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Author Topic: Will U.S. ever go metric? Back to Topics
saluki2011

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2011 12:30:27 AM

Every other country I have been to is metric. You pay by the liter for gas.
I do remember when I was a kid gas in Canada was sold by the imperial gallon.
(5 quarts I believe.)
I remember in elementary school learning about metric system and being told we would soon be going metric.

It is about time to get rid of inches, feet, yards, cups, pints, quarts, gallons, and all the rest.
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 3:49:12 PM

"In Canada carpet is sold by the square yard"

I could pull out my measurements for carpet sales from the early 1980s. All calculations were done metric even then.
What you saw posted was the square yard equivalent, just as meat and produce are sold by the kilogram, but you see a lb price equivalent.
We don't make tv sets in Canada anymore, but I have already noted computer screen sizes, which are basically the same, are one of the anomalies of a metric electronics industry.
I have also noted construction is one of the most difficult to turn metric. Go to Japan, which is very much metric, and construction is in legacy Japanese measure.
Some things don't logically convert. Football is still a 100 yard field, no biggie.
Again, industry has long been metric to compete in a metric world.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 9/13/2013 3:50:51 PM EST]
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Cooey
Sophomore Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 3:06:32 PM

In Canada carpet is sold by the square yard, lumber by the board foot and plywood is 4x8 feet. Tv's are measured in inches across, plates are measured in inches across as well. Raspberries are sold by the pint and door backsets are measured in inches. We have "gone" metric but not in a big way.
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JOE7BEN
Champion Author Durham

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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 11:47:57 AM

no
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contiki
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 11:05:44 AM

In the 1970s gas crisis, many stations switched to liters, to falsely give the impression gas was cheaper.

In Ontario,Canada when metric became the NORM many motorist here thought the same way that gas was cheap because many motorist were still thinking of prices in gallons, not litres so gas kept going up but many still ONLY saw cheap prices and it went unnoticed in most cases........

[Edited by: contiki at 9/13/2013 11:07:24 AM EST]
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davisadm
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 10:54:12 AM

In the 1970s gas crisis, many stations switched to liters, to falsely give the impression gas was cheaper.
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Hemond
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 8:49:43 AM

::::I fail to understand the logic that says using a system that makes it easier and far more economical for industry to deal with the rest of the world is not an advantage to using metric.:::


Very well, then perhaps you agree that all languages on the earth are now superfluous and we should only use one. I suggest Chinese as a majority of people speak Chinese after all. It would be logical, easier and far more economical for industry to deal with the world if we all spoke Chinese.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 8:22:59 AM

::::How many millions of dollars do you think it cost taxpayers to have the Mars Orbiter burn up in 1999 when Lockheed Martin provided thruster performance data in pound force seconds instead of newton seconds? ::::


Agreed, its unfortunate we succumb to this politically correct nonsense of copying the Europeans in matters of measurement. The measuring language of the US is the English system. It is the vernacular. It is the natural language which 300 million people speak.

In any case, it's easy to slip in and out of SAE/metric/Avoirdupois. Many if not most people do it daily. As the people I work with do. Just like its easy to slip in and out of speaking French/English. Nonetheless the natural language of the US is not French, nor is it metric.

I've observed that Canadians are quite chauvinistic with regards to their metric system. Instead of being "multi-lingual" so to speak and be fluent is several measuring systems, they doggedly stick to the quaint metric system.
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 7:26:30 AM

No, things didn't become smaller except for things where the logical closest measure was smaller, such as a litre of milk instead of an Imperial quart.
If the US dairies went metric, their measure would get larger, as the litre is more than the US quart.
Chocolate bars got smaller when companies tried to avoid price increases due to sugar price increases, had nothing to do with metric, it happened in the US and Canada. Eventually they realized they really couldn't get much smaller without public backlash, so prices increased, and bars got a little bigger again.
People blamed metric for gasoline price increases, but the truth is, gasoline whether you use a base litre, base US gallon, or base Imperial gallon, has historically been relatively close between US and Canadian prices, BEFORE TAXES, local, provincial, and federal, some of which get compounded.
When I paid 35 cents per Canadian gallon, our gasoline was more expensive at the pump in Canada, already because of taxes.
The only thing we got screwed on a bit was milk, and that was because they convinced the government litre cartons couldn't be transported in the same delivery baskets that held quart cartons, and those few cents per litre to pay for the new baskets never did get lifted back off the price.
Don't you remember pop used to be in standard 10 ounce cans in Canada? Those got bigger!
We still have people complaining they don't understand metric. I have long given up trying to tell people what an announced temperature is in Fahrenheit, unless it is somebody over 80. I tell them if they don't know if it is hot, warm, cool, or cold, to stick their head out the window and learn what it is.
I know people, thankfully not many now, that will look at a road sign that says 600 km to go, and convert that to miles, will look at their speedometer that reads approx 100 km/hr, and convert that to miles per hour, then figure out approx how long to get there, and I shake my head at the utter silliness.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 9/13/2013 7:35:27 AM EST]
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contiki
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 6:26:41 AM

The Liberal federal government of Pierre Trudeau first began implementing metrication in Canada in 1970 with a government agency dedicated to implementing the project, the Metric Commission, being established in 1971.

DasAuto92 change is noticed back when change takes place.......not over 40 years later.................

Some sure have a short memory of how it was.......yet think they know it all............
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 6:21:40 AM

US is a big country that can go it alone without switching to metric....

Canada when to metric measurement years ago to follow Europe's ways of business.....

Changing to metric screwed many people here in Canada in prices because things became smaller but sold for the same price as it was before changing to metric...

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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 5:15:58 AM

I fail to understand the logic that says using a system that makes it easier and far more economical for industry to deal with the rest of the world is not an advantage to using metric.
Thank goodness for the USA that industry dealing internationally has long seen that.
Let's face it, a company buying parts for an aircraft engine is not affected by your purchase of milk by the quart, or your purchase of a 4x8 sheet of plywood to patch your floor or wall. But that is a far cry from allied interoperability on the battle field, or the building and maintenance of the International Space Station or craft for future co-operative missions in space.
How many millions of dollars do you think it cost taxpayers to have the Mars Orbiter burn up in 1999 when Lockheed Martin provided thruster performance data in pound force seconds instead of newton seconds?
So continue buying milk by the quart, I agree there isn't a particular advantage to you to buy it by the litre, but have no doubt the rest of the world is dealing with the US on an industrial trade level in metric, and will continue to do so far longer than you or I will live on this earth.



[Edited by: rumbleseat at 9/13/2013 5:18:20 AM EST]
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Hemond
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 10:15:18 AM

::::::The automobile industry is pretty much metric, except for drive bays and screen size, the computer industry is pretty much metric, the US military uses metric to ensure operational standards with allies.....:::

etc. ad nauseum, ad infinitum...


Those aren't advantages. Those are merely areas where metric measure is used. Not a one demonstrates any advantage to metric. My premise stands as glaringly strong as ever. To whit:

Name a distinct advantage metric has over English measure. The fact of the matter is you can't. Metric is merely another way of doing the same thing. The only reason its being employed is to pay homage to all things Euro.

Americans often worship at the shrine of European fashion. Metric is equivalent to a Hermes handbag when a handbag from Macys works just as well.
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wlotocky
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 9:03:26 AM

no
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DasAuto92
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 9:02:30 AM

Thanks rumbleseat.....some have a short memory on what really happenned in Canada...

Duh!! Are you kidding me Contiki??
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BigHorne1
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:59:15 AM

got typing to fast, metric system...spelling error below in post.
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BigHorne1
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:57:53 AM

I hope not, that was keeps us different than those other countries. That is why our measurement system is call the standard, and the others are called meteric stystem:)
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the1roadhog
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:39:26 AM

Someday it will happen but no time in the next 50 years or so.
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2Tall
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:18:05 AM

Won't happen.
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puddy
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:03:40 AM

hope not
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Camry05
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 7:29:49 AM

too expensive to change all the traffic signs in the country
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 7:23:57 AM

Could you elaborate what became smaller, when Metric came into effect?

Is it nice to say what change when Canada went metric......

The Liberal federal government of Pierre Trudeau first began implementing metrication in Canada in 1970 with a government agency dedicated to implementing the project, the Metric Commission, being established in 1971.

change is noticed back when change takes place.......not over 40 years later.................

I figure some would know this......I guess I gave too much to that idea....

And nothing "becomes" smaller.
The litre is smaller than the Canadian quart. So what?
The litre is larger than the American quart. Whoopee.
The only reason margarine, for instance, is sold in 454 gram containers is packaging costs, a factory makes the exact same packages for US and Canadian markets.

Thanks rumbleseat.....some have a short memory on what really happenned in Canada...

I guess Quebec was not paying attention when this changed to metric took place......

[Edited by: contiki at 9/12/2013 7:28:46 AM EST]
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RalphHightower
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 6:26:57 AM

no
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 5:20:25 AM

People are stubborn, always have been, always will be, it isn't anything intrinsically American, it is intrinsically human. If people weren't stubborn, this thread wouldn't exist.

If somebody actually shows you wrong, as in your statements regarding manufacturing in Japan, you ignore it totally.

And to compare me to Justin Bieber?
LOL! Would that give me leave to compare you to twerky Miley Cyrus?
As I said, it doesn't matter if you ever in your life concede the superiority of metric, it is still fact that industrial America deals in metric or it doesn't deal with the rest of the world. And that isn't going to change.

The automobile industry is pretty much metric, except for drive bays and screen size, the computer industry is pretty much metric, the US military uses metric to ensure operational standards with allies.
Illegal drug penalties are based on metric mass.
Science is pretty much metric.
Gemstones are sold by the metric carat.
Metric units ampere, volt, ohm and coulomb are used for electric current, charge, or potential difference.
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Hemond
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 2:31:32 AM

::::I really don't give a tinker's darn if you personally are too stubborn to accept metric at the consumer level, :::;

I've used metric since grade school. I've been fluent in it since at least 4th grade. I've used metric, Avoirdupois, Troy, Apothecary and even Engineering scales all my life. In research and my career.

The fact of the matter is metric offers no advantages whatsoever and in fact offers distinct disadvantages. Number one being its not intuitive.

Your superlative attitude puts you are in good company with other Canadians like Justin Bieber. When you are able to offer a quantitative argument of metric's superiority, then feel free to speak up. Until then I'm afraid you are blowing smoke.

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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 2:16:24 AM

::::::When you can't win everybody over with logic, you have to resort to personal insults, don't you?:::

Are you referring to the following statement?

"::::The ONLY reason the US is not metric at the consumer level is because of stubborn attitudes.:::"

In other words insult and demean Americans due to the typical supercillious attitude of many Canadians? A national character flaw deeply embedded in the Canadian psyche, possibly due to a deep seated inferiority complex.

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DasAuto92
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 1:33:32 AM

One more thing. Try to buy a hectare of land in Quebec. Its not sold that way. Even Canadians are still iffy on use of metric. If you are going to buy a farm in the Laurentians you will purchase acres.

The United States, Burma, and to some extent Canada use the acre.
The hectare is used in Europe.
Did you know right in your back yard..... the distance between the apex of the bastions in the front of the base to those at the back (where the entrance to the statue is located) is approximately 100 m while the distance between the apexes of the left-hand and right-hand bastions is a little under 100 m. Thus, if a square were to enscribe the bastions, it would have sides of approximately 100 m, giving it an area of one hectare.

That's right the Statue of Liberty

[Edited by: DasAuto92 at 9/12/2013 1:34:59 AM EST]
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 1:08:04 AM

"If this isn't a classic example of a typical supercilious Canadian mindset."

When you can't win everybody over with logic, you have to resort to personal insults, don't you?
I really don't give a tinker's darn if you personally are too stubborn to accept metric at the consumer level, the fact is, any American industry that deals outside the borders of the USA deals in metric, and insulting me doesn't change that, and won't ever change that.

You are wrong on the made in Japan message. I don't have to insult you to tell you that you are wrong, I simply point out this information is freely available on the internet.
John Deere isn't made in Japan, I already posted that information.
Cub Cadet isn't made in Japan. Most Cub equipment sold in North America is assembled in North America, and most of the manufacturing plants are in the USA. The company also has presence in China and Australia, not Japan, although it is possible some parts may be sourced there.
The only Asian area facilities for Massey Ferguson are Australia/New Zealand, not Japan.
New Holland has NO manufacturing plants in Japan. They do have them in Canada, the USA, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as sites in Europe, and Asia, but none in Japan. AGCO is the parent of Massey Ferguson.
The world of New Holland


[Edited by: rumbleseat at 9/12/2013 1:09:06 AM EST]
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 11:53:34 PM

:::::::::The ONLY reason the US is not metric at the consumer level is because of stubborn attitudes.::::::


One more thing. Try to buy a hectare of land in Quebec. Its not sold that way. Even Canadians are still iffy on use of metric. If you are going to buy a farm in the Laurentians you will purchase acres.
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 11:50:31 PM

::::The ONLY reason the US is not metric at the consumer level is because of stubborn attitudes.:::


If this isn't a classic example of a typical supercilious Canadian mindset. What you call stubborn, Americans call independent. We Americans don't slavishly bow down to every silly European fad which comes along. (At least most of us). If you want to kiss the ring of Euro-trash superiority, that's your business. I'll thank you to mind your own and stay out of ours.

The last thing one should do is follow the silly fads coming out of Europe. When they can get their act together, they might be worth emulating. That hasn't happened in the last century at least.
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Wanda127
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 10:59:10 PM

I hope not but if we get a "one world government" like Obama wants us to then we might.
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 10:45:54 PM

And nothing "becomes" smaller.
The litre is smaller than the Canadian quart. So what?
The litre is larger than the American quart. Whoopee.
The only reason margarine, for instance, is sold in 454 gram containers is packaging costs, a factory makes the exact same packages for US and Canadian markets.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 10:42:04 PM

John Deere appears to be made in many countries. Japan is not to be found on the facilities lists for manufacturing, parts, marketing, or support.
There are no pins on the worldwide map for Japan.
John Deere worldwide
AS far as intuitive goes, you want 1/2 a kilogram, 500 grams, sounds pretty easy to me.
The ONLY reason the US is not metric at the consumer level is because of stubborn attitudes.
The US has LONG been metric at the manufacturing level, and in a global marketplace, has LONG had no choice as many of the things that were only made in America, forcing international customers to do their own conversions, became available from other sources, meaning they could order in the measures they actually used.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~````
In the early 1800's, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey used meter and kilogram standards brought from France.
In 1893, metric standards, developed through international cooperation under the auspices of BIPM, were adopted as the fundamental standards
for length and mass in the United States.
The foot, pound, quart, etc. -- have been defined in relation to the meter
and the kilogram ever since.
Source of this, and a lot more:
Office of Weights and Measures/Metric Program
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2000
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2000
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 12:04:38 PM

Could you elaborate what became smaller, when Metric came into effect?

Is it nice to say what change when Canada went metric......

The Liberal federal government of Pierre Trudeau first began implementing metrication in Canada in 1970 with a government agency dedicated to implementing the project, the Metric Commission, being established in 1971.

change is noticed back when change takes place.......not over 40 years later.................

I figure some would know this......I guess i gave too much to that idea....

[Edited by: contiki at 9/11/2013 12:06:54 PM EST]
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DasAuto92
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 12:02:23 PM

Err, John Deere is made in Japan.

C'mon Hemond, I'm Canadian and knew this!Deere & Company, commonly known by its brand name John Deere, is an American corporation based in Moline, Illinois, and one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery in the world
And i don't want to bust your balloon but not a single John Deere of anything is made in Japan.
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Hemond
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 11:47:29 AM

::::::::Butter is still 1lb/454g, a can of coke went from ounces to 541ml,Milk went from 1qt/950ml or more precise 946.4ml, 2qt/1.89l,4qts/3.78l
Cold meats and cheese sold from a delly use grams instead of ounces...125g/1/4lb.

Who's getting screwed??::;:::::::


Clearly the end user. Instead of a nice, intuitive, and easy to understand system, they went to an awkward system. Instead of 1 unit ( a pound), they went to the seemingly random 454g. Instead of 1 unit (a quart) they went to a random 950 ml.

Humans intuitively think in 1/2s, 1/4s etc. Look at the metric system for proof. When in the (Quebec) deli you buy 1/2 kilo of cheese, or 1/4 kilo of ham. We try to adapt the awkward metric system to a more humanistic and natural measuring system, which is English.

My premise holds. There is no inherent advantage to metric other than fashion.

[Edited by: Hemond at 9/11/2013 11:48:39 AM EST]
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 11:37:58 AM

:::::American industries such as John Deere for example who do more exporting of their farm equipment to Europe had no choice but to change there methods to METRIC.:::


Err, John Deere is made in Japan. As is Cub Cadet, Masey Fergusson, New Holland, Case and AGCO. They are manufactured in metric because that is the system used in Japan.

They are in metric because that is the language of measure in the country of origin. Nothing to do with being forced, nothing to do with having no choice.

If one lives in Japan, you use the local language. In the case of manufacturing the local language there is metric.


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Houckster
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 11:21:29 AM

Contiki writes: Changing to metric screwed many people here in Canada in prices because things became smaller but sold for the same price as it was before changing to metric...
_____
Let's say that's true. This isn't a problem with the metric system itself. It's a problem caused by companies gaming the system and taking advantage of the consumer's inexperience with the system. This will become less of a problem as people become used to metric.
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DasAuto92
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 9:16:24 AM

Hemond:A switch to metric does nothing whatsoever along the same lines. All it does is follow the misguided path of copying Europe

Lucky your not(owner) in and industry that deals worldwide for business because you might be sitting on a corner STILL waiting for the bus to come.American industries such as John Deere for example who do more exporting of their farm equipment to Europe had no choice but to change there methods to METRIC.In doing so they actually saved money, because blue prints were not doubled :I.E Imperial/Metric.And there was always a supply of parts. They didn't have to produce a part for USA while that same part was needed for Europe at different specs.
So as i say "you snooze you loose", America is only hurting itself by not changing to the worldly ways of doing business.But at least a few of the major industry leaders got their heads on straight, and saw the light at the end of the tunnell. Now all America needs to do is make the little guy (you)realize that Americans in general are behind the times.

[Edited by: DasAuto92 at 9/11/2013 9:18:29 AM EST]
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DasAuto92
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 8:57:03 AM

Contiki: Changing to metric screwed many people here in Canada in prices because things became smaller but sold for the same price as it was before changing to metric...

Could you elaborate what became smaller, when Metric came into effect?
Butter is still 1lb/454g, a can of coke went from ounces to 541ml,Milk went from 1qt/950ml or more precise 946.4ml, 2qt/1.89l,4qts/3.78l
Cold meats and cheese sold from a delly use grams instead of ounces...125g/1/4lb.
Who's getting screwed??


[Edited by: DasAuto92 at 9/11/2013 9:01:03 AM EST]
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waynecz
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 9:51:19 PM

God I hope so the govt. made me learn it 40 years ago because the govt told us we were just about to change to it ...
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pacecar68
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 9:40:04 PM

yes.
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n2bama
Sophomore Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 9:07:40 PM

I hope not
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mybigtruck
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 5:18:24 PM

Probably as likely as the US ever getting rid of the penny!
They're an annoyance!
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 4:55:17 PM

::::You mean like switching the broadcast spectrum to HDTV?
:::


But in that case there was a distinct, measurable and truly significant advantage to switch. You simply can't say the same for switching to metric.

Changing the broadcast spectrum like they did dramatically improved signal quality, and opened up huge swaths of spectrum formerly used in analogue broadcast. The spectrum is now available for all sorts of new uses.

A switch to metric does nothing whatsoever along the same lines. All it does is follow the misguided path of copying Europe. Why? Because we Americans think its fashionable to be like Euros.

The Euros are not exactly shining examples of how to do things. Their history is littered with one disaster after another. (Case in point, the current mess in Germany over green energy. Angela Merkel is likely to get voted out over her windmills) Let them keep their metric system.

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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 1:46:39 PM

"no, imaged how much it would cost to re-tool everything?"

You mean like switching the broadcast spectrum to HDTV?
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dassfg
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 7:57:47 AM

Nada
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 7:36:39 AM

US is a big country that can go it alone without switching to metric....

Canada when to metric measurement years ago to follow Europe's ways of business.....

Changing to metric screwed many people here in Canada in prices because things became smaller but sold for the same price as it was before changing to metric.....
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2Tall
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 7:29:13 AM

exacty!
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herbiepopnecker
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 12:19:43 AM

You guys are just too butt stubborn to go metric.
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DasAuto92
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Sep 8, 2013 11:33:06 PM



Werner von Braun, the father of NASA, loathed imperial/English units and never used them. He designed in metric and other engineers converted his units to non-metric to build the rockets. Also, Russians have ever since used metric and, as maybe few of us know, beat us (USA)in about every space milestone: First object in space, first animal in space, first man in space, first woman in space, first spacecraft on the moon, longest stay in space, etc. - except for the first man on the moon certainly. Actually, NASA finally is since 1991 required to use metric wherever possible, however this has obviously not been taken seriously enough, as NASA recently (Sept 1999) crashed a space probe due to metric/imperial conversion flaws. Since then, metric usage has been "re-assessed", but it might take a few more crashes until they will finally decide to completely switch to metric.
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