New here :-)

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Mon Mar 5 19:33:04 2001

Well, maybe it would work better, but I don't recall SI units being any more
easy to visualize than the "normal" metrics.

It's still easier, IMHO, to envision an inch as the width of a man's thumb, or a
foot as what it sounds like, or a cubit as the length from the tip of the middle
finger to the point of the elbow than it is to relate to a meter, which was
originally a totally arbitrary length, and the various decimal portions thereof.
It's easier to think of a mile, the distance covered by a thousand left
footprints of a marching army, than to contemplate a thousand meters (whatever
that is) in spite of the fact I know, for sure, that the meter is 39.37 of those
thumb-widths, or finger-segment lengths, or whatever, and, by simple virtue of
its name, I can easily envison roughly what's meant when someone says to use a
cup of tomato sauce, since I drink my coffee from a cup, even though the cup I
use holds 16 fl. oz.

I wouldn't pretend that the English systems of measures is "better" in any
sense, but I do believe that since it's based on things everyday people deal
with every day, it's a bit easier to relate to, hence use for everyday things.
It just makes more sense to visualize one of something I see every day, than to
contemplate so many milli-this's or kilo-that's. It's just human, and it's
human nature that resists the conversion to metric units.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Chad Fernandez" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: New here :-)

> That's exactly one of the reasons I so dislike the metric system. It
> seems to go from units that are too small to units that are too big.
> Plus, they don't mean a whole lot to me, which I admit is a matter of
> adjustment. Since I have been raised with American measurements, I
> don't think I would ever totally become accustomed to the metric system
> at the same level.
> Besides, I am an American, not a "fill in your favorite non-American
> here". The whole world doesn't have to use the same units, just like we
> don't all have to like the same old computers.
> If I were to use a metric system, I would rather use "SI" units. It is
> metric based, but a little different than generic "metric". It has been
> long enough since I had Physics, that I can't remember why, However.
> Chad Fernandez
> Michigan, USA
> Richard Erlacher wrote:
> >
> > What makes the transition to metric units more complicated is the
unhandiness of
> > some of the units, both physically and in terms of the references to them.
Received on Mon Mar 05 2001 - 19:33:04 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:34:02 BST