Why has the US refused to change to the metric system like the rest of the world?
We engineers would much rather be in the Metric system. Unfortunately, our commerce is controlled by a bunch of tight wad bean counting accountants. So they don't want to spend the money to make all the tooling changes.
The net result is two sets of tools, multiple methods for measurement, on the good side most Americans can switch back and forth between the two except for an occasional loss of an expensive satellite due to a bad conversion calculation.
A measurement system based on powers of 10 is so much better than feet, miles, fractions, etc.
Because you can have our inches and feet and yards when you take them FROM OUR COLD DEAD HANDS!!!! (shakes fist)
We tried it once--more than than 20 maybe 30 years ago, and it just did not catch on for a number of reasons. However, there is a slow movement toward that. Liquid medications are usually dispensed as milliliters (30 ml equals 1 ounce). Mechanics are having to stock metric and standard measure tools because the nuts and bolts on a foreign car are in metric measurements while the are in standard sizes on Americans cars.
Natural gas use to be sold my MCF (thousand cubic feet using the M from Roman numerals. Today it is sold as MMBTU (million British Thermal Units--selling energy and not volume).
The Olympic events every four years are measured in meters. Electricity usage is measured in kilowatts. Steps are being taken. They are just slow.
Will we ever make a complete change--probably--but it is probably going to take another 30 years or so? You cannot change a system of measurement overnight. Gasoline pumps still measure in gallons and not liters, scales at the deli are in pounds and not kilograms. There will be a tremendous investment that will have to be made and a greater effort to teach the general public the relationship between the two systems.
I remember there was a big push to teach us Metric system in school in the late '70s when I was in fourth or fifth grade. I recall the teacher telling us that it would be the standard in the U.S. by 1980, but eventually it just fizzled out.
i love the metric system,... a base 10 sytem is by far easier to use and teach,... but in a country that has a 200-300 year history of the kings knuckle and shoe size,... can you imagine if by command, we sudenly switched to metric?..... its not the idea of suddenly guying a litter of gas,... its the idea of not knowing how many square footage/meters of your home,... do you own 20 acres? or some pother number of something else?...... and if you are a home building contractor,... do you build the next new home to the metric system while doing a remodle on a standard home,.. and will the remodle be metric,.. or standard?..... and 20 years down the road,..... when you do electrical work on a home that has been remodled 7 times over its 70 year existance,... and 3 of those remodles were metric,... do you love the idea of trying to measure to find the studs and headers in THAT?
i'm proud of us for buying two sets of wrecnhes! lol
and while the rest of the world, for the most part, has the metric system,.. its because it was given to them as perhaps thier FIRST national standardized system, (or forced upon them at bayonet point).... this system of ours was given to us by our founders, the british, and when they switched to metric we thumbed our noses at them,... juvinile, but we did,.... so in a nation that prides itself in throwing off an opressive king,.... we are still measuring our small part of the universe using the KINGS knuckle and foot,.....
so while we give credit to the rest of the world for adopting the metric system,... they took it as thier first nationaly standardized system, they did not have a 300 year history of something else and then by magic decide to change,.......... even when england made the switch, a vast majority of its populace was illiterate,.... you changed the educated 10% of a pre-industrial nation,.... thats not at all the same ask asking a universaly educated nation 10 times the size to do the same.
all that said,.... i wish we could make the switch,..... but you'll naver make it complete,.... 3-400 years of the old is left behind,.... just the head ache at the land office would be epic! lol
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