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Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system?

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A lot of old fashioned people are afraid of learning it. I learned it in about half an hour of living in Japan. It is far easier to use and makes good sense. People in Australia were flabbergasted when I mentally switched to metrics while I was visiting. The US population is afraid of the possibility that they won't be able to use it. Posh.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

It is tempting to think it is just misunderstood national pride and attachment to doing things as they have always have been, but it is very likely people simply don't want to invest the amount of time, money and effort to change a system so ingrained in the culture of the country, even if in the long term it would save more of those resources.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Maybe because getting Americans to agree on anything is very difficult.

29 ( +35 / -6 )

Because we don't have to and imperial units are more human scale. Imagine trying to measure a person in cm or buy a kg of some food item.

-51 ( +3 / -54 )

BertieWoosterToday 06:52 am JST

Maybe because getting Americans to agree on anything is very difficult.

That would imply there is some impetus to switch to metric, which there isn't. And we can agree on things except our broken political system.

-20 ( +7 / -27 )

It can't. It would too much of a big change.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Not smart enough.

11 ( +23 / -12 )

Arrogance. They see themselves as #1, leaders, not followers. They like telling others what to do, not being told what to do.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

GorramcowboyToday 07:38 am JST

Not smart enough.

Yeah, that is why we have 8/10 top universities and a gdp per capita higher than any other OECD country that isn't a tax haven. And before you say "immigrants", 75% of STEM workers in the US are US born. Also I don't think the number of failed countries with the metric system says that it takes intelligence to use.

-22 ( +8 / -30 )

Because Americans think that they're special.

We are special, but not because of the metric system.

Different from the rest of the world which they want to teach how to do things.

So we have to do what everyone else does? To be honest I can do both, I grew up between Europe and the states so I can switch easily, do I think the metric system is easier, not necessarily and depending on the situation, but I think it’s important to know both, if you are a commercial pilot, you have to know both systems or it could have catastrophic consequences if your not careful.

They tried implementing the metric system back in the late 70’s but they just weren’t successful and the majority of people didn’t want it, their choice, the nation seems to be doing just fine without it, and that’s the most important thing. Like the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Arrogance. They see themselves as #1, leaders, not followers. They like telling others what to do, not being told what to do.

When you’re as powerful as the US and the world in large part depends on you, you can definitely call the shots, arrogant or not.

-26 ( +10 / -36 )

Britain invented the modern world in the form of the industrial revolution, which today's global society directly evolved from. The US took over the mantle later in the 20th century.

When you invent something, you get to set its standards.

A Japanese automotive engineer told me that components inside automatic transmissions are sized in inches. So while the metric system exists on the surface, the essential underpinnings base their existence on the imperial system. Apt allegory, I reckon.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

In the UK there has always been a mixture of both systems.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I can handle pounds, ounces and even Fahrenheit, but the thing I can't get my head around in cooking recipes is cups! What a totally inaccurate measurement! No wonder American food is so bad!

8 ( +17 / -9 )

This is an excerpt from an actual internet chat. I think it illustrates the problem:

“100 degrees? Dude, water doesn't boil at 100 degrees!”

“Yes, it does. In Celsius.”

“Celsius? Where's that?”

28 ( +32 / -4 )

On my engineering course in the U.K. the units we were taught in were SI.

Imagine our surprise when we tried mass and energy balance problems from US text books only to realise the units were in pounds and feet! My chums and I called them old money problems. Get it?

Happy days, those days.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Imperial measures work better in some circumstances and the UK uses both. Weather forecasters here usually give both Fahrenheit and Centigrade.

I learned metric in primary school and use it for weighing letters and parcels. But I use pounds and ounces when baking and feet and inches when gardening - most gardeners do. UK speed limits are in mph.

Always good to use what works best, than demand one standard that doesn't really fit all.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Use both, like the UK.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

In the UK you can have a pint of beer while you wait for your 2 metres of timber before driving home less than the mph speed limit.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

That's all based on a democratic election process. It simply gained the majority support in history. The supporters of the metric system lost only very closely at those times if I recall correctly. In fact it's just only a question of definition and acceptance, so it could be any measurement system, even another third or a completely new developed one, if it had enough support.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Yeah, that is why we have 8/10 top universities...

And when researchers at those schools publish their results, they use grams, cm, and degrees C.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

TaiwanIsNotChina

Because we don't have to and imperial units are more human scale. Imagine trying to measure a person in cm or buy a kg of some food item.

Apparently, you didn't realize that this website and the comment sections are largely populated by people who actually live in Japan, and therefor do not have to imagine it. We regularly measure ourselves in cm when buying clothes or filling out forms, and buy everything in kg.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

virusrex

It is tempting to think it is just misunderstood national pride and attachment to doing things as they have always have been, but it is very likely people simply don't want to invest the amount of time, money and effort to change a system so ingrained in the culture of the country, even if in the long term it would save more of those resources.

A big part of it is most definitely national pride. The same folks whining about "wokeness", denying climate change, banning books, etc would be the biggest opponents to such a logical change to metric.

As for the rest of what you wrote, that would be the other big part of it. However, you could have been more succinct in just calling it what it is...laziness.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

wallace

In the UK you can have a pint of beer while you wait for your 2 metres of timber before driving home less than the mph speed limit.

The icing on that ridiculousness cake is that you would also be weighed in "stone".

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Just a matter of time.

It will happen but not in the near future.

If kids are taught metrics as well as the US customary system at school, then it'd just be a slow generational shift with much less angst and cost compared to an overnight change.

Learning both in Australia as a kid was not mind boggling. It took a few years to transition and I guess many older folks never really did, but that's ok.

For those that think that any notion of an Imperial system is easier than metrics just haven't tried.

I will give it, that calculating ounces, pounds, stones, fractional inches, inches, feet, yards, chains, furlongs, miles, ounces, pints, gallons etc etc etc is good brain training.

Easy Peezy - 100cm = 1m; 1000m = 1 km.

Brainy Trainy - 12 inches = 1 foot; 36 inches = 1 yard; 1,760 yards = 1 mile or 5280 feet = 1 mile.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

They’re still fighting the Civil War, so there is a lot of catching up to do. The country is not a bastion of change.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

I can handle pounds, ounces and even Fahrenheit, but the thing I can't get my head around in cooking recipes is cups! What a totally inaccurate measurement!

For you, not for millions of people who don't care for the change.

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

Roy Sophveason

Can we stop and appreciate for a moment that, nowadays, all the imperial units are officially defined and standardized using metric units?

I just had my irony supplement for the day.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Americans living in Japan have to use the metric system.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I'm actually making a wood deck at the moment with 2x6 lumber, which is sugi that was cut and processed in Japan by Japanese people for the Japanese market using feet (12 foot long) and inches (six inches wide and two inches thick before drying).

It wouldn't make any difference if the size were still available but referred to as 38mm (two inches after drying) but availability of this size does matter. The reason Japanese mills produce this size is because lots of metal brackets, hangers etc. and plans are available for this size. The whole system is based around the inch measurement. Change the size to a round mm number, like 40mm, and the system breaks down.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Use both, like the UK

I suppose it’s one way.

Another point is the US and the UK have some differences in the measurements of things like gallons.

Confusing.

Both countries would probably be better off ditching Imperial.

One unusual thing I found was some US football ( soccer ) commentators describing distance using meters on a pitch that is marked out in yards.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There is the UK imperial system. Then there is the American imperial system.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

When I was at school and then college we used the imperial system. Then the metric system was introduced and it became easier to mentally calculate instead of scrapes of paper.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Americans living in Japan have to use the metric system.

Yes, it's in Japan and?

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

BertieWooster

I can handle pounds, ounces and even Fahrenheit, but the thing I can't get my head around in cooking recipes is cups!

Pretty simple: 1cup=240ml, 1/2cup=120ml, 1/4cup=60ml. Also 1tsp=5ml, 1tbsp=15ml

Good stuff to know, if you cook/bake.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Really? The idea is that if they can do it while in Japan, they can do it.

Yes, we know. The metric system is another liberal agenda thing, right?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

bass4funk

   Americans living in Japan have to use the metric system.

> Yes, it's in Japan and?

so they have to learn the metric system and learn to drive on the left. A bit confusing at first.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I never measure anything when I'm cooking. Some of this, some of that. Works every time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Because they shouldn't!

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

the thing I can't get my head around in cooking recipes is cups! What a totally inaccurate measurement!

Pretty simple: 1cup=240ml, 1/2cup=120ml, 1/4cup=60ml. Also 1tsp=5ml, 1tbsp=15ml

Good stuff to know, if you cook/bake.

I cook and bake a lot, and I have trouble with cups.

A Japanese cup = 200ml and a UK cup =250ml, not 240ml, so you need first of all to fathom where the person who wrote the recipe comes from.

If we're talking liquids, measuring in cups (once you've determined the cup size; why not just use ccs. or litres? Pints, even) is logical.

Powders are a bit more complicated; a cup of sugar (castor, granulated, demerara, icing?) is not the same as a cup of flour (plain flour? wholemeal? cornflour?) and whether the ingredient is 'packed' or 'sieved' makes a difference. Why not just use weights, whether grams or ounces? Plus you don't have the problem of having to clean out your cup to measure the next ingredient, especially if you're using liquids, powders and sticky stuff like honey or syrup in the same recipe.

The biggest problem is when Americans (and it's only Americans who do this) insist on using cups to measure solids. When a potato won't even fit into a cup, how much potato is a cup of potato? or carrot? or onion? or cabbage? It's crazy. Don't American kitchens have cooking scales?

We can work out how many grams is needed in a recipe that gives weights in ounces, it's no biggie. But those cups of solid veggies? Why??

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The metric system is taught side by side the imperial system in the US from Elementary to High School (and both are used in College/University). We might officially have the imperial system but the metric system is taught too.

So what exactly is the issue here? Why do we need to adopt something already taught?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It doesn't really matter whether you use metric or imperial, so long as you know which you're using, and the people you're working with are using the same system.

A bunch of very clever people at NASA who presumably learned all about weights and measures in school/university used the wrong set of units, the result of which was the loss of a very expensive piece of equipment in 1998.

https://www.simscale.com/blog/nasa-mars-climate-orbiter-metric/

It is rocket science.

I bet NASA doesn't use cups.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It doesn't really matter whether you use metric or imperial, so long as you know which you're using, and the people you're working with are using the same system.

I’d just scrap Imperial.

Less room for misunderstanding.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

cleoToday 04:31 pm JST

Don't American kitchens have cooking scales?

I can tell you we don't and we get by quite well. Usually the solids are going to get mixed up in the dish anyways and nobody really cares if it is compacted or not as long as you aren't deliberately compacting it or dealing with stale ingredients that have compacted themselves.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

We might officially have the imperial system but the metric system is taught too

What is the benefit of using both?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

JimizoToday 05:15 pm JST

We might officially have the imperial system but the metric system is taught too

What is the benefit of using both?

Primarily to show we don't give a toss about the rest of the world. Some may say this is arrogant but with various people claiming it is a multipolar world now, the little things matter more than ever.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

when living in Europe...I got endless flack about "Imperial" units...one person making fun of me asking "how many unit_x are there in unit_y?, pi? ( pi being an irrational number)...then

one guy asked me how much a gallon of water weighed...I replied that I could work

it out...he replied: you

know how much a liter of water weighs?...a kilogram....that was it for me...metric is way more sensible...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I have scales, measuring spoons but I just do it from eye and experience.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We might officially have the imperial system but the metric system is taught too

What is the benefit of using both?

Primarily to show we don't give a toss about the rest of the world

I really don’t see how retaining a near obsolete measuring system can be a source of national pride or an assertion of exceptionalism.

It was adopted from the Brits anyway.

By the way, my mind does still work in Imperial in some ways.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There was a push in the 70's which was rejected. Why? The metric system isn't a better system.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

JimizoToday 05:43 pm JST

We might officially have the imperial system but the metric system is taught too

What is the benefit of using both?

Primarily to show we don't give a toss about the rest of the world

I really don’t see how retaining a near obsolete measuring system can be a source of national pride or an assertion of exceptionalism.

It was adopted from the Brits anyway.

We're a "child" country of England as much as any other. We can claim it is ours as much anyone, and as is frequently pointed out, the units aren't even the same anymore.

As for why we do it? Why does the King ride in a horse drawn carriage? Power is shown in many different ways and the deliberate failure to do what everyone else does can be one of them. The fact that we can absorb any costs of doing so is part of that.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

*There is no one answer to this question as different schools across the United States have different curriculums. However, in general, it is fair to say that most American schools do not teach the metric system in a comprehensive way.*

https://www.gogreenva.org/do-american-schools-teach-the-metric-system/#google_vignette

Only people in Texas who have put on a military uniform and pledged an oath to the constitution, a.k.a., served their country, understand the metric system. Guaranteed journalists there don’t.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

What is the benefit of using both?

If you scrap imperial altogether you make all those old cookery books obsolete.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

so they have to learn the metric system and learn to drive on the left. A bit confusing at first.

No more than when the smaller 76 countries that drive on the left-side try as opposed to the 163 countries and territories that drive right-sided

Only people in Texas who have put on a military uniform and pledged an oath to the constitution, a.k.a., served their country, understand the metric system.

Very true.

Guaranteed journalists there don’t.

Now how would you know this for sure? Proof? Projection?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

All I know is someone keeps swiping my 10mm socket out of my tool box.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The measurement system used in the US matters only to those who live or visit there.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Here in Canada, the metric system was adopted in the late 60s, as I recall. That's when I was in high school. And I have absolutely no problem with either system. It's really very simple to compare prices both ways. In fact, our supermarkets still publish weights and measures, and their relevant compared costs in both systems. It would take a 2-year-old to be confused.

And as far as the US is concerned, who cares?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

TrevorPeace

And as far as the US is concerned, who cares?

350 million people, at minimum.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

cleo

The biggest problem is when Americans (and it's only Americans who do this) insist on using cups to measure solids.

For most powders, it works just fine. But, yeah, weight is better.

When a potato won't even fit into a cup, how much potato is a cup of potato? or carrot? or onion? or cabbage? It's crazy.

That is crazy, which is probably why I have never seen that. It is usually stated as x number of s/m/l potatoes/carrots/eggs etc.

Don't American kitchens have cooking scales?

Yes. And, when I lived there, I typically used ounces. Now, I use grams.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have never seen that. It is usually stated as x number of s/m/l potatoes/carrots/eggs etc.

You’d be surprised how many recipes on the Internet give so many cups of potatoes/carrots/onions. Usually self-proclaimed homesteaders. As you note, it would be much simpler and easier to understand if they used x number of whatever. And weight would be even better.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

cleo

What is the benefit of using both?

If you scrap imperial altogether you make all those old cookery books obsolete.

Nah - That's why equivalent conversion scales exist or even better tablets, smartphones etc.

Simple. No need to throw away anything.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it would be much simpler and easier to understand if they used x number of whatever. And weight would be even better.

Maybe for you, but for millions that live in the States, the system works just fine, if it does, no need to fix it. I never heard someone complaining until people started complaining about why we don't fall in line with the rest of the world.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

They don't because they don't want to. Works much like alot of things sadly.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Or, if one doesn't like recipes in Imperial units, one could do one's own due diligence and either select the units option on said page or do some quite simple unit conversions oneself. Problem solved!

I do lots of cooking, never had any unit conversion issues. I don't need a calculator. I can do the simple maths in my simple head.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Enforcing metric won't work. I will use feet and inches for gardening until I expire. Any attempt to force me not to, will make no difference other than to cause me to hate the government (even more than I already do). If you are a government, inviting the hatred of a chunk of your citizens for something so random is a bad plan.

Metric is great for science and medication. No reason to use it for anything else. using a teaspoon or a tablespoon is easier than measuring things in ml. So just use both, as appropriate.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Metric is great for science and medication. No reason to use it for anything else. using a teaspoon or a tablespoon is easier than measuring things in ml. So just use both, as appropriate.

Pretty much.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

THE US DID it’s just not mandatory!!!

The U.S. has not fully adopted the metric system for several reasons:

1. Historical Momentum: The U.S. has a long history of using the imperial system, and changing ingrained habits and systems is not easy. 2. Cost: Transitioning to the metric system would require significant changes in industries, education, and infrastructure. This includes changing road signs, retooling manufacturing processes, and rewriting educational materials. 3. Cultural Identity: Some Americans see the imperial system as a part of their cultural identity, and changing to the metric system may be perceived as a loss of that identity. 4. Partial Adoption: The U.S. has already adopted the metric system in certain sectors. For example, the scientific community and many industries (like the beverage industry with 2-liter bottles) use metric measurements. This selective adoption might reduce the perceived need for a complete shift. 5. Perceived Benefit vs. Cost: While the metric system is logically consistent and easier to learn, the perceived benefits of switching might not seem worth the costs and disruptions for many Americans.

It’s worth noting that the U.S. officially adopted the metric system in 1988 through the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act, which declared the metric system as the preferred system for weights and measures. However, it did not require a mandatory switch, leading to the current situation where both systems coexist.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But, and I kid you not, we have metric teaspoons and tablespoons.

tsp: 5ml

tbsp: 15ml

I literally have no idea (nor any care whatsoever) what these are in imperial.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Personally, I couldn't car less if the US uses the imperial system. They don't try to impose it upon us, so if they want to use this weird system, good on them.

That said, there was that time the Americans crashed the moon lander because they forgot to convert to the normal numbers from their weird system. It's not the only time using a weird system has caused financial loss, and won't be the last either. But that cost is born by the Americans, so if that's acceptable to them, then have at it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

1 imperial teaspoon: 1/24 of an imperial gill

1 imperial tablespoon: 5/128 of a pint

I can't tell if you're making fun of me or not...

This is like when people try to do satire based on Trump - it's too plausible to be able to tell whether it's real or a joke.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I have used both systems quite a lot. Both have great points and both have serious flaws. The serious flaw of the metric system? Its based on tens, which is pure, utter, cave man level silliness. That is why you don't see anything based on tens in the imperial system. That is why the clock and calendar aren't either. Even most goods tend to come in boxes or packs of 6 or 12.

That fact of being based on tens alone is so bad, I prefer imperial.

A group of experts could make a better system than both in a week. In three months I am sure I could lay the ground work for a better system myself, but the base 10 counting system itself would also have to go. Its utterly dim and daft counting by tens, and its REAL core of this disagreement over the systems.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The serious flaw of the metric system? Its based on tens

The basis of the system, the thing that makes it logical, it's the "serious flaw"?

Mmmkay... you're going to have a lot of troubles selling that to scientists.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I don’t know if these spoons are imperial or metric but they work for me.

https://youtu.be/OOXB7348RPk?feature=shared

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm not a carpenter, do 50mm shrink down to 38mm when drying?

I'm not a carpenter either but yes, a two by four piece of wood as sold and used is 38mm wide, not 2 x one inch=25.4mm.

That's a bizarre argument. The metric system does not require measurements to be rounded to whole tens.

Japanese lumber that is not "two by something" is usually sold in Japanese sizes, based on Japanese measurements like shaku and sun. Framing lumber for Japanese houses is typically 3.5 sun (about 106mm) or 4 sun (just over 121mm). Such "Japanese imperial" sizes are still widely used in construction. There is no reason to round to 0.5 sun, but it makes things easier and that is the way it is done. People like standard sizes. Shelf boards are sold to folk doing basic DIY, not carpenters, but come in rounded widths like 200mm, 250mm, and 300mm.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The serious flaw of the metric system? Its based on tens, which is pure, utter, cave man level silliness. That is why you don't see anything based on tens in the imperial system. That is why the clock and calendar aren't either. Even most goods tend to come in boxes or packs of 6 or 12.

You make a good point. A base-10 number system isn't so great - only divisible by 5. I've heard arguments that a base-12 system would better (divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6) or a binary system such as base-16 or base-8 as it can be reduced to 1 by simple division. But changing the number system will probably be a bigger task than changing measurement systems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You make a good point. A base-10 number system isn't so great - only divisible by 5.

And 2.

I've heard arguments that a base-12 system would better (divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6) or a binary system such as base-16 or base-8 as it can be reduced to 1 by simple division.

There is a reason humans work well with base 10 - we have 10 fingers. It gives humans an innate ability to better understand base 10 than say base 12 or base 16. Doing those calculations is not natural to humans. Neither would working with decimals in base 12 or 16, for the same reason.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

And 2.

Oops. Back to school for me.

There is a reason humans work well with base 10 - we have 10 fingers.

I can understand that idea. On the other hand, I don't have many memories of counting on my fingers. It wasn't so difficult as a kid to deal with 12 as a base unit. I'm thinking of the UK's 12 pennies to a shilling days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Facts PleaseSep. 3 06:22 pm JST

There is no one answer to this question as different schools across the United States have different curriculums. However, in general, it is fair to say that most American schools do not teach the metric system in a comprehensive way.

https://www.gogreenva.org/do-american-schools-teach-the-metric-system/#google_vignette

While technically true, the important quote is, "Almost all public schools teach the metric system in some capacity."

It would be a pretty poor school to not teach science at all and science uses metric.

Only people in Texas who have put on a military uniform and pledged an oath to the constitution, a.k.a., served their country, understand the metric system. Guaranteed journalists there don’t.

Absolutely not true. Scientists and engineers will both understand the metric system well enough to get by in metric countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

cleoSep. 3 06:33 pm JST

What is the benefit of using both?

If you scrap imperial altogether you make all those old cookery books obsolete.

You're actually pretty close to another point: imagine telling all of the grandmas they can't buy lbs of sugar or flour.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Personally, I couldn't car less if the US uses the imperial system. They don't try to impose it upon us, so if they want to use this weird system, good on them. 

Love our weird system

That said, there was that time the Americans crashed the moon lander because they forgot to convert to the normal numbers from their weird system. It's not the only time using a weird system has caused financial loss, and won't be the last either. But that cost is born by the Americans, so if that's acceptable to them, then have at it.

Yup! At least we got to the moon and beyond.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Absolutely not true. Scientists and engineers will both understand the metric system well enough to get by in metric countries.

I have known a number of scientists from America who did indeed understand metric.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I can understand that idea. On the other hand, I don't have many memories of counting on my fingers. It wasn't so difficult as a kid to deal with 12 as a base unit. I'm thinking of the UK's 12 pennies to a shilling days.

But all of us learn the first four multiples of 5 by default from our 20 digits. How many people had to learn shillings vs pennies?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And there you have it

Americans call a one cent coin a penny

I'm not sure what "it" we were supposed to have from that comment. But regardless, you noted the term "cent", which comes from "percent", as in a cent is 1/100 (aka 1%) of a dollar.

Which is much easier to understand than some base 12 system.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I grew up with the UK pounds, shillings, and pennies. Never had a problem. When the metric system was introduced the cost of items went up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe when humans grow up they will realize both systems are incorrect anyway

Huh? There is no objective 'correct' or 'incorrect' with these numbering systems. We are talking degrees of usability, which is entirely different from correctness (which has no context in this discussion).

Quantum computing has proven that

It's not even clear what you think quantum computing has proven. I question whether you even understand what it is...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

ZORGToday 08:15 am JST

The American education system is currently in a shambles and underdeveloped anyway

To lazy and dumb and arrogant to learn something as logical as the metric system let alone a second language

Guess we will have to take our reserve currency and #1 gdp per capita and go be dumb and arrogant with it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The American education system is currently in a shambles and underdeveloped anyway

Well, that is why you don't send your kids to a US liberal Democrat-funded public school, I agree.

To lazy and dumb and arrogant to learn something as logical as the metric system let alone a second language

Well, as far as a second language is concerned it depends, that is not true, as far as the metric system is concerned, it should be a choice, like my mom used to say, "If your friends jump off a cliff, are you going to jump as well?" We became a superpower without the help of the metric system, so I would tend to think we are fine. A system that works well for one person might not work well for another and vice versa.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Because America is right and every other country in the world is wrong.

At least that is what Americans think.

Someone mentioned wood, specifically 2x4. Does 2x2 = 4, 3x2=6? Actually, in the case of wood sizes the answer is no. Go to a lumberyard or home centre and check. The sizes are nominal, two inches and four inches was originally supposed to be the size before planing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Strangerland

That said, there was that time the Americans crashed the moon lander because they forgot to convert to the normal numbers from their weird system.

Nonsense! It was a Mars lander. Oh, that's worse. Never mind.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Because America is right and every other country in the world is wrong.

At least that is what Americans think.

No, I think the world thinks we think that, we think when we sneeze the world catches a cold.

Chuckle thanks i needed a giggle

You’re welcome, but believe me, I laugh as well at the woke public system, right with you there.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Certainly can't get much dumber or more arrogant

And yet, the Europeans still depend on the US with or without the metric system, dumb? Perhaps if you’re on the receiving end.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

ZORGToday 10:42 am JST

Guess we will have to take our reserve currency and #1 gdp per capita and go be dumb and arrogant with it.

Certainly can't get much dumber or more arrogant

Oh, you got us there! You're so clever!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Because Will would writhe in his grave. Imagine updating The Merchant of Venice for future generations: “The 454* grams of flesh which I demand of him is dearly bought…”. 

*That’s 0.408 grams of bonus meat!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ZORGToday 10:38 am JST

If you think approving or disapproval of a counting system has no context in this discussion then i suggest actually reading the article starting with the headline

It's literally a one sentence question. I think you need more quantum in your computing, Commander ZORG.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not being an American, it is not up to me. Americans should use whatever Americans want to use, just as any other country should use what the people in that country want to use. I know what a six mat room means in Japan - I don't want to be told what that is in square metres.

I use mixed metric and imperial measurements at work everyday and it is not a problem - in fact, in my job, it is almost universal to measure depth (length) in metres and width in inches. The depth may be in feet or metres depending on the country but I have only worked in one place (not even the whole country, just one part of it) that used mm for width. The only time I had a problem was on that job where people used mm for width instead of inches.

I am very happy using metres for length with the width in inches and anyone who says I should change can go and [fill in as you see fit] You do what you want but leave me (or Americans) to do what I want.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry - "You do what you want but leave me (or Americans) to do what I want." is not what I meant.

It should be:

Let me do what I want and Americans do what Americans want.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's too simple for simpletons to figure out.

Dividing by 10 makes sense.

I hate Fahrenheit measurements the most.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

To Gene Hennigh: Didn't you learn the metric system in school? I think that American pupils all learn it--or at least used to learn it, before their curriculum was watered down and ideologized...kaimykahi's explanation is excellent...By the way, the size of Japanese bicycle tires are measured in inches, as I remember.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We learned it in 3rd grade in Kansas back in the 70's but it didn't take.

I agree that it is a much better system of measurement. But the change over is too intimidating for most Americans and they won't change unless forced to by circumstances.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree that it is a much better system of measurement.

In your opinion.

But the change over is too intimidating for most Americans and they won't change unless forced to by circumstances.

No, the majority of Americans don’t want or feel the need to change systems and “forcing” them? That won’t end well…

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Anonymous

Because Will would writhe in his grave. Imagine updating The Merchant of Venice for future generations: “The 454* grams of flesh which I demand of him is dearly bought…”. 

Thy point is moot. (William Shakespeare was not American.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ask an American which is heavier, an ounce of feathers or an ounce of gold? If they tell you they are the same, you can tell them that they do not even understand their own system.

An ounce of gold at 31.1034768 gm is heavier. Feathers clock in at a mere 28.3495 gm.

As Brits know, American pints are undersized pints. This is even worse in Japan where they include the head as part of your pint of beer.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As Brits know, American pints are undersized pints. This is even worse in Japan where they include the head as part of your pint of beer.

So essentially with you guys it’s all about beer, interesting knew there was a catch.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

A British pint glass has a marked line on it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I hope America never goes metric. Hold on to Imperial! Metric is an appalling French invention.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

A British short/shot must be 1 gill.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijintraveller

An ounce of gold at 31.1034768 gm is heavier. Feathers clock in at a mere 28.3495 gm.

You are conflating troy ounces used only within the precious metals industry to weigh precious metals, with avoirdupois ounces, normally referred to simply as ounces, used by the general public to weigh everything.

An (avoirdupois) ounce of weight is always the same, regardless of what is being weighed, gold or feathers. 99.99+% of Americans do not use troy weight. So, an "ounce" of anything would weigh the same as an ounce of anything else, as they would both be measured in avoirdupois ounces.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The serious flaw of the metric system? Its based on tens, which is pure, utter, cave man level silliness. That is why you don't see anything based on tens in the imperial system. That is why the clock and calendar aren't either. Even most goods tend to come in boxes or packs of 6 or 12.

Decimal-Based: The metric system is based on powers of 10, which makes it highly intuitive and easy to use. All metric units are derived from multiples or fractions of 10, which simplifies calculations and conversions. This consistency allows for a straightforward transition between different units, making it more user-friendly.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cost to modify infrastructure nationwide is prohibitive. Unless there's proven benefits it's not going to change.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is a reason humans work well with base 10 - we have 10 fingers. It gives humans an innate ability to better understand base 10 than say base 12 or base 16. Doing those calculations is not natural to humans. Neither would working with decimals in base 12 or 16, for the same reason.

We work well in base 10, as you say, but the previous poster was correct in pointing out that base 12 (or base 6) are practically very useful, or at least were before calculators. And that is why these systems existed in antiquity. Our 60 minutes in an hour comes from the Babylonians.

So while a gross (144) seems like an odd number, it is practically very useful.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Gene HennighSep. 3  06:27 am JST

A lot of old fashioned people are afraid of learning it. I learned it in about half an hour of living in Japan. It is far easier to use and makes good sense. People in Australia were flabbergasted when I mentally switched to metrics while I was visiting. The US population is afraid of the possibility that they won't be able to use it. Posh.

There's too many obstinate backwards and stubborn cretins in America, that's why. The SAE system is tough to recall, it's a bunch of bull. Metric is easy, science and medicine in America uses it but higher education isn't valued at all by these chumps in the U.S.A. They just want to lolly like it's still 1953. If America is truly to be 'great' again it needs to catch up with the rest of the world and quit being so damn backwards. It's 2023 for God's sake. We need to get with it!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There's too many obstinate backwards and stubborn cretins in America, that's why.

No, not at all, they may not like the metric system for whatever reason, but you or anyone else can't judge anyone for being the way they are or growing up the way that they did, you don't have to be like anyone else, you do you and whatever works for you.

The SAE system is tough to recall, it's a bunch of bull. Metric is easy, science and medicine in America uses it but higher education isn't valued at all by these chumps in the U.S.A. They just want to lolly like it's still 1953.

If that is what the so-called "chumps" want, let them, if it works it works.

If America is truly to be 'great' again it needs to catch up with the rest of the world and quit being so damn backwards. It's 2023 for God's sake. We need to get with it!

It's already great with or without the metric system, and if people think differenty, they can do that and I would do the same. No need for finger pointing.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

UchujinSep. 4 05:44 pm JST

All metric units are derived from multiples or fractions of 10, which simplifies calculations and conversions.

And results in units that aren't human scale (i.e. either too big or too small for easy usage). Fun fact, there was an attempt to introduce decimal time and it failed because nobody wanted hours that were twice as long as the ones we have.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And results in units that aren't human scale

While that is correct, they are in factors of base 10, which as shown earlier, is something fundamentally more understandable to humans than a base 12 alternative.

In other words, a human will likely have a wider able to grasp a larger scale of numbers in base 10, than they would were that same human to do it in base 12.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ignorance and arrogance mixed with laziness is primarily why the US won't switch. Americans won't even wear masks to save their lives, how can someone expect them to bother learning a new system? Many Americans don't even know a second language. Russia is exactly like the US, but opposite at the same time. Many Russians learn a second language, almost always English, to better themselves because they know there's no future at home, much like Americans don't learn a second language because they think their home is the future. Russia and the US are inextricably linked in what seems to be a futile race to the bottom borne out of pure pettiness and contempt. China? A close second, hoping the US and RU eliminate each other before the Chinese economy crashes in the next 5 years, as it will.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Destin SkyeToday 02:22 am JST

Americans don't learn a second language because they think their home is the future.

There is no credible argument that the US won't be a prosperous and safe home for the foreseeable future. Well, unless we elect an autocrat who will dismantle the Constitution and even that faces significant roadblocks.

Russia and the US are inextricably linked in what seems to be a futile race to the bottom borne out of pure pettiness and contempt.

Most of the US doesn't think about Russia, as we can see by the willingness of a large portion to surrender our allies to it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ignorance and arrogance mixed with laziness is primarily why the US won't switch.

That’s your personal opinion. Over 300 million disagree, again, who cares? If it works for them, and it does, let them. If people like or prefer the metric system, fine. We have a choice, the rest of the world doesn’t. That is the great thing about the US, freedom of choice. Many Americans can do both, let them use the system that they feel comfortable with.

Americans won't even wear masks to save their lives,

Florida they didn’t and so many people died even with and while they were wearing masks, I never wore one or got the jab, I’m still here.

how can someone expect them to bother learning a new system?

Because we don’t want to follow the world because everyone else does, live and let live. You do you and good luck to you.

Many Americans don't even know a second language.

Many do, many people in the world don’t own a home with a lot of wide open spaces or have a pool, giant kitchens or a home theater system.

Russia is exactly like the US, but opposite at the same time. Many Russians learn a second language, almost always English, to better themselves because they know there's no future at home,

So then why are so many coming to America? I know a lot of Russians, some can speak English, some don’t. If most Americans don’t feel like traveling abroad, why would there be a need to learn another language when you have everything in your own country?

much like Americans don't learn a second language because they think their home is the future.

Why would it not be??? Invasion?

Russia and the US are inextricably linked in what seems to be a futile race to the bottom borne out of pure pettiness and contempt. China? A close second, hoping the US and RU eliminate each other before the Chinese economy crashes in the next 5 years, as it will.

Ok, well, that was interesting….

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system?

Not entirely accurate. The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 required at the federal level by 1992 for most procurement's, grants, and other business transaction. The problem is that participation in the metric system is only voluntary at the state level, and left to the states to adopt it (which we know they stubbornly won't - mostly for spiting the federal government). Oddly, only Arizona has a complete highway route in metric units - the roughly 100Km highway of I-19 that goes from Tucson to Nogales Mexico.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Majority of Americans can't use the system that they already have - they don't have the brain power. Certainly far too thick to change to metric.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bass:

We have a choice, the rest of the world doesn’t. That is the great thing about the US, freedom of choice.

The greatest American logical fallacy and total nonsense.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's costly to change to another measurement system

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We have a choice, the rest of the world doesn’t. That is the great thing about the US, freedom of choice.

That would be funny if you weren't being serious.

You realise the rest of the world does have a choice, and they mostly choose metric?

Meanwhile Americans are stuck unable to make choices for themselves about where to cross the road, whether or not to have an abortion, even your choice of president can be arbitrarily overturned by a group of 'electors'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That would be funny if you weren't being serious.

I was being serious, nothing funny about it actually.

You realise the rest of the world does have a choice, and they mostly choose metric?

I don't have a problem with that.

Meanwhile Americans are stuck unable to make choices for themselves about where to cross the road, whether or not to have an abortion, even your choice of president can be arbitrarily overturned by a group of 'electors'.

No different than any other country, the difference is, that we have more money, more selections of roads to cross, a bigger nation, abortion? I would think if you're going that route you should contemplate thoroughly before making that kind of decision. As for the former President, "a lot" of odd things happened that shouldn't have.

The greatest American logical fallacy and total nonsense.

To you perhaps, not to millions continue to flow into our nation.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Majority of Americans can't use the system that they already have -

they don't have the brain power*

Cars, planes, Disneyland, architecture, space shuttles, computers

https://blog.cheapism.com/best-american-inventions-17046/

You are welcome! But yeah, crappy brain power.....

Certainly far too thick to change to metric.

That's, if we wanted to be like everyone else then we wouldn't be great, definitely boring for sure.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Honest question

Why do they need to adopt the metric system?

I just realised i kind of use both in my daily llife depending on what i am talking about or what i am measuring

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Canada and the USA were to convert over to the metric system around the same time, there was this whole big deal about the change . But while Canada did, USA bailed at the last moment. We ended up converting. For Canadians we end up mixing the two, although older generations may still use F for temperatures I don't at all. Weird mix, height and shoes Imperial, but distances temperature volumes(mixed), any kind of science or engineering, in metric. So we end up being familiar with both to a certain extent. Funny in Japan while we both use metric sometimes the units differ. Using hectopascal (hPa) for barometric pressure but we use kilopascals (kPa), so imagine my surprise of reading 1000 hPa instead of 100 kPa !

USA doesn't have gun control either. If it wasn't for California they probably wouldn't even have seatbelts. They speak English but is still a mysterious place

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But all of us learn the first four multiples of 5 by default from our 20 digits.

That's not my memory. I remember being taught with dots on the blackboard (1 dot + 1 dot = 2 dots, 1 dot + 2 dots = 3 dots, and so on). And then finding the coolest numbers were 6 and 8 as they could be divided into more equal sets of dots than the other 1-10 numbers (a set being a number of dots greater than 1). 9 was also pretty cool as it could be divided into three equal sets of dots.

And we should perhaps look at tatami counting in Japan. Have you ever come across a 10 or 5 tatami room? 8, 6, then 4.5 - do they learn fractions quicker in Japan? (OK, maybe I'm going a bit nuts now.)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Had the USA been using Imperial money they might have converted to metric, but because they used metric money 100 cents : 1 dollar anyway, I guess they didn't care about the rest. Various industries and businesses though would need to use metric, just not domestic ones

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What do they use in scientific calculations?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have a choice, the rest of the world doesn’t. That is the great thing about the US, freedom of choice.

Yes, America has choices, great choices. Some of my friends had to choose between going to Vietnam to kill or be killed and going to Canada. The wise ones chose Canada.

It seems only three countries now use the imperial system, America, Liberia and Myanmar.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That's not my memory. I remember being taught with dots on the blackboard

But even before that, on an innate level, assuming you have all your digits, you learned 5, 10, 15 and 20. Without being taught.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What do they use in scientific calculations?

American scientists not working on Mars landers use metric.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's already great with or without the metric system, and if people think differenty, they can do that and I would do the same. No need for finger pointing.

You would do the same, huh? Following where the wind blows? Because of keeping up with the times or because told you to? We have dictators around the world with personality cults who tell their citizens what to do and what to believe. They have guide books on life to be studied learned, memorized by schoolkids all in honor of the Great Poobah Poo=Poo and what he says, yeah!

China's Mao and his Little Red Book, Qaddafy and his Green Book, the Grand Turkman and his guidebook for schoolkids, Putin's mafia cult. Assad's ugly mug is posted in every Syrian schoolroom and the same crap goes for various nations in Africa, NK with Kimmy's crazy Commie crap, and TrashTrump with his '1776 Education' which would glorify himself as the Best Person Ever. Thankfully Joe abolished that totalitarian turdy ego-enhancer the very first week he came into the WH.

Converting to metric isn't a matter of following the wind or even being following a 'leader' who ain't riding a Honda motorcycle as the radio ad used to say. It's just plain common sense, and catching up. This is 2023, not 1963.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For Canadians we end up mixing the two, although older generations may still use F for temperatures I don't at all. Weird mix, height and shoes Imperial, but distances temperature volumes(mixed), any kind of science or engineering, in metric.

It's weird here in Canada. The temperatures on the ovens are in Fahrenheit which is weird. And when I tell people my height in centimeters, only the doctors have any idea what I'm talking about.

It's like they came to metric, almost.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

YES, America is already great but we can reach for vaster greatness by catching up with the times and showing us what we can do. It is great because it is a fusion of peoples, influences and ideas from within and without. America has many influences from the outside that makes our melting pot/mixing bowl great. There's so much to enjoy and to be proud of.

And change is inevitable and good. The past years America has finally started coming to grips with the ugly parts of the past and started to progress. No more running and hiding. No more cheapening and no more disgusting stereotyping in common life. No more glorifying the Civil War Confederates, Christopher Columbus, KKK. No more degrading Native Americans with doofus mascots like the one Cleveland. No more Aunt Jemima.

And again, the SAE system is awkward, confusing, has too many factors to memorize. It's not worth a damn anymore. Time for change. So what if the metric system came from France? All these influences mixed together is what makes America the greatest nation on Earth. E pluribus unum

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All these influences mixed together is what makes America the greatest nation on Earth.

After Canada.

God already made paradise to your north.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

gaijintravellerSep. 5 09:45 pm JST

We have a choice, the rest of the world doesn’t. That is the great thing about the US, freedom of choice.

Yes, America has choices, great choices. Some of my friends had to choose between going to Vietnam to kill or be killed and going to Canada. The wise ones chose Canada.

Hello, sir, welcome to the late 1970s.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

more selections of roads to cross,

You mean a greater selection of roads to get booked for jaywalking. A ‘crime’ that other countries don’t even have on the books.

abortion? I would think if you're going that route you should contemplate thoroughly before making that kind of decision.

As with any medical decision. Assuming the laws of the country allow the individual to make decisions about their own body, which is not the case in the US.

As for the former President, "a lot" of odd things happened that shouldn't have.

Never mentioned ‘the former President’. The electoral college overturned the choice of the voting public in 2016, 2000 and three times in the 1800s.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

cleoToday 12:59 am JST

more selections of roads to cross,

You mean a greater selection of roads to get booked for jaywalking. A ‘crime’ that other countries don’t even have on the books.

Frankly I am surprised that jaywalking isn't a crime in Japan. In the US we have a lot of people who will literally stand in roadways if it is legal and I'm not talking protests.

abortion? I would think if you're going that route you should contemplate thoroughly before making that kind of decision.

As with any medical decision. Assuming the laws of the country allow the individual to make decisions about their own body, which is not the case in the US.

It is the case in many states, even some red ones and Japan has an extremely sketchy relationship with abortion and reproductive healthcare nationally.

Never mentioned ‘the former President’. The electoral college overturned the choice of the voting public in 2016, 2000 and three times in the 1800s.

Not denying our voting system is extremely troubled but 2 parties 1 party.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry 2 parties is greater than 1 party.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because they have to learn their pronouns first.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all the hostility and downright meanness of some people when it comes to anything to do with the USA, but some of these comments are really over the top. SMH...I'm so effing tired of it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You mean a greater selection of roads to get booked for jaywalking. A ‘crime’ that other countries don’t even have on the books.

Well, the road is for cars after all and the sidewalk for pedestrians, seems pretty explanatory to me. If you walk in the streets and get in front of my speeding car because you think you’re more powerful than my car, I assure you, you’re not going to win that one.

As with any medical decision. Assuming the laws of the country allow the individual to make decisions about their own body, which is not the case in the US.

Wrong, the Dobbs decision ruling threw it back to the individual states, each state can vote on the issue which is how it should be, so if a conservative state like Texas is more pro-life and Oregon pro-choice you have options as to where you want to go, so you have a choice, both sides benefit, the life of a child in some states can be defended and if you want to terminate a pregnancy you have that option as well. Win, win for both sides.

Never mentioned ‘the former President’. The electoral college overturned the choice of the voting public in 2016, 2000 and three times in the 1800s.

We Are a constitutional Republic, I’m from California, the largest most populous state in the union, you’re saying that my state should overrun and decide every election for the rest of the nation every single time. If we did that we have a one party rule each and every time, that’s not democracy, that’s why we need the EC, the founding fathers wanted it like that for that exact reason.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Converting to metric isn't a matter of following the wind or even being following a 'leader' who ain't riding a Honda motorcycle as the radio ad used to say. It's just plain common sense, and catching up.

To you, not for everyone

This is 2023, not 1963

Exactly, we all have more rights and freedoms to choose and carve out the lives we want. Let people use whatever system they want to get by, if it works, it works, if an individual wants to learn it, they can do so as well.

And again, the SAE system is awkward, confusing, has too many factors to memorize.

Good brain training

It's not worth a damn anymore.

Apparently, to millions of people in the US, it obviously is.

*Time for change. So what if the metric system came from France? All these influences mixed togetheris what makes America the greatest nation on Earth.  *E pluribus unum

Then learn it If That is your desire, if you don’t want to, that is also your choice. That is what makes America great, to do as we please and not follow others because they have no choice or are forced to or think they have to.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

American scientists not working on Mars landers use metric.

Ah mars climate orbiter lost due to failure to use the right units.

One part of the system using English system and one part using metric

Tsk tsk what a disaster.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Arrogance. They see themselves as #1, leaders, not followers. They like telling others what to do, not being told what to do.

You hit the nail on the head. I'm American and didn't really think much about it until moving to Japan. Wherever you move to or live, you are a guest and you also have to acclimate to their way of doing things, including learning the metric system. BTW, after living here for at least 15 years, the metric system is not so difficult and I can fairly convert back to the American system if I needed to. For now, I use the metric system.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's not just so simple a task as to one day switch from Imperial to Metric. Just think what it would take for just one sector, say the Japanese auto industry to convert from Metric to Imperial. ALL of the machinery, lathes, milling machines, every wrench and socket in a craftsman's toolbox and EVERY nut and bolt and the countless replacement stock would all be worthless and need to be replaced with Imperial. This would be a HUGE cost not just for the industry but for the mechanic and line worker who would have to pay, not we the tax payers.

America will come around eventually but most likely I won't be around to see it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

ianToday 08:26 am JST

American scientists not working on Mars landers use metric.

Ah mars climate orbiter lost due to failure to use the right units.

One part of the system using English system and one part using metric

Tsk tsk what a disaster.

And what shows our power is it doesn't really matter: we can make dozens more and get it right the next time.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And what shows our power is it doesn't really matter: we can make dozens more and get it right the next time.

Only someone really dumb would say that

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

ianToday 09:31 am JST

And what shows our power is it doesn't really matter: we can make dozens more and get it right the next time.

Only someone really dumb would say that

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mars_landers

Look at all those successes next to the Stars and Stripes. One might question the questioner what he was thinking.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is it because America is still imperialistic?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

For better worse, like it or not, we don't need to. If you want to market automobiles in the US, you better use MPH. lbs., oz °F and so on.

The people who need the metric system, learn it and the rest of the population live quite happily and successful lives without it.

The question I ask you is other than a reason to bash the US, why is this an issue and why do you care? Many consumers goods include both.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Being an American myself the answer is very obvious - the average age of Congress is so far above the median that they do not want to see any change from how things were when they were children - see Roe vv Wade & the other backwards steps they have forced upon us. I actually had a conversation a few days ago about this very thing with a friend of mine.

It is unfortunate that logic and reason has left this country in favor of self-serving & greed. One would think that the field of Science would be universal in how it operates, yet several years ago in a joint US & UK Mars lander mission that was an epic failure simply due to the US doing everything in our standard calculations while the UK used metric - the multi-billion-dollar failure made history.

But this is just my opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because they are proud of their silly underdeveloped 19th century things like their thirdworldish metric system, although they continue to deny it, it is a fact..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Because they are proud of their silly underdeveloped 19th century things like their thirdworldish metric system, although they continue to deny it, it is a fact..

If it works out for them, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you seek a big conspiracy, I have bad news. There isn't any.

Some industries are very slow to change and if they don't have international partners who use metric measurements, then they won't change, ever.

Multi-national companies have switched to metric units for most things, but certain things in use daily, by everyone will not be changing soon.

Miles, mph, and temperatures are very much ingrained. Heck, even as much as the UK uses metric system units, they still have distances, speed limits and forecasts in English units. The same will happen in America, long after manufacturing switches to 100% metric units.

Switching will require a law, probably with a 20 year transition period that lays out when things must change. Beginning with military and federal procurement mandates that every purchased item be provided in metric units beginning in 3 yrs and have only metric scales provided for any visible output. This will kick start the change, since suppliers will all have to re-tool to metric-only needs. Most manufacturing for the military also has non-military customers, so within those larger companies, just to keep different project expertise able to communicate, the metric system will bleed over into non-govt use.

Large DoD vendors will need to mandate their suppliers all switch to metrics too. For some that will be easier than others, but it will take a few years.

About 5 yrs into the change, NOAA (weather service) and NIST will need to stop working at all with old scales. That will kick off massive projects to convert weather station equipment to metric units. By year 7, everything the Federal govt does, measures, accepts, or produces should be 100% metrics. Period. It will be a down-hill fight for everyone else at that point. Speed limit signs will all be changed on federal roads.

Some states will fight it, just like they did for the new standards around state identification. But since the feds control so much funding and there is a federal gasoline tax, pretty much everything related to oil, fuel, vehicles, will change over to metrics, since no state wants their federal construction money withheld.

I always wondered why we buy 2L soda bottles, but 12oz cans of soda? 2L soda has been around for a very long time - perhaps 30-40 yrs. So, if they sell things only using metric units, people will adapt. I will have the hardest time with cooking and food weights myself. Recipes are usually in lbs and cups, not kg or ml.

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The year I graduated from high school (1974), my events in track and field (athletics) were the 880, 1 mile, and 2 mile. Track and field is all metric now, though you will find some meets that feature legacy distances like the mile. Of course it would make good sense for the US to do the same across the board, but it is one of those quirky differences that make the world an interesting place.

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Same as UK, stuck to the old ways...

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The US refuses to adopt the metric system because it’s shite! Measuring temperatures in celsius ignores the vast nuances of temperature differences. The ridiculously rigid celsius temperatures are too close together to have any meaning. Why not use the Kelvin scale instead?

CanaDuh had this awful system imposed upon us by a left-leaning Liberal government that wished to emulate the EU. Ugh!

Miles per gallon means something, liters p/100 kms is a worthless measurement. The metric system is an orphan.

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The US refuses to adopt the metric system because it’s shite! Measuring temperatures in celsius ignores the vast nuances of temperature differences.

No it doesn't. Temperatures can be recorded in C or F, it's no like you suddenly reach a certain temperature and C is no longer able to express it.

And you do realize how silly your comment is in that all the scientists in the world except some (and not even all) work in celcius.

The ridiculously rigid celsius temperatures are too close together to have any meaning. Why not use the Kelvin scale instead?

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The ridiculously rigid celsius temperatures are too close together to have any meaning. Why not use the Kelvin scale instead?

They do. But temperatures are more relatable to humans when you're dealing with a range of real numbers (0 - freezing, 100 - boiling), as it gives them a range they can comprehend on a concrete level rather than some abstract concept like 273 - 300 degrees.

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“Why doesn’t the US adopt the metric system?”

Because the system’s family is already doing a fine job?

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I'm American and I believe that changing everything to the metric system would be too expensive. The cost to change our infrastructure would be in the billions.

Big companies such as the auto industry would fight against using the metric system. At the end of the day, it would affect the U.S. economy so the imperial system won't be changed anytime soon.

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Boy, I guess most of you commenting weren’t alive in the US in the 70s. They actually tried to switch back then but Americans were too freaking lazy and gave up after a couple years. And OMG don’t get me started on how lazy they are today.

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You realise the rest of the world does have a choice, and they mostly choose metric?

You don't. Go try to sell something in American customary units - you're government will use its monopoly on violence to stop you. Always makes me laugh when Europeans are ignorant of how unfree their societies actually are.

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It has to do with politics. Starting back with President Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to go metric. Jefferson was waiting to receive the prototype Kilogram and prototype Kilometer so he could test it. Unfortunately, due to pirates, he never received it. The impetus to investigate and implement a metric conversion left as administrations changed. President Gerald Ford tried to implement it, but at that point it was seen as too expensive to implement as the sole standard in the USA. There was a Presidential candidate (Lincoln Chafee) who wanted to do it but his desire was colored by the media as eccentricity and he was embarrassed by it. At this point, the US has adopted the Metric system in everything but Road signs , the Gas pump, and day-to-day cooking, measurements for clothing, and lumber. These are very important and must be addressed in offer for a full conversion to metric. Household cooking is meant to be imprecise so traditional imperial measurements mill likely remain in that category. What we are seeing in the USA amounts to a gradual metric conversion.

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