
Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))
meron@cars3.uchicago.edu
Mon, 9 Oct 1995 23:36:39 GMT
In article <45btph$b39@shore.shore.net>, Whittet@shore.net (Whittet) writes:
>In article <AC9D4C3896686435F@cara.demon.co.uk>, peter@cara.demon.co.uk says...
>>
>>In article <457e55$7i5@stjames.comp.vuw.ac.nz>,
>>don@rata.vuw.ac.nz (Don Stokes) wrote:
>>
>>>I think there are five issues that keep feet & inches alive for "casual"
>>>measurements:
>>>
>>>i. Familiarity (self explanatory)
>>
>>But short lived. I can't really *think* in feet and stuff any more.
>>
>>>ii. Divisibility. 10's integer factors are two and five; 12's are two, thre
>>e
>>> four and six, making a halves, quarters, thirds, sixths and twelths of a
>>
>>> foot easily represented.
>>
>>Again, metric quarters are easy (two and a half tenths) and so are thirds
>>(three and a bit tenths).
>
>
>Three and a "bit" tenths? How much is a bit exactly?
>
>Twelve is more easily divisable than ten in a practical sense
>because it has nore factors.
This is all very nice, but we are using a decimal number system. It
is possible, plausible indeed, that a duodecimal (base 12) system
would indeed have been more convenient. However, that's water under
the bridge. At the time when positional notation was just getting
accepted, it was possible to go either way, now it is a bit late for
this. And, there are obvious advantages to having your number system
and measuring unit system coincide.
Mati Meron  "When you argue with a fool,
meron@cars3.uchicago.edu  chances are he is doing just the same"
