Back to School for the Metric System

One of the supporters of my documentary project is Nicholas Seet and as a result of my contact with him, I started a class a month ago called “Financing the Entrepreneurial Enterprise.”

During the first class we did briefs on the various projects we wanted to launch. The reaction to this documentary by the class members was very positive. In fact, one of the other students told me she’d worked in international trade and conversions had caused problems because sometimes people got them wrong and the company received less money than they should have.

Dual labeling can cause mistakes for employees at the register

Dual labeling can cause mistakes for employees at the register

In another case, a local business owner told how dual labeling was causing her problems. She owns a pet accessories store and sometimes employees in a hurry charge the kilogram price rather than the pound price. Thus, they’re charging less than half of what they should and she loses money every time that happens.

Back to class

One of the big pushes of the class is to raise a small amount of money ($2,000 or less) to help finance our projects (or small parts of them). For the class, we’re working through something called Main Street Crowd that focuses on community-based fundraising efforts. Within this context, it’s to give us successful crowdfunding experience to help prepare some of us to finance larger amounts through sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

My project ask will be $1,500 and will be earmarked for my travel and time in Washington D.C. where I plan to have a number of on-camera interviews. Some of the folks I hope to meet with include the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Smithsonian Institution, Center for Science in the Public Interest and others since they’re all based in the D.C. area.

I'll use Main  Street Crowd to raise money within my class

I’ll use Main Street Crowd to raise money within my class

I’ve already drafted and gotten feedback on my campaign content for the project’s Main Street Crowd page and yesterday we were supposed to have draft scripts ready. In addition to my script, I showed a Prezi presentation while I read the script as kind of a storyboard. Since Prezi allows you to animate your content (kind of like PowerPoint on steroids) it had a pretty good flow.

I received a couple of comments for improvement but the instructor said I could basically record that presentation, add the narration, begin with some live video of myself and I’d have a pretty compelling video for the campaign. What I was planning for was much more time consuming so that came as a welcome relief. I still need to clean it up since it was intended to just give the class an idea of what the images would look like. Once it’s ready, it will be part of my Main Street Crowd page and you can take a look. I know I have a larger number of international readers of this blog and, yes, you can contribute if you’d like.

In other news

– Because of my presentation at the MidSchool Math Conference earlier this year (the conference is already slated for next year) I was approached to take part in a career fair later this month in Taos, about 80 km from where I live. I need to pull together a 45-minute presentation for middle school students that I’ll repeat five times during the sessions. Will probably lose my voice by the end of the day but the more I can get the word out on this project, the better. Not sure if I’ll present at the conference next year. I have an application in.

– Last month was my busiest month of all time. Thanks for helping this happen!

The highest bar represents almost 9,000 pageviews for September

The highest bar represents almost 9,000 pageviews for September. The dark blue bar is for unique pageviews. Most visitors click on two of my pages.

3 thoughts on “Back to School for the Metric System

  1. Your comment on the costs of dual labeling is quite interesting. Those who oppose metrication would see it as an opportunity to abolish dual labels and go back to uSC only. But then this creates another problem. Products designed to be sold outside the US would find their product banned if it doesn’t include metric. American companies then would have to adopt the dreaded dual assembly line, producing metric fills and labeling for metric markets and USC fills and labels for the domestic market.

    Metric only labeling may that is the focal point of the USMA may not be feasible until the US adopts kilogram pricing. Anyway you look at it, the status quo is going to continue to cost American business one way or another. This can only end with a planned forced metrication.

    • Your comment on manufacturers being able to use the same labeling in multiple comments reminds me of a question I heard someone ask awhile back: In the U.S. why do you frequently see packaging with French on it, and why French over for example Spanish (which is much more common)? The answer is because everything sold in Canada must have bilingual English/French labeling by law (except for items like books which obviously require knowledge of the language), and that’s the route to go if only one label is designed for both countries. (The U.S. has no requirements or prohibitions of other languages appearing on packaging – whenever you for example see English/Spanish packaging that’s due to the manufacturer’s choice to cater to the Hispanic market.)

  2. Pingback: Measures and mistakes due to our lack of the metric system | More Than A Mile Behind: America and the Metric System

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