonna get really confusing if yourefer to beverage sizes in kilometers.
  #75  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:10 AM
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That 0 and 100 correspond to freezing and boiling. And there's no loss of precision, but there is one capital C and two little s's: Celsius.


Sort of a jerk response to a genuine question, but go ahead and make fun of the dyslexic who was relying on auto correct.

Last edited by NAF1138; 08-02-2019 at 09:11 AM.
  #76  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:10 AM
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I prefer being a pretentious troll and have taken a page out of Jeremy Clarkson's book (a master troll). I give whatever measurement I'm giving: temperature, volume, distance, time, whatever, and then convert it to the other system in a very patronizing voice. "St. Louis? Oh yes that's 850 miles, or 6,582 kilometers." That way I can sound like a pretentious twat and still imply my certainty that you are a moron.
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  #77  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:25 AM
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I prefer being a pretentious troll and have taken a page out of Jeremy Clarkson's book (a master troll). I give whatever measurement I'm giving: temperature, volume, distance, time, whatever, and then convert it to the other system in a very patronizing voice. "St. Louis? Oh yes that's 850 miles, or 6,582 kilometers." That way I can sound like a pretentious twat and still imply my certainty that you are a moron.
If you act like you think 850 miles is 6,582 km, most of my 9th grade physical science students would look at you with snarky expressions, and remind you that 1 km is about 5/8 of a mile. I guesstimated 850 mi at 1400 km, and it's really 1360. Yep, if you said "St. Louis? Oh yes that's 850 miles, or 6,582 kilometers", I'd call you on it.
  #78  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:26 AM
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An experiment:

I want every one of youse to go into your local supermarket. Go to the head of the soda-pop aisle and holler down, "Get me a half-gallon of Birch Beer, would ya?"

Now, who's the twit?
  #79  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:27 AM
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You would love Puerto Rico, speed limits are in M/H but distances are in KM

Everything you need to know about the evils of colonization right there.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:35 AM
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How many people speak Mandarin? About 900 million out of about 7.35 billion people.

How many people use metric? About 7 billion out of 7.35 billion people.

Choose your battles.

Just for the sake of being an argumentative bitch : it's not the sum total, it's the distribution. My favourite Chinese (Mandarin) teacher used to quip that you can get by speaking Chinese exclusively just about anywhere in the entire world ; simply because if it's a physical geographical location that has breathable air there's a Chinese community living there and they'll sort you out like you're long lost cousins, no worries.
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  #81  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:37 AM
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Sort of a jerk response to a genuine question, but go ahead and make fun of the dyslexic who was relying on auto correct.
I can see why you took it as "making fun of you", since it's apparently a sore point, but it was just the usual spelling nitpicking. A genuine question: do you often confuse c and C, or simply didn't know Celsius is the name of the guy who invented the unit therefore it gets a cap? So far I haven't met a dyslexic who confused those two, but they're similar enough that I can see it (my own brother confuses bdpq but only with some fonts, for example).
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  #82  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:39 AM
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I can see why you took it as "making fun of you", since it's apparently a sore point, but it was just the usual spelling nitpicking. A genuine question: do you often confuse c and C, or simply didn't know Celsius is the name of the guy who invented the unit therefore it gets a cap? So far I haven't met a dyslexic who confused those two, but they're similar enough that I can see it (my own brother confuses bdpq but only with some fonts, for example).
Didn't know. The number of s's is usually a guess. Auto-correct typically helps, but apparently American auto correct doesn't like metric.
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  #83  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:44 AM
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Our system of measurement, which we insist on clinging to, isn't even a "system" at all. It is a hodgepodge based in large part on the old English system of measurement that even the English gave up on almost 200 years ago. So, if you use it, you don't sound like a twit, you sound like you are actually a modern, sophisticated person.
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  #84  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:45 AM
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Screw metric. There are much better ways to be a pretentious twit.

"How far to the nearest gas station?"

"About 4.4228026706045e-12 light years. That includes the curvature of the earth."

Regards,
Shodan
  #85  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:10 AM
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To hell with the pretentious Celsius crap. If "Centigrade" was good enough for hundreds of years, it's good enough for me.
  #86  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:11 AM
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^^ Can I get there in less than twelve parsecs?

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  #87  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:29 AM
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^^ Can I get there in less than twelve parsecs?
Nope. The speed limit is 55 hectares per electron volt, depending on the mass of objects in the vicinity. And if children are present.

If I were trying to get where you're going, I wouldn't start from where you are.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:35 AM
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^^ Can I get there in less than twelve parsecs?

Nevermind that, how efficient is it in hogshead to the rod ?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:40 AM
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About four chains to the angstrom, plus or minus a teaspoon.

Regards,
Shodan
  #90  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:40 AM
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What I want to know is the conversion factor between hogsheads and damajuanas...
  #91  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:46 AM
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This discussion reminds me of an audiobook I listened to a while back. Guy's father was a junkie for useless trivia. One day, for the lulz, he decided to calculate the speed of light in fathoms per fortnight. Doing the calculations on paper.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:05 AM
scr4 is online now
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Just for the sake of being an argumentative bitch : it's not the sum total, it's the distribution. My favourite Chinese (Mandarin) teacher used to quip that you can get by speaking Chinese exclusively just about anywhere in the entire world ; simply because if it's a physical geographical location that has breathable air there's a Chinese community living there and they'll sort you out like you're long lost cousins, no worries.
Even in the USA, it's easier to find someone who understand Metric than to find a Chinese speaker.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
To hell with the pretentious Celsius crap. If "Centigrade" was good enough for hundreds of years, it's good enough for me.
Personally, I report all my temperatures in Rankine, none of this metric BS.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:58 AM
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Even in the USA, it's easier to find someone who understand Metric than to find a Chinese speaker.
However, it's much, much easier to find someone who speaks/understands English and US/Imperial/Whatever than it is to find someone who speaks Chinese or solely understands metric. So unless your conversations regularly take you to people who don't, it's probably not a priority to worry about it.

Even speaking to overseas friends on the internet, I've never had an instance where I actually needed to know a metric conversion on the spot. And the rare instances where I needed to know a metric conversion as all (cold weather bragging, etc) I could just use the amazing powers of the internet to find out before posting about it on Facebook/Twitter/etc.

Using metric when speaking to people who probably don't know the conversions and where it's not commonly used in casual speech makes you sound like a pretentious twit because you're only using it to "make a point" at the cost of being understandable which is pretty much the benchmark of being a pretentious twit.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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As an American, I believe the time has come -- indeed, it's been here for two centuries -- for the U.S. to convert to the Metric System and Celsius. I've been trying to force myself to use those systems in my daily life, because The Buddha said to be the change you want to see.

But I'm concerned? Do I sound like a pretentious twit when I say that St. Louis is a 175-kilometer drive? Or when I say it's about 27 degrees outside when it's the 1st of August? Or when I say, "the 1st of August" rather than "August 1st"?
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I vaguely remember the math for metric conversions, but I don't "think" in metric. If I hear someone tell me that it's 27 outside, then the mental association with that number is January weather, not August weather. When you tell me that some city is x number of kilometers away, well, the only tool I have to measure long distances is my car's odometer, and that measures in miles, so now I have to do a mental calculation to come up with a measurement that is actually of any use to me. The primary purpose of language is to communicate, and when people have to mentally "decipher" what you're saying, then you have failed to communicate clearly. What's your opinion of people who go to a country that uses metric units and insists on describing everything in imperial units?

That brings me to my main point: For average, everyday people, there is no benefit at all to changing. The only thing that matters is that the units of measurement are standardized, so that when I talk about a gallon, a quart, a liter, a mile, a kilometer, or whatever, it means the same thing in every part of the country. When I cut a board to fit in a certain space, it makes no difference whether my tape measure is in inches or in centimeters, what matters is that the board fits in the space after I cut it. Likewise, it doesn't matter whether the road signs are in miles or kilometers, what matters is that I have a number that I can compare with the odometer or speedometer in my car.
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Old 08-02-2019, 02:58 PM
Shodan is online now
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie
But I'm concerned? Do I sound like a pretentious twit when I say that St. Louis is a 175-kilometer drive? Or when I say it's about 27 degrees outside when it's the 1st of August?
Depends - is it a leap year?

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:01 PM
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One issues with length is that the metric system doesnt have a convenient unit for things that are most convenient to measure using feet. The closest would be a decimeter but thats not a commonly used unit as far as Im aware of.

Id also like to know where the poster who mentioned 27 degrees lives. It might get that cool at 4 in the morning around here, but even thats pushing it.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:18 PM
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And certain metric measurements are fine in casual context, like centimeter.
And the one-kilometer bottle.

What?

I'd sound weird to my colleagues on the job if I referred to a one-pound tumor or a kidney measuring 6 inches long. But when I'm out at a restaurant I don't ask for that half-kilogram steak special.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:18 PM
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Nevermind that, how efficient is it in hogshead to the rod ?
I dunno, but it's $0.25 or 5 bees worth.
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Personally, I report all my temperatures in Rankine, none of this metric BS.
Delisle, where freezing is 150 D and boiling 0 D, because why not?
  #100  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:56 PM
Northern Piper is online now
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Decaminutes or hectominutes, maybe? A centiminute would be 1/100 of a minute.
Depends how fast you're driving.
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