Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I love the English system

Other than the fact that the Metric system has no basis in everyday human experience,
it's wonderful. I like base 10 as much as the next person (it is the easiest "times"
to remember). BUT outside the scientific realm, it is my contention that the Imperial system is better. Granted I grew up with the Imperial system, but the fact remains that 12 is a very handy increment to use. I know metric heads will say 10 is easier, in scientific life it probably is, but in everyday life the English system rules. For example, say you lived in a cave by yourself, and you needed to build something (naturally you will need to measure things), so you are going to have to define a measurement system. How would you do that? Well, you would probably take a stick or some arbitrary distance, and then divide it to make a ruler. Say you assign the ruler a length of ten, okay, so fold it in half and you get five, 1/2 your ruler. So now you have to find smaller units, so you fold it into fourths, now what do you get? Well, if your scale is ten, you get 2 1/2. Well, that's kindof awkward and to be truthful, you don't need to assign numbers at all, you can just use the stick. If on the other hand, I decided that my stick represented 12 units (like 1 foot) half would be 6, half of that 3, one third is four etc. etc. Basically for real world everyday measuring 12 is MUCH better than ten. If you add in the fact that the metric system is based on non human measures, it becomes even more awkward. Teaspoons, Tablespoons, Cups and Pints are all common sizes that are found in kitchens around the world. And how many degrees are in a circle? Hey, what do you know, it's 360 which happens to be a multiple of 12. Okay so it's also a multiple of ten, but you get the point.


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