Why the heck does America still use outdated measurement and date units?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by garirry, May 7, 2016.

  1. garirry, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Canada is my city
    #1
    Okay guys, this is probably my angry 1 AM self again posting here, but this is something that has been bothering me for a few weeks now. I am posting it here because I know this is a website primarily of American people, and I don't know who else to rant this about.


    Okay, first off, temperature. We all know what the three useful temperature measurements are. Only one is used in daily use, it's Celsius, and across the entire world. It is the most logical of the three, 0° is water's freezing point, 100° is its boiling point, every semi-educated person knows that. Only THREE countries use Fahrenheit exclusively, and surprise surprise, the United States is one of them. Why? Why is that necessary? Why use a system that is absolutely outdated, makes no sense whatsoever (water freezes at 32° and melts at 212°? yeah, totally makes sense), that is used by basically no one else? Even, excuse me for this term, stubborn countries like the United Kingdom now use Celsius exclusively and primarily. Even Canada, and its influence of the country did not force it to keep Fahrenheit. It annoys me because every time someone says "it's 60° outside!" I have to google and convert it because that means nothing for me, and I don't communicate enough with Americans to bother learning it. I could get away with it if it was something that was used interchangeably in multiple countries, but it isn't, it's outdated.

    Second, measurement units. On one hand, you have the most logical system on the planet, the metric system. Simple, each unit correlates with each other, and there are basic prefixes which simply divide or multiply the numbers by multiples of 10. And I will be blunt here, the imperial units are more intuitive and are still somewhat logical. However, once you want to do anything slightly more complex, it becomes annoying. You can't do anything with a system like that. You have to learn the massive amount of words and how each of them correspond with each other. Imagine instead of having to use Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes, you would instead use Floppies, Discs, Drives, and Servers. It seems like the logical option, but they do not work together well at all and you gotta remember all of that crap. Once again, only the United States along with two other small countries exclusively use this system. In fact, when I thought that the United Kingdom was responsible for the same thing, it turns out it's technically the main measurement system of today (even though many people still use the other one), so I've actually gotta give them credit for having the guts to defy a traditional system. Every commonwealth country has adopted the SI, even if some like Canada still offer it occasionally. Seriously, why do this? Sure, I can deal with that, it's not like it's stupid or anything, but NOT when it's officially only used in a SINGLE GODDAMN COUNTRY (I'm excluding minor countries here because they are usually very small and have very little influence on the rest of the world).

    Finally, this one pisses me off so much I just want to die. The date system. The entire world uses one or the other, either a DD/MM/YYYY system (common in European countries), either a YYYY/MM/DD system (common in East-Asian countries and some other places). Both are perfectly fine, as they represent a proper level of importance. What is NOT fine is when a single country just comes to troll everybody and bring a MM/DD/YYYY system, which completely messes up the order of the dates. The month, then a small part of the month, and then the year which the month takes place in? WHAT? How does that make any sense? WHY IS THAT NECESSARY? WHY THE ILLOGICALITY? I can bear with a January 1st, 2016 date system because it is closer to being a feature of the language, but not when it's a purely written form! At least use YYYY/MM/DD if you want to keep the M/D part! Seriously!


    Okay, I understand that this was a bit blunt. But I can't accept that. I can't accept a country where there are people so lazy to adopt systems that are, by far, much more convenient than whatever is present, especially considering we are in 2016 and no improvement has been made to this date. And not to mention I'm sure there will be some idiots defending this system saying that "we are not sheeple to follow other people like that!". Well, uh, then you're sheeple to your own ****ing community. Any thoughts? Sure, you may call be brainwashed if that's what you believe, but I'd just like to point out that even though I grew up in a 24h system and I completely switched to 12h. And now I'm (partially) back at 24h. During this whole time, I barely spent any time outside. How exactly can you prove this against me if that's your intent? Anyway, any reasonable and non-biased explanations and/or defenses? Thank you.
     
  2. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
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    PA, USA
    #2
    Why does it matter to you? We use what we like use and you use what you like to use. Do you see us bitching why you use the metric system?
    We don't care what you system you use and we like our system.

    Now go to bed since it's 1 AM (which is ironic since you should have said 01:00 :p)
     
  3. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Canada is my city
    #3
    I get your point, and I'm not trying to blame you for using this, but like I mentioned, it's because it feels a bit like a drop of paint on a wall, it just feels so distracting. If it was a splash of paint (like multiple people used imperial), then it would feel more comfortable, if you know what I mean.

    I meant to say that I occasionally use the 24h system. I use 12h mainly, but the 24h works better for some other things. It's not a full switch, it just recently added itself in my life.
     
  4. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #4
    I don't understand why it's bothering you. Did you just move to the US or something and you are finding it hard to adjust?
    If you don't have to deal with it in any way, why does it bother you?
     
  5. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #5
    We use the standard that we've always used. Just because someone else decided to use something different doesn't mean we have to use what they're using.

    We convert as necessary when dealing with other countries. And other countries can convert as necessary when working with us. It's a simple conversion.

    If the rest of the world decided that jumping off the cliff is the thing to do, guess what, I'll be the guy standing on the ground and still alive. Why??? Because it's gotten me this far in life, and I'm still alive.

    Some things really don't matter. Just multiply or divide using common math that any 1st grade student can do, and it's done.

    Some person out there in some more isolated area is likely using his fingers and arms to measure. Try convincing him he has to use a metric ruler. Why??? His system works for him. Leave him alone.

    When we measure horses, we use hands... It works fine. It's fast. And I don't have to get out a tape measure.

    Use what you like. Use what's worked for you. And who cares what someone else uses.

    Sorry if you have to look at your hand and imagine what 15 hands might look like.

    Metric conversion is simple math. No big deal.
     
  6. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    Ventura County
    #6
    Do you know how insanely difficult it would be to transition 300M people to metric system? It would be like going to school all over again. We learn one thing growing up and it becomes second nature. Changing it after already learning would be very difficult. Especially for older generations.
     
  7. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, USA
    #7
    We do it this way because there's no real reason to change it. For more complicated units of measure (especially, but not always) in the scientific community, we tend to lean heavily towards metric. Otherwise, Farenheit is fine for temperature. A lot of countries use miles and a pound is a fine measure.

    There's really no reason to let it upset you.
     
  8. throAU, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #8
    Because they like doing things the hard way, and anyone who uses metric is a commie or french or whatever other BS excuse is flavour of the month right now.
    --- Post Merged, May 7, 2016 ---
    On the contrary, you've had space probes lost due to errors in conversion (i.e., your continued use of imperial has a real world non-trivial cost involved), and conversion from a logical standard into one that makes basically zero sense and is not scaled to work in any scientific way is a waste of time for everybody involved.

    And again, prone to error.

    But hey, like i said, seems that people in the US like doing things the hard way.

    Yes switching would take effort and some short term pain, but you guys are adults, i'm sure you'll manage it eventually like virtually every other country did.
    --- Post Merged, May 7, 2016 ---
    You know that a few billion other people in other countries already managed this without too much problem. No country started out Metric, not even the French.

    Or are you guys just too useless compared to the rest of the world to manage it?
     
  9. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #9
    No, I don't live in the US. The reason it is annoying is because I don't want to spend time converting and ****. "Oh, you say you live 50 miles from here? Hang on, lemme grab my calculator real quick...". Why is it so difficult to settle on a single possibility? And I'll repeat what I said, when you have a clean wall (in this case, all countries) with a tiny drop of paint on it (in this case, the US), it feels so distracting you just want to break the entire wall. True, it could just be OCD and paranoia, but I won't use that argument to counter-argument myself.
    I heavily disagree. You know how you change a system? It's simple. Make the current system secondary. Make the new system primary. (let's say, write the numbers in miles in a smaller font) Then, at school, force every student born after 20XX to exclusively use the new system. It'll be very annoying at first, but when the first generations are over, soon there will be less and less people that use the old system. I'll bet that in 2100, UK will no longer use the imperial system. Probably much before that. Meanwhile in the US we'll have robot world wars before it happens.
    As I mentioned in my post, you are using your system purely out of being used to it. Guess what, I've been used to certain things in life, and when I found out that there's a better solution, I switched to it, even if it was difficult. You can do the same. You're just enforcing your habitudes on yourself instead of thinking "what is better". Also, like I pointed out in my reply just above, you can just teach the newer generation how to do something, and somehow, 100 years later, everything's all fresh again. Sure, if you prefer the imperial units, go ahead, use it, but I hope you realise that there is an alternative that is more suited for actual modern tasks instead for farmers or something.


    Also, I love how everyone in this thread is exclusively focused on my take on the imperial system VS metric. Nobody mentioned a thing about Fahrenheit or the awkward date format. It's like they have no argument on this whatsoever so they just leave it at it, lol
     
  10. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Location:
    PA, USA
    #10
    Don't flatter yourself. We think your whole argument is silly, not just the metric vs imperial. :p

    So you expect 80-90% (wild guess) of the members here to change their way of doing things to the way it suits you?
    I am having a hard time understanding why it bothers you so much.

    I am a member in various football (soccer for us here ;) ) forums where 99% or more of the members are from Europe. I don't ask them to use the 12 hour clock, or celcius for temperature, or feet and inches, or Lbs. If I want to know what the temperature is in F, I'll just do the conversion and that's it. I don't start threads to tell them that they are all stupd for use such systems like you are doing here.
    --- Post Merged, May 8, 2016 ---
    Oh by the way, you used the word 'heck' in the title. Very American of you. :p
    We know you'll come around :D
     
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #11
    Being from the UK, I use (like most of us) use a hybrid system.
    Ask me how much I weigh, it's stone and lbs.
    How tall am I? It's ft and inches.
    If I go go the pub I drink pints.
    My car does MPH
    But if I buy wood, I'd measure in CM's.
    If I ran a race it would be in Meters.
    Cooking could go either way.
    As for temperature my brain can do it both ways, but generally it's C.
    Time I can do either or.
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #12

    I do similar. Well, for height anyway.

    But metric generally makes more sense. And don't even get me started on date formats. Virtually everyone does it wrong, helpfully though there is an ISO standard which makes things sort properly and is unambiguous.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601


    Everything else is wrong.

    edit:
    "Letter" paper standard is also stupid.

    Metric A sizes are the way to go. Why? because they fold into a smaller size. Which is useful, rather than some arbitrary non-scalable size. It's also the golden ratio (much like 16:10 displays instead of 16:9) and therefore correct. :D

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio
     
  13. b0dyr0ck2006 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    #13
    I must admit I've never understood why some country's use mm/dd/yyyy. It seems odd, I'm from the uk. As with Fahrenheit and Celsius, when I see Americans talking about it being 60 degrees I haven't a clue what temp it is and have to convert, it's what they are used to using and we are used to using Celsius but there never seems to be a standard measurement anymore. Now weights, why do Americans use pounds? For an example, I'm watching deadliest catch and they mention one boat has pulled in 250,000 pounds.... I then have to do a calculation to convert it to tons as I can't visualise what 250,000 pounds is. 125 tons I can. But then France uses KM and we use miles, again I'm not sure why some country's choose to use one style of measurement over another you would think if everything was the same standard it would make life easier?
     
  14. adrianlondon macrumors 6502

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    Switzerland
    #14
    1,000,000,000,000?
     
  15. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #15
    The imperial systems used in the USA is a hangover from being a British Colony. One would have thought they would want to get rid of one of the last links with that period.
     
  16. Strider64 macrumors regular

    Strider64

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    #16
    I personally would have no problem converting over to the metric system, but there are a lot of people here in the U.S. that don't like change. I used to work for an automotive paint manufacturer in the lab, I was forced to use metric for we had a lot of international customers. I never had a problem with converting to metric and I think I would not have a problem if I had to use metric all the time. I remember once traveling through Canada (From New York to Michigan) and when I first got on the highway it said 80 kph and I swear every Canadian driver was driving 80 mph or faster. I was traveling 80 kph until a little old lady zoomed on by me and I thought to myself I should speed up to the flow of traffic. :) I don't know if a lot of those drivers just had lead foots or had American made cars that had mph as the big speed indicators in their car. LOL :D
     
  17. ardchoille50, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Allow me to answer your question with a question. What makes you think that your way of doing things is best for everyone? The only correct answer to my question would be "arrogance".

    A lot of conflict, both internal and external, could be avoided if people would simply live their own lives and avoid worrying about what everyone else is doing.
     
  18. Hookemfins macrumors 6502

    Hookemfins

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    #18
    Back in the 70's there was push to go metric in the USA. It went over with a tremendous thud. It is what WE are used and will continue to use.
     
  19. Huntn, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #19
    Relax, the U.S. uses both systems, but the populace still prefers the English system for product volume and weight. For decades there has been talk of switching over to metric totally, but it's just never happened. I do enjoy seeing a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas. Although English is the standard in food and liquids for weight and volume, for most (all?) commercial products, metric is used for manufacturing and science. In aviation, science, and manufacturing, centigrate is used.

    And the date gets written either way, but I see no reason AT ALL to write the year first, lol. Day and month are more important to scheduling than the year whether you say day/month or month/day. There is no real argument here other than personal preference why one is better than the other.

    I write the date as day/month because if I use 8May16, I can avoid using a comma (such as May 8, 2016) but I'd still pronounce that as May 8th because it sounds better to me. I use all numbers on at the end of a computer file names where I want to designate the date. I'd write 050816 (month/day/year) or 0516 (month/year). Ultimately for date, I see no argument that holds for one way or the other, other than personal preference. For you entire post, you seem most hung up over this. :D

    For posted Driving speeds, I much prefer English, cause that's what I'm used to, although in aviation we use knots for speed and measure distance in miles, lol.
     
  20. Foggydog macrumors 6502

    Foggydog

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    #20
    Ok, so I might be in the minority here, but I AGREE with the OP here. Mostly for temperature, weight, and distance.
    I also agree that is would be a big pain in the arse in the beginning, but for liquid measurement , many company's are already putting both measurements on the container. Also, I wish the US would make the change because in the worlds theatres, it would be easier for everyone. But any measurement based on the number 10, is much easier than our imperial system. Speaking of which, we have been using the metric system for money for 200 plus years. Seems pretty easy to me.
     
  21. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #21

    Almost every other country in the world, including China.

    There are 7.4 billion people in the world, 3 countries do not use Metric. 2 of them are third world.

    http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/metric-map-which-countries-dont-belong-with-the-others/


    And amongst those who do not use metric, you don't even use the same measures for gallons and who even knows what else.


    [​IMG]


    Every single one of those countries did not start out with Metric, every single one of them managed to convert.
     
  22. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #22
    You are overstating the problem, it's simpler than the English system and people would not lose their minds if they had to buy a liter of milk. Frankly it would not be difficult at all, just the expense of switching labels.
     
  23. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #23
    Never mind that it has been demonstrated to be quite possible, even all of the third world countries in Africa have managed it other than Liberia.
     
  24. Huntn, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    In a way, that's the key here and what the preference is built on, what you are used to. Both systems work just as well, but metric makes more sense* and is easier to comprehend, especially if you all ready went to the trouble of learning English and...metric is the world standard. What I don't think many American understand is that metric all ready is the manufacturing, science, and aviation standard in the U.S. That's because we interact with the rest of the world. What you see at the grocery store is not the reality, it's the exception. ;)

    *Our numbering system is based on ten, why not be consistent across the board? But we've got a measurement system either based on quarters (volume, quarts in gallons) or thirds for distance- (feet in yards) and who came up with 5280 feet in a mile, lol, isn't that rather inefficient?

    Question- how much money would be saved by going 100% metric? If I imagine a savings, it would be in manufacturing expense, less calculations between metric and English, although computers can handle that rather seemlessly.
     
  25. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #25
    ^ except imperial doesn't work "just as well" :D
     

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