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??

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

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

    Because unlike $1 coins the government actually realized that if it did not take the first time that it would likely never take at all?

    I think we are just loathe to accept change, and the older generations got us thinking imperial before schools got to us. Also although metric was taught in school, children never learned to actually think metric, but rather to convert imperial to metric, thus it was a hassle.
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

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

    It's simple.... we don't want to use the metric system..... seems rather obvious.


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

    I think most educated people agree that the imperial system has to go, but we've taken very few actual steps in making any of it happen. It really wouldn't be that expensive if done correctly. Almost every American engineer is taught both systems in College and in the job itself you will frequently find yourself using both. All we'd have to do is state that after 2014 no more products using the imperial system should be manufactured, and shifting the emphasis in school towards metric.

    Technology replaces itself at an alarmingly fast rate, and in about 10 years there would be few legacy imperial products left. There would of course be some systems that would have to be completely replaced due to interdependencies, but for the most part the measurement systems do not effect interaction with other products, as protocols are usually standardized.

    We simply need to have an intermediate generation that can use both and help ease the transition, which I think that time is now. We're the only civilized country in the world that uses it, and it's time to go. For those on the fence, just go ask a few people how many feet are in a mile, very, very few people can tell you. 5,280? How is that rational?


    Countries who don't use the metric system.
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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?
    Actually, it isn't a French idea. It is Arabian.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    I think most educated people agree that the imperial system has to go, but we've taken very few actual steps in making any of it happen. It really wouldn't be that expensive if done correctly. Almost every American engineer is taught both systems in College and in the job itself you will frequently find yourself using both. All we'd have to do is state that after 2014 no more products using the imperial system should be manufactured.

    Technology replaces itself at an alarmingly fast rate, and in about 10 years there would be few legacy imperial products left. There would of course be some systems that would have to be completely replaced due to interdependencies, but for the most part the measurement systems do not effect interaction with other products, as protocols are usually standardized.

    We simply need to have an intermediate generation that can use both and help ease the transition, which I think that time is now. We're the only civilized country in the world that uses it, and it's time to go. For those on the fence, just go ask a few people how many feet are in a mile, very, very few people can tell you. 5,280? How is that rational?

    Countries who don't use the metric system.
    That is a big part of the problem, instead of changing the standard and making a reason for people to adapt, we left them a way out, and of course people take the path of least resistance. Kids may have learned metric in school, but every adult spoke a different language - one the kids were already familiar with.
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    Re: Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Paine View Post
    Why doesn't the US use the metric system??

    It's simple.... we don't want to use the metric system..... seems rather obvious.


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

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    Because unlike $1 coins the government actually realized that if it did not take the first time that it would likely never take at all?

    I think we are just loathe to accept change, and the older generations got us thinking imperial before schools got to us. Also although metric was taught in school, children never learned to actually think metric, but rather to convert imperial to metric, thus it was a hassle.
    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.
    Many Trump supporters have lots of problems, and those deplorables are bringing those problems to us. They’re racists. They’re misogynists. They’re islamophobic. They're xenophobes and homophobes. And some, I assume, are good people.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    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?
    An idea of what was "culturally superior" is the simplest answer. The 1970s attempt one of six attempts (I can't count) to metricate in US history. The first being 1790, where Thomas Jefferson was the first to propose a decimalized measurement system before the US Congress. Had we adopted it, we'd have upset the French metric system by half a decade.

    The other attempts came in 1821, 1866, 1896 and 1903. Each attempt failed primarily due to opposition coming from cultural conservatives, who either believed that the Imperial system was intrinsically better and because of that the world was soon going to adopt the English system, or denounced the metric system as a foreign attempt to influence us. The closest we've ever been to metrication was in 1896 when the HoR passed a bill to metricate, and the unpassed it in the following moments.

    The 1970s was the 5th failed attempt that failed not due to Reagan or due to costs, but because the original metric bill in 1975 did not give enough authority to the Fed government (the NIST) to coordinate the changeover. What the bill did was create a US Metric Board that was authorized to run PSAs and provide educational support for "voluntary" metrication, but no authority outside of that. Which meant that most industries and organizations had no idea of how to coordinate amongst themselves or with others on how and when to switch. In all other metrication events in the world, the respective governments have had the authority to coordinate and set up a time frame (usually a decade) on how to switch over. We Americans attempted to metricate without actually drawing up a plan to do so, which only ended up wasting money before Reagan rightfully killed it.

    Also mind you, Congress has absolute Constitutional authority over these matters, thanks to Jefferson's legacy. Article 1 Section 8.
    Last edited by brothern; 08-10-14 at 02:10 PM.

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