Why the United States refuses to go metric

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A man can plow a lot more than an acre nowadays, so clearly the solution is to make the acre bigger.


I do my science in meters and ergs and newtons and kilopascals and all that.

But I’m perfectly happy to drive 74 mph to go by a fifth of liquor, a yard of cloth, a bushel of wheat, a dram of whisky, a barrel of beer, a quart of milk, and a great-gross of eggs.


I remember cnn had an article titled “13 jaw dropping moments of the 2016 campaign” and this was one of them. I remember wondering why this was such a jaw dropping moment…? compared to the rest of them, this idea seemed extremely sane.

Maybe it was jaw dropping because they weren’t expecting sane ideas in a presidential campaign?


Things would be a bit simpler at my job if we only had to deal with SI units instead of two unit systems. But it’s not exactly exciting stuff for a political platform.


Pick me up a quarter-pounder on your way back. thnx.


You forgot the most important measure; a pint. Poncey gits drink beer in metric measures, proles drink pints;

“'E could 'drawed me off a pint,” grumbled the old man as he settled down behind a glass. “A 'alf litre ain’t enough. It don’t satisfy. And a 'ole litre’s too much. It starts my bladder running. Let alone the price.” - George Orwell, 1984

They can change all the other measures they like, just let me keep my pint.


How about a Royale With Cheese?


Besides, we have gone metric…

Well, we started at least…

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Cutesy article. Doesn’t really answer “why”.

Of course people prefer whatever they grew up with, and yes, it’s all arbitrary up to a point. But a system where “zero degrees” is determined not by anything humans can relate to but to whatever crazy shit was easiest to measure reliably by one man in 1724 is, well, kind of a stupid thing to hold on desperately to when the whole world has moved on. Yeah, it’s tradition, but so was that confederate flag normal people don’t seem to miss that much.

Come on, even the British gave up their ‘shillings and guineas’ business for something more associated with the French ( ! ) and survived just fine.


I will fill your pint from my spigot which flows at approximately one-tenth of a miner’s inch.


I won’t blame the cartoon, but its message is, “Hey kids, instead of using the things you’re used to instead adopt this other thing that’s almost exactly like what you’re already using!”

That, er, speaks volumes.


It’s all about ethics in logistics and measurement systems.


What about US pints? Better or worse than 500 ml?

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There are a few things in the US that are metric: Liquor (750ml instead of a fifth, etc), soda (1 and 2 and sometimes 3 liter bottles), marijuana (sold by the gram)… I think I’m seeing a pattern here.

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“People say the metric system makes sense,” Marciano says, “But in
nature we don’t think about dividing things by 10, do we? We think of
halves and feet and thirds.”

And quantities of seventeen hundred and sixty. All the time.


Fahrenheit’s zero point actually makes sense. Only pure water freezes at 0 C. - any water-based solutions freeze at lower temperatures, with the freezing point dropping as the solute fraction goes up. (See Wikipedia:Freezing-point depression for details and calculations.)

By setting 0 F. at the lowest temp he could achieve with a brine solution, Fahrenheit made “below 0” roughly equivalent to “most everything’s frozen solid at this point”.

That’s an important point for living systems here on Earth: Above 0 F., water-based systems (like, say, sea water, or cellular fluid) may be be either solid or liquid, depending on solute fraction. Below zero, they’re frozen.

By the time you get to 32 F./ 0 C., most things have at least begun to melt

In the real world, where most everything’s a solution, Fahrenheit’s zero divides “frozen solid” from “mushy.” Centigrade’s zero occurs on the border between “mushy” and “liquid.” It’s only the freezing point of pure distilled water.


5 more examples, and you’d have a baker’s dozen.


Don’t worry, metrication in Ireland started in the 70s and was complete by around 2000. At no point have we ever had to order a half litre of Guinness, we ask for a Pint and get 568 ml as expected.


There are two kinds of countries in the world. Countries that use the metric system, and countries that have been to the moon.