Watch Tucker Carlson's bizarre Friday the 13th monologue about Patriotic Optimism

I don’t see why your country has to be the best in the world for everything for you to love it. I love my kids, but they’re not like angels. I love them all te more for that fact. I love my country, in a lot of ways, but I don’t have to fucking worship it.




After less than two minutes, I had to avail myself of some prime Canadian socialized medicine to get my eyes unrolled.


So he just assumes those beautiful vistas on his Windows 10 lock screen are all in 'Murica?


He lost me at 0:13 “this is a news show brought to you on a news channel.”


Tucker protests too much.


He owes me a new keyboard; I don’t guffaw often, but that pride in fighting off the metric system provoked one.


Hell, it isn’t even half of the continent it’s on.

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Yes, this pricked up my ears. The metric system is a blight but we love ‘imperial’ measurement.

Was going to spend some energy arguing how much better metric is but would sincerely love to hear the other side. This seems to me a small nugget in a lunatics rave but I would honestly love to hear any idea about the context of this idea from a US perspective.

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Engineer here. Worked for several companies in several countries. I’ve used both measurement systems professionally and personally.

For your average person, there’s no practical difference. Metric’s ability to scale by 10’s doesn’t really come into play all that often. Just like imperial, you do something in a unit and stick with that unit. You’re not converting between cm and km or kg to mg in daily life. No more than you are always converting from inches to miles or tons to ounces. Yeah, metric would be easier, but it’s so infrequent that it really doesn’t matter.

Metric is tidy, but imperial has units that are more human scale. i.e. 225 ml vs 1 cup for a drink. Metric uses decimals better, imperial uses fractions better.

Converting between metric and imperial is annoying, but you tend to be immersed in one or the other and rarely need to. International goods get marked in metric, which is the least bothersome part of any import/export paperwork. The only trouble is metric vs imperial threaded fasteners. Which is tolerable until you run into some weird British or DIN thread.

Metric really only has two advantages: worldwide use and “energy calculations”. For most Americans, the worldwide use has negligible impact. You might as well be trying to convince us to convert to RHD cars. There’s no perceived benefit, but a lot of frustration in converting.

But when it comes to energy calculations (and other sciency stuff), metric is easier to work with. The different units are each base 10, so the math gets a little easier. Converting oz-in/s to ft-lbs/s takes more effort than to W. And you do jump orders of magnitude pretty frequently, so the decimal system is handy.

But other than that, yeah, for most people there’s no practical everyday difference between metric and imperial.

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The late great Brion Toss*, author of The Rigger’s Companion and other books, gave the only argument I’ve seen for the imperial system that wasn’t just based on bigotry and US exceptionalism. Toss could be a curmudgeon at times, but he was certainly intelligent and thought about things in depth. He gives some good arguments for certain aspects of the imperial system, no doubt influenced by his perspective as a professional rigger.

Note that I don’t necessarily agree with him. On some points I definitely don’t.

*(RIP, fuck cancer, fuck 2020)


Point of pedantry: the US does not use imperial units. It uses US customary units. The imperial system was defined in the UK nearly 50 years after American independence. The two systems have a lot in common, but also some significant differences:

The biggest differences are:

  • The ton. While both systems use the avoirdupois pound, a US ton equals 2000 pounds, but an imperial ton 2240. (This is because a ton is twenty hundredweight, and a US hundredweight equals 100 pounds, but an imperial hundredweight is 112 pounds. Why? Because.)

  • The pint. A US pint is 473 ml, an imperial pint a much more quaffable 568 ml. Seriously, that’s a sixth of your drink you’re being cheated out of there. And you started a revolution over tea?


Disagree. In cooking (and brewing, more to the point) it is much easier to figure out how to half, double, triple, etc a recipe in metric. Trying to figure out fractions of cup, tsp and oz is a royal PITA.


Our citizenry can’t be average! They must be must be molded in the image of the engineer and the scientist!


In medical devices, it’s a mess. People measure guidewires in inches and the vascular catheters they go through in French size, which is thirds of a mm. (Yes, 3 French = 1 mm) Ugh.


That’s weird. My measuring cups and spoons have fractions, like 1/2 and 1/3 cup. But not for the metric measurement marks. And for construction, feet can be divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6. Doubling or tripling in both systems is basically the same.

Speaking of brewing, the ideal amount of tea leaf to brew one cup is one teaspoon. Again, imperial has sort of a human scale to it (literally and figuratively).

Needle and suture sizes are the ones I don’t even try to learn what the actual sizes are. The source is probably something like shotgun sizes (which is the number of lead balls the diameter of the barrel that make up one pound.)

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Yeah. “Gauge” is funky, and I don’t think it’s technically a part of either metric or imperial. Whether it’s sheet metal thickness, wire thickness, or suture diameter, it’s a completely different animal.


Not just between construction of materials but the gauge varies between materials themselves. 10Ga Aluminun and 10Ga stainless have two different sheet thicknesses.