View Poll Results: Why isnt the US on the metric system?

Voters
39. You may not vote on this poll
  • The public is too stupid to change

    13 33.33%
  • Conservatives. Its why we cant have good things.

    9 23.08%
  • Liberals. Its why we cant have good things

    1 2.56%
  • The rest of the world should switch to the US system!

    3 7.69%
  • The downside of change is greater than the upside, and I'm a short term thinker.

    0 0%
  • Who needs the metric system? My moms basement is all in inches.

    2 5.13%
  • I have no idea. Not changing is absolutely stupid.

    14 35.90%
  • Its a French idea.

    3 7.69%
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Thread: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

  1. #11
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen.Seven View Post
    The metric system is simpler for some things, but not everything. For instance, it's easier to repeatedly divide by two in the imperial system than the metric, certainly for units of weight, volume, and length. This is a definite advantage in reducing recipes and cutting lumber.
    What? Easier to divide a pint in half? A tablespoon? A mile? A pound?

    It might be easier to divide by threes, sometimes.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    I was thinking about this as I was working with my daughter this AM baking, and to adust the recipe we had to figure out how many tablespoons in a cup, how many cups in a quart, etc. I, as usual, converted everything in my head to metric and I just showed her the rough metric approximations (tsp=5ml tbsp=15ml, cup 240ml, pint ~ 500ml ) and figured it out from there. She looked at me and said "why dont we just use that measurement in the first place?".

    The metric system is much, much more simple than the Imperial system... it makes doing simple things like doubling a recipe, calculating distance, and scaling up fluid and weight measurements much easier. The US is virtually the only nation in the world that sticks with the old, goofy imperial system, which probably costs a whole lot of money (everyone else sells stuff or buys stuff in metric units - the US has to be the exception), and we know has destroyed at least one space mission.

    Its a simple system to use. We half-use it already anyway - you buy pop in 2L bottles, all food items are at least marked in metric volume or weight, and people run 5k races. Why dont we complete the job and ditch these worthless british holdovers that even the brits ditched years ago.

    I dont know whatever happened to the metric initiative in the 70s (but I'm guessing Reagan killed it because it was too French and would confuse his constituents) and I know getting the old voting crowd to actually want to change would be tough, but why has there been no major initiative in the US for the last thirty years to finally join the rest of the world in measuring sanity?
    people fear change even when it is best for them...I grew up with Imperial...now live with metric most of the time but even here in Canada, some things are still dual.

    a friend of mine asked his grandkid to go into the house and get the yard stick. "What's a yard stick poppa". "Don't be a smartass, just go get it please." (Kid stands there all perplexed) It finally dawns on poppa to ask for the metre stick.

  3. #13
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen.Seven View Post
    The metric system is simpler for some things, but not everything. For instance, it's easier to repeatedly divide by two in the imperial system than the metric, certainly for units of weight, volume, and length. This is a definite advantage in reducing recipes and cutting lumber.
    Do you mind explaining that to me, as it doesn't really make any sense. The metric system remains base 10 for the entire scale, while the imperial system changes bases at each step, IE: base 10, base 12, base 16, etc., which makes it EXTREMELY difficult to do anything other than minor calculations in your head.

    I use engineering notation for all of my math and number usage, IE: 400 A E-3 (400 miliamps), 400 A E-6 (400 microamps), 400 E-9 (400 nanoamps), etc. There is zero mathematical advantage to imperial.

    Example:

    SI
    2 kg / 2 = 1 kg
    1 kg / 2 = .5 kg or 500 g
    500 g / 2 = 250 g

    For the transition from kg to g base 10 stays constant, so the math rules stay the same.

    Imperial
    2 lb / 2 = 1 lb
    1 lb / 2 = 8 oz??? (switch to base 16, here you had to memorize that there's a base transition and do the conversion in your head)
    8 oz / 2 = 4 oz

    What advantage could you possibly get from that?
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  4. #14
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    Do you mind explaining that to me, as it doesn't really make any sense. The metric system remains base 10 for the entire scale, while the imperial system changes bases at each step, IE: base 10, base 12, base 16, etc., which makes it EXTREMELY difficult to do anything other than minor calculations in your head.

    I use engineering notation for all of my math and number usage, IE: 400 A E-3 (400 miliamps), 400 A E-6 (400 microamps), 400 E-9 (400 nanoamps), etc. There is zero mathematical advantage to imperial.

    Example:

    SI
    2 kg / 2 = 1 kg
    1 kg / 2 = .5 kg or 500 g
    500 g / 2 = 250 g

    For the transition from kg to g base 10 stays constant, so the math rules stay the same.

    Imperial
    2 lb / 2 = 1 lb
    1 lb / 2 = 8 oz??? (switch to base 16, here you had to memorize that there's a base transition and do the conversion in your head)
    8 oz / 2 = 4 oz

    What advantage could you possibly get from that?
    You have convinced me. Dividing by two is easy peasy in any language.

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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    I was thinking about this as I was working with my daughter this AM baking, and to adust the recipe we had to figure out how many tablespoons in a cup, how many cups in a quart, etc. I, as usual, converted everything in my head to metric and I just showed her the rough metric approximations (tsp=5ml tbsp=15ml, cup 240ml, pint ~ 500ml ) and figured it out from there. She looked at me and said "why dont we just use that measurement in the first place?".

    The metric system is much, much more simple than the Imperial system... it makes doing simple things like doubling a recipe, calculating distance, and scaling up fluid and weight measurements much easier. The US is virtually the only nation in the world that sticks with the old, goofy imperial system, which probably costs a whole lot of money (everyone else sells stuff or buys stuff in metric units - the US has to be the exception), and we know has destroyed at least one space mission.

    Its a simple system to use. We half-use it already anyway - you buy pop in 2L bottles, all food items are at least marked in metric volume or weight, and people run 5k races. Why dont we complete the job and ditch these worthless british holdovers that even the brits ditched years ago.

    I dont know whatever happened to the metric initiative in the 70s (but I'm guessing Reagan killed it because it was too French and would confuse his constituents) and I know getting the old voting crowd to actually want to change would be tough, but why has there been no major initiative in the US for the last thirty years to finally join the rest of the world in measuring sanity?
    we do use the metric system... we just don't use it exclusively.

  6. #16
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    Much like $1 coins, they would immediately 'take' if you ditched the $1 bill. Similar with metric and imperial. Ditch imperial, and metric gets used.
    Bingo, we have a winner here.

    Many Canadians fought changing the imperial system and changing our dollar bill to coins. It's humane nature to resist change. The government, in basic terms, said "too ****ing bad." Now, decades later, most agree both were the right move.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    Much like $1 coins, they would immediately 'take' if you ditched the $1 bill. Similar with metric and imperial. Ditch imperial, and metric gets used.
    This reflects back to my second post in this thread. We are left with an easy out, so we take it.

    and as a side note.. I am glad the $1 coins have not been forced on us so far, I hate coins and pocket clutter. Metric I could live with, I am familiar with it and can almost think in metric - at least I can convert with ease and get good ballpark estimations - even with celcius.
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    It's possibly an attitude that persists from the time when America sensed its impending ascension on the world stage. The desire to stamp itself indelibly on the global psyche. As if to say FU, we're America. We don't change for you. You change for us. We now set the baselines. But honestly, other than for science and technology, where professionals must employ it as a matter of course, I don't suppose it really matters. I certainly haven't noticed that America has suffered for its reluctance to standardise it. Personally, I put it down to a national foible.

  9. #19
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    If you keep dividing, you'll see. At the fifth division, you get 62.5 grams vs half an ounce. Half an ounce is easier to remember and further divide than 62.5 grams. For instance, divide each by 2 an additional 3 times, and you get 1/16 of an ounce vs 7.8125 grams.

    Decimaliztion certainly makes some things easier, but thinking in terms of fractions has its advantages. You see similar results with inches vs centimeters.

  10. #20
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen.Seven View Post
    If you keep dividing, you'll see. At the fifth division, you get 62.5 grams vs half an ounce. Half an ounce is easier to remember and further divide than 62.5 grams. For instance, divide each by 2 an additional 3 times, and you get 1/16 of an ounce vs 7.8125 grams.

    Decimaliztion certainly makes some things easier, but thinking in terms of fractions has its advantages. You see similar results with inches vs centimeters.
    Divide a tablespoon in half.
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