Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))

Whittet (
9 Oct 1995 20:16:04 GMT

In article <456v85$831@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, says...
>>The foot has stood the test of time because it as the most useful human
>>scale measure. Unfortunately, a bunch of "intellectual" morons think
>>they have a better way and want to force it on everyone else.
>>Andrew Grygus - California Republic
>This is a pretty stupid comment. Anything a foot can be "used"
>to measure, we can also "use" a meter to measure. The foot has
>no more or less "utility" than anything metric. The difference
>comes when one wants to convert or manipulate the measurement.

Suppose I want to build a piece of furniture or a house with pleasing
proportions. The use of feet and inches and fractions of an inch rarely
requires me to use anything for a measurement which I can't relate to
the rest of the unit measures in a coherent multiple of some unit dimension.

On the other hand I have seen metric dimensions giving the width of a door
in millimeters to three decimal points. That is simply absurd.

>Since we use a decimal based number system, it is a whole lot
>easier to work with 1000 meters/kilometer than 5280 feet/mile.

Not at all. Miles are usually used in measuring the earth. There
are 36524 feet in a degree of latitude at the eguator. Thus the
foot serves to relate time to space which is a very useful function.

>Decimal comes from ten, by the way, the number of fingers on your
>hand, which is probably how people that consider imperial units
>more useful count anyway.

Isn't it normally considered to be true that the simplest explanation
is the better one? Why not have measures which relate to the relative
proportions of the human body? I have no difficulty counting my pace
(two steps) as five feet, what is the equivalent useful metric
equivalent? Do you know a lot of people whose pace is closer to 6'6"
or two meters?

As for '"intellectual" morons' wanting
>to force it on everyone else- try pulling your head out of your
>butt and you will see that the US does not constitute the entire
>world, and most of "everyone else" has decided to switch to SI
>long ago. If you are too dumb to learn SI, that is too bad.

Historically, the use of metric units breaks a precedent stretching
back unbroken for five millenia. If you feel no sadness at the passing
of the very essence of what it has meant to be able to measure, weigh,
judge and decide throughout the entire course of our existence as civilized
human beings, then perhaps it is useless to discuss this further in an
archaeological forum.