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

Whittet (
10 Oct 1995 01:20:44 GMT

In article <>, says...
>In article <45btph$>, (Whittet) writes:
>>In article <>, says.
>>>In article <457e55$>,
>>> (Don Stokes) wrote:
>>>>I think there are five issues that keep feet & inches alive for "casual"
>>>>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
>>>> 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.