For all the wrong reasons

I just left a comment on samaBlog kvetching about the tenacity of the stupid Imperial measurement system that continues to thrive in the U.S., as well as the U.K., Liberia and Myanmar. (Measurement is completely arbitrary; you might as well choose a system that at least makes some sense internally. How many inches in a furlong again?) Shortly after, I noticed that (in addition to running out of fours for their signs) some gas stations are now selling gas by the half gallon.

This is, apparently, being done because their pumps don’t support prices higher than $3.999, rather than the psychological reasons you might expect. It would be hilarious, however, if this kind of thing conspires with the price of oil to convert American gas pumps to charge by the liter, essentially using greed, bad hardware programming and laziness to force us kicking and screaming into a new metric dawn.

I also fully recommend that any hydrogen stations that open should use liters, as the price will then look ridiculously low compared to gasoline.

One Response to “For all the wrong reasons”

1rob sama Says:

The US constitution, in Article 1 Section 8, grants congress the power in part:

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

They simply refuse to do anything about it.

The military converted to metrics some time ago. I suppose wouldn’t mind if we used the English system for day to day uses but the metric system exclusively where it mattered, like engineering. Maybe then we could avoid disasters like what happened at NASA when they lost a satellite because two departments were speaking to each other in different units but didn’t realize it.

OTOH, even when we think we’re speaking in the same units, often we’re not. British recipes typically look that their American counterparts, but British kitchen units of measurement are actually different than American ones. IN other words, an ounce isn’t an ounce:

Happy cooking!

Leave a Reply