In this week’s podcast I note Lincoln Chafee’s entry into the 2016 presidential contest and scoff at his proposal to impose the metric system on America.
Is metrication a good idea? In some areas, yes. To that degree, though — to the degree that it is a good idea — we've already done it. U.S. manufacturers that trade internationally use metric measures; the military uses metric measures — remember your pal the Vietnam vet, talking about distances in so many "klicks"? — and so do several other federal agencies, those involved with health services, for example. If you have a foreign car with metric nuts, bolts, and gaskets your local auto parts store will gladly supply you with identical parts, and Home Depot will sell you metric wrenches. If you're doing a science or technology course at a school or college, most likely you're working with metric every day.The full Radio Derb playbill:
What is not metric in America is ordinary life. If someone asks us our height or weight, we answer in feet, inches, and pounds. If we take our kid's temperature, we take it in Fahrenheit. If we buy gas at the pump, we buy gallons. I don't see why any of that should change. People at the interface who need to do the conversions, can do them instantaneously with a calculator or smartphone; they don't even have to carry slide rules around any more. What's the necessity for all the disruption and confusion that a change to our everyday measures would cause?