GorT, perhaps spurred on by some weird base-10 bug in his base- processor or a virus picked up passing through the Carter Administration, has made some claim for the superiority of the metric system based on its alleged non-arbitrariness. Because of the total obvious rationality of basing it on, I guess,the distance travelled by light in an absolute vacuum during 1/299,792,458 of a second. That’s less arbitrary to his galactic mind. Ok, fair enough, if a tad biased. But why, exactly it’s better to render our degrees of temperature less exact so they can be pegged to freezing and boiling of water? I know, because Science! But for everyday? Come on.
The thing is, the metric system is already universally used where it’s useful, which is to say GorT’s beloved engineering, as well as astronomy, physics, pharmacology, and all sorts of other places. So, great. What metric is godawful at is everyday usage, because it forces you into four-digit decimalization of every damn thing. Which is just not practical, when you can’t process petaflops per picosecond like GorT. For us hu-mons, it’s a lot easier to eyeball (or visualize) the difference between three and four feet, or five and seven inches, than (approximately!) 0.9 and 1.2 meters, or 12.7 and 17.78 centimeters (note: not actually an official metric unit, but a practical subdivision).
As for that spacecraft that bollixed itself because of incompatible measurements? That’s an engineering FUBAR by the contractor for not standardizing in advance. I don’t care if my barrel is bored out to 11.43mm or .45 inches, but the guy who makes the silencer better match exactly whatever the guy who made the gun chose.
Also, GorT dishonors the legacy of his greatest (and I believe favorite) math programmer, who used to grade his tests and quiz on 60 and 12 point scales because of…their greater even divisibility! Kind of like those pesky, non-metric hours, minutes, feet, etc. Or the half-quarter-eighth-sixteenth divisions of inches that we’ve found useful over centuries of practical handiwork. Ten has exactly two factors (ignoring 10 and 1) by which it’s divisible. Twelve, say, has four. It’s therefore twice as useful. A hundred has only twos and fives in its prime factors, whereas 120 adds a three! Quantum leap!
Metric for everyday life is an insane, French Revolutionary hyperrationalist pain in the ass, an evangel from the Cult of Reason, a madness consanguineous with Decimal Time and Fructidor. Not to mention a certain language dreamed up by the Villain Zamenhof. Leave it where it belongs—the beautiful realm of abstract reasoning (which is to say, also, France)—and keep it the hell off my rulers.
So, count me out on everyday metric. By all means, use it in engineering and Science! but please, let me saw my 2×4 into yards and measure my Liao Drug with tablespoons and cups…
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.