# Sooo any chance of including metres in this one?

### Prerelease Discussion

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Imperial system is also based on random meaningless measurement. Metric still has the adventage of being decimal, and measurements have relationship between them. It's objetively more thoughtful, if only because some thought was actually put into it.

In any case, when or if US choose to join the rest of the world and use the international system is not something that Paizo will decide, and with the largest portion of their customer base being US based, it makes sense for them to use the system their customer base normally uses.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

The metric system is awful.

For weight and linear distance it is beyond useless, and it is based on absolutely random measurements which are meaningless.

Could you explain how 1/10^7 the distance from the equator to the north pole is "completely random?" A litre is a thousandth of a cubic meter, and a kilogram is the mass of a litre of water. The current definitions are more technically precise, but that's not a point in Imperial's favour, especially since the rigorous definitions of imperial units are their conversion factors from SI.

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Yep, the second is defined as a certain number of atomic vibrations of a specific isotope, and the meter is defined as the distance light travels in a tiny fraction of a second. The speed of light is a universal constant. An inch is defined as 2.54 centimeters, and all other Imperial length units are based off that.

Similar definitions and conversions exist for all other Imperial units. The metric system is the basis for how everything is measured in the modern world. Imperial units are just math performed on the well-defined metric units.

The fraction of the distance from the equator to the North Pole was the original definition of a meter, but it hasn't been defined that way in a long time. The modern definitions aren't geocentric, but instead based on universal constants and observable, repeatable experimental data.

Also, from a philosophical point of view, all measurement systems are completely arbitrary. At some point somebody decided them based on their own experiences. If you want "true" units, might I suggest looking into unit systems where many physical constants are set to 1. Be aware, that these units make physics easier but are terrible for measuring anything in normal life.

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The Sideromancer wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

The metric system is awful.

For weight and linear distance it is beyond useless, and it is based on absolutely random measurements which are meaningless.

Could you explain how 1/10^7 the distance from the equator to the north pole is "completely random?" A litre is a thousandth of a cubic meter, and a kilogram is the mass of a litre of water. The current definitions are more technically precise, but that's not a point in Imperial's favour, especially since the rigorous definitions of imperial units are their conversion factors from SI.

Just because you based it SOMETHING doesn't mean that something has any useful meaning.

How often is the distance from the equator to the North Pole relevant to anything, and in what way is a complex math equation based on that better than three, 36, and 108 Barleycorns?

The divide by 10 rule is fine, save that it makes the meter too big to measure things which we use feet for, the centimeter too small to meaningfully measure things we use inches for, and the kilometer far too short to measure things we do in miles- unless you get into multiple decimal places, which immediately discards it's usefulness for anything save science.

And let us not pretend that the current definition is meaningful- it was simply selected to be about the same as the old definitions, which at various points included "a meter is the length of THIS stick right here".

And the meridonal definition that those sticks had been made to be approximately the same as was selected because it came out about the same as the definition based on the length of a 2 second pendulum but factored out gravity.

Why a 2 second pendulum?

Thus isn't science anymore than the guillotine was justice, and both were created and pushed by the same people.

Nathanael Love wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

The metric system is awful.

For weight and linear distance it is beyond useless, and it is based on absolutely random measurements which are meaningless.

Could you explain how 1/10^7 the distance from the equator to the north pole is "completely random?" A litre is a thousandth of a cubic meter, and a kilogram is the mass of a litre of water. The current definitions are more technically precise, but that's not a point in Imperial's favour, especially since the rigorous definitions of imperial units are their conversion factors from SI.

Just because you based it SOMETHING doesn't mean that something has any useful meaning.

How often is the distance from the equator to the North Pole relevant to anything, and in what way is a complex math equation based on that better than three, 36, and 108 Barleycorns?

The divide by 10 rule is fine, save that it makes the meter too big to measure things which we use feet for, the centimeter too small to meaningfully measure things we use inches for, and the kilometer far too short to measure things we do in miles- unless you get into multiple decimal places, which immediately discards it's usefulness for anything save science.

And let us not pretend that the current definition is meaningful- it was simply selected to be about the same as the old definitions, which at various points included "a meter is the length of THIS stick right here".

And the meridonal definition that those sticks had been made to be approximately the same as was selected because it came out about the same as the definition based on the length of a 2 second pendulum but factored out gravity.

Why a 2 second pendulum?

Thus isn't science anymore than the guillotine was justice, and both were created and pushed by the same people.

You have trouble dividing by a number?

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Ive seen a lot of arguments on this forum but comparing metric units to the use of capital punishment because they were both invented by the french is...a strange one

I mean, America uses lethal injection (in some states) but I dont think thats related to their use of the imperial system.

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Elegos wrote:

Ive seen a lot of arguments on this forum but comparing metric units to the use of capital punishment because they were both invented by the french is...a strange one

I mean, America uses lethal injection (in some states) but I dont think thats related to their use of the imperial system.

Not "the French", specifically revolutionary France of the same time period (the 1790s).

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The Sideromancer wrote:
You have trouble dividing by a number?

Ah, yes, I often divide things by 10 million.

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Ah, 'Muricans. The length they go to validate their arbitrary roller-coaster of measurements never fails to amaze.

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I'm just confused about why the debate derailed into feets vs meters when all I asked was "Why not both?" and showed example of it being done ._.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

The divide by 10 rule is fine, save that it makes the meter too big to measure things which we use feet for, the centimeter too small to meaningfully measure things we use inches for, and the kilometer far too short to measure things we do in miles- unless you get into multiple decimal places, which immediately discards it's usefulness for anything save science.

Stuff being too small for metres, but too big for centimetres makes little sense. We measure our heights (and similar lengths) in metres with 2 decimal places (though we often round to the nearest multiple of 5 cm). That's hardly "multiple decimal places". A kilometre being too small for the stuff you measure in miles is utterly ridiculous, given the 1.6 conversion factor (which requires only a single decimal place if you're ballparking like in everyday life).

And about the guillotine: it was meant to be a quick and painless death, in contrast to the torture-based execution methods employed previously.

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Nathanael Love wrote:
How often is the distance from the equator to the North Pole relevant to anything

It gets better, of course this one got dropped, because the estimates of the Earth at the time were wrong. There's not 10,000,000 meters from the equator to the north pole, there's 10,000,800 meters from the equator to the north pole. They could either shrink the meter, or change it to "this stick right here", while eventually deciding on wavelengths of something tiny or whatever it is right now.

The unit that is based on distance from the equator to the north pole is the non-SI nautical mile, which has 5400 of them, and is used for that purpose as the metric system doesn't have a unit based on the size of the Earth.

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The divide by 10 rule is fine, save that it makes the meter too big to measure things which we use feet for, the centimeter too small to meaningfully measure things we use inches for, and the kilometer far too short to measure things we do in miles- unless you get into multiple decimal places, which immediately discards it's usefulness for anything save science.

Quoted for truth. The metric system isn't some magical perfect thing, it's just one of many standards that has had to be adjusted a whole bunch.

At least the proposal to destroy the second and divide the day into ten decimal hours didn't catch on...

The Sideromancer wrote:
I don't see you holding on to the stadion, so this rings a bit hollow.

No, but you'll often see distances estimated in football fields!

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Nathanael Love wrote:
The divide by 10 rule is fine, save that it makes the meter too big to measure things which we use feet for, the centimeter too small to meaningfully measure things we use inches for, and the kilometer far too short to measure things we do in miles- unless you get into multiple decimal places, which immediately discards it's usefulness for anything save science.

1 mile is 1.6 km. 1 yard is 0.91 m. 1 inch is 2.54 cm. Those vast differences clearly invalidate the Metric system, I entirely agree.

So you're complaining about a 0.008% difference to state that the meter is invalid, when versions of the British mile were 30% out from the current definition? (heck, Wales had a mile that was over 6km long, over three times the current definition)

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> (heck, Wales had a mile that was over 6km long, over three times the current definition)

Heh, I had no idea the Welsh took such large steps when they march!

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I didn't know people where this committed to the imperial system. My only excuse is I don't know the metric system as well so I can't accurately imagine in my head what 24 meters would look like while 24 feet I have a good idea. Still I would have no problem if they started to teach the younger generation the metric system so they can grow up with the ability to think in metric. I swear some Americans are so afraid of change. Let it go guys you won't be alive forever let the next generation improve themselves instead of holding them back for your sake.

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> I didn't know people where this committed to the imperial system.

It's not like either system is superior or anything.

> Let it go guys you won't be alive forever let the next generation improve themselves

That's a really negative view of a system that works great. I've never been convinced the metric system was anything special at all, but I've never been motivated to try to convince some other nation to change the way their children think for some ephemeral goal either.

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Its special because almost all of the world uses it. It would be far more convenient for people traveling abroad if they already knew the measurement system. Plus the metric works far better with decimals which are generally easier to learn. The imperial has all those nasty fractions.

Why would another nation change their measurement system to fit into the far minority? Theirs not even any rhyme or reason to the imperial its just randomly selected units.

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It's a human-based system of unit. The foot is about as big as your foot. The inch is about your thumb knuckle to tip. The mile is a thousand paces of your left foot hitting the ground. 100 degrees Fahrenheit is roughly human body temperature.

By contrast, the metric system really is closer to "randomly selected units", being that they are all defined (and frequently redefined) in terms of wacky science things and universal constants several orders of magnitude removed from life of any scale on Earth. It's entire shtick is that some arithmetic is easier, should you be without a calculator or a phone or a computer or a pen and paper or a stick and dirt.

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My foot is nowhere near a foot long. whose feet are we using?
My thumb is not an inch. average body temperature is 98.6. Oh those are close enough. because we totally shouldn't worry about exact measurements when.. measuring....

WACKY science themes? Seriously? Dat dar science sure is wacky...

96% of the known world uses metric so if imperial was better how come we are the only ones that use it?

Just because some stubborn old men don't like change we just stay behind the rest of the world. Its not like its the first nor the last time its going to happen.

You know whats its not worth it. I'm tired of arguing with every yahoo that pops up. It will happen eventually guaranteed. Slow it down while you can.

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cfalcon wrote:
It's entire shtick is that some arithmetic is easier, should you be without a calculator or a phone or a computer or a pen and paper or a stick and dirt.

The metric system's shtick is that it's actually a system of units: the units fit together instead of having been selected independently. Can you tell me how many gallons there are in a cubic foot without looking it up? I can tell you there are exactly 1,000 litres in a cubic metre. Not having to memorize conversion factors is a nice bonus.

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I'll just point out that the statue of liberty is also a French work.

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The Sideromancer wrote:
I'll just point out that the statue of liberty is also a French work.

So are the bands Air and Daft Punk and so was the Arthurian legend in its popularized form but neither the statue of liberty nor any of those were from Revolutionary France in the 1790s nor inspired by an attitude of destroying the traditional because it was traditional without regards to its merits, whereas the metric system was.

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Im an American and I also play Traveller. Traveller uses the metric system. Not once have I ever thought id write the creators and ask them to convert to the american standard because metric aint my system of measurement. If anything its helped me better understand the metric system.

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No, but the french did start their revolution immediately after helping the US with theirs.

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Nathanael Love wrote:
So are the bands Air and Daft Punk and so was the Arthurian legend in its popularized form but neither the statue of liberty nor any of those were from Revolutionary France in the 1790s nor inspired by an attitude of destroying the traditional because it was traditional without regards to its merits, whereas the metric system was.

The goal of the metric system was to replace hundreds of units, each with many different definitions (depending on location and usage), with a single easy-to-use system based on nature (length of the meridian and weight of water).

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It has been estimated that on the eve of the Revolution in 1789, the eight hundred, or so, units of measure in use in France had up to a quarter of a million different definitions because the quantity associated with each unit could differ from town to town, and even from trade to trade.

This was in France alone. Imagine how many more definitions there were in the rest of the world. Tradition is not worth putting up with such nonsense.

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When you live in a place where there are road signs that say things like "low bridge, max height 4.5 metres in 1 mile" you develop a relaxed attitude to measurements...

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Its special because almost all of the world uses it. It would be far more convenient for people traveling abroad if they already knew the measurement system.

that might be one reason, why Americans stick to their system. Not a large percentage seems to travel abroad, except for military purposes I guess, so there is never a need to get accustomed to the metric system

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Nathanael Love wrote:
So are the bands Air and Daft Punk and so was the Arthurian legend in its popularized form but neither the statue of liberty nor any of those were from Revolutionary France in the 1790s nor inspired by an attitude of destroying the traditional because it was traditional without regards to its merits, whereas the metric system was.

If that's really your answer for clinging onto the Imperial system over 200 years later rather than the much more likely "I grew up with it and I'm not changing, nuh!", then I don't know what to tell you.

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
My foot is nowhere near a foot long. whose feet are we using?

Mine work pretty good. It's not my fault your feet aren't the right size. Usually you can still get a great estimate with your foot though. If your feet are too big, then you sorta figure out where to put your heel when you are pacing it out. If your feet are too small you can usually put one ahead by a small and visually recognizable amount.

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]My thumb is not an inch.

It shouldn't be that far off, though. If you can't estimate an inch by lining something up with your thumb, you aren't being creative enough.

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average body temperature is 98.6.

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Oh those are close enough. because we totally shouldn't worry about exact measurements when.. measuring....

If you care about exact measurements, you carry around something that measures things. Most of the time, you don't need exact measurements, and then you ARE your roughly-good-enough measuring stick.

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Seriously? Dat dar science sure is wacky...

The meter was first some distance from the equator to the pole, but they measured the distance wrong, so that had to g o.

Next up was a good stick. They hid the good stick in Paris, but then they determined that the stick wasn't maybe so good.
So then they got a better stick, and they hid the better stick in Paris, but this stick was gonna shrink, you know, like sticks do, so they decided, ok, ok, no more sticks.
Then they decided, ok, with sticks out, lets go with a specific hue of orange, so they chose to count wavelengths of orange from some gas.
#RelateableOrangeGas

Currently, if you want to measure a meter, you have to make a vacuum, and be really good at timing light. A meter is the amount of distance a photon travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 seconds.

Meanwhile, there's pretty much nothing on your body that is a meter long, but my foot is pretty close to a foot, and I bet you could measure with your non-regulation-sized feet if you put your back into it some.

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96% of the known world uses metric so if imperial was better how come we are the only ones that use it?

I mean, I don't like to brag, but America is pretty damned great.

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Just because some stubborn old men

is this a serious argument because it looks like an ad hominem got lost, huffed some orange gas, mounted a wolf, and rode around hollaring all night

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It will happen eventually guaranteed.

Those with inerrant knowledge of the future should win the lottery thrice, and upon their luxury private island, not burden us with such prophecy. If some ancient Greek guy didn't say that, he probably should've. I mean, you can't prove one didn't.

How exactly is the official foot/yard defined again? It's almost certainly with a shrinky stick or a melty metal or other stupid term you've invented because... reasons.

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Arakhor wrote:
How exactly is the official foot/yard defined again? It's almost certainly with a shrinky stick or a melty metal or other stupid term you've invented because... reasons.

0.3048m since 1959.

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Arakhor wrote:
How exactly is the official foot/yard defined again?

In terms of meters. Our government did this in the 50s, and everyone was sure we'd be a metric nation real soon. They also said that in the 60s, the 70s, paused briefly to blame Reagan in the 80s, back to about to change in the 90s, 00s...

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It's almost certainly with a shrinky stick or a melty metal or other stupid term you've invented because... reasons.

No, technically all the customary units are defined in terms of the metric system these days. Checking on wikipedia, a foot is technically .3048 meters, etc.

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So all this guff about orange gas and so on is a total distraction, as Imperial measures are no longer human-based at all but instead purely in terms of the distance light travels in a vacuum and all that?

I'm still totally unclear about how any of that obvious "oh look, a bear!" stuff is at all relevant to getting a dual Celsius/Fahrenheit listing for Endure Elements and the like.

Again, it would be completely trivial for Paizo to support the whole world here. Temperature and weight come up so rarely - the latter likely even less now that they're moving to a Bulk system - that the word count to use both F/C and lb/kg is almost nil. And for all the ranges, just express them in squares.

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cfalcon wrote:

{. . .}

Meanwhile, there's pretty much nothing on your body that is a meter long, but my foot is pretty close to a foot, and I bet you could measure with your non-regulation-sized feet if you put your back into it some.
{. . .}

Wait, my leg is too far off from being 1 meter long. The last segment of my little finger turned sideways fits into a space just over 1 centimeter wide (and only has to squeeze slightly to get into exactly 1 centimeter). I don't reach 2 meters tall, but I see plenty of people who do. The last segment of my thumb likewise is just over 2 centimeters wide (and only has to squeeze slightly to get into exactly 2 centimeters). My arm reaches about 3/4 of a meter from my shoulder. My foot is real close to 30 centimeters long. My hand is almost exactly 10 centimeters (1 decimeter) wide.

Who says metric is unsuitable for body parts?

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Arakhor wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
So are the bands Air and Daft Punk and so was the Arthurian legend in its popularized form but neither the statue of liberty nor any of those were from Revolutionary France in the 1790s nor inspired by an attitude of destroying the traditional because it was traditional without regards to its merits, whereas the metric system was.
If that's really your answer for clinging onto the Imperial system over 200 years later rather than the much more likely "I grew up with it and I'm not changing, nuh!", then I don't know what to tell you.

Which makes it twice as good an argument as "Europe does it so you have to change you filthy Uh-Muri-Cahns!"

Make an argument for the meter- show me why its useful.

In doing so, you're not allowed to mention other countries (that's an appeal to authority).

Don't bother with the arguments about divisible by 10- if the base unit isn't useful, then being able to divide and multiply by 10 something useless isn't of any value.

Easiest for distance: just measure anything that fits on a map in "squares" (spell effects and thrown weapons), and anything beyond that barely matters how you measure it in my games, but should have some estimated meters and feet listed (spell ranges and missile weapons).

Easiest for temperature: just list both F and C figures. It doesn't come up that often that it would be a big waste of print space...

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Nathanael Love wrote:
Stuff.

Your system is based on the length of a corn of barley and goes in increments of 3, 12, and 5280. Why and how is that superior to a clear cut decimal system?

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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Stuff.
Your system is based on the length of a corn of barley and goes in increments of 3, 12, and 5280. Why and how is that superior to a clear cut decimal system?

Because those 3, 12, and 5280 increments are more useful for measuring things humans actually want to measure than those units divisible by 10.

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Nathanael Love wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Stuff.
Your system is based on the length of a corn of barley and goes in increments of 3, 12, and 5280. Why and how is that superior to a clear cut decimal system?
Because those 3, 12, and 5280 increments are more useful for measuring things humans actually want to measure than those units divisible by 10.

How? I've been measuring things in metric all my life just fine without issue.

From a game design point of view, meters allow for more variety in weapon ranges and movement ranges. In 1e these can only go in 5 ft. increments, but if you used meters you could have 0m range (adjacent) attacks for unarmed strikes, daggers, handaxes, and other close range weapons, 1m range attacks for swords, rapiers, and most hafted two handed weapons, and 2m range attacks for greatswords and most polearms, and 3m+ range attacks for very long polearms like pikes and sarissas.

It also also allows you to better make use of space to block enemy movement, since medium creatures would take up a 2x2 space and small creatures a 1x1 space.

If the game won't be in metric (which let's face it it's not), they could have at least an official ruling on how to use metric measurements for the grid. I know in 1e they use 1 square = 1.5 meters in the Spanish version. Maybe have all the distances measured in SQUARES in the rules text and then simply have a small section that says "So how big's a square? Well, different cultures use different systems, so instead of using one over another, we went with a neutral square based system, but the game is written under the assumption that 1 square is roughly 3 square feet or 1 square meter." or something like that.

Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
If the game won't be in metric (which let's face it it's not), they could have at least an official ruling on how to use metric measurements for the grid. I know in 1e they use 1 square = 1.5 meters in the Spanish version. Maybe have all the distances measured in SQUARES in the rules text and then simply have a small section that says "So how big's a square? Well, different cultures use different systems, so instead of using one over another, we went with a neutral square based system, but the game is written under the assumption that 1 square is roughly 3 square feet or 1 square meter." or something like that.

I assume all the translations use the same conversion (I think I've seen people mention the German translation and I've seen the French one):

- 1 ft becomes 0.3 m (so squares are 1.5 m to a side)
- 1 lb becomes 0.5 kg (combined with the above, it makes characters stockier)
- 1 mi becomes 1.5 km (distorting the mile/foot ratio)
- 1 gal becomes 4 L (not sure it's used anywhere but in Create Water's description)
- temperature seems to used the normal conversion (not sure it's used anywhere but in Endure Elements' description, and the numbers convert really well)

Be careful with area (and volume) conversions: you have to multiply by the conversion factor for each dimension (so twice for area and 3 times for volume). A square foot is 144 square inches, not 12.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

Make an argument for the meter- show me why its useful.

In doing so, you're not allowed to mention other countries (that's an appeal to authority).

Don't bother with the arguments about divisible by 10- if the base unit isn't useful, then being able to divide and multiply by 10 something useless isn't of any value.

So you're expecting us to make an argument shorn of any useful talking points to convince you, when you've already shown multiple times that you're being completely unreasonable?

I can see that working well.

The Sideromancer wrote:
ryric wrote:
For some reason nobody here has problems with 2 liter bottles of soda pop, but if you tried to switch milk over to liters instead of gallons there would be rioting in the streets.
Milk in Canada is frequently sold as packages of 3 1.33333 L bags that are placed in a specialized holder and slit at two places: where you pour out of and an air hole at the back.

1: It's Litre....the US hate's metric so much that they refuse to spell it properly :D

2: Don't paint all of Canada as some backwaters Onterrible ;) We don't actually have milk in bags common in the West. Mostly cartons or jugs 1L, 2L, and 4L.

This thread has been pretty funny. Honestly it started out as a nice "why can't we have both" and turned into a "how dare you make me change!".

bhampton wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Ultrace wrote:
ryric wrote:
For some reason nobody here has problems with 2 liter bottles of soda pop, but if you tried to switch milk over to liters instead of gallons there would be rioting in the streets.
Milk in Canada is frequently sold as packages of 3 1.33333 L bags that are placed in a specialized holder and slit at two places: where you pour out of and an air hole at the back.

1: It's Litre....the US hate's metric so much that they refuse to spell it properly :D

2: Don't paint all of Canada as some backwaters Onterrible ;) We don't actually have milk in bags common in the West. Mostly cartons or jugs 1L, 2L, and 4L.

This thread has been pretty funny. Honestly it started out as a nice "why can't we have both" and turned into a "how dare you make me change!".

This is what I get for living below the 49th, can't even get the spelling right. (its always fun to go to Michigan and tell people you're going north from your house in Canada)

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Lucas Yew wrote:
Speaking of which, why did the U.S. fail to introduce metric properly? I've heard rumors about bin Laden's attack on New York invoking fervent patriotism nationwide having to do with its last straw, but surely that alone can't be the whole story...

It had literally nothing to do with bin Laden. It has everything to do with a population for whom foreign travel is generally a rare event and for whom tradition has, by now, got an iron grip on the national psyche.

Despite all of the cogent, logical reasons for metric, it's very hard, even for someone like me, who admits that much, to mentally internalize them.

It's not so bad when I have to use metric for actual precision measurements- If I'm taking the time to actually measure something, I can use whatever.

But.

I have thirty-six years of experience, reinforced by my environment every day, underpinning my use of Imperial measurements to eyeball distances, sizes, weights, and temperatures.

(I also have a personal gripe with Centigrade temperatures because I like a more granular approach, but, you know, no one's even suggested a national switchover since the late 1970s so I can probably just cling to that)

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