I used to think the metric system would be something I’d never get. What is so special about this “universal” measurement system that the rest of the world uses it? The lack of fractions is appealing, but beyond that the appeal was lost on me. I mean really, if the meter corresponds to a yard… and the centimeter corresponds to the inch… what corresponds to the foot? I was sure that the metric system would fall short without a corresponding intermediate unit like the foot.
I’m a convert. I LOVE the metric system.
Being an engineer with a lot of time on site where contractors are constantly measuring, cutting, digging, filling, etc. I’ve had to figure it out pretty quick.
But why the sudden “metric-love?” It’s simple. It allows for as much (or as little) precision as you need with minimal effort. It’s scalable. It’s adaptable. It’s flexible. It’s… universal.
When the rubber meets the road and you are out in the middle of an airfield trying to explain a dimension to a poor laborer from Bangladesh, who’s had no formal education in their life, metric is teachable. Even when they are speaking Bengali and you are speaking English. I couldn’t imagine trying to teach someone to work with Imperial units out in the field, especially across a language barrier.
Final thoughts for any “rebellious” American’s out there who are thinking “To heck with the global standard, we are America and we do it our own way!” What’s more individualistic and symbolic of our Yankee nature? Sticking with the Imperial system, so named for it’s universal nature during the height of the British Empire, or bucking the old ways (just like we bucked the POHM’s) and pursuing the most efficient and scalable measurement system the world has ever known?