The Metric System is Not ‘Better’

To continue my war on people who pretend to know Science, I have to attack a growing group of people whose lips have a very special place on my ass: people who think the metric system is fundamentally perfect as a system of measurement.

If you feel like this, you probably think that the meter (metre) is somehow holier than the foot because you think the meter is based on some beautiful complex calculation involving the speed of light and the foot is based on the foot of some ancient King. Well you’re fucking wrong, Shiloh. The meter was initially set as one ten-millionth of the length of the Earth’s meridian along a quadrant. Of course, when they measured it in the late 1700s they got it wrong, but they just ‘went with it.’ Then 100 years later they made a rod that was the ‘meter rod’. Then a bunch of people got together and decided they would replace the rod with some length in terms of the speed of light in a vaccum. Seems logical enough, right? So they ended up with this nice, easy-to-remember definition:

The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.

Are you fucking kidding me? Why not just simplify things and make it 1/300,000,000? Just to fuck with people? And who the hell defines a second anyway? You metric assholes decide to change the rulers but not the clocks?

So if we’re all honest here, the meter is just as arbitrary as the foot. Now, metric-mongers have their arguments about why the metric system is better which can be broken down into 4 categories:

  1. There’s 1 unit of measurement for each physical quantity (length, volume, mass, force, etc.)
  2. Scalability with prefixes (milli, kilo, etc.)
  3. Decimal system (no fractions)
  4. Everyone else uses it

#1 and #2 are really the same thing. There’s no reason we can’t have kilo-foot or mega-foot instead of using miles. We can thow out inches and use millifeet, there’s nothing stopping us from doing that. For volume, I’m sure everybody could use a good deci-gallon of beer. And wait a second, #3 follows directly from #1 and #2. In fact, they’re all saying the same thing.

So, friends, what is this whole Metric nonsense really about? It’s not about one system being more ‘right’ or being ‘easier to use’. It’s not ’embarrassing’ that we don’t use the Metric system either. If every self-hating 17 year old American could stop saying these things, it would really start to clarify things: the ONLY advantage the metric system has is #4: Everyone else uses it. Well, that and the fact you don’t have to remember conversion factors when converting units, but we could fix this by metrifying our system to base everything on the foot the same way everything in the metric system is based on the meter.

So it begs the question: Why invent the meter in the first place? Why not just keep the foot and standardize it’s size? And did it really have to be THREE TIMES larger? I mean, Cubits had a pretty good run, and they were around 18 inches long. Did it really have to be based on the meridian of the Earth? Was that really necessary?

Oh, some other things to keep in mind are how the inch is defined as 25.4mm (wait, so we are on the metric system…) and that my Japanese car has rims specified in inches and tires inflated in psi. Nobody is fully on or off the metric system. And another thing: anyone who thinks it’s ok to have 30 degrees of separation for describing the current temperature is retarted. Celsius is a joke. Temperatures specified in Farenheit are clearly superior in quickly communicating the level of temperature with their finer degree of precision and more variable significant digit.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “The Metric System is Not ‘Better’

  1. ry420guy

    Hey douchebag, the official definition of a second is “9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom.” U GOT SERVED!

  2. Ava V

    that’s easily understandable

  3. ry420guy

    Sorry Ava V, but if you don’t have any spare cesium-133 lying around, that’s your problem.

  4. I just thought of the ultimate solution: have a system that was just like the metric system, but the meter would be replaced with the foot. It would be called The Footric System. The only big change would be to redefine the gallon to be so many cubit centifeet. I’ll get on this immediately.

  5. if a gallon of milk becomes a foot-gallon it instantly turns into an unappetitizing product…i don’t know this might make our economy even worse than it already is

  6. DevX

    You’re smart enough and have clearly thought about this enough to know that the metric system is superior. Let’s not simply put up controversial posts for the sake of argument when you know better.

    First, the fact that everyone else uses it is a pretty fucking big reason to adopt it. If my family and I decide to create our own language system, which we reasoned was good enough since we could all understand each other, normal English speaking neighbors would consider us bat-shit crazy, and rightfully so. The value of language, and standardized systems of measurement increase with the number of people using it. Same thing with social networks, the more people that are on facebook, the more reason for you to join.

    Your other argument about simply “metrifying” our system is weak too. No one currently thinks about centi-feet, kilo-feet, so the work you’d exert in educating and changing signs to make this universal could just the same be expended on educating people on the metric system.

    And which unit do we use from the English system? Inches, feet, mile? Do we pick inches and say centi-inches, kil0-inches, and then ban feet and mile ffrom our lexicon? Do we use centi-ounces, kilo-ounces and then convince Americans to get rid of pounds from the lexicon? It gets too fucking confusing.

    Move to metric. Every once in a while, the Europeans get it right.

  7. I do not believe it is self-hating to be an American who wants to give up inches and feet for meters. In the long run, it will be patriotic.

    The U.S. Congress legalized the metric system in 1866, ratified the Meter Convention treaty in 1975, and declared metric to be the preferred system of measurement for U.S. trade in 1988, so, the metric system has long been quite American. It is intended to be a system of measurement, not a political or cultural ping-pong ball. I believe that its decimal basis is far superior to the “system” we have been burdened with for over two centuries.

  8. Correction: the U.S. ratified the Meter Convention treaty in 1875, not 1975.

  9. The decimal basis has nothing to do with the meter. We could easily use a decimal system based on the foot. This transition metric-foot system would be much easier to adopt.

  10. zudum

    I don’t see any argument here *why* would one want to use a system based on the foot? Is there any pros? Like at least one?

  11. It would be a transitional system that would put us one step closer to the metric system, that’s the main reason. Also, the foot is more practical in everyday use than the meter because it is 3 times shorter and many, many common measurements are under 5 meters.

  12. Hey guys I was wondering if one of you might have heard anything the release date of the two door Charger? I have heard that they absolutely overhauled it to be competitive with the Cl500?

  13. ddd

    Dude it’s easier to add and remove zeros than to divide/multiply by 3, 12, 16 or 1760 … wtf is this imperial shit all about?

  14. Luciano

    You sir are ignorant.
    Do you even know what 299 792 458 represents? That’s the speed of light in cm/s.
    So you clearly aren’t very in touch with science.
    That means that one meter is the distance light travels in one second. No person needs to know this to use the metric system. This was calibrated throught the years to be more precise in very fine scientific calculations.

    The beauty of the metric systems is it’s simplicity: you basically have 3 units – gram, meter and liter. All other units are drived from these 3 by using a decimal number base. 1 kilogram is 1000 grams, 1 ton is 1000 kg. 1 mm is 1/1000 meter, 1 cm is 1/100 meter, 1 kilometer is 1000 meters. And even to add more finesse, 1 cm3 is the equivalent of 1 milliliter in volume, and so forth…
    I bet you all the money I can that I can tell you how many centemeters are in 6165,321 km faster than you can tell me how many inches are in 341,13 miles (unless, of course, if you are a math genius).

    About the Fahrenheit scale: you really think that just because the temperature of a day avarages on 30°C it makes it somewhat less accurate than Fahrenheit? Do you really need to know that it’s 31,66°C outside as opposed to 32,22°C? You won’t pick different clothes just because it’s 89°F and not 90°F. That’s a difference of 0.56°C. Doesn’t it make that muck difference in your life? If it’s 30°C outside, I know it’s hot, if it’s below 15°C, I know it’s cold. Saying that accuracy makes the difference is just stupid. 0°C, water freezes, 100, it boils, as simple as that.

    I know it all comes down to being uswd to either system, but saying the Imperial system is as easy to use, or that the Metric system is stupid, just shows how unqualified for that, you sir, are.

    • Luciano

      Correcting myself: the meter is clealrly NOT the distance the light travels in 1 second. My mistakes, got mixd up there. It’s the inverse of that. (1/…)

  15. Joaquín Segovia

    METRIC SYSTEM IS MUCH MUCH BETTER THAN IMPERIAL WHICH IS TOTTALY NONSENSE!!!

    • Wrong Eurotrash. Metric is more arbitrary. Based on tens. Big effin deal. The REAL reason the metric system is arbitrary and a complete joke? It’s not binary. You can’t quarter, halve or third it like you can a twelve or base sixteen system. Base sixteen goes into binary, its a 2n AND its a perfect square.

      Fuck metric.

  16. Carson

    Metric is a joke. In many cases Centimeter is to small and the Meter is way to big. The foot is the perfect length for many needs. The Meyric system doesn’t have feet (decimeter, or is it decameter, do not count as I have never seen a person use it in real life. Imperial system actually has practical use. And I’m not sure about some people but I can easily remember 12 inch to a foot 3 feet to a yard 5,280 feet to a mile. 32 is freezing. 212 in boiling and body temp is around 98.2 – 98.6 I really don’t see the problem. But when you have to memorize prefixes that may only have 1 letter difference it gets kinda confusing. Centi centa Deci deca kilo kila milo mila hecto Tera liter. I am not sure if all of those are real. Besides we use imperial time. Seconds minutes hours midnight noon 3 o’clock. Metric just adopted the measurements for time. I would rather say I’m 6′ 1” than several hundred centimeters. And don’t say rod, acre, quart, football field, the hand, horse power, story, or nano-inch, are obscure measurements. They are used in specific work fields and are convertible to commons units (many not for a metric user who can’t seem to be able to use fractions) who are we to get rid of units designed for a field of study, they obviously work better than metric.

    • Carson

      Metric is a joke. In many cases Centimeter is to small and the Meter is way to big. The foot is the perfect length for many needs. The Meyric system doesn’t have feet (decimeter, or is it decameter, do not count as I have never seen a person use it in real life. Imperial system actually has practical use. And I’m not sure about some people but I can easily remember 12 inch to a foot 3 feet to a yard 5,280 feet to a mile. 32 is freezing. 212 in boiling and body temp is around 98.2 – 98.6 I really don’t see the problem. But when you have to memorize prefixes that may only have 1 letter difference it gets kinda confusing. Centi centa Deci deca kilo kila milo mila hecto Tera liter. I am not sure if all of those are real. Besides we use imperial time. Seconds minutes hours midnight noon 3 o’clock. Metric just adopted the measurements for time. I would rather say I’m 6′ 1” than several hundred centimeters. And don’t say rod, acre, quart, football field, the hand, horse power, story, or nano-inch, are obscure measurements. They are used in specific work fields and are convertible to commons units (many not for a metric user who can’t seem to be able to use fractions) who are we to get rid of units designed for a field of study, they obviously work better than metric. My 2 favorite units are in economics: the Big Mac Index. And in Comouters: the Jify. Both are non metric.

      • Luciano

        Please tell me when is centimeter too short and meter too long. I’ve never had that problem.

        You basically have to memorize 3 prefixes. Centi, mili and kilo. With these, I’ve never had a problem finding the correct unit for anything I’ve used.

        And we never say we are several hundred centemeters tall, we say it in meter, 6 foot is 1,82m.

  17. Scientists uniformly use the Metric System. Is this because they are stubborn or dumb or elitist? Hell, no. It is SO MUCH EASIER to use!!
    Science would be CRIPPLED if it use the Imperial System.

    • You’re wrong Eintstein.

      The REAL reason the metric system is arbitrary and a complete joke? It’s not binary. You can’t quarter, halve or third it like you can a twelve or base sixteen system. Base sixteen goes into binary, its a 2n AND its a perfect square.

      Fuck metric.

  18. I have a degree in chemistry. If I were forced to use the Imperial system to do all of that math, I would still be in college grinding numbers. The Metric System is used by the entire world except for the USA, Burma, and someplace in Africa…. three countries. WHY? It SUCKS.

  19. I mean the Imperial system sucks BIG TIME and that’s why nobody uses it any more except for loser idiot countries.

  20. The REAL reason the metric system is arbitrary and a complete joke? It’s not binary. You can’t quarter, halve or third it like you can a twelve or base sixteen system. Base sixteen goes into binary, its a 2n AND its a perfect square.

    Fuck metric.

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  22. Devrok Van Pretzlend

    Amazing. Of course I expected some level of stupidity when I saw the picture, but oh man, you really updated my definition of stupid Imperial users. Congratulations, you will always be happy using the imperial system, good for you, poohpies.

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