# Please convert to the metric system

#61

Historical note: As most people are right-handed, when one passed on the left on a walking path it was to keep the stranger on the right side where your sword arm was. If you passed on the right, it was to signal peaceful intent: “Look, I’m keeping my sword arm away from you.” Many view countries driving on left versus right to be an artifact of these times.

My own takeaway is this: Don’t trust lefties. Eeeeeevul.

#62

As soon as someone bestows upon me the power to do so, I’ll have our 150,000 bureaucrats look into it, produce thousands of white papers, studies, cost analyses, etc, and maybe then somebody might do something. For the record, I can use either system, errrr, fluently? Stones, pounds, kilograms, doesn’t matter to me. I educated myself a long time ago so I could understand people from other areas. Shame this stuff isn’t taught in the schools here. I guess some jackass(es) thinks we’d be “bad Americans” if we used the metric system?

#63

Whereupon I troll @Treebeard: Does having a concealed carry permit for your 9mm count? Asking for a friend.

#64

And I troll the entire system: What if you want to carry a .38? Or a .40? Both calibers are an imperial measurement.

#65

Well, that makes you a girly-man. Real men use bows.

#67

How do you know my arrows don’t have exploding or incendiary tips?

ETA: I’m not encouraging this of course, just playful banter between myself and @MrSquirrel

#68

I don’t, but all of a sudden my tail is all fuzzed up.

#69

#70

we are Americans dang it we don’t need reasons and logic!
/s
but seriously…Imperial ftw

#71

I am confused. Why did your sarcasm not end with the /s?

#72

Looks like Tink Tink when she sees Chloe… We have to keep them separated at all time.

#73

there is usually 2 yards to a house, the front and the back lol

and feet is a good calculation but if you are measuring a horse you use hands

little interesting fact

#74

100 Fahrenheit means more to me in the Summer than the celcius definition but that’s just what I’m used to. Admittedly 0 celsius is more definitive in the winter than 32 farenheit but I’d want the temps leading up to it to be from 1 to 0 in tenths because it can snow at temps above freezing. (I’m usually comfortable with 35 fahrenheit being a possible threshold for snow under certain conditions although stranger things can happen). As far as ice goes yeah 0 celsius is a good thing to measure with. The boiling point is important with cooking and many industrial functions which would make 100 celsius a better measure for things of that nature, and a measuring scale of 10’s is more efficient for distances. It varies with the territory.

#75

If you’re still needing to measure a horse with your hands you’re at least 100 years behind the times.

#76

I don’t know where you live, but it regularly snows in the positive degrees range here. We also often have hail along with 20 degrees C. The celsius scale is still more readily interpreted because the snow will gradually melt as long as it’s >0 degrees. And it’s easier to imagine temperatures that you’re not used to when the two fixed points are temperatures everyone is extremely familiar with and both points are divisible by ten. And if you need more specific measures, there are always decimals. I’d go so far as to say the Fahrenheit scale really has absolutely nothing going for it.

#77

The U.S. is beginning to use the metric system, but it will be a long time before we fully convert to it.

#78

Never! (She cries defiantly)… I am in the UK, where miles are king, and cringe in fear every time someone mentions the dreaded kilometre

#79

#80

The UK peeps even have their own spelling of kilometer.

#81

There is a technical sense in which they do use the metric system. All US units are defined in terms of metric ones, so that for example one inch is defined to be exactly 2.54 centimeters. However, this is not the same as using centimeters on a daily basis. Wikipedia has a nice article on the history of metric in the United States. There have been consistent efforts to convert the US to metric throughout the last 45 years or so. And, according to this source, even the founding fathers of Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams preferred metric.

The US metric study was a large study that ran from 1968 to 1971. Wikipedia says:

A 45-member advisory panel consulted and took testimony from hundreds of consumers, business organizations, labor groups, manufacturers, and state and local officials. The final report of the study concluded that the U.S. would eventually join the rest of the world in the use of the metric system of measurement.[6] The study found that metric units were already implemented in many areas and that its use was increasing. The majority of study participants believed that conversion to the metric system was in the best interests of the U.S., particularly in view of the importance of foreign trade and the increasing influence of technology in the U.S.

This didn’t actually happen, though, apparently mostly because Americans were stubborn and mocked attempts to switch to metric. In 1975, the US passed the Metric Conversion Act, though it seems to have been weak legislation focused on federal agencies and industry. It led to the US Metric Board, which worked towards converting the US to metric for a few years before being abolished in 1982. Here’s Wikipedia’s picture of a speed limit sign from Florida in the 1980s:

It seems that road signs only last about ten years on average, so that converting them would not be prohibitively expensive, and Europe’s successful introduction of the Euro indicates that it’s entirely possible to teach people a new unit. The reason Americans haven’t switched over is simply that they don’t want to. If you ask them about it, they tend to give it less-than-sober-minded consideration. (You may be able to find an example without much difficulty.)

Efforts towards metrication in the US continue. The National Institute of Standards and Technology maintains a Metric Program. The US Metric Association (USMA) campaigns for metric.

When you’re telling your neighbour that you caught a fish that was “this big,” you can tell him about it in imperial or metric units just as easily. The main push towards metric in the US right now isn’t towards eliminating the inch or the pint from everyday use. It’s toward incorporating metric units into school curricula and international trade.

A recent “We the People” petition to make the Metric system the standard in the United States, instead of the Imperial system garnered almost 50,000 signatures. Patrick D. Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology replied in part:

Ultimately, the use of metric in this country is a choice and we would encourage Americans to continue to make the best choice for themselves and for the purpose at hand and to continue to learn how to move seamlessly between both systems.

In our voluntary system, it is the consumers who have the power to make this choice. So if you like, “speak” metric at home by setting your digital scales to kilograms and your thermometers to Celsius. Cook in metric with liters and grams and set your GPS to kilometers.

So it appears to be the official governmental position that metric units are superior, but realistically Americans’ dogmatic stance on the issue isn’t worth fighting, so using metric in everyday life is left as voluntary.