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Anyone Dislike the Metric System?
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May 22, 2019 06:52:26   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
Last night I watched a movie about a 767 that almost crashed because it ran out of fuel. I had also seen the FAA investigation film about the same incident. Nearly one hundred people came close to dying because of errors made in Imperial/metric conversions when fueling the plane. We have been referred to as part of the Axis of Medieval because only Burma and Nigeria join us in shunning the use of the metric system.

We already know about liters and millimeters for cameras and lenses, so why not take the plunge and join the rest of the civilized world? You may recall that the Hubble Space Telescope had a problem because of the metric conversion. We wasted a lot of time and money fixing that problem.

I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the politicians. They are the ones who would pass the necessary law to switch. Taking a wild guess, I suspect money is behind their decision to keep us isolated from the rest of the world. Mechanics must buy tools in both metric and SAE measurements, for one thing. I once had to replace the bumper on a Buick. Exactly half the bolts were SAE, and half were metric. Does that make sense? These are the same politicians who can't find a way to provide us with health insurance, like all the other developed countries.

Okay, that's my rant for the day.

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May 22, 2019 07:00:26   #
llamb
 
Jerry, it is idiotic that metric socket sets are for 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" ratchets.

~Lee

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May 22, 2019 07:02:57   #
tommy2 (a regular here)
 
An assignment by my boss in the early '70s was to explore the use of the metric system in our field of work - engineering design. Seems there was a move afoot to change the U.S. to using that system of measure at that time. I never got past studying structural measurements (not volume) before the project was scrapped.
The minimal exposure to using the metric system seemed to me it would be an easy transition since we used the decimal system in our work already.
Always wondered why we decided to not catch up with the rest of the world...

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May 22, 2019 07:03:49   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
llamb wrote:
Jerry, it is idiotic that metric socket sets are for 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" ratchets.

~Lee



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May 22, 2019 07:08:45   #
ELNikkor (a regular here)
 
and we also drive on the wrong side of the road...

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May 22, 2019 07:10:41   #
Tomfl101
 
As I recall we almost made the change sometime in the early 80's but conservative forces nixed the initiative. The metric system makes everything so much easier. A system based in 10ths makes more sense. 12 inches to a foot? Each foot broken down into 1/2, 1/4, 1/8. etc. And there are 5280 feet in a mile? Water boils at 212, freezes at 32 as apposed to 0 and 100. It truly is antiquated.

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May 22, 2019 07:16:39   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
But the mm in the lens reference is kinda moot. Many people just say 50 or 135 when talking about a lens.
Does anyone really think about the physical location of the focal point?

I can really appreciate the divisibility by 10 for everything in the metric system.
Finding the center of something that is 7 and 5/16" long compared to something that is 8.5cm long.
But I'm so wrapped in the English system, that something weighing 6Kg is how heavy? I have to multiply by 2.2 to understand the weight, about 13 pounds...

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May 22, 2019 07:19:28   #
jmizera
 
We were well on the way to conversion in the late 1970s with a program initiated by Gerald Ford. It was essentially dismantled by Ronald Reagan in the early 80's. A shame, as it is a hindrance to trade, among many other things.

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May 22, 2019 07:19:40   #
IR Jim
 
This covers the topic well.
https://youtu.be/N0U-XEmKPKg

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May 22, 2019 07:21:04   #
ThornleyD
 
No, it is not idiotic that the metric socket sets use English sockets, keeps me from having two sets of ratchets. But I agree that it is idiotic that we have not made the change and it has to put us at a disadvantage when it comes to trade with the rest of the world. The metric system is so much easier to learn and use with everything being based on one standard measure each for weights, lengths and volumes. Wonder why the metric system did not come up with a digital system for time?

Thankfully optics uses the meter as the base measurement around the world.

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May 22, 2019 07:24:20   #
Nikonnorm
 
We have the metric system in Canada,but still use inches and feet for construction
because it is simpler.
Norm

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May 22, 2019 07:24:33   #
Bunko.T
 
llamb wrote:
Jerry, it is idiotic that metric socket sets are for 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" ratchets.

~Lee


As silly as it seems, it's probably why time hasn't been metricated. 10-- 20 hrs per day 350 days in a year??
25, 30 hrs a day??
Better to leave it as is.
At least there's a use equivalent between spanner sizes. Ie 1/2 inch = 13 mm, 9/16 = 14 mm, 5/8 = 16 mm, etc. one set can fit the other. To change the drive, is unnecessary. Universal drive is viable.

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May 22, 2019 07:25:43   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
ThornleyD wrote:
No, it is not idiotic that the metric socket sets use English sockets, keeps me from having two sets of ratchets. But I agree that it is idiotic that we have not made the change and it has to put us at a disadvantage when it comes to trade with the rest of the world. The metric system is so much easier to learn and use with everything being based on one standard measure each for weights, lengths and volumes. Wonder why the metric system did not come up with a digital system for time?

Thankfully optics uses the meter as the base measurement around the world.
No, it is not idiotic that the metric socket sets ... (show quote)


I believe he was being humorous. Oxymoron, metric device but English connector.

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May 22, 2019 07:28:26   #
Jagnut07
 
The plans were not dismantled by politicians but by industry itself. In the UK the government made it mandatory and it happened in the early 70’s. In fact when I took my degree in Mech Eng exams in the beginning were in Imperial, in the middle were half imperial and half Metric. Then at the end it was all metric. In the US it was voluntary and dependant on industry. Guidelines were laid down but it never happened in most industries.

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May 22, 2019 07:37:58   #
1963mca
 
It's not just SAE vs Metric. Two of my current British cars (ACs) and many of my previous ones (like my old MG-TC) , use Whitworth, for which I have a complete set of tools like open and ring spanners and sockets, so I have to maintain three sets.

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