The Magic of Metric

Conversion within a unit system.    Know how many inches in a foot?  Of course you do.  How many ounces in a pint?  Probably.  How about in a gallon?  Uh.  How many feet in a mile?  How about a nautical mile?  If you know all those, you have a better memory than I do.  Know how many meters in a kilometer?  Yep, 1000.  How many mm in a meter?  Yep, 1000.  Know how many grams in a kg?  1000 again.  See no memory required.   So, how many mm in 5.876 m?  5876.  So, how many feet in 756 inches?  How many nautical miles in 19, 6758 feet?  How easy is it to check to see if your answer is right in metric?  And English units?  Admit it, you’re going to have to use the calculator twice, assuming you get the same answer both times.

 You want to know why European and Asian kids are kicking our children’s butts in math and science?  I guarantee this is part of the reason.

Conversion to a different system of units.  You know, whenever there’s an issue with metrication, it’s almost always because of conversion.  Someone does their calculations in one system of units and then converts it, but makes a mistake along the way.  Or someone does calculations in one system of units and doesn’t notice it needs to be converted.  We’ve lost spacecraft that way.  So, why does that argue for one system over the other.  Well everyone but us uses the smart system.  If we stop using English units, conversion issues become a thing of the past because, hey, we don’t have to convert any more.

There are, of course, also reasons associated with making us compatible with the rest of the world, improving the appeal of our products overseas.  And that it’s the law that we change (which has been there for decades).  Tool simplification, drastically reducing long term production costs because of reduced spares and tooling requirements. Lower error rates across the board because it’s so much simpler. There’s the fact that many aspects of life are already effectively 100% metric even in this country, like medicine and real science.

But, the bottom line is that the only reason we’re still doing things the stupid way is because we’re too proud to do otherwise.  And our children are paying for it.

*Skipped the math did you?

How’s this for a reason?  If you weighed 190 pounds, you’ll mass 86 kg.  That’s right, a double digit mass.

(Found via 3quarksdaily.)