Re: Metric Time
12 Oct 95 12:02:47 EET

In article <457e55$>, (Don Stokes) writes:
> ii. Divisibility. 10's integer factors are two and five; 12's are two, three
> four and six, making a halves, quarters, thirds, sixths and twelths of a
> foot easily represented.

Why or how do you then use percentage??

> iii. The size of the relationships; to represent say a person's height in
> feet and inches requires two numbers to be remembered. 10, 11 & 12
> are treated as single words in English, making any measurement in the
> range 1" to 12' to a precision of one inch expressible as two "digits".

Spanish language has simple words for numbers 1 - 15 (from ten on once, doce,
trece, quatorce, quince, or something). Should they use then 15 base?

> v. Those *names*. I'd stop saying "miles" immediately if the "official"
> name for a kilometre changed to something that rolled off the tounge as
> easily. Here we call km "kays", but this offends my sense of precision
> in language (kay*whats*?). Same applies to cm (Hams often call cm "cems"

We call cm as cent and mm as mil. If calling mm and ml as mils confuses you,
how can you make a difference with pounds (money, weight, force)???

> when talking about bandplans but I don't hear this anywhere much else)
> & mm ("mils" -- but we call mililitres "mils" as well...). Even "metre"
> could be a syllable shorter.
> I suspect a system that had a foot-sized unit as its base and "inches" of
> one tenth of a "foot" would have been more successful, although it would
> lack advantages i & ii above.

That would have been better and perhaps metric system would have never invented
if such "intellectual" system had existed.

> Personally, as one who started school just as NZ changed from Imperial to
> metric and therefore lived with both systems from an early age, I find feet
> & inches a lot easier to deal with in conversation. I'd not use anything
> but metric in technical descriptions (apart from standard dimensions, eg
> 3.5" form factor, 19" rack etc) -- Imperial measures are just too hard
> to interchange. There's no doubt about the utility of the metric/SI system;
> it just has a few shortcomings in the area of human factors.

Not the system but the change. But if we wouldn't accept changes we would have
never accepted cars, or airplanes or telecommunications or internet etc.

So which is better?

> --
> Don Stokes, Network Manager, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
> +64 4 495-5052 Fax+64 4 471-5386