It Would Seem So



About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
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17 Responses to It Would Seem So

  1. Wouldn’t you know that when the collapse came, we’d be on the metric system!

    • I think we can count on that, Mike. They will leave no tiny aspect of our lives unforced before they’re done, including how we shake our martinis! Just kidding! There will be no martinis. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • What’s wrong with the metric system?

      • It’s really a case of chacun ร  son goรปt, to quote the Limelighters. Besides our system is more honest. If I want to know how long a barleycorn inch is, I can select three perfect barleycorns and measure them myself. I’ve never seen a “metric” grown, and sometimes I wonder if they even exist!

        • I don’t know what you’re referring to, really. But I think the metric system is more accurate. Let’s say a baby is born 8 pounds, one ounce. That’s 3.67416 kilo, and would be rounded to 3674 grams. But an 8 pound, 2 ounce baby weighs 3.71952 kilo, which is rounded to 3720 grams. That’s a 46 gram difference, which is pretty substantial, if you’re talking about babies and birthweights.
          And so on.

          • Well yes, if you’re going to natter on about accuracy, the metric system is MUCH more accurate.
            But it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. N’est-ce pas?

            • I used to think so. But at some point, I kind of decided that accuracy was the more important issue, and at the same time, decided that maybe my American pride was actually stupidity. So I gave it up.

              • If you want to confess to stupidity, be my guest. Seems to me there’s something about freedom that allows people to follow their preference, or choice, if you will.

                Back in the ’70s Jimmah Carter mandated that both miles & kilometers be posted on highway “mileage” signs. (Gosh. It’s embedded in our language! But it never caught on.

                I can see the value of using the metric system in the laboratory, but in my everyday life? A miss is as good as a mile!

      • You two are hilarious! But truthfully, neither system is more accurate than the other, since any unit can be expressed out to any decimal place. Our last son, for example, was 9 lbs and 15.5 oz when he was born, and that last 0.5 oz was very important to my wife! Also, at NASA, we actually still fly as many missions in English units as we do in metric. I’m not supposed to admit that, but it’s true. It’s mainly because all the propulsion system calculations are extremely awkward in metric, and the engineers hate to use it.

        But the real reason for American conservatives’ snark about the metric system, I think, is that it represents a shadow of all the attempts at one-world government that impose arbitrarily rigid templates on every aspect of the lives of everybody on the planet.

        True, a unified measurement system makes real sense in a global community. But it’s chief claim – ease of digital calculations and conversion – didn’t really pan out for some calculations, like rocket propulsion. That makes it lower-tech. Sorry. Also, it’s just as arbitrary – more so – than English customary. The meter was supposed to be a division of a quarter great circle of the globe, and then it was fixed on a pure metal sample in a vault in France. Both items change over time and have little meaning to humans. No different than the length of a certain king’s foot. It’s just another level of abstraction. Better? Not really. Both dimensions end up being defined by EM wavelengths, ultimately.

        For me, the cultural aspect is the real kicker. The World needs globalization like it needs a hole in the head. We need many sovereign countries – not one government. We need many languages and histories and cultural identities. Unity within countries and states and communities and families makes sense. Not so much as one world. Not to me. Global diversity is our defense against tyranny.

        If English and French and Yiddish went extinct and we all spoke Esperanto, I would be sadder. If we were all *forced* to measure the distance to work in meters, I’d be sadder. As it is, we are not forced. Not yet. But the Soviets were certainly forced to do so. It made them more a competitor of the 20th century, and continued Peter the Great’s dream, even if it was a bleaker version of that dream. But it made Russia an even bleaker place. And it didn’t help them to stop blowing up rockets. They just blew one up last month, and so did we. ๐Ÿ™‚

        All that said, I’m only half serious about this. The metric system is here to stay and useful as a common metric and I ain’t gonna stop using it. But the snark may continue. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • I believe our scientific community is already on the metric system. We calibrate our test tubes in milliliters and calibrate our scales in grams. Drug dealers were a leading advocate of this movement as I recall. The military measures distance in “clicks”.

          But for the common man, knowing that it’s 2 miles to the Piggly Wiggly or that it’s 2420 miles to Cleveland from here, it doesn’t matter to me that it might actually be 2450 miles, I can easily compute the length of time in my head that it will take me to get there, driving at my customary breakneck speed, plus or minus stops for coffee, burgers, calls of nature, etc..

        • The snark, I think, is three-quarters pride. Like Arizona doesn’t change their clocks. Why? Because. They just don’t.
          And the pride, I think, is stupid.
          But I do agree with you that the world needs diversity, not to be forced into unity.

      • Well, it’s a little embarrassing, but Daylight Time is another thing I don’t get. I’d be for it if it were an actual benefit, but I see it as a convention that is 3x more trouble than it could possibly be worth. In this case, Arizona is just the only one doing the right thing. My home state, Indiana, used to do the same thing. But now they went along to get along. Maybe they’d be better off just getting their act together and join the proper time zone. Central makes more sense for them – both in being closer to Chicago and the mean solar time of their longitude. I just drove from New Orleans north to Indiana, and everybody else was Central time (but them) along the way. Then I lost an hour when I crossed the border for no reason while going north.

        • I don’t get it, either. But there are some benefits, and being different just for the sake of being different, when the rest of your *country* is doing something else, is just . . . dumb.

    • Do you have Piggly Wigglys in California? O_O

  2. The most fun I’ve had with the metric system was renting a car in Vancouver, with a speedometer in kilometers (not both), having to make a side trip back down to the states, and doing the math in my head every time the speed limits (marked in MPH) changed.

    • Still not as hard as a road trip me and Gruntessa took up in Washington state where our 1985 Porsche 924 had a speedometer that only measured KPH/MPH up to 85MPH. When we were being clocked by aircraft in the desert near Moses Lake, and the state trooper asked me how fast I was going, the extrapolation was a real bear!

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