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United States Politics Science

White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care 1145

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-yielding-an-inch dept.
Earlier this year we discussed a petition on the White House's 'We The People' site asking the administration to adopt the metric system as the standard system of measurement in the U.S. Today, the administration issued a disappointing response. Simply put: they're not going to do anything about it. They frame their response as a matter of preserving a citizen's choice to adopt whatever measurement system he wants. Quoting Patrick D. Gallagher of the National Institute of Standards and Technology: "... contrary to what many people may think, the U.S. uses the metric system now to define all basic units used in commerce and trade. At the same time, if the metric system and U.S. customary system are languages of measurement, then the United States is truly a bilingual nation. ... Ultimately, the use of metric in this country is a choice and we would encourage Americans to continue to make the best choice for themselves and for the purpose at hand and to continue to learn how to move seamlessly between both systems. In our voluntary system, it is the consumers who have the power to make this choice. So if you like, "speak" metric at home by setting your digital scales to kilograms and your thermometers to Celsius. Cook in metric with liters and grams and set your GPS to kilometers. ... So choose to live your life in metric if you want, and thank you for signing on."
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White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

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  • Start here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeoSanDiego (703197) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:07PM (#43817091)
    A good place to start would be on all of the federal highway signs.
    • Re:Start here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by countach44 (790998) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:09PM (#43817103)
      Actually, there are limited places in the US that do this: Metric Road Signs in the US [colostate.edu] I think this is something that could be voted on at the municipality/state level and could eventually work its way nationally.
    • Re:Start here (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UltraZelda64 (2309504) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:13PM (#43817141)

      "55 MPH" seems fine to me. I don't have a problem with adding KPH readings to the signs, but if they want to claim that they are truly "bilingual" with measurements, then having both MPH and KPH would make the most sense...

      • Re:Start here (Score:5, Informative)

        by mark-t (151149) <`markt' `at' `lynx.bc.ca'> on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:26PM (#43817273) Journal

        When Canada was switching to metric, dual signage was common. The km/h value was shown first, and the mph was shown in a smaller (but still quite readable) font below it. Usage of "km/h" or "mph" was explicit, to ensure there was no ambiguity.

        This transition period lasted for quite some time, and after a while, the signs were ultimately replaced with speed limits listing strictly in km/h (and often the "km/h" was no longer present as well).

        • Re:Start here (Score:5, Informative)

          by Solandri (704621) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:56PM (#43818703)
          This. I think most folks have the wrong idea about how a society actually changes. The people themselves don't change. Once someone is about in their mid-20s or 30s, their habits and preferences become ingrained and are highly unlikely to ever change for the rest of their lives. You're not going to be able to convince them to use metric, so don't even bother trying. Instead, you take advantage of the fact that people grow old and die, and are constantly replaced by younger people.

          You introduce a new system in a way that it doesn't upset the older generation while giving the younger generation a chance to get used to it. Then you wait for the older generation to die off. Then you abandon the old system. So introduce signage in both metric and English. Wait a generation or two until the bulk of the population is used to both systems. Then you phase out the English system.
          • Re:Start here (Score:5, Informative)

            by mark-t (151149) <`markt' `at' `lynx.bc.ca'> on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:37PM (#43818879) Journal

            They didn't wait a generation.... the conversion started in Canada, in earnest, in about 1971, and was completed over the course of about 10 years.

            Oddly enough, about 5 years after the decade-long process of Canada's conversion to Metric was completed, our then-prime minister ended up abolishing the regulations that really enabled the conversion to happen in the first place. Switching back, since it was not actually legislated any more, was simply too inconvenient, and Canada remained on the metric system ever since.

            • Re:Start here (Score:4, Interesting)

              by KGIII (973947) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @02:40AM (#43819751) Journal

              Unfortunately, in America, those without digital dashboards have the k/ph text in a much smaller font and on a much smaller scale making precision nearly impossible or, at best, difficult. Mandating the reverse would be a good idea but the number of old cars on the road means that's still a problem. It isn't an insurmountable problem but a problem nonetheless. I still, of course, support a complete switch to metric and (oddly enough, I am usually very opposed to any additional legislation with few exceptions, this being one of them) wouldn't mind it being federally mandated.

              A part of me thinks it should be mandated just so I can hear the various sides howl like banshees at each other. Did I mention that I'm easily amused? My countrymen are straight up retarded for the most part and, unfortunately, that is bipartisan.

              Anyhow, I think the simplest means of advocating the metric unit of measurement is this:

              Using just your head, what is 16.2% of a meter?
              Using just your head, what is 16.2% of a yard?

              Simpler means fewer chances to have errors. As an American I can say, with complete certainty, that we need simplicity here.

      • Re:Start here (Score:4, Informative)

        by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:49PM (#43817469)

        "55 MPH" seems fine to me. I don't have a problem with adding KPH readings to the signs, but if they want to claim that they are truly "bilingual" with measurements, then having both MPH and KPH would make the most sense...

        They did that in Florida. People kept stealing the signs.

        Then they raised the speed limit and dropped the metric numbers.

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:06PM (#43817625) Homepage

        meters per second or nothing! :P

    • by Molochi (555357) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:15PM (#43817165)

      Be we decided that provinciality was a smaller sacrifice than the cost of the paint.

    • Re:Start here (Score:5, Informative)

      by waddgodd (34934) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:17PM (#43817189) Homepage Journal

      They did that once, ISTR the mileage (kilometerage?) sign on I-15 between Blackfoot and Pocatello, Idaho being in both Miles and Kilometers in about '75-'77ish (I was a bit young at the time), but since it was during the Carter administration, of course it HAD to be undone because fuck Democrats. I can't remember exactly when I-15 signs were changed over to strictly miles, but I think it was the late eighties. So until we get over this two-party backbiting festival in DC, it does us no good to even try to do good things.

      • Re:Start here (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:16PM (#43818473)

        I really don't think measurements are a political party thing. There's no major religious argument in favor of it (keword: major) akin to say evolution vs creationism, and there's no party line that we have to use X system. It's just that average joe's prefer things a certain way.

        Ever since I was in the Army, I've always written my dates as 12-FEB-09, and sometimes when I do so, somebody gives me shit because I don't use the same date format that "everybody else" uses, and it is never a conservative or liberal thing. I could see maybe if I wrote 12/02/09, which would easily be interpreted as either december 9th or february 12th, but I like that date format for the same reason that the Army uses it as standard: There is no ambiguity. No matter what day of the month it is, the date/month is obvious, but people still complain to me about it anyways.

        Likewise, I could see why they'd complain even more about measurements. It's hard to mentally picture units that you aren't used to thinking in without doing a manual conversion.

        And FFS I'm sick of this constant political divisiveness just for the sake of political divisiveness. Stop pointing fingers at the "other side" just because something doesn't go your way. If you stop to look for a second, you'll often find that members of the "other side" agree with you on more things than you realize.

        • Re:Start here (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25, 2013 @01:35AM (#43819565)

          Ever since I was in the Army, I've always written my dates as 12-FEB-09, and sometimes when I do so, somebody gives me shit because I don't use the same date format that "everybody else" uses, and it is never a conservative or liberal thing. I could see maybe if I wrote 12/02/09, which would easily be interpreted as either december 9th or february 12th, but I like that date format for the same reason that the Army uses it as standard: There is no ambiguity

          So is that 12th Feb 2009, or 9th Feb 2012?

    • by Microsift (223381)

      And don't forget bank thermometers

    • Re:Start here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Miamicanes (730264) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:58PM (#43817563)

      Every time a state starts printing metric speed limits, it inevitably ends up rounding the limit DOWN.

      I remember one failed experiment where FDOT (Florida) tried to be cute and put up signs declaring "44kph" to be the metric equivalent of 30mph (it's only 27mph). The signs were SO hated, most of them got vandalized beyond recognition within a month, and pretty much ALL of them had the "44" spray painted, X'ed (with black markers), or shot out (with BBs, paintball pellets, or real honest-to-god bullets) by the time FDOT took them down and replaced them with 30mph signs. FDOT later admitted that it was a mistake.

      If you want the public to accept metric speed limits, roll them out with a big public campaign that emphasizes that the limits are being RAISED everywhere by up to 5mph. Instantly, metric speed limits will become popular and cool among drivers. Declare 115kph (71.45mph) to be the equivalent of 70mph, and drivers will like them. Round it up to 120kph (74.56mph), and drivers will LOVE them. Try pulling another FDOT stunt by putting up signs saying "70mph/111kph", and they'll get vandalized beyond recognition within days.

    • Re:Start here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cdecoro (882384) on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:05PM (#43817617)

      That would be the last place to start, as it would cost a fortune to replace all of the highway signs. Not only that, but also all of the mile markers, for which most states have every 1/10 of a mile. Moreover, contrary to what some people have implied, the numbers are generally not painted on, they're fabricated from other materials and overlaid. And for what? So we can convert the length of our commute into a multiple of our height, or something else of the sort? Yes, it's absolutely absurd that there are 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, and I-don't-even-know-how-many yards in a mile (and yes, I've heard of Google/Wikipedia; but I just don't care). The truth is, I never need to convert inches into miles. You measure human-scale things in feet and inches, travelling distances in miles.

      On the other hand, you know where we should start: volumetric measurements. I have frequently had a recipe that takes some number of teaspoons of a liquid, while having measuring cups measured in (naturally) cups, and nutritional information in ounces. Oh, and keep in mind that most tea spoons are significantly larger than a teaspoon. And then there's tablespoons, pints, quarts, gallons, barrels, and who knows what else. This is a lot harder to keep straight, and unlike miles to inches, sometimes you actually need to convert between these.

      Add into the mix the problem that pints differ from place to place (either 16 or 20 oz), and "ounce" is both a volumetric measure and a weight measure. Obviously, if you have something that's clearly a solid or a liquid, it's clear which is which. But what about, say, frozen yogurt. When the self-serve froyo place sells by the ounce, and posts calories by the ounce, it would only be reasonable to think that these are the same ounces. It would also be wrong.

      Moreover, in the case of volumetric measures, not only do you have a real problem, but an easier solution: most of the containers that hold liquids are disposable anyways, and constantly manufactured (i.e. food). All that would need to be done is to make containers that are metric-sized, and printed with metric labels, rather than Imperial. In fact, we're closer to that already. By law, all wine and distilled alcohol must be sold in one of several metric sizes (for distilled, it is 375 mL, 750 mL, 1L, 1.75 L, if I recall correctly). Soda is frequently sold in 2 L bottles.

      Do that, let people see that metric actually saves time and hassle, and then go about changing other measurements. Weight would probably be the easiest to transition next, followed by lengths for things other than highway signs. (No one will care that they can't easily convert meters into miles, just as they don't care that they can't convert feet into miles). But please don't try to start with highway signs. Or bother with highway signs at all, for that matter. They are the death of metricfication in the US, and insistence on them is only counterproductive to the rest of your goals.

      • Re:Start here (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rHBa (976986) on Friday May 24, 2013 @08:59PM (#43818389)

        Moreover, in the case of volumetric measures, not only do you have a real problem, but an easier solution: most of the containers that hold liquids are disposable anyways, and constantly manufactured (i.e. food). All that would need to be done is to make containers that are metric-sized, and printed with metric labels, rather than Imperial.

        FWIW, this became a legal requirement in the UK 20+(?) years ago when we joined the EU and we have just about assimilated metric measures of volume and weight when it comes to consumables.

        Also noteworthy, the building industry also works in metric these days, although there are many builders who still think in ft/in a lot of the materials are sold in metric sizes, i.e the width of a standard sheet of plaster board (sheet rock) dictates how you space your studs.

        However, street signs are still in MPH and most people still measure their body weight in Stones and their height in Feet and Inches.

        It takes a while but the ability to trade with neighbouring countries makes it worth it...

      • Re:Start here (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sun (104778) <shachar@shemesh.biz> on Saturday May 25, 2013 @02:35AM (#43819735) Homepage

        Almost a decade ago, I was in a trip to the USA. I was very surprised to see Liter used for car engine sizes (here they usually use cubic centimeters, which are exactly 1/1000, so not a real problem).

        I remember strolling through a supermarket, and looking at the soda bottles, which were bigger than the 1.5L bottles common here. I picked one up to see what size it was. I guess most readers know the answer - it was 2 liters. I remember wondering how come Americans are willing to use a metric unit.

        So I asked a vendor. His answer was "This isn't a metric unit. It's liter".
        So I asked him how much was a liter, and his answer was something along the lines of "33.8 ounces" (without blinking of stopping to think about it).

        Which, of course, got me my answer. The reason Americans are using a metric unit is because they don't know it's metric.

        The problem with your proposal is that, if implemented that way, means just adding another unit to the mix, without exposing people to the main advantage that the metric system has to offer. That does not bode well for a "migration path".

        You should add to that the fact that volume realization is hard. I'll give a couple of examples. First, bear in mind that the two units people are, more or less, familiar with are a milliliter (1 cubic centimeter = 1/1000 of a liter) and a liter.

        The first was when a company I worked for ordered a certain amount of boxes for their product. We were trying to figure out whether we have where to store them. I made the calculation, based on box size, and figured the entire bunch would require a little less than 2 cubic meters (around 1.8). We sort of made a hand gesture estimate and figured it was not that much. Boy, were we wrong. We ended up using up every spare cabinet and space in the office. Lesson learned: a cubic meter is a lot.

        The happened just yesterday. I was telling my wife we will have to remove some soil from our garden to make space for extra flooring. She said "we'll be giving that to friends, right?". I told her it was about 500 liters of soil. I then made a quick mental calculation. We'll need about 12 squared meter of flooring, and the base is about half a meter deep. 6000 liters. Assuming soil is half as dense than water (it was while driving, so I couldn't look it up), you get 3 tons of soil. My instinct was off by a factor of 10, and her instinct was off by a factor of 1000.

        This doesn't mean this is useless. Can you make this same calculation, off the top of your head, using imperial units? Metric does simplify things quite considerably. It's just that, specifically for volumes, that is a hard problem to solve.

        Shachar

    • by Krishnoid (984597) *
      Or you could start with our less advantaged [theonion.com] citizens.
    • by mypalmike (454265) on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:55PM (#43818007) Homepage

      Given that relativity is well established, those signs should be unitless. Instead of 55 mph, just have them say 0.000000082.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:11PM (#43817117)

    The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.
    ----
    The Simpsons, Abraham Simpson

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:11PM (#43817127)

    The petition site isn't a method for legislative fiat. If you want the metric system adopted talk to your Congress person. The president can't force adoption of the metric system. Jesus, people, the president can't even enter bills into Congress and you want him to just pass the fucking law personally? You have representatives for that.

  • by bokmann (323771) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:12PM (#43817131) Homepage

    The country doesn't have a national language, despite the fact that the majority speak English... so why do we think the Federal government could just mandate metric? Hell, even if they tried, a bunch of angry southern congressman would probably cry 'states rights'. Thanks Obama.

    The cooking channel, the car dealers, gas stations and everyone reading this response could start speaking metric tomorrow if they wanted too... about the only thing that would seem awkward on the green highway mile markers and speed limit signs... and we already largely ignore those...

    If you think you care so much about metric, why can't you tell me how many liters per 100 km your car takes? Its *your* car... no one is stopping you.

    • by Chuckstar (799005) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:14PM (#43817155)

      Agreed. Why is this response considered so "disappointing"?

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        They didn't like the response. They wanted a progressive answer and got a conservative one. I'm a little shocked myself.

    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      Here's the math [typepad.com] that explains why you are wrong. When it comes to compatibility issues, like standards, it is easy for a laissez-faire system to get stuck on a local maxima. It is one of the primary reasons that a well regulated market can be a closer approximation of the theoretical ideal free market than can laissez-faire. This sort of problem is exactly why people institute governments.

  • Makes sense (Score:5, Funny)

    by knotprawn (1935752) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:13PM (#43817137)
    Not yielding an inch, are they? Imagine the impact it would have on Subway.
  • by iggymanz (596061) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:16PM (#43817169)

    The Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 amended the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 and stated the metric system was "the Preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce". Also said the federal government has a responsibility to assist industry and especially small business, as it voluntarily converts to the metric system .

    Metric system is of course taught in U.S. schools, even since the early 70s (yes, I was there)

    • stated the metric system was "the Preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce".

      Which has absolutely no practical meaning as far as I can determine, unless you can cite some actual concrete consequences of this declaration.

      Also said the federal government has a responsibility to assist industry and especially small business, as it voluntarily converts to the metric system

      Which, once again, means what? Are there grants? Is the US offering any kind of money to anybody to hel

  • by mrvan (973822) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:27PM (#43817279)

    I agree that no laws should be passed that force e.g. a supermarket to use specific weights or measures. If people are annoyed by the choice of a supermarket they can bring their business elsewhere.

    However, the "free choice" argument does not work for monopoly players, especially the government itself. The last time I was in the US, miles were used in the interstate system to indicate both distances/exit numbers and maximum speeds. You can't choose to pick the other road that goes the same place but uses metric, because there is no real competition in the road network.

    I don't know whether other official communication of the state(s) uses metric or not, I could imagine many laws and forms that refer to land area, volumes of water, weight (e.g. of cars) that could use either non-metric or metric. They can't hide behind a "free choice" argument there, and a real "bimetric" system requires the government to provide information, like speed limits, in both systems, just like a blingual government publishes laws etc. in two languages.

  • by Sydin (2598829) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:27PM (#43817287)
    Maybe before we rush to adopt the Metric system, we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this measurement system such a central position in our lives.
  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chihowa (366380) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:28PM (#43817295)

    I think that this is a perfectly adequate solution.

    I'm a scientist and use metric for everything at work, but I can drive in miles and get groceries by the pound, too. It's really not that hard to effectively use both systems, and given time we can slowly move to using metric all of the time if we want. The most effective change happens so slowly that you can't pinpoint when exactly it happened. Since there's no urgency here, it will be fine if it takes another generation or so to fully transition.

    Look at the progress we've made since the seventies. Today, anyone in science, engineering, medicine, the military, and many other fields are already proficient with both systems. There's no rush, so why not let it happen organically?

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:47PM (#43817455)

    The point of a system of measurement is to relate dimensions which are not directly perceivable to those which are. Thus, while you can't "see" a mile, you know that it's 5280 feet, the "foot" being related to some portion of the body (or some particular person's body). Likewise the inch, the yard, the fathom, etc. Using metric, while perhaps more "scientifically" determined, replaces one non-human, non-perceivable value with another. Instead of an imperceptible distance being some large multiple of an average person's foot size, it becomes some multiple of wavelengths of light, another imperceptible value.

    • by markdavis (642305)

      This doesn't fly for me. There is no human equivalent of an inch or mile or gallon or acre anymore than a kilometer or centimeter or liter or gram. The foot is about the only human thing about the imperial system, and that is not enough to matter all that much.

      I was taught both systems in school and use both. Interestingly, I prefer cm/mm over inches and feet over meters; have no preference with gallons/qts vs. liters; prefer ml over fluid ounces, prefer grams over ounces but pounds over kg. How is THAT

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:58PM (#43817561)

    The US is converting gradually to the metric system, and NIST towards that for decades. The definitions of official US units in metric terms was one of those steps.

    A lot of things sold in the US are sold in metric containers, for example 2L soft drink containers, many food packages and so on.

    The US has also been signatory to every metric measurement treaty.

    The petition is really rather silly. Changing the measurement system of a nation is a long and slow process. Even the French had to put it aside for a while (Napolean discontinued the process for a while).

    The real shame is the US didn't start this process sooner. Thomas Jefferson actually advocated a decimal system of measures well before the French adopted the metric system but Congress (setting an alarming precedent) failed to act on the proposal. Later Jefferson was successful in getting the US to use a decimal currency, which was the first of it's type in the world.

    Is it in contemplation with the House of Representatives to arrange our measures and weights [the same as the coinage] in a decimal ratio? The facility which this would introduce into the vulgar arithmetic would, unquestionably, be soon and sensibly felt by the whole mass of the people, who would thereby be enabled to compute for themselves whatever they should have occasion to buy, to sell, or to measure, which the present complicated and difficult ratios place beyond their computation for the most part

    --Thomas Jefferson

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:00PM (#43817585)

    I am european mechanical engineer who worked and lived on 3 continents. The metric system is way superior than the imperial system in many ways but the most important is that it is used everywhere and it is a consistent system*. A lot of companies here in the US have switched to metric (at least for this reason), but soon when asian industrial power will swamp the US market with metric product and parts (in the same way that IKEA did) a lot people in this forum will be lost and realize that a dual system is completly stupid.

    * if your not convince ask yourself why in a imperial system electrical power unit is Watt and but heat power it is in Btu/h....

  • by mtippett (110279) on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:01PM (#43817595) Homepage

    Kind of like official language of the USA. There isn't one. Just like customary units, there are customary languages.

    Metrification is already happening. Executive order http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_x/otm_x_1.html [osha.gov]. The Federal government has a preference, but it is only that.

    The CIA World factbook has a snarky "At this time, only three countries - Burma, Liberia, and the US - have not adopted the International System of Units (SI, or metric system) as their official system of weights and measures. Although use of the metric system has been sanctioned by law in the US since 1866, it has been slow in displacing the American adaptation of the British Imperial System known as the US Customary System. The US is the only industrialized nation that does not mainly use the metric system in its commercial and standards activities, but there is increasing acceptance in science, medicine, government, and many sectors of industry."

    Don't worry though, moving 300 million takes a hell of a long time - measured in generations. If you go to the store you will see lots of metric rounded numbers (drinks in 500 mls). Dates on the immigration forms have moved to ISO DD-MM-YYYY. Give it another 50 years, globalisation will take care of it.

  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:17PM (#43818477)

    I have a machine shop in my garage, which includes a large mill and a lathe. Both have lead screws set to work in thousands of an inch, so one revolution of a handle is a certain subset of inches (.05) with individual tick marks at .001. It is essentially baked into the hardware, and you have to replace the feed wheel dials and lead screws to change it, among other things.

    I purchase metal stock that comes in US units as well (1/2" bar stock for example) which corresponds to stock needed for drawings that give all their dimensions in inches. There is a cascading chain of things, all of which need to change.

    You will not see me switching my shop to metric in my lifetime most likely.

    Converting a large industrial economy over to metric has a lot of hidden costs that make it very difficult to do, because all valves, pipes, fittings, metal stock, screws etc. offerings have to be changed, and imperial parts need to be offered for many decades to come to service older equipment.

    The idea itself is a good one as ultimately metric is a more scientifically advanced and clear set of standards than imperial. It's nice to work in a consistently matched base-10 for all scales.

    In the case of smaller economies, it is easier to support the change due to much smaller scale and very small industrial base. New Zealand as a country switched over to metric in a single day, after much preparation.

    Although the US auto industry has largely gone over to metric, I do not think that the rest of the US is currently in a position to swallow that pill easily. I believe that no matter how much ideologically it makes sense, that it is still political dynamite.

    It would be nice if everyone taking up this topic had machine shop and fabrication experience so they would understand just how much it impacts the pipeline from raw stock to finished product. Politicians tend to think in abstracts and statistics and do not always consider all of the consequences. Most of the rest of the population is so far removed from it that they A. don't understand the entirety of the impact and B. as others have said would not benefit significantly from the change.

    -PH

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:44PM (#43818643)

    I lived in Canada before, during and after the transition.

    Over 30 years later we're all wondering why you're all still whining like little bitches. We'd tell you but you might decide to invade our socialist paradise.

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