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posted by martyb on Tuesday September 14, @06:52PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the accuracy-vs-precision dept.

https://www.zmescience.com/other/fahrenheit-vs-celsius-did-the-u-s-get-it-right-after-all/

At face value, measuring the temperature using Celsius instead of Fahrenheit seems to make a lot of face sense. After all, the freezing point of water is a perfect 0 degrees Celsius — not the inexplicable 32 degrees in Fahrenheit. Also, the boiling point of water in Celsius is right at 100 degrees (Okay, 99.98, but what's a couple hundredths of a degree among friends?) — instead of the awkward 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Celsius is also part of the much-praised metric system. It seems as though every developed country in the world has adopted the metric system except for the United States, which still clings to tge [sic] older, more traditional measurements. Finally, scientists prefer to use Celsius (when they're not using Kelvin, which is arguably the most awkward unit of measurement for temperature). If it's good enough for scientists, it should be good enough for everybody else, right?

Not necessarily. Fahrenheit may be the best way to measure temperature after all. Why? Because most of us only care about air temperature, not water temperature.

[...] Fahrenheit is also more precise. The ambient temperature on most of the inhabited world ranges from -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 degrees Fahrenheit — a 130-degree range. On the Celsius scale, that range is from -28.8 degrees to 43.3 degrees — a 72.1-degree range. This means that you can get a more exact measurement of the air temperature using Fahrenheit because it uses almost twice the scale.


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  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:54PM (55 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:54PM (#1177797)

    The measurements which sprang up organically rather than being declared from an ivory tower on high will always be more useful in the real world.

    • (Score: 2) by sea on Tuesday September 14, @07:00PM (7 children)

      by sea (86) on Tuesday September 14, @07:00PM (#1177800) Homepage Journal

      That's like "The cities which grew organically are more useful than the ones that were centrally planned."

      Have you seen an American traffic jam? A billion cul-de-sacs and a maze of streets? Now look at the grid cities. Standardization and central planning works.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by chromas on Tuesday September 14, @08:10PM (3 children)

        by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @08:10PM (#1177831) Journal

        A lot of the cul-de-sacs (and short loops) and winding, maze-like roads are planned—they reduce through-traffic in residential hoods.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday September 14, @08:30PM (2 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @08:30PM (#1177845) Journal

          Those are a combination of grid streets at a large scale, but in neighborhoods being trapped in a maze of twisty little passages all alike.

          Sometimes inadequate planning, with grid streets in neighborhoods eventually results in the installation of speed bumps in the neighborhoods. People who don't live in those neighborhoods think it just fine to drive fast through those grid streets in the neighborhoods. It is enough to make some people daydream they should use their 2nd amendment right on vehicles speeding through their neighborhoods.

          Small children are smart enough and eager to follow directions of adults and stay out of the streets. But not stoned teenagers who either don't care, or can't tell how fast that car is coming.

          --
          Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Tuesday September 14, @10:52PM

            by sjames (2882) on Tuesday September 14, @10:52PM (#1177887) Journal

            The kids are smart enough to stay off the street unless they're riding their bikes. Then a twisty maze with no through traffic is much better for their health and well-being.

            Tell the kids they're only allowed to ride in circles in the driveway and don't be surprised when they're plopped in front of the TV that afternoon.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:58AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:58AM (#1177941)

            Those are a combination of grid streets at a large scale, but in neighborhoods being trapped in a maze of twisty little passages all alike.

            Last time I got lost in a neighborhood like that, I got eaten by a grue.

            ...

            I got better.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:11AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:11AM (#1177920)

        What? American cities are newer and generally well laid out. Where do you find cities that are NOT on a grid?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:04PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:04PM (#1177979)

          Mostly either suburbs or where the topography doesn't allow it. But, every city I've been to in the US has been roughly grid based. Then again, I haven't done that much driving in random cities, so there may be some back east that evolved more than were planned.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday September 15, @03:49PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 15, @03:49PM (#1178018) Homepage Journal

          Have you toured Philadelphia? OK, so it's not as bad as some much older cities in Europe, or probably in Asia, but Philly is a mess compared to many other US cities.

          --
          alles in Ordnung
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:09PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:09PM (#1177807)

      *facepalm*

      protip: using the phrase Ivory Tower On High instantly signals that you're likely a jackass

      question: how much more useful is it to deal with numerous conversions of inches, feet, yards, miles, ounces, quarts, gallons than dividing/multiplying by 10?

      PS: "sprang up organically" is beyond stupid, go read up on the origins and problems of various measurements to see the issues with your "organic" methods.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:27PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:27PM (#1177813)

        No need for name-calling, friend.

        Yes, it's much more useful to deal with measures that are useful in the real world. Ones that were created because they were actually useful, not ones created to fit nicely into some system.

        • (Score: 4, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:59PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:59PM (#1177825)

          Ah yes, the imperial system. The name itself really evokes exactly the amount of grass-roots, folksy spontaneity and "organic" self-organization you attach to it, just like you were instructed to, you filthy commoner.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:17PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:17PM (#1177837)

          "No need for name-calling, friend."

          I'm not your friend guy, and if you don't want a mild insult directed your way then don't discount ideas with slurs like ivory tower meant to convey a detachment from reality just to cover your own ignorance. That is 100% jackass behavior ;^)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:14AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:14AM (#1177921)

            That you consider "Ivory Tower" a slur speaks volumes as to your general ignorance and/or disingenuity.

      • (Score: 2) by jb on Thursday September 16, @07:29AM (1 child)

        by jb (338) on Thursday September 16, @07:29AM (#1178219)

        question: how much more useful is it to deal with numerous conversions of inches, feet, yards, miles, ounces, quarts, gallons than dividing/multiplying by 10?

        MUCH more useful. The removal of the imperial unit conversions from daily life for the masses was one of two major changes (the other being the introduction of decimal currency) which led directly to a massive reduction in the ability of three successive generations to do simple mental arithmetic.

        • (Score: 2) by dry on Sunday September 19, @03:39AM

          by dry (223) on Sunday September 19, @03:39AM (#1179349) Journal

          I think the invention of the calculator and then the smartphone was a bigger cause. I used to keep a dozen or 2 phone numbers in my head, now I don't even know the wives number. My math skills have also dropped, and they were fairly good even having grown up with decimal currency and metric from about age 10. Calculators were new enough in high school that they were easily banned as they were expensive and rare.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Tuesday September 14, @07:33PM (9 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @07:33PM (#1177816) Journal

      I'll bet that, other than by sheer luck, you cannot measure the difference between 78 and 79 degrees F by the effect on your skin - or any other two adjacent integer temperatures. Having a greater range is fine if you can tell the difference, but if you are going to have to measure it it doesn't make the slightest difference. You will still measure it to at least one decimal point whether you use Fahrenheit or Celsius.

      And the reason that we measure it is because we cannot feel the difference between two similar temperatures with any repeatable accuracy. We as a species cannot do that because there are so many other factors that come into play - wind, humidity etc. You might say that one is cooler than the other, but I'll wager you can't say the difference is 1 degree

      This means that you can get a more exact measurement

      Rubbish - it will depend on the accuracy of the measuring device and the precision of the display.

      This is the same as a new recruit's mom watching a passing out parade and saying - "oh look, everyone is out of step except for our Johnny!"

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 14, @10:07PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday September 14, @10:07PM (#1177874)

        If we taught everyone Kelvin from birth and no other system, it would make perfect sense to everyone, and everyone would have a better feel for thermal gas expansion factors.

        TFA posits that F is better than C because it's a little more precise, in whole digits? Get a life, learn to use a decimal point if it matters to you.

        C is a great scale when reading engine coolant temperatures, and outside air temperatures when assessing freezing conditions.

        If we continue pandemic panic, we may get a new temperature scale with 100 being normal non-infected body temperature, and 0 being the freezing point of water - TFA should like that one even better. By the way, nobody freezes pure water at STP... there's always ions present, ambient pressure is rarely STP, etc.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:18AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:18AM (#1177922)
          C is horrible for assessing outside conditions. With F, <0 means you need to take precaution, 0-50 is "needs clothes", 50-100 is "don't need clothes", 100< is needs caution.
          • (Score: 2) by pipedwho on Thursday September 16, @06:05AM (1 child)

            by pipedwho (2032) on Thursday September 16, @06:05AM (#1178205)

            With C <0C and >50C means you should be taking precautions. And <20C means you need clothes, unless you're on a nude beach and don't mind shrinkage, then you can put up with it being a little bit lower.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @12:27PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @12:27PM (#1178245)

              0C does not need precaution though, that was my point. Freezing point of water in ideal conditions has very little to do with human safety or comfort. You'll notice that 0C lies squarely in the middle of my "needs clothes" range.

      • (Score: 2) by Tokolosh on Wednesday September 15, @02:44AM (4 children)

        by Tokolosh (585) on Wednesday September 15, @02:44AM (#1177949)

        When last did you change the setting on your home thermostat by 1 degree (F)?

        Seriously folks, I am curious.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:46AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:46AM (#1177950)

          When it was at 64. Probably a sign of OCD or something, but I like my numbers on multiples of 5.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:09PM (#1178089)

            Hand in your nerd card. Temperatures need to be powers of 2!

        • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Wednesday September 15, @03:14PM

          by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 15, @03:14PM (#1178003)

          I will occasionally do that if I'm feeling too warm or too cold, to get the AC or heat to run for a bit. I keep the heat at 68F and the AC will kick on above 74F.

          --
          Dealing out the agony within
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:27PM (#1178111)

          Often, changing it in increments of 1F can be quite helpful in adjusting to temperature changes in the area. When I've got AC, I tend to keep it roughly 3F below the outside temperature. much above our below that has drawbacks.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:42PM (#1177818)

      Ready that article and your post is like watching an Anti vaxer try to justify their position.

      You work backwards from a conclusion like a delusional twit.

      This and the imerial system proves that many people don't like change and are willing to be moronic about it.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @07:44PM (25 children)

      How the fuck is the temperature of an ice/water/salt mixture more "organic", and less "ivory tower" than the temperature of an ice/water mixture?
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2) by chromas on Tuesday September 14, @08:13PM (9 children)

        by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @08:13PM (#1177834) Journal

        Um, duh, we have organs. Organs have salt. Just like our comments.

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @08:22PM

          Not sal ammoniac, which is the salt in the freezing mixture.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
        • (Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday September 14, @08:36PM (7 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @08:36PM (#1177849) Journal

          While it is true that we may all have organs, not all organs are created alike. Some have very large pipes. Others are completely electronic with synthesized sound using various techniques. They also come in differing sizes. You cannot always tell by the keyboard. 88 keys? 72 keys? 66 keys? Only a mere 2-1/2 octaves? Which man has the larger organ? Some even have foot pedals.

          --
          Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:40PM (#1177868)

            A very large pipe could be an excellent substitute for a baseball bat in your case. I'm sure we can find plenty of volunteers here to help in applying it with enough force that you'll be able to tell its size.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:24AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:24AM (#1177925)

            You have a large pipe.

            No need to brag.

          • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Thursday September 16, @07:20AM (4 children)

            by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday September 16, @07:20AM (#1178217)

            Look, it's ok if you think you have a large organ, but don't brag, ok.

            And ffs, don't whip it out just to prove it!

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday September 16, @01:49PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 16, @01:49PM (#1178268) Journal

              The way I heard it (when compared with religion) was: don't whip it out in public, and don't shove it down my children's throats.

              --
              Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday September 16, @01:50PM (2 children)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 16, @01:50PM (#1178269) Journal

              Also: I have a DX-7 in mint condition purchased in 1986. But no organ.

              --
              Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
              • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday September 17, @04:54PM (1 child)

                by Opportunist (5545) on Friday September 17, @04:54PM (#1178698)

                I've heard a few funny names for it, but DX-7 is a new one.

                • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday September 17, @05:34PM

                  by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 17, @05:34PM (#1178722) Journal

                  You can google for the term.

                  --
                  Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:34PM (14 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:34PM (#1177848)

        Honestly, I think both the F and C scales used the freezing point of water, and both had to solve the problem of its variability with salt concentration.

        C said, "Get rid of ALL the salt"
        F said, "Get as much salt in as the water will hold"

        Honestly the F answer seems the easier one as the C solution requires you to distil the water. That said, C is just a much simpler system now that we don't need to manually calibrate our instruments very often.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday September 14, @08:39PM (3 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @08:39PM (#1177852) Journal

          The F scale and C scale have the same sized increments as the R scale and K scale respectively.

          The MIDI controller upchucks at the idea of an R or K scale but not an F or C scale.

          --
          Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
          • (Score: 2, Funny) by Acabatag on Tuesday September 14, @10:20PM

            by Acabatag (2885) on Tuesday September 14, @10:20PM (#1177879)

            I love how on SN, even when the editors post a metric/imperial troll right on the front page, we denizens manage to turn it completely sideways.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @10:47PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @10:47PM (#1177886)

            And here I thought everyone had forgotten dear old Rankine.

            (He is to Fahrenheit what Kelvin is to Celsius. -459.67 deg F is absolute zero 0 deg R )

            Like Kelvin, he's mostly useful in chemical and thermodynamics calculations.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:07PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:07PM (#1177980)

              It's used and loved by those that measure their angles in Grads.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:30PM (#1177866)

          So you're saying F is useful for the Dead Sea and high-saline places, C is useful everywhere else.
          For me the selling point of Celcius is that water generally turns to ice around zero. 32... what?? Simply works better in real life.

          But why stop at water and salt? Or a single scale? I propose the EH scale - ethanol/humidity. On the X axis we have the degrees defined from zero where pure ethanol freezes, and 100 where it tuns to vapour. On the Y scale we have relative humidity as we don't just want to know how hot or cold it is, but how friendly or oppressive the air is in general. Think of Houston or Durban vs Arizona or Namibia. We then express the conditions as a complex number (340p,21h). Any takers? :)

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday September 14, @11:32PM (8 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Tuesday September 14, @11:32PM (#1177895) Journal

          Simpler, yes. Better...well, it depends on what you're doing. Celsius is better for chemistry, Fahrenheit is better for room temperature. Similarly with Meter and inch/foot/yard. Which is better depends on what you're doing. For measuring cloth, yards are normally (slightly) better. For building a bookcase inches and feet are better. For designing a machine that needs to have parts spanning multiple scales, metric is better.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday September 15, @12:12AM (6 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 15, @12:12AM (#1177901) Journal

            For measuring cloth, yards are normally (slightly) better. For building a bookcase inches and feet are better.

            Say... what? My whole life experience seems to point to the opposite, I don't even know what a yard or foot is without googling for their value in metric.
            At the shops I'm buying this stuff, they use meters and subdivisions, would look to strange if you ask them in other units (exception being hardware stores that may still keep imperial screws/threaded rods. But even for them their length is measured/displayed in metric).

            Point: it highly depends in the culture you grew up. I never used any of the units you mentioned because nobody around use them, I'm having a hard time to see how they can be better. For the same reason, I suspect you will find them better than the metric... but we come to this nugget

            For designing a machine that needs to have parts spanning multiple scales, metric is better.

            Gee, thanks. Like, I'm going to buy materials to host a machine with dimensions in metric, but the length of timber are expressed in feet - how can dealing with two unit scales be better when I know from a lifelong practice one is enough?

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday September 15, @01:41PM (1 child)

              by HiThere (866) on Wednesday September 15, @01:41PM (#1177976) Journal

              Not entirely. Yeah, conversions are a bitch, but a bookcase is really built sized with cubits and hand spans, which translate better into feet and inches. The body is the basic unit of measure, from which meaning of all the other measures are derived. Yes, it's highly individualized and variable, which is why standard measures are needed for communication. And avoiding conversions is what the metric system is about. Unfortunately it's basic units aren't convenient sizes for a lot of things. So a pound is a unit of force, where a kilogram is a unit of mass. They don't really convert easily, though sloppy conversions are often "good enough".

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 15, @02:20PM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 15, @02:20PM (#1177983) Journal

                but a bookcase is really built sized with cubits and hand spans,

                Jamais couché avec.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, @01:36PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, @01:36PM (#1178607)

              any of the units you mentioned because nobody around use them

              But it would be fun to enlighten them.
              "Hello, I'd like a threaded rod"
              "Sure, how long?"
              "Three feet"
              "Ahem, how long is that?"
              "Let me explain. 437 feet is about as big as a baseball field. 2 million feet is about as wide as the state of Nebraska."

            • (Score: 2) by dry on Sunday September 19, @03:55AM (2 children)

              by dry (223) on Sunday September 19, @03:55AM (#1179352) Journal

              For carpentry, imperial is nice as it is easy to figure out halves, thirds and quarters. I live in a metric country (Canada) and the lumber yard is one of the few places that is still imperial.

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday September 19, @06:13AM (1 child)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 19, @06:13AM (#1179380) Journal

                Because 1.8m, 2.4m, 3.6m, 4.2m and 4.8m** a such a hassle to divide by 2, 3, 4.

                ** typical construction lumber lengths one gets at the hardware stores in Australia.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 2) by dry on Sunday September 19, @06:24AM

                  by dry (223) on Sunday September 19, @06:24AM (#1179383) Journal

                  Guess part of it is always dealing in imperial with lumber. Looking at your numbers, it takes a second to visualize.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by hendrikboom on Wednesday September 15, @09:58PM

            by hendrikboom (1125) on Wednesday September 15, @09:58PM (#1178126) Homepage Journal

            I find C quite easy to use for room temperature.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Opportunist on Tuesday September 14, @10:10PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday September 14, @10:10PM (#1177875)

      Umm... you might want to rethink that argument, unless you want to make one for Celsius. 0°C is the freezing point of "organic" water, while 0°F is the freezing point of the stuff with the lowest freezing point that Fahrenheit could cook up in his "ivory tower" lab.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Entropy on Tuesday September 14, @06:57PM (4 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Tuesday September 14, @06:57PM (#1177798)

    I guess whomever wrote this hasn't heard of real numbers?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:03PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:03PM (#1177802)

      "whoever" is the subject of the clause, so that should be "whoever".

      And, we're talking about usefulness in the real world. Sure we could define temperature as a set of real numbers where freezing is 0.0003 and boiling at .00032, but that isn't very useful.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Opportunist on Tuesday September 14, @10:12PM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday September 14, @10:12PM (#1177876)

        It is useful in the real world. Temperatures are given in half degrees over here, provided someone cares enough.

        Though, let's be honest here, A temperature difference of 1°C is good enough for pretty much all applications. Do you feel the difference between 72 and 73°F? 2-3 degrees Celsius is a temperature difference that you actually can notice, and for Fahrenheit the same is pretty much true for about five degrees.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:09PM (#1177806)

      You can't really blame him, he is from the "Writers Institute at Susquehanna University". Never even heard of them. I'm not even sure he qualifies as being a scientist.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @08:21PM

      All you need is fractions. You barely even need more than "and a half".
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:00PM (19 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:00PM (#1177799)

    Pure clickbait.

    Celsius uses decimal points for increased granularity, humans adapt to either system just fine.

    Anecdotally I don't really care about any Fahrenheit change less than 5 degrees, so the slightly less than double "accuracy" means pretty much nothing anyway.

    • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:27PM (18 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:27PM (#1177812)

      That works both ways though, you can use decimal places with customary measures. The issue with metric measurements is that the definitions are really, really dumb. Fahrenheit puts one endofthe scale close to body temperature and avoids excessive use of negative numbers during weather forecasts.

      It's really a questionof anthrocentric versus earth centered measurement and they're both going to suck when we leave the Earth in the future.

      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:45PM (#1177821)

        they're both going to suck when we leave the Earth in the future.

        Who is this "we", Mr Bezos?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Tuesday September 14, @08:06PM (7 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday September 14, @08:06PM (#1177830) Journal

        But the negative numbers are immensely useful. Weather at below 0°C is very different from weather above 0°C. If temperatures are close to 0°C, as driver you have to start worrying about ice on the street. Indeed, 0°C is the one most important point on the temperature scale, as far as weather is concerned.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:29AM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:29AM (#1177927)

          No it's not, you southern wimp. You don't get real snow until below 0F, that stuff just melts.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:03AM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:03AM (#1177944)

            The snow's fine. It's the black ice in not-obviously shaded spots on otherwise clear roads that f*ck you.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:29PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:29PM (#1178025)

              Oh, geeez, don't get me started on "black ice". Southerners throw that term around like it's an everyday occurrence in the winter months. It's not. And, you've probably never seen it. In more than fifty years of driving, I've only encountered black ice 3 times. And, oh yeah - it's going to affect more than 10 or 20 yards of pavement - it's going to stretch as far as the local weather conditions reach. Anything smaller, and you're looking at some other form of ice, maybe melted snow running across the road that froze again after the sun set. That ain't "black ice". If you can drive onto the ice at slow speed, turn your steering wheel, and the vehicle responds, at all, it is not "black ice".

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:33PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:33PM (#1178115)

                It depends where you're driving, it's most commonly found near bodies of water, but yeah, black ice isn't super common due to it needing petty specific conditions to form. You're far more likely to have issues with regular ice. Assuming the local authorities haven't plowed and salted the roads.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by coolgopher on Wednesday September 15, @10:51PM (1 child)

                by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 15, @10:51PM (#1178140)

                I’m intrigued. You seem to have a different definition of black ice from me and the AC. To me at least, black ice is the term used to describe those patches of road which look perfectly normal given the lighting conditions, but in reality have a thin, super slick layer of ice which you only discover because the car keeps going the direction it entered no matter where you try to steer.

                Where I’m from, it’s not uncommon in late autumn when the humidity is high and dew/fog might’ve frozen overnight and not yet melted in patches, even though the rest of the road is clear from it. Often this is in corners where there might be a few trees shading from more than one angle. I’ve never encountered large stretches of it (thankfully), but a few meters in a sharp corner can be troublesome enough! I’ve managed to stay out of the ditch so far, but it got mighty close once.

                • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @06:49AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @06:49AM (#1178212)

                  I'm not the same AC, but the differences in usage isn't surprising because even different meteorological groups define "black ice" differently. The maritime weather usage has "black ice" that refers to accumulations of any ice that weighs more than a certain amount that the particular boat can handle. The NWS uses it to refer to any glazing ice on transportation surfaces specifically that is neither continual nor visible. The WMO uses it to refer to any transparent glazing on any surface caused by liquid water on land and to the columnar ice sheet that mostly forms on navigatible waters. The AMS uses it to refer to a form of glaze icing on below-freezing hard surfaces that has a similar columnar grain structure caused by drizzle or other forms of small non-supercooled liquid precipitation and condensation. There are also regional differences as well. In some places, you can only get black ice from sea spray and other only recognize icing on bridges. All of that is why even the official definitions are getting more and more general because the recognize that usage is descriptive not prescriptive and often context-dependent.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:14PM (#1177981)

          It's really not. I've been in weather that was below freezing, and I was in weather below 0F and if you really think that 0C is a decent dividing line, then you clearly haven't been out in cold weather. Below about 20F, it gets harder and harder to notice a difference other than by how long it takes you to get frostbite. It was a real surprise the first time I was out in subzero weather that it didn't really feel that much different than when it was 20F out. Around here it rarely, if ever, gets to the low 20F and I can't remember it ever being in the teens due to the marine air.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:24PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:24PM (#1177842)

        Sorry but you deserve some mocking.

        "Fahrenheit puts one endofthe scale close to body temperature and avoids excessive use of negative numbers during weather forecasts."

        The end of the scale is not 100 degrees, body temperature is not a commonly used number and it wouldn't matter which scale you're on. As for the negative numbers, above is a better reason why they are actually incredibly useful.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:31PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:31PM (#1177985)

          The fact of the matter is that if you think that I deserve some mocking, then you clearly don't understand any of the measuring systems involved here. If the SI was really that great, then you wouldn't see so much resistance to it from people using measuring systems based on British Imperial measures. Those measures are hardly perfect, but at least they're relatively thought out for things that people actually do, rather than counting on a bunch of luck to have things work out.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @07:07PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @07:07PM (#1178073)

            Weird hill to die on but ok. Watching the extreme nationalism supplant a rightwingers logic is very much an interesting phenomenon.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:37PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:37PM (#1178116)

              It's got nothing to do with nationalism, the SI measures just suck for most uses. If they didn't suck them nobody would care about the U.S. and a few other holdouts not drinking the flavoraid. The obvious superiority would do the job. But, virtually all the SI units are inconvenient for most uses.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @08:02PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @08:02PM (#1178386)

                It's got everything to do with nationalism, the SI measures are superior for most uses. If they weren't then nobody would care about the U.S. and a few other holdouts not drinking the flavoraid. The obvious superiority should do the job. But, virtually all the Imperial users are scared of change which is why they are called conservatives.

      • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Tuesday September 14, @11:55PM (2 children)

        by hash14 (1102) on Tuesday September 14, @11:55PM (#1177898)

        avoids excessive use of negative numbers during weather forecasts

        This has to be the most inconsequential consideration for everything ever designed in the history of anything...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:39PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:39PM (#1178118)

          And using base 10 to do conversions is a better basis?

      • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday September 15, @01:32AM

        by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday September 15, @01:32AM (#1177930) Journal

        That works both ways though, you can use decimal places with customary measures.

        No, No, No. With Celsius you can use decimals, with Fahrenheit you have to use fractions. 20.215 C = 70 3/16 F

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by tangomargarine on Tuesday September 14, @07:01PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday September 14, @07:01PM (#1177801)

    Finally, scientists prefer to use Celsius (when they're not using Kelvin, which is arguably the most awkward unit of measurement for temperature).

    Celsius : Kelvin :: Fahrenheit : Rankine [wikipedia.org]

    (ignoring of course the ones no longer in use like Rømer and Réaumur)

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:05PM (#1177803)

    So what the fine article is REALLY saying, is that Fahrenheit goes all the way to Eleven?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by stretch611 on Tuesday September 14, @07:20PM (21 children)

    by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @07:20PM (#1177810)

    There is nothing that makes the scale of measurement more precise than the other. We have this thing called the decimal system which allows us to measure things with fractional amounts. Precision depends on the tools available to measure the value, not the size of the scalar values. i.e. I can measure 98.6 degrees F because of the precision of the thermometer, there is no reason why I cabn't go into hundredths or thousands of a degree if I needed that level of accuracy and had tools precise enough to do it. And tools using the Celsius scale can do the same.

    The article reads like some puff piece to say why their way is the correct one without having any facts at all. The truth is that people used to Fahrenheit will prefer it, while people using Celsius will prefer that.

    I can make an argument that Kelvin is better than either of the others... And actually have more scientific evidence, After all there really is no such thing as temperature less than absolute zero based on the third law of thermodynamics. Kelvin does not have a temperature measurement less than zero which is accurate. The concept of negative temperature is a fallacy, of which both Celsius and Fahrenheit allow this unscientific idea.

    --
    I think; therefore, I am vaccinated.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @07:49PM (1 child)

      Yes, it does read that way, but it corresponds to what some real people think. I do know a meteorologist in the US who has made precisely this "nearly twice as precise as Centigrade" argument. I decided the best counter-argument was to say nothing, they'd not used logic to get themselves into that position, logic wouldn't work to get them out of it.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 3, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:22PM (16 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:22PM (#1177841)

      The issue is which one is more useful?

      For the target audience of the article, which is everyday users, the answer is clearly non-metric units. Non-metric units arose exactly because they are useful, and they are useful because they are relatable. The human brain can't deal with very large or very small numbers, so things that occur in units of a few or a few dozen naturally arise. Where metric is the official system, people have largely been forced to conform to most length and temperature changes, so weather in Celsius is common, as is centimeters, meters, and kilometers. But you still hear people's height mentioned in feet in many countries, or auto driving in miles or miles per hour. This is because it is a lot easier to relate to the difference between 5-ft 6-in and 6 feet than it is between 1.68 and 1.83 meters (or 1676 and 1829 cm), not to mention when talking about differences in height of only several inches.

      In fact, non-metric units are so useful for everyday living, that even those staunch metric advocates use them all the time. You buy sacks or bags of flour, kegs of beer, barrels of oil. Nobody uses metric units for those kind of things ("Yes, please, I'd like another 237 ml of coffee!"). Area is even worse because people are pretty good at comparing lengths, but horrible at comparing areas. An acre is very relatable because you can reasonably picture it. Same with football pitches, but not square meters. The useful metric units are those that happen to be close to imperial units. Pounds and kilograms are within a factor of two. Miles and kilometers are close enough too, and (not surprisingly!) hectares are close to acres. Beer was served in pints, but snice that is 473 ml, a lot of places now give it in 500 ml servings. I am very appreciative of getting the extra beer, but when you feel compelled to change your everyday living to conform to some arbitrary system of units, rather than the other way around, then it might be a signal to you that you're doing it wrong.

      The loudest non-technical advocates for the metric system love to sell it on the fact that it is very easy to convert from kilometers to centimeters by just moving the decimal place. This ignores the fact that nobody needs to make large order of magnitude conversions in normal life (I have had someone smugly tell me that if I told him the distance to the moon in km that he can very quickly tell me the distance in cm and challenged me to see how easy it would be if I was told that distance in miles to convert it to inches. I asked him why the hell would I ever need to make that conversion, and if he ultimately wanted to know that distance in inches and was given km, then we'd be in the same boat anyway!).

      If you are a science/technical person, or involved in international commerce, the metric system makes a lot of sense, more from the standpoint of standardization than just being able to move decimal places around. Which was the primary reason it was proposed (that, and French nationalism, but that's a different story).

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday September 14, @08:48PM (4 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday September 14, @08:48PM (#1177858) Journal

        But you still hear people's height mentioned in feet in many countries, or auto driving in miles or miles per hour.

        Which are those “many countries” you speak of?

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:33PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:33PM (#1177867)

          My experience is seeing it on UK and UK-sounding country broadcasts (you know, those countries that stick all those gratuitous "u"'s in words) for rugby and football matches. The official TV player graphic will be metric, but you'll hear the announcer say something like "they raised all of that 6 foot 6 lock up to grab that lineout." Canada for sure. Distances are usually given in km, but it isn't unusual to hear speeds sometimes given in mph in casual contexts. (A little Googling [autotrader.com] shows my recollection is not off base)

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @03:12AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @03:12AM (#1177956)

          US is a metric country and do not let anyone tell you differently.

          https://www.google.com/search?q=what+year+did+us+join+metric+system [google.com]

          1866 yes over 150 years ago.

          In 1866, the U.S. Congress authorized the use of the metric system and almost a decade later America became one of 17 original signatory nations to the Treaty of the Meter. A more modern system was approved in 1960 and is commonly known as SI or the International System of Units.

          So why is one method better than another? People.

          An inch is about the lenght between 1st and 2nd knuckle - About even one has one at the ready.
          A foot -- look down
          A cubic - roughtly the length from elbow to middle finger tip - 1/2 of yard.
          A yard - roughly then distance from your nose (looking straight ahead) to your finger tip with your arm full stretched out at shoulder hieight. Also roughky 1/2 your height

          Fl oz (volume)-
          Tablespoon 1/2 oz
          cup 8oz
          pint 16oz
          quart 32oz
          gallon 138oz.

          For us computer people - Binary!!!
          .

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:38PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:38PM (#1177986)

            I've used both customary and SI measures for daily living and the main difference is that the customary measures are mainly defined in an anthrocentric way. Your personal foot is unlikely to be a foot, but you'd learn the relationship between yoru foot and an actual foot and you can use them to estimate lengths. Same goes for most of the other lengths. Time is a mess in every system we've ever designed. Time measurement is literally the measure with the most room for improvement, but nobody has ever gone about fixing it. You can't do much about the length of a year, or the actual duration of a day, but there's no inherent reason why we couldn't redefine the hour to be 20 per day, a minute to be 100 per hour and the second to be 100 per minute. We could also make every month 30 days and add the remaining 5 days to the first 5 odd months and put leap year day as November 31st.

            It's never going to happen, you'd have to have the entire world changing all at once and then have to deal with the issue of dates and times from before that point not matching even remotely.

            One of the great things about the measuring system in America, is that while it's backed by SI measures, the increments are much easier for humans to use. Everywhere you go, you're carrying most of the things needed to estimate measures.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @03:06PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @03:06PM (#1177999)

              Time and Math are fun...

              364.24.... days around the sun
              360 degress in a circle or face of a clock????

              360 is nice because divs by 12 nicely. So also divs by 24 and 60 nicely! And making gears to move them... again nice math.

              Did you know that Feburary was the LAST MONTH of year. Julain calendar. IT is why is shorter than others Orignal calendar was a 12 or 13 month calendars. Roman standardized it. 31,30,31,30,... days months The Julius (July) and Augustius (Aug) wanted their own months with same number of days. Remember Sept->7, Oct->8,Nov->9 and Dec->10.

              Dont even get into current different between Europe and US Calendars.... Europe Weekend is on right SAT, SUN. So SUN is day of rest (New Testament/christian based). US Weekends Sun left, SAT right. So SAT.... Sabith is the last day... day of res (Old Testament/Hebrew/Jews based)

              It its that US based match Genesis the best... Sun (heavens), Mon/moon (earth), then 4 norse gods Tue, Wed (Oden) Thu (Thor), Fri, the Sat (Sabeth/day of rest)

              They talking about virus are left encoded in our DNA. Now you can see human history encoded in Math, Time, Calendars

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by vux984 on Tuesday September 14, @10:39PM (4 children)

        by vux984 (5045) on Tuesday September 14, @10:39PM (#1177882)

        tldr; -- you're wrong about the usefulness of easy conversions, and pretty much everything you think is more relatable in imperial units is really just familiarity and practice.

        For the target audience of the article, which is everyday users, the answer is clearly non-metric units.

        There is NOTHING clear about that at all.

        Non-metric units arose exactly because they are useful, and they are useful because they are relatable.

        Sure. But it doesn't really matter, because familiarity is a far FAR more important factor. If you are born and raised in a metric country, celsius is 2nd nature. The lack of granularity doesn't make an iota of difference; for the human experience 2 degrees makes little difference in almost all contexts, let alone 0.5 degree steps. I know how hot and cold -40 -30, -25, -20, -15, -10, 0, 10, 20, 25 30, 35, 40 are by living through it; i have mental reference frame for them, how to dress, how I'll feel (and at different humidities), etc. I've memorized how hot beef and chicken need to be to be safe, what a mild and severe fever is. So for day to day use, it not 'better than farenheiht'... but its not worse. The fact that it ties more neatly into science is a the only real advantage, but IS a real advantage.

        But you still hear people's height mentioned in feet in many countries, or auto driving in miles or miles per hour.

        More because the US exports its culture via hollywood, and everything it manufacturers than any actual functional reason. Canada being so closely tied to the US didn't cut over as hard as Europe, and so yes pounds and feet and inches are still widely used here, but again its a matter of comfort, I can buy groceries in either system with equal facility. 250g sliced black forest ham, 2lbs salmon, 1kg salmon, 2kg apples, 5lbs apples... i've been using both for decades -- I can convert units in my head as needed but i don't really do that, i have a mental picture of what 100g of sliced ham looks like, what 200g of sliced ham looks like, what 1liter of milk looks like, what 4 liters of milk looks like, how much beer is in a pint, the size of a 2x4, what a 12mm bolt looks like....

        You talk about 1.68m vs 1.83m, and I assure you I can visualize the 15cm difference perfectly fine. I have mental images for all of these things. "Feet and Inches" may seem natural to you for 'human scale things', but there's another imperial unit ... hands. You know like what horses heights are measured in. Nobody gives a horses height in feet and inches... its hands. And anyone who works a lot with horses can visualize and estimate height in hands pretty accurately. And guess what? A hand is 10cm. People raised in metric, have the same facility. 1.68meters is no more obscure to someone raised in metric than 17 hands is to a horse trader, and the difference to 1.83m is a little more than hand taller than 1.68. That's not to say metric people are thinking in 'hands' they're thinking in 10cm increments, but the point is that thinking in 10cm increments for human scale stuff is perfectly natural and easy to do, and the near equivalence to a hand just illustrates how easy.

        Meters are very close to yards, and 10cm is very close to 'hands'. If you think the imperial equivalents yards and hands are 'relatable' then metric must be just as relatable.
        Finally, if you are raised in metric, you know how tall you are in metric, and how tall others around you are. So just as you have a mental idea in imperial feet an inches how tall you are, your boss, you mom, your sister, your favorite basketball player... a metric user has that in cm, so they visualize human scale things the same way you do, in relation to human scale things with those values.

        You buy sacks or bags of flour, kegs of beer, barrels of oil. Nobody uses metric units for those kind of things

        I buy flour by the kg. It's sold in 5kg, 10kg, 20kg... I usually buy beer in bottles and rarely in cans, I've never bought it by the keg, and I buy oil by the liter, not by the barrel; although I realize 'barrel' is the international standard for trading the oil commodity. But that's a historical artifact and dominated by US economic clout rather than there being any real advantage to oil in barrels.

        Nobody uses metric units for those kind of things ("Yes, please, I'd like another 237 ml of coffee!").

        When I ask for a cup of coffee, I'm asking for coffee in the usual object used for drinking it. The same way when I a ask for a bottle of beer, i want the amount of beer in a bottle along with a bottle. There's no unit called "bottle". When I ask for a cup of coffee its whatever amount of coffee fits in the mug it'll be served in, which in my experience is quite a bit more than a unit 'cup'.

        An acre is very relatable because you can reasonably picture it. Same with football pitches, but not square meters.

        There's nothing more relatable about an acre than a hectare if you have experience with it. Square meters are very easily visualized. And lots of square meters are trivial to convert to hectares and square kilometers.

        The loudest non-technical advocates for the metric system love to sell it on the fact that it is very easy to convert from kilometers to centimeters by just moving the decimal place. This ignores the fact that nobody needs to make large order of magnitude conversions in normal life

        You cherry picked a stupid example calculating the distance to the moon in different linear scales. Lots of real world calculations are easier in metric, and are things people actually do.

        If you are dealing with areas and volumes and liquids and weights. And then yes, being able to convert from cc's to cubic meters or to compare the volume of a liquid in liters with the volume of a container in meters. These kinds of conversions come up pretty routinely in lots of walks of life. How many liters of water do you need to fill a circular kids pool 2m across and 40cm deep is pretty easy. (bonus question ... how much will it weigh? Also easy. )

        Go ahead and do it in pints and feet and inches and lbs; its a lot more hassle.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:26AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:26AM (#1177903)

          And guess what? A hand is 10cm.

          A hand is actually 10.16 cm, which is 4 inches. So a hand is a natural unit of inches. Your horse breeders are working in imperial units.

          When I ask for a cup of coffee, I'm asking for coffee in the usual object used for drinking it.

          You go vehemently denying everything said, then right here admitting that you use these really strange units (what's a cup of coffee? Is it the same as a cup of milk? Is a cup of coffee 8 oz like a cup you have I the kitchen? How do you manage all this? Why don't you use the liter as your measurement like a civilized person and give up this arbitrary "cup" nonsense?). So it IS metric except when you want to do something useful! You could have saved a lot of typing and just typed "I agree." Same with beer. You are very unclear what your "bottle" is. Baby bottle? 12 oz? Long neck? Tall boy? Honestly, I don't know how you can deal with this stuff every day. For me, I'll normally ask for just a regular bottle, but if I'm only a little thirsty I ask for the deci-bottle. When we're really letting our hair down and the whole family is over, maybe I'll order the kilobottle.

          Your arguments boil down to that you are comfortable working in either system of units, which is fine. However, there are plenty of metric advocates, and you'll find them on this site as well, who will try to argue the natural superiority of the metric system with arguments that essentially boil down to "I can move the decimal point" with the zeal of an obsessed numerologist. I've worked in both systems for decades as a scientist and neither system is superior than another. I find ease of calculations to be very overrated for everyday use, including your pool example as they are edge cases in general use (if you want to calculate in imperial units, you don't switch around to all those colorful (but useful) units, but you stick to one unit, like the foot, and you calculate your cubic feet and convert to gallons by multiplying by some constant (0.133 in this case), which is only applying a scaling factor--which you seem to do in your head anyway to go between lbs and kg). I still feel that if one feels the need to redefine the world around them to match their system of units, that should be a cause of concern. Pints go to 500 ml. Teaspoons go to 5 ml. Perhaps shoe sizes to integer cm (I suppose the Japanese use half-centimeters anyway)? Why not?

          • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Wednesday September 15, @04:51PM

            by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday September 15, @04:51PM (#1178038)

            A hand is actually 10.16 cm, which is 4 inches. So a hand is a natural unit of inches. Your horse breeders are working in imperial units.

            I'm well aware that a hand an imperial unit. My point was not to suggest that a hand was metric, my point was that 10cm is a relatable unit for human scale measurements. The hand is an imperial measurement that is almost identical. And that there are lots of people in horses who can estimate and visualize height in hands without any difficulty. So if you agree hands are relatable and horse traders can visualize and estimate heights of human scale things (horse scale things) in hands without difficulty then surely there is nothing unbeleivable to you that metric users can do it just easily in 10cm increments.

            You go vehemently denying everything said, then right here admitting that you use these really strange units (what's a cup of coffee? Is it the same as a cup of milk? Is a cup of coffee 8 oz like a cup you have I the kitchen? How do you manage all this? Why don't you use the liter as your measurement like a civilized person and give up this arbitrary "cup" nonsense?).

            Precisely because I'm not using it as a 'measurement' and I"m not asking for a specific measured quantity of liquid. I'm asking for however much fills the vessel it's being serving it in. If anything that's advantage of the metric system, if I ask for a cup of coffee I generally want 'a suitable variable size serving'; although i might want a precisely measured cup for some reason. But if I ask for 500mL of coffee I probably want 500mL of coffee.

            The fact that a cup is an ambiguous quantity is a disadvantage. And related to that, an another advantage to metric is that it not ambiguous. If I'm given units in metric its unambiguous. If I'm given units in gallons, I need to resort to context to determine whether its american gallons or imperial gallons or dry gallons. Likewise tons are a clusterfuck. And in physics the blurryness between pound as mass and pound as force isn't doing it any favors. Metric also standardized on using real numbers for small units instead of fractions. You are never dealing with 5/64ths or 3/16ths. I think cm, mm, um are much easier to work with, convert between, and add or multiply as needed.

            In day to day usage the two systems are nearly equivalent, but metric as a planned and standardized system is better for science because there is a clean break from the conflicting and ambiguous definitions of the previous system. And there is really no good reason to learn two.

            However, there are plenty of metric advocates, and you'll find them on this site as well, who will try to argue the natural superiority of the metric system with arguments that essentially boil down to "I can move the decimal point" with the zeal of an obsessed numerologist.

            What is the volume of a pipe 4km long and 20cm wide. The ability to convert from cm to km without effort is a real advantage. Is it the biggest advantage? No, its not. But the volume of a pipe 2 mile long and 5" wide IS more hassle to calculate due to the unit conversions and these are calculations that need to made in the real world. And the inability of some people to articulate why metric is much better doesn't mean its not much better. The clear unambiguous definitions and global standardization are the biggest advantages, but simple unit conversions are an advantage too.

            The small units is another spot where unit conversion comes up, the milli-units to micro-units. Lots of manufacturing and production have values and tolerances in this range, and imperial is just more annoying to deal with.

            Metric has several advantages, and the ONLY argument imperial unit advocates have is that imperial is more "relatable", but its a really thin argument. Metric is perfectly natural to use day to day if you grow up with it as millions of metric users can attest.

        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday September 15, @02:02AM

          by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday September 15, @02:02AM (#1177943) Journal

          The one context where he has a point is peoples' height. To people who have some familiarity to both systems, feet/inches is much more relatable because most heights are in the narrow range of 5 to 7 feet. You can just check 5 or 6 for the feet (not tall, tall) and then the inches for an accurate mental picture. 5' 1" is short, 5' 11" is almost tall. 6' 1" is tall (but not very tall), 6' 11" is very tall. Anything outside the 5' to 7' range is extreme.

          I use metric for pretty much everything else, but I still find myself converting 1xx cm to feet / inches to judge if a description is a short or tall person. Probably because while 140 cm is very short and 200 is very tall, it doesn't come up often enough to have internalised what 178 is.

          --
          No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, @02:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, @02:09PM (#1178622)

          Same with football pitches, but not square meters.

          You quoted this and forgot to write how stupid it is. Not only I don't know how big a football pitch is (actually I don't even know what a "pitch" is), but I'm pretty sure most Americans don't. Most people see football fields only on TV. Even for people regularly going to watch games live, they see the field from too far away to make it useful as size comparison with every-day ground surfaces. Something like "when I'm standing in the xyz square in my city, it feels/looks similar to when I'm standing on a football field" - wtf? How often does the regular person stand on a football field?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Mykl on Tuesday September 14, @10:55PM (1 child)

        by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday September 14, @10:55PM (#1177889)

        ...between 1.68 and 1.83 meters (or 1676 and 1829 cm)

        ... it is very easy to convert from kilometers to centimeters by just moving the decimal place

        But apparently not as easy to convert from meters to centimeters.

        Sorry, couldn't resist.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @11:26PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @11:26PM (#1177893)

          Yeah, once I crossed from comment into essay, I started getting lax with proofreading.

      • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Wednesday September 15, @01:31AM (2 children)

        by hash14 (1102) on Wednesday September 15, @01:31AM (#1177929)

        The loudest non-technical advocates for the metric system love to sell it on the fact that it is very easy to convert from kilometers to centimeters by just moving the decimal place. This ignores the fact that nobody needs to make large order of magnitude conversions in normal life (I have had someone smugly tell me that if I told him the distance to the moon in km that he can very quickly tell me the distance in cm and challenged me to see how easy it would be if I was told that distance in miles to convert it to inches. I asked him why the hell would I ever need to make that conversion, and if he ultimately wanted to know that distance in inches and was given km, then we'd be in the same boat anyway!).

        Okay, here's a better example. This seems like something that could come up a lot in say, carpentry or other minor construction projects. Suppose you need some plaster to surround a window for example. Would you rather compute the perimeter if you measured them to be 2 feet, 8 inches by 4 feet, 10 inches? Personally, I would find it much easier if I knew they were 80cm by 145cm instead. Let's make it even more fun then - what if you need 4x that amount of material? I can do the metric ones in my head. It's 9m. I'm not even going to bother trying with the imperial units.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:50AM (#1177952)

          Imperial units are base-12, the math is super easy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:51PM (#1178122)

          Except you wouldn't do that. You'd measure it in inches or feet for the same reason that you wouldn't use both meters and centimeters if it's large enough for both to apply. And that's a regular theme where the examples are engineered to make SI look good, ignoring the fact that nobody would use the customary measures in such a way.

          In America, we know more about SI units than foreign people typically know about customary measures. It's a foregone conclusion that we're wrong because most countries didn't have a functioning system of enforced units of measure that we're wrong, but if you look at how the SI measures came about, it's not a good system for most situations. Most of the nice features are completely accidental.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @11:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @11:09PM (#1178142)

        > This is because it is a lot easier to relate to the difference between 5-ft 6-in and 6 feet than it is between 1.68 and 1.83 meters (or 1676 and 1829 cm),

        For you maybe, not for everyone!!
        This may be only true if you use imperial units, if not, it is exactly the opposite!

        For me, 1.68 and 1.83 are totally different and well understood difference ... 5ft 6in and 6 feet both looks to me like a small child (around maybe 7 years old)
        It just a matter of what you are used to. Every time some country change their coin (mostly same value range, like in Europe, for the euro, not the 10milions from zimbabwe [banknoteworld.com] to try to solve inflation... think on traveling to another country with a different coin, if your country never changed coin) , people feel hard to understand the new value, it feels uncomfortable... but with time and more unit use, you start to learn it and later found that the old unit is the one now that feels uncomfortable

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by loonycyborg on Tuesday September 14, @08:51PM

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Tuesday September 14, @08:51PM (#1177860)

      There are in fact negative temperatures in Kelvin scale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_temperature [wikipedia.org] . But they're even hotter than anything of positive temperature.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Sunday September 19, @04:16AM

      by dry (223) on Sunday September 19, @04:16AM (#1179359) Journal

      Yet there are negative Kelvin temperatures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_temperature [wikipedia.org] as temperature itself is not accurate, but an average.

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