Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Metric System


Here in the U.S., we do not use the metric system. Instead we use inches, feet, yards, miles, ounces, pounds, ounces (different ones!), cups, pints, quarts, gallons, degrees Fahrenheit, acres, etc.

I hold a terribly unpopular view, which is that we should be using the metric system.

Back in the 1970s, we all prepared to go metric, but it fizzled out. The only remnants of that effort are that soda bottles are sold by the liter, and everything is dual labeled: 15 fl. oz. (444 mL)

I don't think anyone has a good reason for avoiding the metric system. Sure, it would be inconvenient for a while as various industries changed over. But every nation on Earth managed to do it, and they all survived just fine.

Instead, I sense an "us vs. them" mentality. Somehow, if you advocate a position that is in line with another country's, you are decried as anti-American or un-Patriotic.

It's strange that in a world that is becoming more closely knit together (since the rise of television, satellite communications, the Internet, and social networking), Americans are working harder and harder to distance themselves from the rest of the world, all in the name of Patriotism.

(Wow, that turned into quite a ramble. I didn't expect to go from the metric system to Patriotism!)

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