Thursday, July 12, 2012

You might be an engineering geek if....

You look at this chart and freak out over the metric Mass side.

When showing the superiority of the metric prefix system don't cap it off with a legacy unit name. Especially one as confounding and arbitrary as the Tonne.

There's like five versions of that damn unit.

You undercut the whole point of showing how sensible your unit system is when you use 1 tonne to a thousand kilograms instead of going, oh I don't know, 1 Megagram to the thousand kilograms.


Also it would be more balanced if you kept up with two lenght ratios and two mass ratios for the comparison of both systems. Heck, this isn't even getting into the problem of comparing a weight system with a mass system.

It's also moot because the US is a metric country. Most all consumer products are labeled in both unit systems. There's just no legal compulsion to adopt sole metric labeling. Also the units are fully convertible. That's sort of how they work.

And yes, there are people that want to make using US colloquial scales illegal. Even worse they want to make sure it's round metric numbers. Because if companies shrugged and started selling 3.78 liter milk jugs that would defeat their whole point.

Yes there are militant metricists.


Erin Palette said...

Now I want to make a goofy supervillain named the Militant Metricist.

He'd be French-Canadian, naturellement!

The Jack said...

Henchmen that fail him get divided into ten equally weighted pieces!

He'd have Two-Face's disability but with powers of ten.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

The argument I hate most is the whole, English measurements are "arbitrary" and based upon the King's foot.

And? Your point is?

The meter was, no kidding, originally the one millionth of the distance between the North and South Poles, at sea level.

So riddle me this. Who actually measured this distance? And who measured sea level? And why 1 millionth, and not 2 millionth?

And now they define a meter as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,722,458 of a second. How exactly is that different than holding up your hands about three or so feet apart and saying "Abouth that much"?

Everything is arbitrary. Pissing and moaning that your arbitrary measure is less arbitrary than mine is arguing about who is the tallest midget at the State Fair.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

arrg, forgot to click the "Email follow up posts" box

Sean D Sorrentino said...

damn, I'm messing up all over the place.

It was 1/10,000,000th the distance between the poles at sea level.

The Jack said...

Oh don't get me started about Celsius. "Oh a unit system that's biased to water at standard pressure. Yes, that's purely rational."

And then there's Kelvin which is just Celcius shifted to a sane temperature zero.

Yeah, when I deal with a real Militant Metricist I just ask them why they're not pushing Plank Units.

And when they blather about "Well it's more convenient if we use human scale units that everyone is doing."

The obvious rejoinder is "Oh so archaic, arbitrary unit systems are okay if it's the system I like."