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got meters?

I realize I've been complaining a lot lately, and I told myself I wouldn't do that anymore, but I need one more bitch entry...

---approximate idea of AIM conversation I had with random person last night---
Me: yeah, but I'm also really tall.
Him: really? how tall are you?
Me: dang it, I always get asked that! 1.84m
Him: um, what's that in feet/inches?
Me: WHAT?! I thought you said you were from the UK! Your country is supposed to be enlightened, not like us dumb americans!
Him: no. it's funny, i think of long distances in km, but body things - height, weight, are still in standard.
Me: I've lost all hope for this world
---end of approximate idea of AIM conversation I had with random person last night---

And so goes the conversation. Egad I hate the standard system of measurement. It's stupid, and it wouldn't take much for us to change over - just start making highway signs metric, start selling gas in liters, stop using measurement systems that make no damn sense. But alas, maybe the world is run by stupid people. Sigh.

Alright, I promise to be more positive tomorrow.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
chezmax
Jan. 26th, 2002 09:04 am (UTC)
No no no. The *US* is run by stupid people. ;)
skorobeus
Jan. 26th, 2002 09:39 am (UTC)
Hey... that wasn't fair. We're run by *a* stupid person. ;)
chezmax
Jan. 26th, 2002 10:10 am (UTC)
I don't know. The fact that he was voted in suggests to me there's about 150,000,000 stupid voters. :)
skorobeus
Jan. 26th, 2002 10:57 am (UTC)
Don't get me started on that. He was not voted in by the populous, if you remember the whole situation. So don't start quoting numbers unless you know what you're talking about. ;)
chezmax
Jan. 26th, 2002 09:44 pm (UTC)
I was being facetious. And whether he won or not, it was still *close*. So say, 40% of your voting population :)
epi_lj
Jan. 26th, 2002 09:40 am (UTC)
We do that in Canada too, where we measure everything in km, etc., if it's beyond a certain size, but people's height and weight we talk about in feet and inches, and pounds, and if we describe something small we usually talk in feet and inches. I think it comes from our shared media with the U.S. to some degree -- all the stuff that refers to your weight on TV and in magazines and stuff (i.e. crazy diet ads) is in pounds, and when we talk about sizes of objects for purchasing things we get the measurements in inches.

Every so often I make a conscious effort to try to use metric, but it never lasts very long because mostly I'm describing things to people on IRC and 90% of them are in the U.S. and refuse to convert anything.

sporkopolis
Jan. 26th, 2002 09:58 am (UTC)
I suggested that we ditch both systems
and start measuring everything based on the average size of a banana.
ebizo
Jan. 27th, 2002 12:55 pm (UTC)
Re: I suggested that we ditch both systems
Then there's tatami. Sure it's a floormat, but it
is a standard size, and all apartments in Japan
are measured in them. 90x180cm approx. 3x6ft.

Then I discovered that my small bedroom would
fetch at least US$300 per month as an apartment'in Japan...

By the way, everybody, President Carter made
the metric system the law of the land for the
USA in 1976. But he forgot to set a firm time
limit for conversion.

When I was a military contractor, we had a
guidebook that said we should only use metric
outside the USA and only then as a last resort...
echthroix
Jan. 26th, 2002 10:04 am (UTC)
Metrics?
When I was over there (UK) they did alot of measuring in Metrics, but as everyone's said, including a few friends of mine, they still use standard forms of measurements. Places like Germany use the Metrics alot more though.

As far as converting, I think it's a lost cause right now. People are just too....set in their own ways. I didn't have much of a problem making the leap when i was overseas, but I'm sure that En Masse, humans would choke on it. Mebbe if there was a way to starts from scratch...
spacefem
Jan. 26th, 2002 10:54 am (UTC)
Re: Metrics?
the problem is that people need to realize that in their little unscientific lives the units don't matter much. I mean, how often do we say stuff like, "I put $10 of gas in my car" or whatever? It wouldn't be hard for them to change at all if they just jumped in and did it, and science would be so much better off.
skorobeus
Jan. 26th, 2002 11:02 am (UTC)
Re: Metrics?
Well that was a rather condescending statement. I find myself to be of some decent amount of intelligence, and yet I think I would have difficulties converting from something I've been taught since day one. It's as though someone suddenly told you that you *had* to tie your shoes a different way, out of habit you would continue to do it the way you've always been taught. Sure, over time you would probab;y become accustomed to the new way but it wouldn't come without effort or difficulty.

I'm not saying that I think our system is better than the metric system, I do agree that the metric system makes more sense. But on the same token I really don't understand what the big deal is and why everyone has to get so uppity about it all the time.
spacefem
Jan. 26th, 2002 04:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Metrics?
but see that's my point - of course we can't all convert in our heads, i don't expect that from anybody, but measurement is something you can use without converting. Just, jump in and do it. When you learn a second language, you spend a lot of your early education translating it in your head, but after a short time it just goes in your brain - you learn how to think in it. Measurement is a million times more simple than a second language. Just throw people in the bowl, and in three weeks they'll know that 100km is a long way and 1.8m is a tall girl. Skip the conversion crap entirely.

Reasons I'm uppity about it:
1) We waste a lot of time in our educational system teaching our kids standard units
2) The scientific communities are constantly converting things from system to system, leaving room for error
3) We wouldn't look like dumb Americans who don't know our kilograms to the rest of the world.

Okay :)
echthroix
Jan. 26th, 2002 01:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Metrics?
Yeah, but most humans don't think that far ahead..that is our problem, in a nutshell.
astral_kitten
Jan. 26th, 2002 12:50 pm (UTC)
Just come to Canada :P All metric here.
lith2k
Jan. 26th, 2002 04:44 pm (UTC)
.
The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 10 rods to the hogs head!

or something like that :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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