Friday, July 13, 2007

Metric system imperialism

There’s a metric scale for measuring just about everything — weight, distance, volume, even temperature (Celsius is derived from the metric system) — except for one thing — time. How come there’s never been a metric calendar/time system, with, say, 10 metric months of 10 metric days each, each metric day composed of 10 metric hours, each metric hour composed of 100 metric minutes, and each metric minute composed of 100 metric seconds (which would be different from the seconds currently used)?
--Robert Frank, Freakonomics blog, on another domain that should convert to the metric system

3 comments:

Jess Austin said...

I could see this working in a situation that was totally separate from the rest of humanity: say, on an interstellar colony ship. But I don't see it happening for anyone else. I had always thought that for measuring a duration, seconds were perfectly acceptable metric units. For longer durations, just use whatever natural cycle fits best, such as days or years.

Telling time OTOH isn't really measurement at all, and it's the only reason we worry about weird units like minutes, hours, weeks, and months.

AbFab2theMax said...
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AbFab2theMax said...
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