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Reply 160 of 197, by VileR

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Squabbling over the superiority of measuring systems is one of the most embarrassingly parochial thing to observe. Especially when it's so often a transparent substitute for other forms of jingoism, simply because they're deemed less acceptable these days. 😉

I've always been used to metric: that's the standard here, and yeah, it's easy to use. But I don't really find it productive to consider it a necessary hallmark of progress or something, or superior to everything else. Ease of use is an advantage, but are we necessarily improving ourselves when we can consistently do things the easy way without much mental effort? Playing devil's advocate here, but I wouldn't be so sure.

There's nothing inherently "better" about systems based on the powers of ten. Is this number mathematically useful? Was it adopted due to some kind of scientific advantage? Nah - it's how many fingers we have. Decimal, metric and SI all ultimately derive from the arrangement of appendages on our mammalian limbs. From that to being the pinnacle of progress there's a way to go.

I've also heard the argument that the number 12 would have more of an inherent advantage, what with its divisors and other useful mathematical properties. Amusingly this was recognized thousands of years ago, and the common system of measuring time still kind of reflects that.

digger wrote on 2020-11-23, 23:03:

However, maybe we can compromise on at least one thing: let's meet each other half way when it comes to the date format. Let's all agree on year-month-day. Most significant first, least significant last, just like with numbers. Easier to sort in a computer table as well. And hey, the day will still come after the month, just as you folks are used too. 😉

This I can agree with - it's been my habit to do that for a long time now. 😁

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Reply 161 of 197, by ShovelKnight

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I don't mind the imperial measuring system on its own: after all, people used it for hundreds of years and somehow managed to build houses, bridges etc.

Imperial screws, on the other hand, are a satanic invention. This is especially true for British products since Britain has (or had?) about a dozen different standards for imperial screws: BSC, BSW, BSF, BA and whatnot. This summer I restored a mid-century British turntable that was missing a number of screws and I was forced to buy an expensive set of thread gauges just to identify them. With metric screws, in most cases you simply have to measure the inside diameter of the threads and that's it.

Reply 162 of 197, by Errius

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How did British engineers working on European projects do things? (e.g. Eurotunnel, Concorde, Sepcat Jaguar, Panavia Tornado) Did they use Metric or Imperial?

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Reply 163 of 197, by ShovelKnight

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Errius wrote on 2020-11-24, 11:58:

How did British engineers working on European projects do things? (e.g. Eurotunnel, Concorde, Sepcat Jaguar, Panavia Tornado) Did they use Metric or Imperial?

Metric, obviously.

Reply 164 of 197, by digger

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Errius wrote on 2020-11-24, 11:58:

How did British engineers working on European projects do things? (e.g. Eurotunnel, Concorde, Sepcat Jaguar, Panavia Tornado) Did they use Metric or Imperial?

Well, the standard-gauge railway has pretty much become the international standard, at least in Europe. Only it appears to have been redefined as 1435 mm as opposed to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in, although those two measurements are fairly close to the same.

One interesting legacy about the British working on railways in Mainland Europe is the curious fact that in many (though not all) European countries, notably in France and Belgium, the trains run on the left as opposed to the right, as is the case with roads in those countries. Because of this, there are special sections on international railways, for instance near the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, where the left and right tracks mutually cross over in a kind of double helix, to allow smooth transitions back and forth.

Reply 165 of 197, by Errius

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Americans write dates the way they speak them. "November the twenty-third, twenty-twenty" becomes "11/23/2020"

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Reply 166 of 197, by dr_st

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Errius wrote on 2020-11-24, 13:28:

Americans write dates the way they speak them. "November the twenty-third, twenty-twenty" becomes "11/23/2020"

Yeah, that's the thing - they speak them strangely, so they end up writing them strangely. 😜

I agree that for various reasons, the ISO standard YYYY-MM-DD is the one that makes the most sense. I think Japan uses it by default?

Since I routinely have to communicate written dates to both Americans and non-Americans, I avoid confusion by spelling the month out. Like, today is 24-Nov-2020.

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Reply 167 of 197, by Errius

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YYYY-MM-DD makes sense for countries that write from left-to-right. A lot of countries don't though.

Some European countries avoid this problem by using Roman numerals for the month, eg. 24 XI 2020

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Reply 168 of 197, by dr_st

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Hmm. I see the point. But In the two left-to-right languages I'm familiar with (Hebrew and Arabic), numbers are still written left-to-right. Not sure about others.

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Reply 169 of 197, by brostenen

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The date system I really dont care for. If I write in Danish I use the Danish way, DD-MM-YY and when I write in English, then I usually write something like 1-Jan-2021. It all depends. If it is a personal message and the reader is American, then I write 12-24-2020 or whatever date in question.

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Reply 170 of 197, by Errius

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Everybody needs to start using Unix time.

Nobody would ever confuse 1606780800 with 1578787200.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 171 of 197, by ElBrunzy

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I feel like imperial is more about size related to the human body, like door or wall size. I wonder how it change over time since the human tend to grow in size over history. But the decimal system is so easy to calculate mentally, it feel like your brain is a cpu shifting zero and making huge maths. I enjoy they both are affected about each other into easy conversions .

Reply 172 of 197, by Errius

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I know from flight simulators that 10,000 m is roughly 30,000 feet.

In full realism mode, with all HUD displays off, you have to be able to mentally switch between nautical miles/km and feet/meters depending on the nationality of the plane you happen to be flying.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 173 of 197, by digger

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brostenen wrote on 2020-11-27, 19:46:

The date system I really dont care for. If I write in Danish I use the Danish way, DD-MM-YY and when I write in English, then I usually write something like 1-Jan-2021. It all depends. If it is a personal message and the reader is American, then I write 12-24-2020 or whatever date in question.

That's interesting to read! Until now, I was under the misconception that Denmark had already standardized on the yyyy-mm-dd format. But perhaps I was thrown off by the en_DK locale, which combines the English language with reasonable European defaults (metric measurements, A4 paper format, 24-hour time notation and the yyyy-mm-dd date notation).

But having googled a bit more about it, apparently the DK in that locale was meant somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Reply 174 of 197, by The Serpent Rider

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Con 2 botones wrote:

Not long along, French was the Diplomacy language.

To be fair, French was all the rage in 18-19 century and still has noticeable influence in Africa and Canada.

Tetrium wrote:

Perhaps due to climate change Russian may become a more important language, or perhaps Mandarin?

Heavily depends on economics and there are some hints for Mandarin being quite important 15-20 years from now. Then again, it probably won't affect English influence that hard, mostly because that language is more convenient for most actors even in East Asia and Oceania.

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Reply 175 of 197, by brostenen

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digger wrote on 2020-11-28, 01:28:
brostenen wrote on 2020-11-27, 19:46:

The date system I really dont care for. If I write in Danish I use the Danish way, DD-MM-YY and when I write in English, then I usually write something like 1-Jan-2021. It all depends. If it is a personal message and the reader is American, then I write 12-24-2020 or whatever date in question.

That's interesting to read! Until now, I was under the misconception that Denmark had already standardized on the yyyy-mm-dd format. But perhaps I was thrown off by the en_DK locale, which combines the English language with reasonable European defaults (metric measurements, A4 paper format, 24-hour time notation and the yyyy-mm-dd date notation).

But having googled a bit more about it, apparently the DK in that locale was meant somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Perhaps it is standardised in the way of corporate and tech use. I really do not know. However in everyday life, we are using the DD-MM-YYYY format.
As an example: 24 februar 2021 or 4 marts 2021. We write the name of the month and not a number in everyday useage.

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Reply 176 of 197, by Errius

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-11-28, 04:09:
Tetrium wrote:

Perhaps due to climate change Russian may become a more important language, or perhaps Mandarin?

Heavily depends on economics and there are some hints for Mandarin being quite important 15-20 years from now. Then again, it probably won't affect English influence that hard, mostly because that language is more convenient for most actors even in East Asia and Oceania.

I still have the 'teach yourself Russian' books and reel-to-reel tapes that my father bought in the early 1970s when everybody thought the USSR would soon dominate the world...

ETA: It is a R2R version of this 1961 double LP: https://archive.org/details/lp_learn-russian- … _unknown-artist

Last edited by Errius on 2020-11-28, 21:47. Edited 3 times in total.

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Reply 177 of 197, by Intel486dx33

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In USA pizza and apple pies are sold in inches. ( 8,10,12, 16,18, 21 )

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Reply 178 of 197, by Tetrium

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-11-28, 04:09:
To be fair, French was all the rage in 18-19 century and still has noticeable influence in Africa and Canada. […]
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Con 2 botones wrote:

Not long along, French was the Diplomacy language.

To be fair, French was all the rage in 18-19 century and still has noticeable influence in Africa and Canada.

Tetrium wrote:

Perhaps due to climate change Russian may become a more important language, or perhaps Mandarin?

Heavily depends on economics and there are some hints for Mandarin being quite important 15-20 years from now. Then again, it probably won't affect English influence that hard, mostly because that language is more convenient for most actors even in East Asia and Oceania.

There is always some unforseen events when it comes to predicting the future, I wouldn't be surprised if it went completely different 😜

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Reply 179 of 197, by brostenen

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-11-28, 21:37:

In USA pizza and apple pies are sold in inches. ( 8,10,12, 16,18, 21 )

I did a quick lookup on wikipedia..... Holy f*** it is complicated. Just looking at yard and foot in inches requires you to calculate when converting between units.

Inch, feet, yard, mile need calculation when converting between each type of units.
Centimeter, meter and kilometer only recuire you to move the comma/dott.

An example can be: 1 centimeter is equal to 0.01 meter.
Or: 1654 meter is 1.654 kilometer.
Or: 1 cubic meter of water is 1000 litre and one cubic meter of water is 1 ton of water.

The words of the units are self explanatory in the metric system
And in a way you are already using the prefix. You say kilobyte, and not poundbyte.

Metric prefix

EDIT:
Let me give you a quick one. Following the explanation and guide given on top. Then how many meters are 3473 kilometers?
It is quick to calculate my friend. 😉

Finally, try if you can figure out, how many feet 3473 miles are? Can you give the answer just as fast as with metric?

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