I agree that the units that we use in the US suck. I am a part time
machinist at my job. It would be so much easier and intuitive if we were on
the metric system. For example if I wanted to tap for an 8-32 bolt I have to
look at a chart to find what the tap drill size should be. Then go through
one of three drawers (Number size, Letter size, and Fraction size) to get
the correct drill. If I were working metric, using a 6 mm X 1.5 bolt I would
subtract 1.5 mm from the 6 mm and know that the correct drill size is 4.5
mm. All the metric drills are lined up in one drawer. To make a clearance
hole for the 8-32 I need to measure the diameter of the bolt then refer to
the chart to find the right size drill. With metric I'll just grab a 6.25 mm
When working with of-rings you need to refer to another chart using the US
system. With metric you use the outside diameter and the cross sectional
diameter. Last year I needed a metric of-ring and went to about ten auto
parts stores and nobody had any. Just ones in the US system. This is 25
years after American cars converted to metric.
I could go on with more examples but do not want to belabor the point.
One of the engineers that I work with works in metric. He says it is so much
I think that the US could do better in science and engineering if we could
learn and use the metric system because it is intuitive. None of this 32
ounce = one quart, 4 quart = one gallon crap. We expend too much energy
trying to learn all this stuff by rote. Remember learning fractions in
school? How many kids said "I hate fractions?" How many of them got turned
off of math at this point?
Disclaimer: I'm in Holland and we're fully metric.
I did hear someone make a point once that 'forcing' children to learn
hard things actually stimulates their intelligence. The point was made
in regards to the Chinese writing system, which is of course extremely
hard to learn compared to out alfabet. As you may know, Chinese have a
higher IQ on average than westerners. Perhaps the illogical American
measuring system serves a similar purpose. ;)
But then it's probably not hard enough...
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