View Poll Results: Should the US finally switch to the metric system?

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  • Absolutely! Is about time!

    35 9.92%
  • Who cares? I dont like numbers anyway

    173 49.01%
  • No! Dont make me change! FREEDOOOM!

    76 21.53%
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    75 21.25%
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Thread: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

  1. #51
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Declan View Post
    Would a billion new highway signs really substantially improve infrastructure?
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  2. #52
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I learned metric in the 70s, when the initiative to change was on, and before it flopped.


    I'm good with meters, kilometers, liters, all that stuff.... found it very handy in doing scientific calculations too.


    The one I STILL have trouble with is Celsius vs Fahrenheit.... I can't seem to stop thinking in Fahrenheit and struggle convert C to F in my head.
    In most other sorts of units, there are indeed mathematical advantages to using them. Given the great effort that was made in the 1970s to get us to convert to Metric, and the colossal failure of that effort, I have to conclude that we Americans find it more advantageous to continue using the units with which we are familiar.

    Temperature is an exception. There really is no advantage to the Celsius scale over the Fahrenheit scale. Both are based on setting the zero and hundred points according to arbitrary criteria (though the Celsius scales' criteria are perhaps, slightly more meaningful that Fahrenheit's), and scaling the units to fit those points. It's more difficult to convert between the two scales, because it's not just a simple factor conversion.

    If we wanted to switch to a temperature scale that actually made sense, we'd should switch to one like the Kelvin scale, where zero really is zero. Both Celsius and Fahrenheit are like measuring lengths with a ruler that has zero somewhere in the middle, and anything shorter than that is deemed to have a negative length.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Declan View Post
    Would a billion new highway signs really substantially improve infrastructure?
    YES , no doubt thousands are obsolete, in design and condition ..
    Other more mature, more advanced nations have done this .. and more !
    Had we more liberal leadership centuries ago, this conversion (and others) would have been so much easier ..

  4. #54
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    YES , no doubt thousands are obsolete, in design and condition ..
    Other more mature, more advanced nations have done this .. and more !
    Had we more liberal leadership centuries ago, this conversion (and others) would have been so much easier ..
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  5. #55
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The one I STILL have trouble with is Celsius vs Fahrenheit.... I can't seem to stop thinking in Fahrenheit and struggle convert C to F in my head.

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  6. #56
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Most people have plenty of time to look up the necessary conversions. It really isn't that hard to do. And if they don't have the "skills", "ability" to actually perform those conversions, then they have seriously bigger issues than whatever is requiring those conversions to begin with.
    However, in order to be fully functional in a measurement system its best to have the ability to think in that system without having to go through a conversion process. The same is true of learning a new language. I know intuitively 75 degrees and breezy is a nice day weather wise. 24 degrees Celsius means nothing to me without looking it up.

    In all objectivity, metric makes way more sense as a measurement system. Celsius, the units temperature is measured is indexed to the temperature at which water freezes and boils; zero is ice and 100 is boiling water. Meters are indexed to the distance between the north or South Pole and the equator. There are probably very logical benchmarks on volume and weight too but I haven't looked.

    I say we use both concurrently for the benefit of international commerce if nothing else.
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by SlevinKelevra View Post
    What about those who don't give 2 craps that Europe uses it, but rather wish our children learned about units that have fundamental definitions based on real scientific properties.
    Tell us about these "fundamental definitions based on real scientific properties." The only one I know about is a pint weighing roughly a pound.

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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    However, in order to be fully functional in a measurement system its best to have the ability to think in that system without having to go through a conversion process. The same is true of learning a new language. I know intuitively 75 degrees and breezy is a nice day weather wise. 24 degrees Celsius means nothing to me without looking it up.

    In all objectivity, metric makes way more sense as a measurement system. Celsius, the units temperature is measured is indexed to the temperature at which water freezes and boils; zero is ice and 100 is boiling water. Meters are indexed to the distance between the north or South Pole and the equator. There are probably very logical benchmarks on volume and weight too but I haven't looked.

    I say we use both concurrently for the benefit of international commerce if nothing else.
    Is it possible that you are confusing meters with nautical miles?

    I know that a nautical mile is defined as a minute of arc at the Earth's surface. If you go north or south, such that your latitude changes by one minute, then you've travelled a nautical mile.


    Ice and steam aren't really as meaningful as one assumes them to be, in arguing for the Celsius scale. Just arbitrary points, and the fact remains that “zero” is still defined very far away from true zero.

    Daniel Fahrenheit defined his zero as the coldest temperature that he could produce using ice and salt, and his hundred according to his own body temperature (apparently, he was sick with a fever, at the time).
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  9. #59
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Tell us about these "fundamental definitions based on real scientific properties." The only one I know about is a pint weighing roughly a pound.
    Well, 1ml of water weighs 1gram. It also measures 1cc.

    How much does a liter of milk weigh? ~1 kg. How about a half gallon? Don't know...get a scale!

    You can do a lot with that- volume, weight and area are all proportional and easily multipled and divided.
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  10. #60
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    Re: Should the US finally switch over to the metric system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    We are basically the last country to not use the metric system in our day to day lives - we measure temperature in Farenheit, distances in feet.yards and miles, and have a ridiculous volume and weight measurement system of cups, ounces, quarts, gallons, etc.

    Its an antiquated system that costs the US milions each year by having to convert, tool things in english units (5/8 in wrenches?) etc. Our kids need to learn both systems, and tend to learn neither well.

    Why is there no active movement in the US to upgrade our systems?

    Why dont we just bite the bullet and change already?

    Nice article that may jump start the popular cry: Why Americans still use Fahrenheit long after everyone else switched to Celsius - Vox
    Yes its long passed due . . .
    Funny thing is not only have the majority of countries converted but science and medical industries already have too .. . the hold out is that we simply haven't done it everywhere.
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