[CrackMonkey] Metric system considered harmful
hick0142 at tc.umn.edu
Sat Jun 23 00:07:53 PDT 2001
On Sat, Jun 23, 2001 at 12:58:42AM -0400, Matt Obert wrote:
> Begin Sean Neakums quote:
> > >>>>> "r" == rillian <rillian at telus.net> writes:
> > r> Here we go again with the imperialist units.
> > I prefer those to units invented by a bunch of bored Frenchmen who
> > based their "logical" units of distance on the circumference of the
> > Earth, a wholly arbitrary quantity.
> What's so arbitrary about the circumference of the Earth?
The circumference of the Earth which intersects the poles and downtown
Paris! That's an important distinction, since the Earth isn't a perfect
sphere. And did they sink their collosal line of twine to the seafloor or
did they float it on the water's surface? Did they go over the mountains
or drill a hole through? Or did they just say "Fuck that exact measuring
shit, we're going to GUESS!" And then what did they do? They divided
that by 40,000,000!
> The imperial system is based on the approximate size of the
> King's feet. Now, that's arbitrary. Everyone on Earth has a
> different shoe size, but it's not as though we all live on
> different oblate spheroids with different random circumferences.
At least with feet, you've got a rough approximation with you at all
> Ditto the metric systems for weight and volume, which are based
> on the specific gravity of water. Again, this is a pretty decent
> basis for a standard. Of course, I'm open to the argument that
> the metric system may seem arbitrary to people who live on Mars
> and drink hydrogen peroxide.
The metric measurments for volume are based upon metric measurements for
length. See above for attacks against that.
The specific gravity of water? At what temperature? At what pressure?
Water is a hideous choice for basing a measurement system on. It's got
this HYDROGEN BONDING crap going on, which means it's density varies
widely with temperature. It's such a crappy standard that people don't
even mention it when they teach you metric. I've never even heard of that
until now, and even if I am an idiot American, they've been teaching me
this crap again and again for years! All I ever heard is that there are
nearly identical platnium-irridium slugs sitting under armed guard in
various national capitols which are the official Kilograms.
At least they didn't fuck with the second.
Brian Hicks <hick0142 at umn.edu> "Crush the lesser races! Conquer the
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<http://eight.dhs.org> -- The Doctor
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