Let's boost the US economy? Let's GO METRIC!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 26, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    What do you say? I think it's about time the USA go metric. Doing so will really boost our economy as so much needs to be changed/overhauled. Thoughts?

  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jan 26, 2011 3:58 PM GMT
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    Jan 26, 2011 4:13 PM GMT
    I do not understand the correlation. How would going metric factor in? Increase export potential?

    Canada's experience is we went metric in the 70s. My kids " think" metric first and stumble over imperial measure. (they do not know their height or weight in feets and pounds, but in cms and kgs.

    They estimate distance in meters.

    My generation (who made the switch at about age 10 or more) speak of our height/weight in feet/inches and lbs But we estimate distance and speed in metric (because we learned to drive after metrification).


    My kids can instantly comprehend short imperial measure (like a foot or a yard - being approxiately a meter, but have no concept of a mile. (Nor do I have any concept of a mile, having learned to drive in the 80s.

    I know how long it takes to walk a km but no idea how long it would take to walk (or drive) a mile.

    No idea how fast mph is except for certain "milestone figures" (again that we know from driving: ie 80 kph = 55 mph. 60 mph = 100 kph. And I can instantly make instant mental conversion proportionately using those benchmarks.

    I have NO concept of Fahrenheit temperatire other than room temp = 20-22C = so I think that is in the mid to high 60s;
    boiling point = 100C and i know that is something like 200 something F
    freezing point = 0C or 32F so if I hear a F temp in that range I have as sense of what it is.

    A really hot day is 30C or in the 90s F. I really have no sense of F temps in the 70s - 80s or until they strat talking near 90F.


    In summation, it takes a full generation-plus for people to make the switch. You really have to grow up with it.,and it is hard to shake the measiures you grasp in childhood.

    And it really takes hold for speed and distance when you learn to drive.
    (my partner Danny does not drive and does not have an immediate grasp of metric speed or distance)


    A person walks roughly at 4kph.

    I do not how how fast a person walks in mph.

    No concept of marine speed.


    Ask me my height and weight I will tell you in imperial unless you are a medical practitioner, then I will say it in metric measure (after a moment's thought).





  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:45 PM GMT
    Was tried before, not that it could not be tried again. You might find these links interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_the_United_States

    http://themetricsystem.info/ourconversion.htm

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    Jan 26, 2011 6:53 PM GMT
    Well, Americans already buy their Coke in 2l bottles, if you go to a hospital, they give you intravenous injections in cc(m)'s (which is the same as ml's.) My 92 Buick's and 96 Chrysler's screws and bolts were mostly metric.

    And then what's up with Brits still giving their weight in stones? Even though their currency has been 100p to a Pound, gas is sold in liters (sometimes prices in imperial gallons (4.5l as opposed to 3.8l for a US gallon) are still posted though as well. But then distances are still in miles, but they use decimal fractions of miles ahead of exits.

    I believe the Republic of Ireland converted to the metric system not too long ago. They still have signs on their highways that speed limits are showni in km/h rather than mph.

    However, as far as the US is concerned, I doubt it will ever happen, as the metric system is "communist." Or so I've been told. :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 26, 2011 7:15 PM GMT
    I have a special calculator for woodworking that allows me to enter fractions of feet and inches and not decimal measurements and it does the math. How cool is that!
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    Jan 26, 2011 7:18 PM GMT
    I really don't see how this would help the economy!?!?!?
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    Jan 26, 2011 7:21 PM GMT
    Andreas73 said...However, as far as the US is concerned, I doubt it will ever happen, as the metric system is "communist." Or so I've been told. :-)

    Not communist but so European. We in the US like being different. My German friends very passionately for some reason wanting us to take more of a liking to Fussball. They thought after the World Cup was held here it would happen. Told them it would never happen and would remain a game mostly for kids. They'd ask if I was excited about the World Cup. I'd say "Is that some sort of golf tournament, not too familiar." Then with their prompting I'd say, "Oh, sokkur - nobody cares about that except kids and recent immigrants," They finally realized we're a lost cause.
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    Jan 26, 2011 7:35 PM GMT
    Most if not all large industry, at least any that export, in the US is already metric so I don't see how officially changing things is going to give the economy a big boost.
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    Jan 26, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    Andreas73 said
    However, as far as the US is concerned, I doubt it will ever happen, as the metric system is "communist." Or so I've been told. :-)


    Such nonsense, isn't it? The metric system was adopted in France in 1791, far before the birth of Karl Marx!
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    Jan 26, 2011 11:49 PM GMT
    Nonsensical enough for a Mars orbiter to be lost.
    http://articles.cnn.com/1999-09-30/tech/9909_30_mars.metric_1_mars-orbiter-climate-orbiter-spacecraft-team?_s=PM:TECH

    On the other hand, all those jobs and incomes that would be lost by those little conversion apps, and interoperability managers with parts made by other countries...
    Just like all those tobacco taxes that would be lost if we outlawed tobacco today (even if we save infinitely more with health benefits).

    Did you know that the CBO did not count tobacco cessation in their budget calculations for the health reform law? icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 27, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    Back in the 70's there was a huge push for this and it died like the leaves of autumn, I don't see it happening, not that it isn't a better way of measuring, because it probably is !!!
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    Jan 27, 2011 1:29 AM GMT
    I'm surprised the whole natural / organic movement hasn't gone metric. It seems like that would fit with their whole "I'm like a European city" mentality.
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    Jan 27, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    I've heard of some daft ideas in my time but this one takes it all. How is this supose to help the economy? It will have people so confused they won't know what they are buying. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 27, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON saidI'm surprised the whole natural / organic movement hasn't gone metric. It seems like that would fit with their whole "I'm like a European city" mentality.


    No, if anything they would probably go back to the cubit and the stone since they are so much more "natural.".icon_razz.gif
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Jan 27, 2011 1:53 AM GMT
    kscott6671 saidI've heard of some daft ideas in my time but this one takes it all. How is this supose to help the economy? It will have people so confused they won't know what they are buying. icon_rolleyes.gif


    There's your answer!
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jan 27, 2011 1:55 AM GMT
    If you the metric system, move to Canada! We're metric, plus gay marriage is legal up here!
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jan 27, 2011 1:56 AM GMT
    my "heart" logo didn't show up
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    Jan 27, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    What, exceptional America? Concede?? In this political climate???

    *sigh*, wouldn't metric be nice...
  • joarky123

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    Jan 27, 2011 2:14 AM GMT
    while i do believe it is impractical with the mentality entrenched in americans minds, i do see the benefit to going metric. especially since the rest of the world is in metric.

    as an engineer (working in defense), let me tell you how many catastrophies, accidents and $ could have been saved (and in some instances, lives) had the US been using the metric system.

    also just a bit of a gripe, but college was hell taking all those engineering classes (here's looking at YOU chemical engineering) and having to convert units to SI.

    Plus, everyone else in the world uses metric except Burma and Liberia...and look how well THOSE guys are doing.
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    Jan 27, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    joarky123 said
    Plus, everyone else in the world uses metric except Burma and Liberia...and look how well THOSE guys are doing.


    Hey, as Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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    Jan 27, 2011 3:02 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidI really don't see how this would help the economy!?!?!?
    kscott6671 saidI've heard of some daft ideas in my time but this one takes it all. How is this supose to help the economy? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Heeelllllooooooo!? Doing so will get money flowing into the economy with all the updates that need to happen. There's no better time than now.

    beneful1 saidMost if not all large industry, at least any that export, in the US is already metric so I don't see how officially changing things is going to give the economy a big boost.

    Our freeway systems for one.

    UpperCanadian saidIn summation, it takes a full generation-plus for people to make the switch. You really have to grow up with it.,and it is hard to shake the measiures you grasp in childhood.

    If you treat people like the can't do something, then we fail them. If you have to learn, you will learn. When we dumb everything down, we fail ourselves. Set the bar higher, and people will reach for it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2011 5:03 AM GMT
    It's been tried numerous times and met with heavy doses of fail.

    As recently as the mid-1990s, the first 100km or so of the I-10 freeway north of the US-Mexican border was signed in kilometers in Arizona.

    AZ has since reverted those signs to US standard measure (mileage) as the signs aged out and needed replacement.

    I'm thought of as a bit of an oddity by friends as sometimes I'll think in metric first (having lived several years in Germany and by necessity, learned to reckon things in metric measure).