US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

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US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Karl Palmen

Dear Amos and Calendar People

 

From: East Carolina University Calendar discussion List [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Amos Shapir
Sent: 29 August 2016 15:49
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

 

The way they do metric in the USA is to put up signs like I've seen in federal parks: "ELEVATION 609.60m (2000 ft)"  or even "WATER 15.24m (50 ft) =>".

 

KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression that they use feet and convert to metres for display purposes only.


Karl

 

15(15(30

 

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Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Walter J Ziobro
Dear Karl and Amos:

Possibly they replaced an earlier sign that was only in customary measurement, and didn't want to remeasure the distance in metric, and then move the sign to a new position.

-Walter Ziobro



-----Original Message-----
From: Karl Palmen <[hidden email]>
To: CALNDR-L <[hidden email]>
Sent: Thu, Sep 1, 2016 8:05 am
Subject: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Dear Amos and Calendar People
 
From: East Carolina University Calendar discussion List [[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Amos Shapir
Sent: 29 August 2016 15:49
To: CALNDR-[hidden email]
Subject: Re: Democratic Values Re: stand with me
 
The way they do metric in the USA is to put up signs like I've seen in federal parks: "ELEVATION 609.60m (2000 ft)"  or even "WATER 15.24m (50 ft) =>".
 
KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression that they use feet and convert to metres for display purposes only.

Karl
 
15(15(30
 
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Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Brij Bhushan metric VIJ
In reply to this post by Karl Palmen
Karl, sits: 
>KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression >that they use feet and convert to metres >for display purposes only.

>Karl

True, this is what I have called the half-hearted or hard conversion to convert to metric system of units; and the failure in United States even after 200-years of adoption of 'Convdntion du Metre'. 

In a way, better ideas were indeed needed to convert to Metric Norms - the whole hog way - where Empror Napoleon had not been rightly advised, by he team of Prior Côte d'Or and his lieutenants: while the calendar & time sub-units were included but Nautical Kilometre was ignored, keeping the NMile=1852 Metre. 

The death of Republican calendar and time, among SI metric System (Le Systeme International d'Unites) then, thus, was automatic, is my view?

Regards,

Brij Bhushan Vij, Author

Brij-Gregorian Modified Reformed calendar

Tuesday, 2017 February 14H22:45(decimal)


Sent from my iPhone



Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 1, 2016, at 5:05 AM, Karl Palmen <[hidden email]> wrote:

KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression that they use feet and convert to metres for display purposes only.


Karl

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Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Walter J Ziobro
Dear Karl and Brij:

In my opinion, Napoleon actually saved the metric system by redefining all the old units into convenient metric equivalents, in his system  of "mesures usuelles" See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesures_usuelles

 By doing so, he got the French to use the metric measures without even realizing it.  I have found that many countries actually made a successful transition to the metric system by redefining all the traditional measures into convenient metric equivalents.  Thailand is a good example of this; all the old measures are still in use, but redefined metrically.  See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_units_of_measurement

I have often thought that the US could do the same to ease the conversion.  For instance:

One foot could be redefined as 30 cm  (A very convenient number)

One pound could be 450 grams (Also a convenient number)

One fluid ounce could be 30 milliliters,

And so on, with many of the traditional units with the usual multiple and fractional values of each.

These redefined measures would all be within 2 percent of the traditional values, and so the variances would be barely noticeable for everyday purposes.

-Walter Ziobro




-----Original Message-----
From: Brij Bhushan metric VIJ <[hidden email]>
To: CALNDR-L <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Feb 15, 2017 12:30 am
Subject: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Karl, sits: 
>KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression >that they use feet and convert to metres >for display purposes only.
>Karl
True, this is what I have called the half-hearted or hard conversion to convert to metric system of units; and the failure in United States even after 200-years of adoption of 'Convdntion du Metre'. 
In a way, better ideas were indeed needed to convert to Metric Norms - the whole hog way - where Empror Napoleon had not been rightly advised, by he team of Prior Côte d'Or and his lieutenants: while the calendar & time sub-units were included but Nautical Kilometre was ignored, keeping the NMile=1852 Metre. 
The death of Republican calendar and time, among SI metric System (Le Systeme International d'Unites) then, thus, was automatic, is my view?
Regards,
Brij Bhushan Vij, Author
Brij-Gregorian Modified Reformed calendar
Tuesday, 2017 February 14H22:45(decimal)

Sent from my iPhone



Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 1, 2016, at 5:05 AM, Karl Palmen <[hidden email]> wrote:

KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression that they use feet and convert to metres for display purposes only.

Karl
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Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Amos Shapir-2
Hi Walter and calendar people,

The main trouble is, unlike France and Thailand at he time they moved to the metric system, in the USA currently most engineering is done using the traditional units; this includes a lot of databases and software, so conversion might be costly.

Scientists mostly use the metric system, but that does not help general acceptance, quite the opposite.  The federal government -- which by law is required to provide all measurements in metric units -- insists on using maximum precision digits for metric values, even where such accuracy is not required; this leaves the general public with the impression that the metric system is so complicated, only scientists in white frocks can understand it.
 

On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 7:41 AM, Walter J Ziobro <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Karl and Brij:

In my opinion, Napoleon actually saved the metric system by redefining all the old units into convenient metric equivalents, in his system  of "mesures usuelles" See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesures_usuelles

 By doing so, he got the French to use the metric measures without even realizing it.  I have found that many countries actually made a successful transition to the metric system by redefining all the traditional measures into convenient metric equivalents.  Thailand is a good example of this; all the old measures are still in use, but redefined metrically.  See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_units_of_measurement

I have often thought that the US could do the same to ease the conversion.  For instance:

One foot could be redefined as 30 cm  (A very convenient number)

One pound could be 450 grams (Also a convenient number)

One fluid ounce could be 30 milliliters,

And so on, with many of the traditional units with the usual multiple and fractional values of each.

These redefined measures would all be within 2 percent of the traditional values, and so the variances would be barely noticeable for everyday purposes.

-Walter Ziobro




-----Original Message-----
From: Brij Bhushan metric VIJ <[hidden email]>
To: CALNDR-L <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Feb 15, 2017 12:30 am
Subject: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Karl, sits: 
>KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression >that they use feet and convert to metres >for display purposes only.
>Karl
True, this is what I have called the half-hearted or hard conversion to convert to metric system of units; and the failure in United States even after 200-years of adoption of 'Convdntion du Metre'. 
In a way, better ideas were indeed needed to convert to Metric Norms - the whole hog way - where Empror Napoleon had not been rightly advised, by he team of Prior Côte d'Or and his lieutenants: while the calendar & time sub-units were included but Nautical Kilometre was ignored, keeping the NMile=1852 Metre. 
The death of Republican calendar and time, among SI metric System (Le Systeme International d'Unites) then, thus, was automatic, is my view?
Regards,
Brij Bhushan Vij, Author
Brij-Gregorian Modified Reformed calendar
Tuesday, 2017 February 14H22:45(decimal)

Sent from my iPhone



Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 1, 2016, at 5:05 AM, Karl Palmen <[hidden email]> wrote:

KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression that they use feet and convert to metres for display purposes only.

Karl



--
Amos Shapir
 
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Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Walter J Ziobro

Dear Amos

I thank you for your observation

I think that most common commercial items sold to the general public can tolerate a 2% adjustment without severe public resistance which is what I proposed

The more technical activities ought to be converted directly to metric Engineers are educated people They should be able to handle metric directly

Walter Ziobro

Sent from AOL Mobile Mail




On Thursday, February 16, 2017 Amos Shapir <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Walter and calendar people,

The main trouble is, unlike France and Thailand at he time they moved to the metric system, in the USA currently most engineering is done using the traditional units; this includes a lot of databases and software, so conversion might be costly.

Scientists mostly use the metric system, but that does not help general acceptance, quite the opposite.  The federal government -- which by law is required to provide all measurements in metric units -- insists on using maximum precision digits for metric values, even where such accuracy is not required; this leaves the general public with the impression that the metric system is so complicated, only scientists in white frocks can understand it.
 

On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 7:41 AM, Walter J Ziobro <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Karl and Brij:

In my opinion, Napoleon actually saved the metric system by redefining all the old units into convenient metric equivalents, in his system  of "mesures usuelles" See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesures_usuelles

 By doing so, he got the French to use the metric measures without even realizing it.  I have found that many countries actually made a successful transition to the metric system by redefining all the traditional measures into convenient metric equivalents.  Thailand is a good example of this; all the old measures are still in use, but redefined metrically.  See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_units_of_measurement

I have often thought that the US could do the same to ease the conversion.  For instance:

One foot could be redefined as 30 cm  (A very convenient number)

One pound could be 450 grams (Also a convenient number)

One fluid ounce could be 30 milliliters,

And so on, with many of the traditional units with the usual multiple and fractional values of each.

These redefined measures would all be within 2 percent of the traditional values, and so the variances would be barely noticeable for everyday purposes.

-Walter Ziobro




-----Original Message-----
From: Brij Bhushan metric VIJ <[hidden email]>
To: CALNDR-L <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Feb 15, 2017 12:30 am
Subject: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Karl, sits: 
>KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression >that they use feet and convert to metres >for display purposes only.
>Karl
True, this is what I have called the half-hearted or hard conversion to convert to metric system of units; and the failure in United States even after 200-years of adoption of 'Convdntion du Metre'. 
In a way, better ideas were indeed needed to convert to Metric Norms - the whole hog way - where Empror Napoleon had not been rightly advised, by he team of Prior Côte d'Or and his lieutenants: while the calendar & time sub-units were included but Nautical Kilometre was ignored, keeping the NMile=1852 Metre. 
The death of Republican calendar and time, among SI metric System (Le Systeme International d'Unites) then, thus, was automatic, is my view?
Regards,
Brij Bhushan Vij, Author
Brij-Gregorian Modified Reformed calendar
Tuesday, 2017 February 14H22:45(decimal)

Sent from my iPhone



Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 1, 2016, at 5:05 AM, Karl Palmen <[hidden email]> wrote:

KARL REPLIES: This gives the impression that they use feet and convert to metres for display purposes only.

Karl



--
Amos Shapir
 
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Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Amos Shapir-2
Hi Walter and calendar people,

The problem is not with the engineers; they surely can adapt easily and would love to use a consistent and robust system, and to avoid errors like the one which caused NASA to lose a spaceship to Mars (http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/ , https://www.wired.com/2010/11/1110mars-climate-observer-report/).

The main problem is convincing the people who would finance the transition that there is a real need to do that.  That NASA incident could be a good case in point.

On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 5:29 PM, Walter J Ziobro <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear Amos

I thank you for your observation

I think that most common commercial items sold to the general public can tolerate a 2% adjustment without severe public resistance which is what I proposed

The more technical activities ought to be converted directly to metric Engineers are educated people They should be able to handle metric directly

Walter Ziobro

Sent from AOL Mobile Mail




--
Amos Shapir
 
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Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Brij Bhushan metric VIJ
Walter, Amos all, sits:
>The more technical activities ought to be >converted directly to metric Engineers are >educated people They should be able to >handle metric directly.
My apology for butting in, sir. I think much can be achieved, if we want to THINK and apply Metric norms, while professing that we wish to belong to 'Metre & hence SI Metric Units' of measurements. Mere "hard conversions" may not bring fruits but to adopt relatively "Soft Metric Conversions" and place the 'conventional' units in parenthesis for say 5-years after the change processes gets accepted. 
It is time a hard decision is taken, and another 200-years are not wasted waiting for Thailand or Maysnmar to convert first and then United States follow suit. My humble submission may not be taken as arrogance, being a non-entity in US way of businesses. 
I recall my visiting US Metric Association office sometimes in 1985....or so while I was here trying to appraise 'some experts' to who I could reach then. It is he Thought & Application, which is likely to result - not my repeated harping, which I think I have done enough. India's Kali Era started on 3102 BCE February 17/18 (midnight). Why is my home page: http://www.brijvij.com - blocked, I cannot reach my own documents, sirs!
My regards to all USMA & Calendar experts,
Brij Bhushan metric Vij, Author
Brij-Gregorian Modified Calendar 
Thursday, 2017, February 16H11:58 (decimal)

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 16, 2017, at 9:05 AM, Amos Shapir <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Walter and calendar people,

The problem is not with the engineers; they surely can adapt easily and would love to use a consistent and robust system, and to avoid errors like the one which caused NASA to lose a spaceship to Mars (http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/ , https://www.wired.com/2010/11/1110mars-climate-observer-report/).

The main problem is convincing the people who would finance the transition that there is a real need to do that.  That NASA incident could be a good case in point.

On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 5:29 PM, Walter J Ziobro <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear Amos

I thank you for your observation

I think that most common commercial items sold to the general public can tolerate a 2% adjustment without severe public resistance which is what I proposed

The more technical activities ought to be converted directly to metric Engineers are educated people They should be able to handle metric directly

Walter Ziobro

Sent from AOL Mobile Mail




--
Amos Shapir
 
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Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Bill Spencer
In reply to this post by Amos Shapir-2

US conversion to metric is always a fun conversation.  I’ve had a series of these conversations over on Quora over the last year.

 

Yeah, I have to laugh every time I see a US sign like, "ELEVATION 609.60m (2000 ft)".  I’m sure the 2000 ft is +/- 2 or 3 feet at best, so the centimeter precision in the metric elevation is ridiculous.  (You think, when some car knocks down the sign, they go back and re-survey it to get it re-positioned right where it’s 60,960 cm above sea level??  Or move the sign when they slap another layer of tarmac over the roadway??)

 

Of course, metric and SI aren’t perfect either.  But, excluding the US, at least they’re universal.

 

The consensus from the UK conversion (starting 1965) is that, now that nearly everyone alive was raised on the metric system, the UK will never go back (despite Brexit, and despite the roads in miles and weight in stone/pounds).  But it took killing off all the old people to achieve (almost) full conversion.  I think that’s probably a good yardstick (!) by which to measure other countries.

 

US Engineers *COULD* change to metric over, say, a 6 month period.  There would be some pain, and “old” engineers would, for many years, ask now how much is that in feet again?  But engineers are mathematically trained, and could change, like the scientists already did.

 

The rest of the culture, not so easy.  It’s a real pain to take Grandma’s cookie recipe and convert it to metric, especially when a cup of flour doesn’t translate to ml, it translates to g.

 

We could soften it up, as suggested, by calling 30 cm a “foot”, and 250 ml a “cup”, and 450 g a “pound”.  But we really would want an integer submultiple of the main unit.  A 25 cm “foot”, 4 ft = 1 m.  500 g = 1 “pound”, etc.  30 cm is very close to a foot, but it’s a pain in the a** to convert feet to metres then.  (Multiply by 10/3.)

 

But let me arrive at three main points:

 

  1. It is incredibly expensive.  (Not that every other country hasn’t survived the expense already.)  But it will cost a lot of money.  Imagine just the roads.  Every single speed limit sign replaced.  Every single distance sign replaced.  Presumably, even renumbering the “mile markers” along every highway.  And getting people to read the tiny little kmph numbers on their speedometers instead of the great big mph numbers.  And, HOPEFULLY, they just go cold turkey, and make the freeways 120 kmph, instead of putting up some kind of a dual units sign, and then 10 years later replacing it AGAIN.  And that’s just ONE little change.

 

  1. It isn’t the measurements, it’s the standards.  If you take a 2x4 piece of lumber, you can easily relabel it 3.81 cm x 8.89 cm x 2.44 m. 

    But if you REALLY go metric, then you switch to a 5x10 cm piece of lumber 2.5 m long.  That changes the height of the ceiling and the thickness of the walls in every new home in America.  And the spacing between these “studs” would change from 16 in = 40.64 cm, probably to 50 cm between 5x10 cm’s.  (And note, just like an American 2x4 is really only 1½“ x 3½“, a European 5x10 cm timber is not 5 cm or 10 cm, either.)

    You could relabel every 12 fl oz beverage as 355 ml.  But if you change to a metric standard, 250 ml, 300 ml, 350 ml, 400 ml, 500 ml – you would have to replace every single beverage vending machine in America.

    You can replace every 2x4 ft lighting panel with 60 x 120 cm lighting panels.  But the hole size to put it in is a little smaller, and then you need different light bulbs – so you change out to LEDs, etc.  It’s a big deal.

 

  1. WHY?  The bottom line for the US is WHY.  (Unfortunately, this is a LOT like changing the calendar!)  People would experience PAIN to change.  They need a REALLY, REALLY compelling reason.  Sure, imports and exports would be a bit easier.  But most people never touch an importer or an exporter.  Sure, converting units between, say, ounces and barrels would be a lot easier if you converted from ml to Kl.  But nobody actually does conversions like that, except for scientists who are already metric.

    Even places where it does not matter at all which units are used, haven’t changed.  Look at oil, traded by the barrel, even though it is never actually put into a barrel, but stays in a pipeline, tank, or tanker ship.  Yes, 1 m3 = 6.2898 bbl but why not just trade in m3?  It would be an instantaneous conversion to all the trading systems to change from $/bbl to $/m3.  And the supertankers can stay the same size, with a new label painted on.  Canadians convert to bbl as it crosses the border.  Royal Dutch Shell converts US bbl to m3 for their financial reports, and Exxon Mobil converts the other way.  But no one will permanently convert the US oil industry to metric.

    The US will never change to the metric system until it has a good reason to.  And, short of sliding from the 1st World into at least the 2nd World, and becoming desperate for export business, I sure can’t think of a single good-enough reason.

 

All those years I spent in the ‘70s learning to convert to the metric system were entirely wasted.  The US’s tease of conversion laws was only a tease.  It isn’t going to happen.

 

It turns out, even our 2L plastic soft drink bottle was just a 1970 advertising stunt by Pepsi Cola, something more futuristic (and cheaper) than a glass half-gallon bottle, back in the years when everyone thought metric was just around the corner…

 

L

 

Bill Spencer

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Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US

Christoph Päper-2
Bill Spencer <[hidden email]>:
>
> US conversion to metric is always a fun conversation.

Depends on your definition of ‘fun’, but many people around here have even less realistic goals regarding calendar reform.

> Of course, metric and SI aren’t perfect either.  But, excluding the US, at least they’re universal.

Yes, that’s a difference from most proposed calendar reforms, because the new designs aren’t in use yet (except for some counter examples, e.g. ISO week date). Currency reforms are also similar, and we managed the transition to the euro in every-day life just fine – there were glitches and bumps of course.

> The rest of the culture, not so easy.  It’s a real pain to take Grandma’s cookie recipe and convert it to metric, especially when a cup of flour doesn’t translate to ml, it translates to g.

As if her cup was calibrated or the flour density routinely monitored back in her day.

> We could soften it up, as suggested, by calling 30 cm a “foot”, and 250 ml a “cup”, and 450 g a “pound”.

With the UK leaving, I imagine the EU could redefine English units as approximate measures (with some large margin, like 10%), such that a “pound” packaging could contain 450 g, 454 g, 500 g or anything in between. That’s daydreaming, of course.

> • It is incredibly expensive.  (Not that every other country hasn’t survived the expense already.)  But it will cost a lot of money.  Imagine just the roads.  Every single speed limit sign replaced.  Every single distance sign replaced.

The US could adopt standard international signage at the same time, i.e. black digits on white or yellow background inside a red circle for speed limits. Actual US federal regulations (from the 1970s) prescribe a different design, though. On the other hand, Puerto Rico could finally become the 51st state.

> And, HOPEFULLY, they just go cold turkey, and make the freeways 120 kmph, instead of putting up some kind of a dual units sign, and then 10 years later replacing it AGAIN.

Sure. Americans would also have to learn simple, regular standards for derived units, i.e. ‘km/h’ instead of ‘kmph’ or ‘kph’. ;)

> • It isn’t the measurements, it’s the standards.  If you take a 2x4 piece of lumber, you can easily relabel it 3.81 cm x 8.89 cm x 2.44 m.  

Like the standard NATO 7.62 mm bullet, i.e. 0.3 inch, or like the floppy disk or the original iPhone screen labeled as 3½ inch but actually measuring 9 cm. It’s just labels, and with globalization and (free) trade agreements, harmonization of international standards is a good thing.

> But if you REALLY go metric, then you switch to a 5x10 cm piece of lumber 2.5 m long.  That changes the height of the ceiling and the thickness of the walls in every new home in America.

There is such a thing as tolerance, as anyone who has ever had to fix a screw from the other side of the ocean can tell you – or can’t, because they didn’t really notice. Anyhow, there are indeed conventions involving even numbers in traditional units that cannot (and probably should not) be changed easily. After all, most countries did not switch to 1000mm railroads.

> You could relabel every 12 fl oz beverage as 355 ml.  But if you change to a metric standard, 250 ml, 300 ml, 350 ml, 400 ml, 500 ml – you would have to replace every single beverage vending machine in America.

They are routinely replaced or updated anyhow, and often can deal with other sizes already because a single model is designed to fit many markets through changing software settings (and perhaps even without simple changes to the hardware).

> • WHY?  The bottom line for the US is WHY.

Competitive advantages in a global marketplace, or really: less disadvantages. Also, the EU should have put metrication (e.g. metric-only labeling) as a mandatory requirement into ACTA/TTIP/CETA…

> But most people never touch an importer or an exporter.

Or so they think.

> Even places where it does not matter at all which units are used, haven’t changed.  Look at oil, traded by the barrel, even though it is never actually put into a barrel, but stays in a pipeline, tank, or tanker ship.  Yes, 1 m3 = 6.2898 bbl but why not just trade in m3?

I thought crude oil was really traded by the (metric) tonne, i.e. by weight not volume.
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Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Bill Spencer
In reply to this post by Amos Shapir-2

Brij, you are as welcome to weigh in on US metrication as anyone!  Living in the US is not the requirement.  Coming up with a good motivation IS a requirement, and the fact that the rest of the world does it is NOT a good reason. 

 

The people I talk to who want the US to convert to metric are NEVER Americans.

 

(The US elected Trump, in part, because the previous government was paying too much attention to the rest of the world and not enough to Americans.)

 

--------

 

The US has converted to metric many times.

 

The PROBLEM is that there is always a back door, an exception, a way out – and everyone takes it.

 

In the 1990s, the Federal government built a new Federal building in St Louis.  It was mandated that metric units be used in every way possible – EXCEPT where use of the metric units would cause any increase in cost.  Of course, building materials in US standard sizes were readily available, and ones fitting metric units were not – would have to be imported at least in part, which then would both cost more and also violate the BUY AMERICAN clause in the contract.

 

But they found one way to comply with the law. 

 

When they bought concrete, it comes in big trucks, and you can label the truck in cubic yards or cubic meters – it doesn’t matter.  If you need 12 trucks worth of concrete, all the units change is how the bill is printed.  SO!  They taught one concrete salesman how to convert from cubic yards to cubic meters, and they took their concrete price ($/cu yds) and converted it to $/cu m, and negotiated the contract.  Then, as they built the building, every night the construction foreman would decide how many cubic yards of concrete he needed delivered the next day.  His purchasing agent was taught how to convert from cubic yards to cubic meters, and he placed the order with the concrete company.  The concrete company had one salesman who was taught how to convert from cubic meters to cubic yards, and he took the foreman’s order and converted it into cubic yards, and ordered that much concrete to be loaded and delivered.  Then, the process was reversed for billing; the concrete company figuring the bill in cubic yards, converting it to cubic meters and submitting an invoice, the government paying based on the $/cubic meter negotiated rate.

 

THAT was the only thing in that building to be built using metric.

 

--------

 

The US has been perpetually trying to trick itself into going metric.  There seems to be some sort of idea that it is “GOOD”, but at the same time, scary, painful, and expensive.  If a citizen asks, how does metric help ME, no one can give him an answer – because it doesn’t.  There really is no way at all that it actually would help the average American.  No new jobs for them.  No more pay for them.  Just painful learning and painful change.  So no one pressures the politicians to convert – in fact, to resist conversion as much as possible.  And so the US Federal government mandates metric, except not if it’s “hard”.  So metric never happens.

 

And the US conversion is hurt by the fact that the whole rest of the world has not gone completely to metric.  (Except the Chinese, I understand – the only country not to sell Troy ounces of gold, but g and Kg.)  The British with their miles and yards and mph on the roads.  And selling petrol by the litre, but calculating fuel efficiency in mpg.  (The only remaining use of the Imperial gallon.)  And, most importantly, selling pints at the local pub, and pints of milk at the market.  And international aviation setting altitudes in feet.  And many other countries with their own local “supplemental units”, instead of just the metric system.  And even oddities like, instead of selling electricity by the J (= W*s), they sell it by the kW-hr.  (1 kW-hr = 3.6 MJ).  And I don’t EVEN want to get into the calorie debate – chemists measure reaction energies in kJ, biologists measure the SAME reaction energies in Kcal (which differ by *4.2), and then there are Big Calories and little calories.  And somehow that makes more sense than Imperial or USCS?

 

I thought, when politicians need to add jobs to stimulate the economy, they build infrastructure projects.  What better infrastructure project than replacing every speed limit sign in America??

 

California was unique, in that its freeways were built before Federal highway standards were released, and it was given an exemption from complying with the highway rules to label all exits with an exit number that matches the nearest mile marker.  (So people can figure out, from the mile marker, how far away any given exit is.)  California labelled its freeway exits, but just with street names or city names, not exit numbers.  But, as the 21st Century approached, California FINALLY started numbering its exits. 

 

I was thrilled – the most populous state had to replace every one of its exit signs.  They could go metric for free!  Just make the mile markers and exit numbers in km, instead of miles.  The sign maker didn’t care which numbers he put on the signs, it cost the same.  But Federal standards were for mile markers and mile-numbered exits, and California started doing that. And about 2/3 of the signs in the state got either replaced, or modified, with exit numbers, and then California lost interest, and state funding went elsewhere.  Even high tech California couldn’t replace all its exit signs, after it got the political will and budget.  The will and the budget died.  It couldn’t replace them all in USCS units – and no way was it going to pay to replace them for metric units!

 

Yes, it’s going to be a long time before the US sees km/h numbers in red circles in nice international signs. :-)

 

Bill

 

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The Start Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Brij Bhushan metric VIJ
Bill Spenser, sirs:
> The US has been perpetually trying to trick >itself into going metric.  There seems to be >some sort of idea that it is “GOOD”, but at >the same time, scary, painful, and >expensive.  >If a citizen asks, how does >metric help ME, no one can give him an >answer – because it doesn’t.  There really is >no way at all that it actually would help the >average American.  >No new jobs for them.  >No more pay for them.  Just painful >learning >and painful change.  So no one >pressures the politicians to convert – in >fact, to resist conversion as much as >possible.  And so the US Federal >government mandates metric, except not if >it’s “hard”.  So metric never happens.

I thank you for your views and supporting the cause where I have tried to home in for US adopting the SI way, along with rest of the world, rather submitting to 'Traders win-win' situation fleecing the consumer. During my past 45-years, I have resisted my children/family for their rejection of "Drain to my personal thought & commitment" to accepted advantages in adoption of Le Systeme Internationale d'Unites (SI). I can understand their resentment.
Perhaps US economy survives by pulling its drain from 'consumer's pocket'; and the little boy in school is deprived of his early learning or the labor forces not getting enough need to LEARN metric! The lady at home is happy devoting her 'extra time/energy' making her home adjust to the current needs of daily chores. Guess the savings in just Never Printed the calendar alone!
Man's nature is like the flowing water to get drained towards the easier down-flow, into unproductive block holes. Contractors make their easy money in mere converting, as you rightly point BUT it is the implementing scouts who need be 'supported for their zeal' in getting/industry loop-holes plugged. To me it has now become an aimless wandering into the jungle - creating/ finding newer patches, going forwards - against the flowing current.
My tryst with reforming the Gregorian calendar has taken some positive turn and feel there is SIGHT - again I am too small to break through the IRON-GATES of established norms, thus showing my Easiest, Surest, and Cheapest way for projecting the developed calendar, a way to break-away from traditional thinking - to slip into the current format of calendar as: Brij-Gregorian Modified Rhyme calendar discussed over the years, since 1971....! True, I have done no favour to any one - nor even my children who deserved better life/understanding. I have reasons to be happy that I have left reasonable material for generations to follow up, if I fail during my life-time. I have NO reasons to be over reactive! A start need be made, sir.
Thanks for your patience.
My regards,
Brij Bhushan metric VIJ, Author
Brij-Gregorian Modified Calendar
Friday, 2017 February 17H09:93 (decimal)
Sent from my iPhone


> On Feb 17, 2017, at 1:15 AM, Bill Spencer <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The US has been perpetually trying to trick itself into going metric.  There seems to be some sort of idea that it is “GOOD”, but at the same time, scary, painful, and expensive.  If a citizen asks, how does metric help ME, no one can give him an answer – because it doesn’t.  There really is no way at all that it actually would help the average American.  No new jobs for them.  No more pay for them.  Just painful learning and painful change.  So no one pressures the politicians to convert – in fact, to resist conversion as much as possible.  And so the US Federal government mandates metric, except not if it’s “hard”.  So metric never happens.
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Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Michael H Deckers
In reply to this post by Bill Spencer
     On 2017-02-16 23:04, Bill Spencer wrote:


> 1. It is incredibly expensive.  (Not that every other country hasn’t survived the expense already.)  But it will cost a lot of money.  Imagine just the roads.  Every single speed limit sign replaced.  Every single distance sign replaced.  Presumably, even renumbering the “mile markers” along every highway.  And getting people to read the tiny little kmph numbers on their speedometers instead of the great big mph numbers.  And, HOPEFULLY, they just go cold turkey, and make the freeways 120 kmph, instead of putting up some kind of a dual units sign, and then 10 years later replacing it AGAIN.  And that’s just ONE little change.

    Replacing speed signs in units mi/h by signs with unit km/h would
not only be
    expensive, it also would not help make the US metric. Neither mi/h
nor km/h are
    SI units -- the coherent metric unit for speed is m/s (and its
decimal multiples
    and submultiples).

    Michael Deckers.
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Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

Phil De Rosa
Yes you are right Michael.   It will cost the tax payer money, but it is
well worth it, plus it created some albeit temporary jobs.   Canada and the
rest of the British Commonwealth of Nations changed over to the Metric
System back around the mid 1970s.

Plus some of countries changed their currency also to the simple US type of
system of 100 cents to the dollar making banking and shopping easier but
costing money for cash register alterations, for which at least the Canadian
Government paid some of the conversion costs.

In Canada we find everything so much simpler now.   Only the US, Myanmar,
and Liberia haven't officially or fully converted to using only the Metric
System.

As Trump says "America may be Great' but it is nearly always the last to
give up its' outmoded ways and change to fall in line with the rest of the
World.

Phil De Rosa

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael H Deckers
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:39 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US Re: US National Park
Measurements RE: Democratic Values Re: stand with me

     On 2017-02-16 23:04, Bill Spencer wrote:


> 1. It is incredibly expensive.  (Not that every other country hasn’t
> survived the expense already.)  But it will cost a lot of money.  Imagine
> just the roads.  Every single speed limit sign replaced.  Every single
> distance sign replaced.  Presumably, even renumbering the “mile markers”
> along every highway.  And getting people to read the tiny little kmph
> numbers on their speedometers instead of the great big mph numbers.  And,
> HOPEFULLY, they just go cold turkey, and make the freeways 120 kmph,
> instead of putting up some kind of a dual units sign, and then 10 years
> later replacing it AGAIN.  And that’s just ONE little change.

    Replacing speed signs in units mi/h by signs with unit km/h would
not only be
    expensive, it also would not help make the US metric. Neither mi/h
nor km/h are
    SI units -- the coherent metric unit for speed is m/s (and its
decimal multiples
    and submultiples).

    Michael Deckers.
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Re: Think Metric Re: Metric Norms in US

Christoph Päper-2
Phil De Rosa <[hidden email]>:
>
> Only the US, Myanmar, and Liberia haven't officially or fully converted to using only the Metric System.

Are you sure that’s actually true? I’m not, even if it has been repeated very often. Therefore I’ve asked about it here:

<http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/37325/only-the-us-liberia-and-myanmar-are-not-metric>