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Old 06-13-2004, 10:29 AM   #136
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I don't mean it's nonsense, only that it was nonsense for us to go to so much trouble to switch over to it. The price of spacecraft? That's not going to pay for all the switchovers for private industries who would have had to totally replace all their machinery, not the government.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:33 AM   #137
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Why should private industries replace their machinery?
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:44 AM   #138
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Because they were all based on gallons/pints/inches/yards etc. and would have to be replaced with metric ones. So would all the bottles, cans, everything that is weighed or measured. It was too big of a task.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:50 AM   #139
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Examples:

food- cereal, candy, bags of flour, sugar, everything that is sold by weight or even labeled for packaging. All those factories would have to switch. Stores that weigh and sell things like meat and vegetables by weight would all have to have new scales.

drinks- milk, bottles, cans, and at that time soda bottles were mostly the returnable reusable kind

other containers- gas cans, gas tanks, gas pumps, jars, chemicals, cleaners, etc.

The machines that fill these things were all gauged in our system and entire factories and all their machinery would have also been outdated.

Then you get into other things measured in length and width, like window shades, and the machines that make them.

All of these things and more I'm sure I'm missing would have had to be replaced at the expense of the company or private business who owned them.

road signs- redo every single sign in the country with KM instead of miles. This would be paid for by state governments. In some places near the Canadian border the signs are in both miles and KM but this has been gradually done over time as they got old and needed replacing.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:52 AM   #140
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Couldn't they then reprogram them? Besides, even though they were based on gallons/inches/etc. that doesn't mean they have to do a totally different job. I mean, they'd still have to fill the bottle. Maybe the label would show a different text, but the contents could be the same.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:58 AM   #141
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I don't think it works that way, especially since in those days things weren't so computerized. When these stories were reported on the news they always said they'd have to be REPLACED so that was a major drawback of switching over. If it had been easy they would have done it, so there were some serious valid reasons for being against it, it was no small or easy problem. There were good reasons for not doing it and not finding it worthwhile and that's why it was scrapped.
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:05 AM   #142
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I do think it's worthwhile, because standardization with the rest of the world is worthwhile.

If you are, for example, in the scientific community, you can bet your ass that as an American, you are working with the metric system. If you think that you're conducting experiments in liquid ounces, you've got another thing coming.

Besides, I don't see why machinery would have to change. For example, we in Canada get your same Tropicana juice containers that you get in the States. I believe in the US, they are a half gallon. Usually in Canada, we would standardize drinks to be 2L, but all they do with Tropicana is print 1.89 Litres on the container and that's the end of that. No machinery change, nothing.

As for printing labels, it is neither a big deal nor very costly. I know this because it constantly comes up when there is talk of getting rid of French labels on foods in English Canada and time and time again studies suggest that adding extra on labels is really not costly, and that essentially you are not replacing the items on the shelves, but just infusing the market with the new labels until the old ones are all sold out. No big deal, really.
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:16 AM   #143
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Well it must have been a big deal, big enough for them to give up and can the idea. If someone has a job where they have to deal with it, they'll have to learn it, but it's not forced on the entire public. It's like if you deal with outside interests you might have to learn another language but not everyone does. It's not necessary.

It has a lot to do with our sheer size. We are bigger in land mass and population than several European countries combined, so we have enough people to function just fine with our own system.
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Old 06-13-2004, 04:34 PM   #144
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I freaking hate having to teach two systems. My third graders LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH because they understand the metrics system, which is based on the number 10. SO much easier to work with!!!!
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:42 PM   #145
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The world appears to be defaulting to English as the international language and metric as the system of measurement.

Its not that big a deal to change over to metric. In Australia the metric system was legalised in 1947 and we commenced using it properly in the 1970's. I dont understand why the USA is so many decades behind on this issue. I never knew Reagan blocked it but it fits in with my image of Reagan not having a 'world view' and why I didnt like him. It was obviously having difficulties before then though.

Times change, life goes on, and improves. I think this is one case of where change is good. It would be much easier if the world all used the same maths systems.

I order radioactive substances internationally for importation to Australia and having to think in both microcuries and megabecquerels gives me the whoops. And this is not in an area I want to make a mistake in as one measurement is 37 times LARGER than the other.

The USA have invented their own spelling of the English language which, although personally annoying, largely does not hinder. But measurement, thats a much bigger deal.

We have some USA foods here - Whitmans chockies for example. They just write the measurement in both systems on the box. No big deal. No altering the amount of chockies etc.

The USA may well be the size of a few European countries but it isnt the majority of the people on the planet.
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:25 PM   #146
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I remember the metric controversy. If we'd gone metric in the USA, chemistry lab would have been easier, for one thing. I was a chemistry student during the Reagan Administration. I hated having to do measurement changes.
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:41 PM   #147
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This American wishes we had made the switch to metric a long long time ago. Both my work and my personal life are very international and I feel stupid with our system. Math is hard enough for me and I have difficulty making the conversions in my head. Typically when I place an ad in a European newspaper, for example, and I fumble over the sizing, the person can always tell me the conversion to inches on the spot and I am pissed that I was never taught this. Well, I was taught it but when you don't have to use something you don't really learn it except to pass the test, then it's gone.
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:43 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally posted by Seabird

It has a lot to do with our sheer size. We are bigger in land mass and population than several European countries combined, so we have enough people to function just fine with our own system.
I think it has something to do with ego and pride as well. America is used to everyone following us, not vice versa.
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Old 06-14-2004, 09:05 PM   #149
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I love the humo(u)r in the statements below....

Quote:
Originally posted by beli
The USA have invented their own spelling of the English language which, although personally annoying, largely does not hinder.
AND

Quote:
Originally posted by beli
Whitmans chockies for example. They just write the measurement in both systems on the box. No big deal. No altering the amount of chockies etc.
uh, only goofy aussIES would turn the word "Chocolates" to "chockies"

~ zoney, who also wished he new the metric system for the benefit of his job
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:03 AM   #150
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caught

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