frame
Howdy Debater!
Sign In Register


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

The US should not totally switch over to SI.

Opening Argument

RodinonRodinon 62 Pts
Being that our land is divided mainly by miles, acres, rods, etc., it makes little sense to use a measure for land that is not an equal multiple of our land divisions.  (Ontario, I'm looking at your Google Earth image :)  That, and I always have a foot handy for estimation, but seldom a meter.
AlwaysCorrectnorthsouthkoreaErfisflatjoecavalrymelefSilverishGoldNova

Status: Open Debate

Arguments

  • @rodinson , I respectfully disagree with your argument although you made some great points.

    Our system should be equal to other nations' systems, because of organizations and general measurement standards.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 462 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @Rodinon I agree, being in construction for some time, it's far easier to estimate inches and feet, an inch being from the tip of the finger to the first joint, most carpenter's will agree, and as you said, a foot is far easier to estimate than a meter.
    Rodinon
    "Don't just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything." George Carlin 

    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • @Rodinon

    You're using a circular argument.

    If the US changed to SI, it's land measurements would also change to SI too and so the measurements would be multiples of each other.

    A metre is approx your outstretched arm to your nose.
  • RodinonRodinon 62 Pts
    @AlwaysCorrect

    When the Northwest Territories were divided, a system of townships, counties, uniform sections of land in acres and rods, school districts, and so on, was established.  This is still our way of operating in the Midwest, and it works pretty good.  I understand how it is logical that land would be re-divided by SI, but this would simply not be practical, nor welcome.  The Midwest in particular is well populated and well established, containing several major cities.  Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minniapolis/St. Paul, etc.  Cutting up local governments, centuries old family estates, roads, fields, moving power lines and other right-of-ways, would not be efficient or even affordable.  I'm not sure what the effect of switching to SI has been on farming in SW Ontario.  They have fields divided by Imperial units.  This can be seen and measured by satellite/Google maps.  So there is a precedent for the land NOT being redivided according to SI.  I would suspect telling all those farmers that their plots were no longer acre, but 4046.86 m2 plots didn't go over well initially.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@43.953174,-81.1210189,1579m/data=!3m1!1e3

    I never knew that trick about the meter.  ...or metre...  That will come in handy, as I use both systems.

    Now, I am not saying SI is BAD.  It's just a square peg in a round hole when it comes do dividing established American land.  And Imperial units aren't bad, as Erisflat points out.  The fractions aren't base 10, but that isn't bad.  Quarters and halves and 1/8ths are easy.  A mile might be 5280 feet, but twenty miles is the distance a man can hard march in a day, and two miles can be leisurely walked in an hour.  These are far easier concepts to wrap your mind around than 1 billionth of the distance between the North Pole and Ecuador.
    Erfisflatmelef
  • @Rodinon

    Imperial units can still be used informally by farmers even if there is an official system, you'll find that with land changing hands and being swapped and sold and splitover the years the land won't all be the same size as it originally was and the exact issue of their field's size in units is not something that actually matters to most farmers on a day to day basis. Finally, at the end of the day, it's a personal preference on an inoffensive subject which doesn't really matter because their plot of land will still be the same size, it's just describing that size in a different way. If a farmer remembers back to the good old days when his farm was measured in imperial measurements - that's not a big issue.

    On the other hand in the military, the sciences, etc citizens of the USA already have to learn metric because it's more useful, it's less prone to error and it's consistent with international usages which is a large benefit in a global economy.
  • There will be value if everyone agrees on universal system, weather we count in meters or feet
  • @love2debate

    Looking exclusively at the factor of universality and nothing else there would be a benefit either way, but there would also be other comparative downsides and advantages. 

    The main one being how metric is incredibly easy and simple to work out. Ask someone brought up on the Imperial system what 10000 inches is in furlongs and I expect most of them would have no idea where to start. Ask someone brought up on metric what 10000 centimetres is is kilometres and they should know how to work it out and only get it wrong if they're bad at maths.

  • ErfisflatErfisflat 462 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @love2debate

    Looking exclusively at the factor of universality and nothing else there would be a benefit either way, but there would also be other comparative downsides and advantages. 

    The main one being how metric is incredibly easy and simple to work out. Ask someone brought up on the Imperial system what 10000 inches is in furlongs and I expect most of them would have no idea where to start. Ask someone brought up on metric what 10000 centimetres is is kilometres and they should know how to work it out and only get it wrong if they're bad at maths.

    Who uses furlongs?
    "Don't just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything." George Carlin 

    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • Erfisflat said:
    @love2debate

    Looking exclusively at the factor of universality and nothing else there would be a benefit either way, but there would also be other comparative downsides and advantages. 

    The main one being how metric is incredibly easy and simple to work out. Ask someone brought up on the Imperial system what 10000 inches is in furlongs and I expect most of them would have no idea where to start. Ask someone brought up on metric what 10000 centimetres is is kilometres and they should know how to work it out and only get it wrong if they're bad at maths.

    Who uses furlongs?
    People using Imperial units for lengths - but the fact so few do points to it's redundancy and the poor set-up of the Imperial system.

    it's also part of the calculation to work out an acre.
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 462 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    Erfisflat said:
    @love2debate

    Looking exclusively at the factor of universality and nothing else there would be a benefit either way, but there would also be other comparative downsides and advantages. 

    The main one being how metric is incredibly easy and simple to work out. Ask someone brought up on the Imperial system what 10000 inches is in furlongs and I expect most of them would have no idea where to start. Ask someone brought up on metric what 10000 centimetres is is kilometres and they should know how to work it out and only get it wrong if they're bad at maths.

    Who uses furlongs?
    People using Imperial units for lengths - but the fact so few do points to it's redundancy and the poor set-up of the Imperial system.

    it's also part of the calculation to work out an acre.
    That's all fine but for practical purposes, I don't know anyone having any reason to convert inches to furlongs, and I'm in land surveying. Matter of fact I don't think anyone in the history of mankind has ever felt the need to.
    "Don't just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything." George Carlin 

    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • ErfisflatErfisflat 462 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    In all practicality, anything bigger than a few inches could easily convert to feet, from feet to yards, from yards to miles. Everyone today has a converter in their pockets anyway.
    "Don't just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything." George Carlin 

    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • @Erfisflat

    Land is still frequently listed in acres, e.g. here on the first random website I googled. A furlong is one of the units for an acre, so if you measure  30 yards, 2 feet, 7 inches for one side of the acreage (assuming a square plot) you need to convert that into a furlong. Fancy giving it a go? Of course just to make it confusing the other side isn't equally long and should be calculated based on a length of a chain.

    It's certainly doable, but it's a lot less easy than working out that 27 metres and 48 centimetres = 27.48 metres which can be done instantly without need for calculators and with less room for error.

    Of course Imperial lengths are ridiculous and that's why people tend not to use them in any great depth except in legacy cases like acerage where they just go along with what's always been done.
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 462 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @Erfisflat

    Land is still frequently listed in acres, e.g. here on the first random website I googled. A furlong is one of the units for an acre, so if you measure  30 yards, 2 feet, 7 inches for one side of the acreage (assuming a square plot) you need to convert that into a furlong. Fancy giving it a go? Of course just to make it confusing the other side isn't equally long and should be calculated based on a length of a chain.

    It's certainly doable, but it's a lot less easy than working out that 27 metres and 48 centimetres = 27.48 metres which can be done instantly without need for calculators and with less room for error.

    Of course Imperial lengths are ridiculous and that's why people tend not to use them in any great depth except in legacy cases like acerage where they just go along with what's always been done.
    Again, this has nothing to do with converting 10,000 inches to a furlong. And imperial lengths have, and likely always will be used in any practical sense like construction. Ask any contractor to start using meters, they'll laugh you off of a job site.
    Rodinon
    "Don't just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything." George Carlin 

    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • RodinonRodinon 62 Pts
    @joecavalry@ErfisflatErfisflat said:
    @Erfisflat

    Land is still frequently listed in acres, e.g. here on the first random website I googled. A furlong is one of the units for an acre, so if you measure  30 yards, 2 feet, 7 inches for one side of the acreage (assuming a square plot) you need to convert that into a furlong. Fancy giving it a go? Of course just to make it confusing the other side isn't equally long and should be calculated based on a length of a chain.

    It's certainly doable, but it's a lot less easy than working out that 27 metres and 48 centimetres = 27.48 metres which can be done instantly without need for calculators and with less room for error.

    Of course Imperial lengths are ridiculous and that's why people tend not to use them in any great depth except in legacy cases like acerage where they just go along with what's always been done.
    Again, this has nothing to do with converting 10,000 inches to a furlong. And imperial lengths have, and likely always will be used in any practical sense like construction. Ask any contractor to start using meters, they'll laugh you off of a job site.
    I agree.  And one thing I'd like to make clear to anyone from another country (most of them) that use SI, we aren't nearly as confused by our own system as you seem to think.  Furlongs and chains and hogsheads are for very specific uses, even though they are listed as just a generic unit of measure.  (i.e. length, liquid volume, etc.).  If you are into surveying, you are very familiar with Chains and Furlongs.  But you can't convert that into thousandths of an inch, like a machinist works with.  If you are into cooking or canning, you are very familiar with cups, quarts, and tablespoons.  Even though they are measurements of volume, you have no clue how to convert them to cubic yards, or yards, for short, because those are terms used by landscapers and construction workers, and they don't use cups and quarts of sand and concrete.  If you are outside those fields, it's like anything else, those terminologies will be obscure.  I can't tell you how many calories in a microcurie.  But I'm an electrician.  Inches are never used in conjunction with furlongs, because inches are not used to divide land.  Cubic yards aren't used in normal cooking because no one cooks in those volumes, and no one buys washed gravel in teaspoons.

    But we DO use the metric system.  In science, the space program, the military, automotive, cocaine imports.  All things that need to be exported or used when working with those in other countries who do use SI.  And we understand most of those units, too.  We continue to use Imperial system for our internal affairs because we are effectively an island nation.  A small population and much wilderness to the North that we get along with, and a large population we don't really get along with to the South that has become so dangerous, most of us don't go there.  Either way, we only land border with two other countries, and we are the big dog, so we feel pretty free to do what we want within our own borders.  Also, we have enough problems with being murdered by rampage killers and terrorists, and infringements on personal liberties to worry about using mL to dole out vinegar into our recipes as opposed to teaspoons.  There are more pressing matters than paying for all new road signs, new speedometers, new tapemeasures, new cooking utensils and cook books, new dimensional lumber cuts, new milk cartons, and converting all land deeds to a system major countries that do not share a land border with us insist we use.

    And I'd like to point this out:  The more insistent SI proponents make it sound like America will miss the 12 o'clock train to Successville if we don't get onboard with SI now.  But the reality is we have been VERY successful with out it, fairly consistently, and for a long time.  We are not lacking in scientific or engineering achievements, the improvement of the lives of the general population, medicine, military might, public health and well being, personal and overall wealth, or stability, or most other metric we could be compared with other 1st world nations by.  Even before SI was used in other leading nations.  And when we are lacking, how does it have anything to do with whether we measure our height in m or ft.?

    We are getting along fine without it, and there is insufficient incentive to reinvent so many wheels right now.
    Erfisflat
  • RodinonRodinon 62 Pts
    @joecavalry

    Already have you covered, Joe.  Scientists already use SI in the labs.  Want to buy an American car?  Your metric toolset will work, and the gauges can be set or read in SI, mostly.  The engine and fluid capacities are measured in Liters.  Litres?  Lighters?  One of those.  Want to dock with an American space shuttle....well...get your time machine...and don't worry, your overworked Mir station will fit like a worn out garden glove on our craft's docking port!  Working for the Taliban and requesting a mortar strike from the 101st Airborne?  Don't worry, they correct windage and elevation in SI to deliver those shells hot and ready right to your position!

    Customer service comes first in the US, so we've already converted almost everything we export.


    in joecavalry said:
    @rodinson , I respectfully disagree with your argument although you made some great points.

    Our system should be equal to other nations' systems, because of organizations and general measurement standards.

    melef
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 462 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @Rodinon

    Totally agree, being in a profession that depends on precision in measurement for many years, being able to glance at an object's size and communicate that measurement quickly has been the way to go for generations. Like you said, if it isn't broke, don't fix it.
    "Don't just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything." George Carlin 

    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • melefmelef 45 Pts
    Measurement standard are very important and for that reasons conversion would be difficult.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Back To Top

Debate Anything on DebateIsland.com

| The Best Online Debate Experience!
2017 DebateIsland.com, All rights reserved. DebateIsland.com | The Best Online Debate Experience! Debate topics you care about in a friendly and fun way. Come try us out now. We are totally free!

Contact us

customerservice@debateisland.com
Awesome Debates
BestDealWins.com
Terms of Service

Get In Touch