
Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))
Whittet (Whittet@shore.net)
10 Oct 1995 01:20:44 GMT
In article <DG7G93.By2@midway.uchicago.edu>, meron@cars3.uchicago.edu says...
>
>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, th
>re
>>>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.
Time: measured in a sexigesimal system hours, minutes, seconds
Space: measured in a sexigesimal system degrees, minutes, seconds
further divided into stadia, 1/600th degree
Volume: measured in terms of cubes whose sides are units of length
based on the above divisions.
all worked out into inches, feet, yards, rods, furlongs, chains etc;
to give a geocomensurate standard of measurement which is far more
precise than the meter and has withstood 5 millenia of use with
very small variation.
>
>Mati Meron
On any historical timescale the decimal system is a mere anachronistic
fad favored by people who want everyone to think in increments of a
power of ten instead of having the choice of using a power of two,
three, four, six or twelve whichever proportion is most appropriate.
That attitude is nothing more than the typical academic lockstep;
ie; don't think about it ...
just answer by rote and then we will all be in
agreement which makes it easy for the
moderators to get things organised.
Steve
