The Null Device

The Metric Resistance

American web comic author Brian McFadden takes his country to task for not going metric:
Anyone with even a tiny math and science background will tell you that the metric system kicks the shit out of our current system, which is a bastard cousin of the long-gone British Imperial system. Dumb America’s stubborn refusal to adopt it is almost as embarrassing as their opposition to health insurance reform.
Only the United States, Burma, and Liberia aren’t on board. Antarctica is also gray, but only scientists are down there, and I’m sure they aren’t using pounds and ounces to weigh penguin shit.
Once health care is sorted, could the next front line for America's progressives be adopting the metric system? Will we see teabaggers and right-wing talk-radio blowhards declaiming the Satanic nature of the metric system and spouting non-sequiturs about the Biblical foundations of pints and pounds (to paraphrase a Texas congressman, "if English measurements were good enough for Jesus, they're good enough for me!")?

There are 3 comments on "The Metric Resistance":

Posted by: Greg Sun Mar 28 04:27:37 2010

Americans might be comforted by the relative ease of the Australian transition to metric (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_Australia). My school years (1968 to 79) coincided with our transition and I remember (a) the horror of arithmetic with Imperial units, (b) the dramatically better user-friendliness of metric units, (c) the calm acceptance of metric, even among our relatively conservative, Royalist population - even in Queensland! (Digression: unit system seems to imprint like language - I've never really gotten used to estimating length or mass in metric, and still have to do the translation in my head from my first language.)

... There are some Americanisms that make sense, but sticking to Imperial units isn't one of them, especially for a nation that has been enthusiastically progressive on most technical/scientific points. Surely the scientists there use metric? They must have to translate whenever they speak to the public. Maybe it's a more pluralistic society anyway.

Posted by: Mattey http://www.hidemyipaddress.org Sun Mar 28 11:24:04 2010

That picture shows as actual American life... Bad humor.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/acb/ Sun Mar 28 22:16:03 2010

It's said that the only people in the US who use metric are scientists and drug dealers. (Which will probably give the crackpot right an angle to attack metrication with.)

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