The Metric System – Isn’t it about time?

This debate has been going on for a long time, but when most of the world is using the metric system, why are we one of the last hold-outs?

When you look at the world, especially from a scientific point of view, it is obvious that the old English system that we presently use is out of date and out of touch with the rest of the world.

The US is joined by only two other countries, Myanmar and Liberia, that have not adopted the metric system.  This is not to say that there is anything truly WRONG with the english units of measurement, but when the rest of the world has moved to a more fine tuned way to measure everything from the very large to the very small, you have to think about the wisdom of holding onto something as antiquated as the old English system.

Another demonstration as to this point is that here in the US, even the scientific community has adopted the metric system for their use, soas to keep in parity with the rest of the world.  This does not always work, however, since there are a few hold outs.  This miscommunication can cause issues and even disasters… who can forget the Mars Climate Orbiter back in 1999?  Two teams and two separate measuring systems, equals one pile of aluminum and titanium with an American flag on it, somewhere on the surface of mars… maybe. I am sure that also been other errors and mistakes that have been made due to the conversion from and to the English system.

So…  if we were to buck up and switch to the metric system, would it be easy?  Not for us older folks that are used to the English system.  We will be the hold outs, the ones fighting it all the way and not wanting any part of it.  But for the children, it will be simple.  They will no longer learn fractions, inches, feet, etc…  it will be meters, liters, etc.  Everything will be different for us, but the world will not end.

The fact is that the we are actually holding out from a system that is leaving us behind.  Metric is the way the world is going and we will need to follow in the footsteps of the world this time.

Here are some interesting links regarding the topic:

US Metric Association

Helium article on the Metric system

xkcd – A Webcomic

Latest posts by Samuel Wright (see all)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bad Behavior has blocked 831 access attempts in the last 7 days.