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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:49 PM
Original message
Will USA ever convert to metric?
There are only three countries in the world that have not converted; USA, Myanmar and Liberia. Britain is still a bit ambidextrous about it but metric is the official system.

There are a million plusses and few negatives for the USA to convert to metric. Why not?
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Then how the hell would we do football?
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Aussie rules
scores in multiples of sixes and ones except in the pre-season when it can score in multiples of six, three, nine and one.
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Blasphemous!
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chollybocker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Even Canadian football still measures by yardage.
heh, Canadian football. I made funny.

;)
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
24. it couldn't hurt
We could avoid embarrassments such as these:

As the players wait in the building's lobby, someone notices the cathedral-like ceiling and asks, "How high is that?"

(Jake) Locker answers first: "I'd say it's about 30 yards -- 60 feet."

Scotty McKnight, a former Colorado receiver who might not be drafted, turns his head, drops his eyebrows and grins. McKnight loves giving people a hard time, and his fellow prospect has provided a rare opening. "Thirty yards is 90 feet," he says.

"Uh, I didn't take math," says Locker...

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft2011/news/story?id=6299398


:rofl:
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #24
36. OMG
I say we are celebrating innocence, not deriding idiots.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #36
49. I was told there would be no math...
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #49
61. 5
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:45 AM by murphyj87
That's simple. A person should know that, without working it out
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #61
66. well, yeah...
it's 4/cos(arctan(3/4)).

:P
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #66
71. But every math textbook ...
But every math textbook I've ever remembered seeing uses an example of a right triangle with sizes 3 and 4 and a hypotenuse of 5. I said WITHOUT working it out.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #71
75. well, sure...
but rote memorization is no way to learn math. :)
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #75
78. I didn't say I couldn't figure it out. I said I DIDN'T HAVE TO...LOL
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #71
164. It's the 3-4-5 rule familiar to construction workers.
Those three lengths--or any multiple thereof--will always yield a right angle. Almost every find-the-hypotenuse math test question will be based on that.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 05:48 AM
Response to Reply #164
180. Ah...
we learned it as 5-12-13...

:)
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
37. Canadian football and curling.....
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:19 AM by murphyj87
Canadian football and its 110 yard long 65 yard wide field, with 25 yard deep end zones, is one of the few things that still not metric. Curling is basically not changed either as curlers still talk about the 12 foot, 8 foot, and 4 foot circle, but the rule book lists both English and metric measurements.
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #37
47. 110 yards might not be feasible with many developed stadiums...
Since a great deal of stadiums were built with certain football measurements in mind.
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. But this is what Canadian football stadiums accomodate. It's been the rules for 60 years at least.
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:29 AM by murphyj87
This is the requirement for all Canadian professional and college football stadiums. That has been the size of Canadian football fields back to the 30's, and has nothing to do with the metric system. It has to do with the rules of Canadian football.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #50
54. Canadian football fields have a proscribed size?
Where's your frontier spirit?
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #54
58. Always has been that size
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:43 AM by murphyj87
Always has been that size, at least in the 52 years that I've been watching, and used to play Canadian football. It was that way when my uncle played Canadian college football in the 30's too.
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Esra Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #54
81. Proscribed means forbidden (roughly) ??
I suspect you meant "prescribed"
Cheers from the pedant
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #81
161. They are proscribed from being anything other than ...

:)


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shoutinfreud Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #37
107. The only thing I hear Canadians actually USE metric for is grams and speed
Example;

"Hey, gimme a pound of hamburger and a hundred grams of ham"

You never hear Canadians say "I'm 360 cm tall" they measure weight and height in feet and pounds. I'm in my mid-30s and at least my generation does anyway.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #107
116. If someone said "I'm 360cm tall"
that would mean they really didn't understand the metric system, wouldn't it? LOL.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #116
125. Only if they're the gameskeeper at Hogwarts...
or they live at the top of a beanstalk.

Sid
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #125
127. Thanks for the laugh
:rofl:
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. It will cost a ton of money with little actual benefit
Edited on Thu May-05-11 10:52 PM by Art_from_Ark
and if the experience in Canada is any indication, prices (for food, gas, etc.) will increase when people are forced to deal with unfamiliar units of measurement.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Since about 1789 when the french introduced the system
At some stage in it's history most countries have had to deal with the change. After a generation, everthing is back to normal and the kids are growing up with the new system. It's life, it's evolution. It happens

This one-off expense is offset by the a)boost to local economy in form of performing conversion services, b)wider economic benefits on a world level by trading and relating in a consistent language.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
28. Not to mention all this little friction from having to do conversions at both sides.
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:01 AM by Commie Pinko Dirtbag
It adds up. Time spent by translators, having to print lots of things with two numbers, and probably many more things I forget now.

While we're at it, I think every language should be written in the Latin alphabet. Japan, China, Russia, Israel, India etc. should do what Turkey did.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #28
44. Work
for translators, printers. Dying trades get a five or ten year reprieve.

Is the resistance to metric the final shred of American Exceptionalism?
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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. This.
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
48. The experience in Canada..
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:31 AM by murphyj87
The experience in Canada is being overstated, and is not a factor in prices at all. In my 60 years, I see see no difference in price than would have happened ordinarily, metric system or not.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #48
60. According to the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator
the CPI only doubled between 1978 and 1988.

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/rates/inflation_calc.html
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #60
63. As it would have metric or not.....
If you actually lived in Canada, you'd know that.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #63
67. Yes, I actually lived in Canada
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:55 AM by Art_from_Ark
I can tell you all about Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Meech Lake, and the opposition to the GST and Mulroney asking the Queen of England for permission to pad the Senate with 20 new Senators just so he could pass the GST, and the weekend traffic jams of Canadians lining up at the Peace Arch crossing to buy cheaper gasoline in the US, and attending an informal speech by Jean Chretien, and having to pay GST on salted nuts but not on unsalted nuts.
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #67
74. Oh, ok...LOL
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:56 AM by murphyj87
But based on every decade before and every decade since, prices did not increase on consumer goods in that decade any more than any other. What did increase more than normal in that decade was the cost of housing and cars, and gasoline, exactly as those things spiked in the US as well in that same decade.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #74
79. But that is the point
Most consumer goods in Canada are not sold in metric units-- but the consumer goods I mentioned are sold in metric units, and the switch from English to metric created enough confusion that prices could be raised without a lot of people noticing.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #79
85. Those scams emerged in Aust. at metric conversion
Dealt with by free consumer advice and information campaign. Once again, it is a time limited disadvantage.

I add that scams initiated by a conversion to metric will be very small compared to scams perpetrated against people with limited computer security knowledge. How do we deal with that?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #85
89. What's the relation between the metric system and internet security?
There isn't any.

And I will tell you, I am living in a metric country, but when I return to the US for the occasional visit, I do not say "Oh my gosh, why don't Americans adopt the freaking metric system already? Don't they know that it's far easier to drive in kilometers per hour than in miles per hour? Don't they know they can get better kilometerage if they'd just buy gasoline by the liter? Don't they know it's a far better to pay 50 cents for 100 grams of steak than $2 per pound of steak? Don't they know that they should set their thermostats to 20 degrees instead of 68 degrees to save energy? Don't they know it would be far better to have the number of square meters of their home listed on their deed rather than square feet?"
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #74
100. I'll tell you something about Chretien's speech
He was not yet prime minister then, but the consensus was that Mulroney was on his way out and that Chretien would replace him. The venue was a school gymnasium, and I was able to get within about 10 feet-- oh, excuse me, 3 meters-- of Mr. Chretien and film his very animated speech. He had quite a speaking style, and quite an accent.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #60
69. And that was nothing to do with
Greed is Good.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
152. A metric ton? or about 900 kilograms?

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why not?
Because the people of the United States are hidebound provincial nincompoops. Well, not every last one of us, but certainly enough that it won't happen in my lifetime.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Oops. Look straight above.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Having spent half of my life in metric countries
Edited on Thu May-05-11 11:02 PM by Art_from_Ark
I can say that there is no compelling reason for the US to spend billions and billions of dollars to convert to the metric system. And I saw what happened with Canada first-hand, after they converted from Imperial gallons to liters for gasoline, and from pounds to 100 grams for deli foods, among other things. Prices went up.
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. It's not like it's our most pressing need.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Another thing about Canada
When they converted speed limit signs from miles to kilometers, they said that 70km/h was 45m/h, but it isn't-- 45mph is actually a little faster. I learned that the hard way.
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I remember my grandma's rental car once had a digital speedometer and it read speed in kilometers...
Very confusing.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
59. Early 70s
Family trip to Sydney for wedding. My car, as it was the biggest, Mum, dad, me and my sister. First driving shift, me driving, mum in front seat.

Noticed she was white knuckled asked why. 'Your travelling at 100 miles an hour' she said. Spent the next hour explaining metric conversion to mother, who noticeably relaxed on news that 100km more or less is 60mph.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
130. I once bought a car in the US that registered kilometers
on the speedometer. The dealer bent over backwards to sell me the car. It was because the average American wouldn't touch a car that registered kilometers instead of miles.

But at least it got 50 mpg (80km/g) while I had it.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #130
183. .
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #21
51. I know. we had to deal with this in Australia
It proved to be irreplacably damaging to our National Psyche to accept that we couldn't just drive at whatever speed we liked because the government was fucking with out heads replacing dependable old miles with tricky new (French) kilometres.

Ten years later we, as a nation ended up as smug and complacent acolytes to a French system designed to take over the world. I want my country back!
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. You do realize that MEDICINE is done in metric already
and I saw what happened in Canada first hand too.

It didn't really. Gas in canada was more expensive already... and paying for 100 grams of cheese, IF the conversion is done right, is not more expensive than an ounce.

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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. In 1978, a pound of potato salad at Safeway was CDN $1.29
In 1988, 100 grams of potato salad at Safeway was CDN $1.29.

In 1978, one imperial gallon (1.2 US gallons) of gasoline was about 55 Canadian cents
In 1988, one liter of gasoline was 60 Canadian cents

I have little confidence that a conversion would be "done right".
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. What evidence do you have that this (roughly) quadrupling of price was caused by the conversion?
And while we're at it, what's the source for those prices?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #29
39. The source of those prices is my own personal experience
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:16 AM by Art_from_Ark
(I kept a record of expenses for the times I was in Canada in both years) as well as talking with Canadians while I was living there. The younger people seemed comfortable with it (because they really hadn't experienced the inflation), but the older people were pissed off.

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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #39
53. IF your numbers are true, they're meaningless because of the 10-year span.
How did they progress year by year? Was there a huge jump up at a certain point?
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murphyj87 Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #53
57. No, not at all....
This is yet more warped, erroneous American thinking which is what keeps the United States in the 1950's and out of the last half of the 20th century, let alone the 21st century. You Americans will make up any excuse not to progress.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #57
62. Just as a curiosity, was inflation really 13% a year in average from 1978 to 1988?
That's what a fourfold price increase in 10 years amounts to. That's an insane number IMHO.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. The Bank of Canada shows roughly a doubling of prices between 1978 and 1988
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #64
86. Year by year:
---------CAN----USA
1979: 09.24% 11.35%
1980: 09.23% 13.50%
1981: 12.68% 10.32%
1982: 11.46% 06.16%
1983: 07.29% 03.21%
1984: 04.53% 04.32%
1985: 03.67% 03.56%
1986: 04.34% 01.86%
1987: 04.01% 03.56%
1988: 04.30% 04.14%

10yr: 97.20% 81.44%


So. From two baskets of goods that cost the same in the US and Canada in 1978, the Canadian one is only 8.7% more expensive in 1988. Moreover, the highs and lows of inflation are roughly at the same periods.

Your argument is invalid.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #86
98. For crying out loud
You are talking about a "basket of goods" that includes mostly things that are not sold in either English or metric units-- like cars, televisions, audio equipment, tires, bicycles, toys, CDs, furniture, sports equipment, houses, damn, the list goes on and on. I am talking specifically about items that were sold first in English units, then in metric units. Can you not see the freaking difference?
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shoutinfreud Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #98
105. Groceries are general top of the list of things to measure inflation, not cars
Also, in the 80s Canada was going through notorious inflation.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #105
117. I have already taken the doubling of prices between 1978 and 1988 into account
Edited on Fri May-06-11 02:35 AM by Art_from_Ark
And the basket of goods includes: "food, housing, transportation, furniture, clothing, recreation, and other items that Canadians buy."

http://www.dundeewealth.com/adv/Bank_of_Canada_Inflation(1).pdf
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #105
159. Not to mention, fuel prices affect EVERY. FUCKING. THING. -nt
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. Your examples make no sense
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:15 AM by wuushew
I don't see how the metric system forces price inflation.

Firstly why are you comparing prices ten years apart? Shouldn't you use examples such as soda which today is sold in both English and metric units? Are you telling me people can't evaluate the relative bargin of two prices based on difference in volume?

Also when grocery shopping people generally eye ball what they buy and form a number of servings in their mind. I don't care about weight of pasta salad when I look at the size of the 1,2 and 3 pound containers. I care about the percieved bulk and number of servings versus price. Ditto raw hamburger or other cuts of meat.

Why would gasoline cost more? People still need to fill their tanks to get around. How would changing units force price inflation? Why would the margins and the competition between gas stations be altered?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #34
43. Think of it this way
If I told you you could buy a pound of bananas for $1.00 or 100 grams of bananas for 30 cents, which would seem cheaper if you really weren't familiar with the metric system?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #34
46. Also think of it this way
If I raised the price of gasoline by 7 cents a liter, would it seem cheaper than raising it by 20 cents an Imperial gallon?
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #46
52. How can that happen in a competitive market?
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:33 AM by wuushew
And your banana example does not ring true. If I wish to buy a banana I will either do so singly or by the bunch. The price per weight is not a consideration.

The relative "deal" of the banana is based on its price versus what other vendors are charging for equal goods or what it perceived value is versus say an apple.

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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #52
56. Have you never bought bananas by the pound?
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #56
65. the pound is the unit of comparison!
Instead of being priced in dollars per pound it will priced in dollars per gram.

Why would the price of all bananas increase? The physical size of the banana is not changing.



We will just have to agree to disagree on this one.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #65
72. Dollars per gram?
Those are damned expensive bananas
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #72
76. only for you
n/t
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #76
82. So how many dollars would you pay for a gram of banana?
And I'm not talking about Zimbabwe dollars, either.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #82
93. I can tell you exactly
Because bananas skyrocketted after the floods and cyclone.

I pay $1.28 for 100gms of bananas. 1.2 cents a gram.

In case you can't work out the metrics, bananas are about $12.80 a kilo in the shops now. What's heavier; a kilo of bananas or a kilo of entrenched prejudices?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #93
94. Perhaps you missed the point
The other poster said "dollars per gram", not "cents per gram".

And "a kilo of entrenched prejudices"? Just what the hell does that mean?
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shoutinfreud Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #27
104. And how much is potato salad in the USA in 1988?
Cause unless potato salad stayed in the same price range in the USA, this is the silliest argument ever made.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #104
119. 1988 Canadian dollar = approximately 86 US cents
$1.29 per 100 grams = approximately US $1.11 per 100 grams
1 pound of potato salad = ca. US $5.03 ($1.11 X 4.54)

I'm pretty sure that in those days, that would have been an unheard-of price in most places in the US except for maybe super-expensive delis in Manhattan. The last time I was in my hometown, which was at the end of last year, I paid about $2.50 a pound for it at the local supermarket.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #27
155. Son you do understand that in those same ten years
Canada has a pretty hefty inflationary rate, RIGHT?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #155
184. Did you not read where I said I taken that into account?
Hefty inflation rate-- prices doubled for a "market basket" of goods from 1978 to 1988-- taken into account.

But prices rose far more than that for the consumer goods I mentioned that were sold first in English units, then in metric units during that time period.
I focused on potato salad because that was one of my staples during that time. I practically lived on the stuff during my 1978 trip. But when I returned 10 years later, I was shocked to find that the price had risen so high, and the price of the damn stuff was based on units of 100 grams.

And I will say one more thing-- again. I have spent half of my life in metric countries, and cannot think of even one example of how the metric system in my daily life has made my life easier, cheaper, or more efficient in any way whatsoever.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
185. Schools began to teach the metric system in the mid 70s in preperation for
eventual conversion, but it quickly died out as the actual cost was soon discovered. It's easy to say it's just numbers, but those numbers have a lot of meaning and cost behind them.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. No. nt
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Vehl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
12. I still remember the very first math exam I took here in America
Edited on Thu May-05-11 11:05 PM by Vehl
During a discrete math exam, there was a problem which required the student to know how many ft are there in a mile. While that was not the problem by itself...the problem could not be attempted unless the student knew this fact. I had to raise my hand and ask the professor the question. :D

The entire class gave me a surprised, yet understanding look.lol


The metric system is so convenient..but as some poster suggested above, the conversion might be costly. However Imho it would probably result in some cost savings in the longer run...as its a less convoluted system of measurements.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. We already use the metric system and most people don't even know it.
Edited on Thu May-05-11 11:54 PM by kentauros
Or, they don't pay attention to it, or don't know what it means.

kilowatt-hours
milligrams of aspirin
grams of coke ;)
2-liter bottle of Coke
2-liter engine
900 millibars of pressure (as in the center of a hurricane)
Gigabytes
Megahertz
And, our monetary system: base-10

There's probably "oodles" more, but can't think of them offhand. I do know that the military and the scientific communities have converted to the metric system a long time gone, especially the medical profession. When was the last time your doctor prescribed medication measured in grains? ;)

eta: I forgot to mention that "conversion" need not be a one-time thing, taking place almost literally overnight. We can do it as we are doing it now, over time. The young will embrace it and the rest will either have to learn how to accept that 20C is a nice day out, 40C means it's time to stay indoors with the a/c on full, 0C is actually freezing, and it will take many a klick of walking or cycling to warm up again ;)
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #25
68. Doctors still ask nurses what the Celsius scale means
because a lot of the older guys are still clinging to Fahrenheit for temperatures. However, weights and measures in healthcare are now all metric and have been for some time.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #68
84. "a lot of the older guys are still clinging"
This is the primary reason why we haven't converted in the public sector. I'm not in the professions of medical or scientific, or even military, but I do observe, and have seen how they've gone over to metric. And the public never seemed to complain about that. Now, I did hear plenty complaining about their cars and other vehicles being in metric for nuts and bolts, but that changed, too, as even domestic manufacturers switched. When industry changes, people change their minds quick.

I do remember when gasoline sold in liters, I think in the early 80s. I was in heaven! Finally! We were on the road to changing. But all the old farts out there (I'm getting there, okay? :P) complained to high heaven and it all went back to gallons. I had to remember how many gallons it took to fill up, when I was used to simply knowing that a normal fill-up was around 34 liters.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #84
167. I think the slowest to adapt will be the building trades
because so much of the code is written in the English system, 16 inch on center studs and all that other good stuff.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #167
172. The "cookie-cutter" housing developers
could probably convert easier than the individual contractors. Plus, any addition to a house is going to have to be to the standards of that house. If your house was somehow already in metric (like built before the codes were written) that would likely confuse a lot of the independent builders out there ;)

I know IKEA makes "flat-packed" apartments. I doubt they make them in standard measurements ;)
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Vehl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
90. Yep
I'm in the engineering field and am really glad that its all metric. However some textbooks have old questions ported over from previous versions which used to have non-metric stuff and it used to trip me over now and then.lol


I agree that the solution you proposed, of allowing the young to learn the new system and gradually letting them overshadow the older one aver a generation or so is very viable indeed.

speaking of C and Km's...I still mentally convert miles into klicks and Fahrenheit into Celcius.lol

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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #90
99. I'm in a similar field,
though it's mapping. And we're still in standard measurements, except for the times when we have clients in other countries. Even so, unless we're required to use pipe and equipment supplied by the client, nothing is in metric. Surveying is another field that hasn't converted yet, though it should be fairly easy for them, considering how it's all digital and GPS these days.

I'm learning to understand what temps are at C because my girlfriend is a resident/citizen of NZ. Converting temps is such a pain to do mentally. Converting to klicks is easier :)
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #25
135. THANK YOU!!!!
Just look at a bottle of soda, a box of cereal, a can of soup. I guarantee you that everything in your refrigerator and pantry, unless is is 15 years old, has both metric and English numbers on it. Kitchen measuring cups and carpenters tape measures made over the past decade or so have both. Most software already has the conversions built into it, so you have a choice of how you want everything, such as page set-up on your word processor, displayed. You can even choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius on your Weather Channel page, and odds are, the thermometer you have reads both. Hell, even the characters in the "Arthur" cartoons use metric measurements. Thank goodness they're finally making it part of every day usage with our kids. They won't be so resistant to converting over like their parents and grandparents are. Having used the metric system for more than two decades as a scientist, it boggles my mind that people want to stay with the old, clumsy, ridiculous English system.

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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #12
88. I've lived with metrics for say,
40 - 45 years.

Spent the first 11 or so years of my life in UK, then Australia when the conversion took place when I was relatively young.

Some numbers are burned into my memory; 5,80, 1,760. I know that 22 yards is a chain, cricket pitch.None of it relevant.

Metrics brought numeracy to the masses. In a society that primarily uses the base 10 system for currency and science why does anyone persist with imperial or home grown measuring systems?
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Zanzoobar Donating Member (618 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #12
96. Is that fact much different than knowing that kilo = 1000?
Edited on Fri May-06-11 01:48 AM by Zanzoobar
Or centi = 100? In either case ya still gotta know the terms of the agreement.

Ya still gotta convert it.

The conversion may be easier, but is a million light years any more abstract than a million light kilometers?



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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #96
131. People already know those terms,
though they may not even be aware of it. For example:

Mega-hertz
Giga-bytes
Kilo-watts
Milli-grams

Your example of "light kilometers" can't work, because it's not a term used by, well, anyone. It's not used in science, in science fiction books/movies/TV shows and certainly not by the general public. I dare say that if you asked most people what a light-year even was (nevermind a "light kilometer", whatever the hell that is) they wouldn't be able to tell you. They've heard the term, but have no context in which to use it, intelligently or not.
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Zanzoobar Donating Member (618 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #131
143. !
It's no harder to learn that mile = 5280 than kilo = 1000.

And as far as the light year, that was my point. It's an abstraction to almost everyone. Does it matter what unit of measure is used?
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #143
147. Actually, it IS more difficult to remember that a mile equals 5280 feet
than 1000 meters for a kilometer. 5280 is a weird number. 1000 is not.

For the light-year measurement, it makes a big difference depending upon the profession, be it science fiction writer or astronomer. The biggest problem with people not knowing its definition is that too often you will see people using it as a measurement of time and not distance. How often do miles get mistaken for hours?
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Back in the mid 70's...
When I was in grade school, we were told that America would be totally converted by the time we finished high school. We learned it but honestly, I've forgotten most of it from a lack of use.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. You are the reason we haven't converted. If you just remebered.
kidding
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Here's how it could have happened, and why it didn't.
Some stupid person or committee with little or no foresight decided that we needed to be able to convert one to the other.

What was the fucking point of converting one to the other? Can you tell me that? If I'm going to spend the rest of my life measuring things in centimeters, is it important to me to know how many INCHES that is? NO.

If I'm going to spend the rest of my life measuring things in liters, is it important for me to know how many pints, quarts, half-gallons, or gallons that is? NO.

If my car registers and measures kilometers, is it important for me to know how many MILES that is? FUCK NO.

If we just changed, overnight, from one to the other, we'd be using it today.
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. You are correct... and I never even thought of it that way
WTF would we need to know that for... That really was pretty stupid to bother with all that.
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #19
38. We, as students, could have been tasked with more important things...
I remember some of it, but can't to this day remember why it was important.

There was a time in the 70's, when gas pumps suddenly changed from gallons to liters...

No one seemed to care; we needed to put gas in our cars.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #17
77. for all the shit that we have that has inches, miles, etc.
My new refrigerator is 1m x 1.5m x 2m, but I have 3 tape measures that have ft and inches and my door is 3ft x 7ft. Conversion would help me figure out how if I can keep my fridge or if I have to leave it on the porch
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #77
91. Just try shoving it through the door.
Taking your tape measure from your home to the place where you bought the fridge would have helped you bunches.

Conversion.com could have helped you as well.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #91
92. the whole point was that conversion was useless and that everything should change overnight
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #92
97. Yeah, I missed that. Feel free to peel open my skull with a 907 gram framing hammer. n/t
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #97
112. a 2 pound hammer?
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #17
95. Exactly my personal experience
Need to shut off the conversion impulse and use your eyes and common sense. Eight sausages in a pound? About 14 sausages to a kilo. Three apples to five apples.

People adapt if it's all around them.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #95
187. One Kilogram is 2.2 pounds. Thus if 8 sausages = I pound
It seems to me that a Kilo would be slightly more than double the amount of sausages. So your 14 is a few links short of the correct answer, which would be 17.6 sausages. The fact that you are off by about 20% suggests that common sense does not serve the budget minded converter all that well, and it seems to suggest that even the proponents of this switch would either short me sausages or get shorted sausages themselves, no?
If it is easy, you would have been counting the sausages better. Off by that much simply is not workable in life. Can I count the money I owe you that way, please?
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Saphire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
142. +1
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. To what benefit? Could you name just ten of the million "plusses" that you claim?
I'm only asking you to justify 1/100,000'th of your claim. That should be easy.

Ten. That's all.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. Unit conversion costs money
You have to higher someone to write additional packaging, web pages, etc. Since America is smaller than the combined population of the rest of the world it is we who are at the competitive disadvantage.

My friend who is an electrician said that while becoming certified he was asked to solve questions using both metric and non-metric units. He found the non-metric solutions much more taxing for him mentally than the alternative. Why learn multiple systems? These small wastes of effort are multiplied millions of times if one includes all the various skilled trades where they can be used.

Increased errors, duplication of tools. Its a regrettable waste. Alas we were supposed to be metric by 1980.
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
41. America... competitive disanvantage.... LOLOLOLOL
Next?
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #41
45. We're number one?
:shrug:

Could have fooled me. This place has the feel of 4th century Rome nowdays.
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #45
80. Hyperbole much?
Fourth Century Rome? Are you SERIOUS?

Honestly now, how would you compare life today in the United States to that of fourth century Rome?

Do we have open sewers?

Is it possible that you could die after cutting your hand on a piece of rusty metal?

Do you need to drink alcohol rather than water because water is dangerous to your health?

I don't think those questions could be answered with a yes in MORE THAN HALF of the world's "countries".

What the FUCK does being "number one" have to do with anything at all?
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #80
115. I believe it an apt comparison
Edited on Fri May-06-11 02:35 AM by wuushew
The 4th century was long way removed from the peak of Pax. How would you compare the American dream in 2011 to say 1969 during the height of Apollo?

I have no idea your thoughts behind your competitive advantage comment, the country does need to improve in many areas. I don't think that is open to argument.
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CJvR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #26
157. Inreased errors....
...like NASA switching on the breaking thrusters of their Mars probe a few miles below the Martian surface - Ooops!
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #16
106. OK, millions was hyperbole
but there are LOTS of advantages.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
166. I do not have a number, but it must have cost an employer of mine quite a bit.

Back in the days when reporting was done in fixed font, our International Systems Department was producing reports designed to fit 8.5" x 11" paper. This was not an issue when they were printing multiple copies of the reports and delivering them to the offices.

Then half the offices put together a computer network, and I got hired to connect the global HQ to those offices.

If that sounds like I have it completely backwards, well, it sounds that way to me too. But that is the way it used to work. Offices did what they wanted, and global HQ worked with it. We really were that fucked up.

After I got us connected, I got the remaining offices connected. Many with nothing more than a terminal emulator and a modem. But they could still use that to download and print their own reports, saving us a fortune on shipping costs. Which is, of course, what I did next: started networking reports instead of printing and shipping them.


Most reports were landscape. In landscape mode, A4 size paper is slightly wider than 11" (no problem) and slightly shorter than 8.5" (big problem). Every page in the report file would start on one piece of paper, print three lines on a second piece, then skip to the next piece of paper for the next "page".

90% of our offices were overseas. So 90% of our offices were using almost twice as much paper as necessary.

Yes, the solution would have been amazingly simple: cut three rows off the pagination. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of going through channels instead of just asking the programmers to make their pages 3 rows shorter. I went instead to the head of programming who suffered from a severe case of American exceptionalism. "They should just use US sized paper," was her response.

This idiotic argument actually continued for years. Finally, technology changed, we have floating headers, and it really is no longer an issue.

But I would be real curious to know how much money we wasted all those years because one woman refused to accomodate foreign needs.

And, of course, this never would have been an issue had we used metric sized paper like the rest of the world.


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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
18. we could get rid of stupid fractions like 35/247 and 15/17ths nt
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #18
73. Or at least get rid of 9/32nd's and 15/64th's
;)

I remember in my previous job, being asked by the piping designer if he needed to get the measurement from the skid (an often self-contained equipment package delivered and permanently placed in the field) to a nearby barbed-wire fence to the nearest 64th. I almost laughed at him, and I may have done so while explaining the fact that a fence isn't rock-steady like a hunk of concrete, and flexes in the wind and elements.

He was the epitome of standard-only and actively anti-metric. Good thing he was never an engineer!
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shoutinfreud Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #73
109. I agree 3/98 ths of a percent!
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #73
144. That made me laugh.
Maybe because my relatives were infamous for their ramshackle barbed wire fences. Anything might serve as fence posts and there wasn't any sort of wire that couldn't be reused.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #144
148. I think I've seen fences like that
:D

I have to wonder how often surveyors see that kind of thing ;)
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ErikJ Donating Member (480 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
20. YES! Metric Time too!
Everything is much easier when its based on 10's. You can easily divide or multiply in your head without all the effing fractions.
Lots of times when I'm doing complicated carpentry I use metric for ease.
France after the Revolution even tried metric time and calendars for a while. Ten months to the year, 10 days per week, 10 hours per day etc.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
32. Pointless because everybody uses the same units already.
The bad thing about Imperial is not that it isn't decimal, it's that it's nonstandard.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #32
108. American gallon being best example
I know you're a fiercely independent nation but....
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #108
120. But since Americans know how much a gallon is
Edited on Fri May-06-11 03:19 AM by Art_from_Ark
there is no compelling reason to change the unit.

In other words, everything else being equal, there would be absolutely no benefit to the average American consumer in changing gasoline units from gallons to liters. Absolutely none.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #120
140. And yet,
larger quantities of soda come in liters, not quarts or gallons. What was the practical benefit in making the bottles by the liter instead of by the quart? We were never asked if we wanted quart and half-gallon bottles. They were simply on the shelf one day and we learned to accept it. The benefit must be on the manufacturing side, or it never would have been offered. Consider, too, that their factories were set up for standard measurements already. And yet, they switched to metric and haven't gone back.

However, the drink companies are kind of weird. Look at smaller quantity containers and they're all in Imperial measurements. Get above 20-oz. and they switch to metric :crazy:
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #20
83. Thank the romans. There used to be ten months with DECember as the tenth.
July and August were added for julius and augustus. If I remember correctly from 9th grade latin.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:42 AM
Response to Reply #83
121. When were those two months added?
Were they added after the conversion to Christianity, which considered 12 to be a sacred number (12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples, etc.)? Or was that based on Greek tradition, which also considered 12 to be a sacred number ("12 great gods")? Were they given names of popular emperors to make the change acceptable to the average Roman?
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #121
123. some clarification:
Edited on Fri May-06-11 04:52 AM by Tunkamerica


Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Juniius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December were the first 10 Roman months. Then they added January and February to make 12.

Finally, in 46 B.C.E., Julius Caesar initiated a thorough reform that resulted in the establishment of a new dating system, the Julian calendar. July and August replaced Quintilis and Sextilis and the sun finally replaced the moon as a date keeping mechanism.

http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-roman.html
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #20
102. Never forget
The tenth of Thermidor.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
30. Because in everyday life it doesn't matter.
The scientists all use metric. Most of the engineers do, too. So their work is 100% compatible with work done overseas.


For everything else that's measured in units where unit consistency is not an issue (some metric units have an alphabet soup of base units after them), it really doesn't matter in day-to-day life.


Can of soda.... 12 ounces or 350 mL? Does it matter? The primary unit of measurement is the can, not the ounces or milliliters.

Measuring and cutting a board that's 4 feet long is about as easy as cutting a board that's 120cm long... stretch the tape, make a mark, and fire up the circular saw.



This fall, a deer hunter is going to wake up and go hunting in Wisconsin. He'll climb into his 1/2 ton pickup truck, fire up the 4.6L, 231-horsepower engine, and drive out to a patch of woods to go hunting. He'll take a nice buck with his favorite rifle, a 7mm Remington Magnum with a 26-inch barrel. He'll use a 150-grain soft-nosed bullet propelled by 53 grains of gunpowder. The range was a bit long, 330 yards, but his 4-12x40mm scope was sighted in properly and the animal dropped immediately. On the way home, he'll stop by the local quickie-mart to pick up a quarter-pound cheeseburger and a liter of Mountain Dew on his way to the butcher.



Of course, it could also go this way just as easily:

This fall, a deer hunter is going to wake up and go hunting in Wisconsin. He'll climb into his 1/2 tonne pickup truck, fire up the 281-cid, 172-kilowatt engine, and drive out to a patch of woods to go hunting. He'll take a nice buck with his favorite rifle, a .284 Remington with a 60-cm barrel. He'll use a 150-grain soft-nosed bullet propelled by 53 grains of gunpowder. The range was a bit long, 300 meters, but his 4-12x40mm scope was sighted in properly and the animal dropped immediately. On the way home, he'll stop by the local quickie-mart to pick up a Royale With Cheese and a quart of Mountain Dew on his way to the butcher.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
31. There is ONE reason I have read for why we won't fully commit to metric,
and it comes from a place probably completely out of mind of most people: land plots.

Think about it. Every parcel of land has to be surveyed to be accurately mapped, and every one of them out there right now is measured in feet, rods, chains, sections, townships, ranges, and on and on. All these obscure, seldom-used terms outside of land survey and deed-writing would have to be dumped and rewritten for metric. Considering the lack of funding for the services we truly need, not a single municipality, county seat, or state is going to commit funding to converting all those millions of land parcels to metric. (It's bad enough that many counties/parishes are so far behind the times that they never scanned their documents to electronic format, much less use GIS.)

Personally, I don't see this as a legitimate reason not to go metric, but it is one reason that will be lofted for why they can't. Of course, if we somehow find our local governments awash in cash, that might be one thing they could do for jobs. They wouldn't be long-term per se, but they'd last many years researching, converting to metric, scanning to PDF, and converting the drawings to GIS and CAD :)
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
33. We will when we decide to tax billionaires. Or when pigs fly, which ever comes first.
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mysuzuki2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
35. We have, in all scientific and technical areas
I learned the metric system in my first 9th grade science class (the first 50 minute session). Never forgot it-it's a very simple system. In contrast, I still can't remember how many pecks in a bushel or how many fathoms in a furlong.
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cherish44 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
40. When I was in school they sed the metric system was going what was used by the time we're adults....
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:18 AM by cherish44
I just turned 44
(I know I spelled "said" wrong. I ran out of characters for my subject line)
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
42. Fact is, they sold it all wrong.
If they had told American Men their average dick size would go from 5.5 to 14 overnight, it would have been a shoo-in.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #42
55. You win this thread.
:rofl:
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #42
87. LOLOLOL. You said it better than I could ever have hoped to. n/t
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #42
103. BEST reply in the universe
:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #103
110. Seriously. Dudes would be paying to use the metric system.
They'd be selling it on the internet and on t.v. ads with the smiling Ezyte guy.


Shit, you know.. it just occurred to me.. we probably still could. :think:
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #110
170. Meet Smilin' Bob

{Picture of Bob swinging a golf club}

He's got a little more swing in his stroke. And the missus is happy too. How did he do this, you ask?

Well Bob recently switched over to the metric system. Everything seems 2.54 times better ever since.

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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
70. The government said we had to do it and people didn't want to so they refused...Case closed....
Edited on Fri May-06-11 12:50 AM by Rowdyboy
Thats pretty much how I remember it from the 1970's. Government says YOU WILL CONVERT. People say NOT INTERESTED. Government says okay, whatever....

And thus died the metric system in the US.

There was never any serious movement-people despised it and simply refused to convert. Americans can be stubborn.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #70
122. I remember those "Let's talk metric" ads in the '70s
"The distance from King Henry VIII's palace to wherever was declared by the king to be a mile. He stuck out his arm and declared it to be a yard. The length of his foot became a foot. That's not exactly an efficient system"

No it wasn't efficient. But it had become entrenched.

And then
"The metric system's not difficult-- 454 grams in a pound, 3.76 liters in a gallon, 1.62 kilometers in a mile..."
Yeah, not difficult. Right. I think for most people back then, those "easy conversions" sealed the doom of the metric system.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
101. Why not? Because the people don't want it
they stopped it before and they'll stop it again which is just fine with me. I like it when people refuse to be pushed into things that those in charge try to push down their throats. :thumbsup: :evilgrin:
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shoutinfreud Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #101
111. Yes, the reign of terror known as the metric system will not oppress Americans!
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #111
177. Yup the same as we wouldn't be oppressed with New Coke
the people wouldn't stand for it, rebelled and were given Coca Cola Classic! :rofl: :evilgrin:
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #101
113. Truly fitting
footnote to the discussion. Clear as day now why you will never be metric.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #113
132. Doesn't matter.
He proves the fact that he's using the metric system every day and doesn't even know it, nor is he likely to clue in ;)
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
114. I wish we had a fractional-metric type system. 1/2,1/3,1/4,1/5,1/6 of a mile...
Edited on Fri May-06-11 02:32 AM by joshcryer
...all reduce to an integer. While imperial is still imperfect, it had a basis in real world behavior for humans. It was a measuring system created to get things done, as it were.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #114
118. So were cubits
The inch was based on length of a man's thumb first joint. A yard began as an arm span, a foot speaks for itself.

Metric is not arbitrary. Length is determined by the earth's orbit, mass and volume by relationship to water. All systems 'get things done', imperial no better than others.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #114
128. A metric dozenal system would rock
because, lets face it, base ten is pretty lame. Its only non-trivial factors are 2 and 5. A duodecimal system would double that to 2, 3, 4 and 6. But I suppose that would be too much change.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Duodecimal
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:31 AM
Response to Original message
124. To be more competitive in Science, we should not only convert to the metric system, but also
go back to teaching the younguns Latin beginning in grammar school on up. (And a smattering of Greek wouldn't hurt, either.)

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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #124
138. American scientists have long used the metric system.
You can't walk into any scientific lab or research group in this country and do your work in anything other than metric. You can't publish your research in anything but metric, and the vast majority of scientific apparatuses have metric scales on them. Are issues in competitiveness have very, very little to do with our country not operating on the metric system. If one goes into science, the learn the metric system whether they want to or not.

But, I couldn't agree more with learning Latin. I spent 9 years in Catholic schools, and as a biologist, I feel cheated that they didn't teach me Latin, as they did my parents. (They did a lot of other detrimental things in my educations, as well, but that's for another thread.) It sure would have come in handy down the road.
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:12 AM
Original message
The metric system is the tool of the devil. -Abe Simpson
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
134. My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it
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alterfurz Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
179. and here's proof
Last I remember hash was ~$2/gram. Guess I'm dating myself here!
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
126. The metric system is the tool of the devil. -Abe Simpson
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surrealAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
129. I doubt we will.
It's actually less necessary now than it was forty years ago, and we didn't do it then.

Most Americans have a machine handy that can do the conversions quickly and accurately.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
133. "Ever" is a long time.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
136. I would hope so
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
137. I hope we *never* switch to Celsius. Fahrenheit is a near-perfect temperature scale.
Celsius unnecessarily compresses likely real-world temperatures to an artificially small range and forces people to work with negative numbers. Fahrenheit is beautiful because temperatures are almost always between zero and 100- anything above is *really* hot and anything below *really* cold- and knowing that the temperature is in "the 50s", "the 60s" etc. gives you a pretty good sense of how it's going to feel. With Celsius, saying it's in "the 10s" for example is not nearly as helpful.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #137
168. But Celsius IS real
zero is the freezing point of water, 100 is the boiling point of that same water.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #137
182. Funny, I've never had a problem with it. (nt)
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
139. I'm ambi-metric with my work and personal life.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
141. Do you have any idea how many 1/2 inch nuts and bolts are out there?
Trillions...

As long as I'm alive I'll be using both sides of my socket set
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
145. Most everything you buy has metric as well
it's just smaller than the standard.

They should just start setting ratios that change every year for the size of that text.

So this year standard can be twice as big on labels, next year only 50% bigger, then the same, then 50% smaller, etc.

Ease people in to it.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
146. NOT IN A BILLION YEARS!!!!!
Edited on Fri May-06-11 10:27 AM by cliffordu
'Murkin Exceptionalism!!!! At it's FINEST!!!!

( :hi:Hey!!! Howearya???)
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
149. I'm with you.
Don't see the problem either. We can get used to new measurements. Countries that switched to Euros had to do it. And other countries that switched to metric. And they lived.

Football upthread was an interesting thought, they'd have to keep it for that, but that could be - just for football. Add to its charms.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
150. It's our greatest single national failing
:argh:
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
151. Not before May 21st.
I'm just say'n.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
153. As long as they make the centimeter 2.54 times longer /nt
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #153
176. That's how long people take to learn what a centimeter is at all.
:P
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CJvR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
154. A bad case of...
..."not invented here" - but, just to make matters worse, in France of all places.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
156. I have a math teacher friend who is nuts on metric; "it's so EASY!" Except not. The visuals we all
have cannot be easily eradicated from our minds' eyes. We "see" quarts, and miles, and the 12-inch ruler. We are 5'3", 6'2", and so on. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a kilo of cure.

Track and field lost something when TPTB converted to metric. The 100-yard dash always defined "the world's fastest man," while the mile run has its own storied past.

Much of our lives is, in fact, based on an ancient numerology, with 3, 7, and 12 paramount. Twelve hours in each half-day; 7 days; 12 months; 12 Signs of the Zodiac; 12 Apostles; 12 Days of Christmas; the Trinity; etc.

Ten? Not so much, except for money.

I prefer the poetically imperfect rather than the industrially perfect.
Give those fans of the latter a centimeter, and they'll take a kilometer. :-)
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
158. Why should we be bothered with the metric system in everyday life?
Children learn it in school, scientists use it in their work, ect.

Everyone who has a use for it, is already using it. So why even bother to confuse the man on the street? It seems like our system is working just fine.
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ParkieDem Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
160. I don't know what you're talking about.
Several areas of our country have already converted quite well, as clearly evidenced here:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/metric-system-thriving-in-nations-inner-cities,458/
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octothorpe Donating Member (358 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
162. America will NEVER be a communist nation!!
teehee :P
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SlicerDicer- Donating Member (311 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
163. I use metric almost daily all the time...
Its far simpler and I do not give a damn if people can calculate what I am saying. The point is everything is going metric the world does not care about the USA anymore. Sorry kill or be killed...
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NoGOPZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
165. Amplifiers are already metric, except the ones that go to eleven nt
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #165
175. They're still in metric.
It's just that they've been throttled up to 110% :P
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Modern_Matthew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
169. Dare to be different? nt
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
171. The elegance of metric is you don't have to do fractions
Reading a ruler is as simple as counting.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
173. I hit a nine iron 140 yards
I do not want to learn how to measure it it meters. So there.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
174. Anything involving science has almost exclusively used metric
since the 70's.

I am actually more comfortable with the metric system after using it daily for over 40 years.

Jimmy Carter had a plan to convert the nation, but dip shit Reagan cancelled it.

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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
178. No. Not in my lifetime. Metric is for those sissie commie pinko Europeans.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:44 AM
Response to Original message
181. I moved from the US to Europe and never once had a problem with the change
to metric.


I don't know if the US will "convert" - I adapted - it wasn't the painful process some might think it is....

As some have pointed out already, a lot of the US already uses some form of the metric system...in work, play, shopping...

Yes, I came into an already established system but that is kind of the point.... how the distance between 2 points is expressed might change but Point B is still where it was when you got there by using miles...you adapt your thinking...even if you don't - or can't - do the math.

If you can read a map using miles you can still read the same map using kilometers. It's about being able to read a map...not how the distance is expressed. If you can read a map - it won't matter how the distance is expressed.

My measuring cups are metric...so are many of my recipes. My measuring cups also show ounces....the cup does the "converting" for me if I need it.

My oven, my microwave...all metric. Easily adapted to...

There are practical formulas for easy conversion that don't require a person be a math whiz.

I know the math is important...that isn't my point. I'm saying it doesn't have to be the scary thing some people think it is....I know a lot of Americans when they first got here were in fear of having to do math just to travel or shop or cook...but most quickly learned that all they really had to do was to adapt their thinking.

I'm not addressing the costs of changing out road signs, etc....I'm addressing the concern of everyday living....going metric wouldn't be hard to learn or adapt to...







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intaglio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:07 AM
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186. Why not? Political suicide is not popular
Remember the USA is a nation that can be convinced universal healthcare is bad, the French and the Legion Etranger are surrender monkeys and that the Shrub was a good president.
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