AnonTechie writes:
"I have the following requests to members of this new forum:
1) Please use SI Units wherever possible. Alternative comparative units such as swimming pools, size of Florida, cars, libraries of congress, etc are also welcome ...
2) Please cover tech/science related stories from around the world. Please do not make this a US only website !!
Cheers and best wishes,
AnonTechie"
[ED Note: We as a community welcome submissions from around the world, as befits our international userbase. The Editorial team in particular is looking closely at including voices from outside the U.S. as we continue to grow. As for the units question in particular, stories will certainly arrive with a variety of units depending on the origin of the submission. We encourage, though do not require, submitters to include conversions where appropriate for clarity out of courtesy to your fellow readers. Though we try to use a light touch when making edits to story submissions, Editors may add these from time to time as well, should clarity demand and time permit.
Soylentils, does the current ad-hoc approach meet your needs, or do you favor a more formal approach from your news discussion site?]
(Score: 5, Insightful) by beckett on Monday February 24 2014, @03:11AM
1219 millimetres long can also be expressed as 1.2m. no need to ever involve using 4 feet as a measurement.
in regards to the unit of measure that 'best fits' it's hard to beat the metric system. far less internal confusion than e.g. US Gallon(3785ml) vs. UK Gallon(4546ml).
you may think it's convenient to call a cup of something "1 cup", but do you mean 250ml(ca), 236ml(us), 240ml(US FDA). 284ml(UK)?
it's easier to understand conversions in metric as well: converting from cubic meters to cubic centimeters is just *100000: move the decimal place. convert from cubic feet to cubic inches, you have to know there are 1728 cubic inches to a cubic foot.
here of all places we should try to push the human race forward into using scientific notation wherever possible.
(Score: 4, Insightful) by Koen on Monday February 24 2014, @03:23AM
4.000 feet = 1219 milimeters.
4.0 feet = 1.2 meter
4 feet = 1 meter
What is the unit of pedantry?
/. refugees on Usenet: comp.misc [comp.misc]
(Score: 1) by beckett on Monday February 24 2014, @05:07AM
i would think pedantry would be measured at 1.0936133 yards, or 1meter, rather than 48inches.
(Score: 1) by sjwt on Monday February 24 2014, @10:31AM
Try it the other way around with say buying a 1300mm length of wood..
1.3M = 13dm = 130cm =1300mm =1300000um
Nice and easy to pick a number to match within what ever daily tolerances one needs.
mm would be its lowest common daily denominator though more often its cm and I've never seen anyone use dm IRL, however in any situation you need less than a mm, micrometre (um) will faultlessly be understood by most average joes and by anyone who needs to know what it is.
1mm gets you an accuracy to 0.03937007874 inch or close to 1/32"
1um gives you an accuracy of around 1/25000"
What is the unit of pedantry for Imperial?
1300mm = (with playing extremely nice on the fractions by rounding a lot)
51.181102362 inches or 51 and 9/10"
4.2650918635 feet or 4 and 53/200'
1.4216972878 yards 1 and 211/500 yards
0.34407008443 roods or 43/125 roods
0.064622474746 chains [survey] or 3231/50000 chains [survey]
0.042650918635 chains [engineer]or 853/20000 chains [engineer]
(Score: 1) by Scruffy on Monday February 24 2014, @09:06PM
Pedandtry is measured in niggles. :)
1087 is a lucky prime.
(Score: 2, Interesting) by jb on Monday February 24 2014, @04:00AM
But the trouble is it often isn't.
The metric system only begins to approach useful as "one true system" if one makes use of all available prefixes. Very few countries that have metricated actually did it that way, preferring instead to "dumb it down" by using only a small smattering of prefixes for each unit.
Here in Australia, for example (where we decimalised currency in '66, metricated weights & measures in '76, and metricated everything else in '86), only a few select prefixes ever seem to be used with metric units -- and it's quite common for something to be described as being 1219mm despite the metre itself being the most obvious metric unit to use.
For measuring the sorts of things the average person comes across on a daily basis, the imperial system did not suffer from that problem, as the units were based on real-world things that people were familiar with -- the metric system doesn't to either, but by making silly choicese (like using millimetres when metres would make more sense; or considering deci- or deka- anything virtually taboo), it has ended up that way (although I understand that in Europe at least metric units tend to be used more sensibly)
Now the imperial system wasn't perfect either -- it had serious short-comings when dealing with extremely small or extremely large quantities (a problem which the metric system solves nicely).
In a world where the most influential nation uses an almost [absent proper gallons] imperial system and most of the rest of the world uses the metric system, thereby ensuring that people everywhere still need to be familiar with both systems, surely when posting in an international forum it makes most sense just to pick whichever unit (from either system) fits best with the quantity being measured?
(Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2014, @05:04AM
US economy went down and Aussie economy stayed fine, mainly because a certain nation imported iron ore and coal like crazy.
US economy on a (slow) track to recovery, Aussie economy goes down because that above mentioned nation restructured its imports.
Seems to me that the most influential nation (at least for Australia) is using other [wikipedia.org] units system
(Score: 1) by beckett on Monday February 24 2014, @05:04AM
it's faster and easier to convert 1219m, divide by 1000 to 1.2km in your head than take 1 mile, and somehow remember there are 5280feet in a mile.
(Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday February 24 2014, @04:50PM
you may think it's convenient to call a cup of something "1 cup", but do you mean 250ml(ca), 236ml(us), 240ml...
A cup is half a pint, which is half a quart, which is 1/4 of a gallon. Metric's strength is the fact that it's digital and you can make it as precise as you want. OTOH Imperial is based on fractions; an inch is 1/12th of a foot, a foot is 1/3 of a yard, etc. With cooking, fractions are handier than decimals, in a scientific or engineering endeavor where you use precise values, metric is better.
A href="http://www.nooze.org/Poe's%20Law.jpg">Poe's Law has nothing to do with Edgar Allen Poetry
(Score: 1) by beckett on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:36AM
You need to explain the cup/pint/quart/gallon relationship: how is this more intuitive or handier than looking at 'centimeter' and realizing there are 100 of them in a meter?
if the directions say add a 'quart of milk', it could mean 1136ml in the UK, or 946ml in the states resulting in different dishes. however, if you use 1L of milk in the uk, and 1L of milk in australia, they're the same measure. I really think there's no need to limit thinking in units of 10 should be relegated to 'scientific or engineering endeavours'. 10 is the same number of fingers most of us were born with.
(Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:10PM
It isn't more intuitive, there's nothing intuitive about any measuring system. It's more amenable to fractions than metric, which is based on decimals. Decimal math is hard with impreial units but dirt-simple with metric. So which is easier depends on whether you're using a slide rule or a computer.
A href="http://www.nooze.org/Poe's%20Law.jpg">Poe's Law has nothing to do with Edgar Allen Poetry