Top 10 Reasons to Switch to the Metric System Revisited

As I mentioned last week, some recent media coverage on our lack of metric system use by Discovery News and Scientific American has resulted in a lot of traffic to this site. Of particular interest is my post from last September on the Top 10 Reasons the United States Should Use the Metric System (or SI).

I’ve included some of my statistics for illustration.

All the traffic to this blog

All the traffic to this blog

Thought it might be a good idea to dust this off and post it up front. I made a couple of tweaks (I’m a writer, I can’t help myself) and have added a pdf to make it easier to pass around if people so choose. I only ask that the information’s source not be removed since down the road I’ll need to fundraise and I’d like to be tied to this work in people’s minds.

My page stats for the past week

My page stats for the past week

I’ll be back next week with fresh content and, since I’m beginning a new phase of this project, with more “behind the scenes” information that I’m hoping you’ll find interesting.

Top 10 Reasons the United States Should Use the Metric System (or SI)

1) It’s the system 95 percent of the world uses
(It’s not standard in the U.S.,  Burma and Liberia)
2) It’s easier to make conversions
(You just move the decimal point right and left)
3) Teaching two measurement systems to children is confusing
4 ) It’s the language of science
5) It’s the language of medicine
6) Conversion errors by the humans using them are inevitable
(We lost a Mars orbiter that way and pharmacy mistakes are common)
7) It’s the language of international commerce
8) Many hobbies and sports use the metric system
9) Its use is necessary for travel outside of the United States
10) So we look less foolish and ignorant to the rest of the world

And a few more for good “measure..”

11) Less clutter since you don’t need liquid and dry measuring cups and teaspoons and
tablespoons (Just a scale and liquid measuring cups)
12)  It’s much easier to conceptualize 1 gram versus 1/28th of an ounce or 1 milliliter
verses 1/29 of a liquid ounce (rounded measures)
13) There are fewer measures to learn. Most people will use meters, liters, and grams
verses more than 10 for liquid and dry U.S. customary measures alone
14) It was designed to be easy to learn and use
(In 1790s Europe the literacy rate was around 60 percent)
15) It makes us a friendlier international tourist destination.

To_10_Reasons_Metric (pdf)

6 thoughts on “Top 10 Reasons to Switch to the Metric System Revisited

  1. In my opinion, the top three reasons to complete metrication are:
    It is the language of science.
    Teaching two measurement systems to children is confusing.
    It is the system that 95% of the world uses.

  2. There is a perceived false assumption among promoters and opposers of the metric system that the system has some hang-up with the number 10. This is the farthest from the truth and is the source of anti-metric ridicule by Luddites who claim other unit collections are better because their relationships have more friendly divisors.

    The only connection between the metric system and the number 10 (or powers of 10) are the relations between the various prefixes, thus allowing scaling simply by repositioning a decimal point. Outside of that, the connection with 10 ends.

    The metric system plays no favourites when it comes choices of numbers used in application of the metric system. That is the prerogative of the user. The construction industry world-wide uses the 100 mm module in which increments and parts of 1200 mm is common.

    Metric sizes for packaging in increments of 30 g or 30 mL are just as well suited as sizes in increments of 100 mL. 1200 mL of a beverage is just as tolerable as 1 L. 1200 mL may be preferred since 1200 can be divided into more portions then 1 L without leftovers. You can divide a 1200 mL beverage into factors or 2 and 3, where 1 L won’t divide equally.

    Number choice in metric works much better than the same number series in obsolete units.

    Other disciplines use the Renard series of numbers for sizes which do not have a simple 1, 2, 5 relationship with 10.

    Even though it is preferred to use round numbers when designing using metric, it is not a major problem if the numbers are not round. Imperial/USC is totally befuddled if the numbers are not round or expressed in a fractional form related to the number two.

    Those who work in SI know its capabilities. Those who are on the outside easily believe false notions that do tremendous to harm a users ability to make SI work most effectively.

  3. Pingback: Standard < Metric | a STEM webb

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