Author Topic: Why not ban AWG  (Read 56179 times)

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Offline rolycat

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #75 on: October 14, 2013, 03:15:40 pm »
Quote from: rolycat
You guys only drive where you do because you got owned by Napoleon and he ordered it. That's the main reason the British trounced him at Waterloo, you know - so we could stick with the proper traffic system  ;D 
Yeah well besides income tax Napoleon was not so bad with his naming systems and standards  ;) Else we would still be measuring everything with our feet, ellbows, thumbs and who knows what else and all be called Jan's son here in Holland.
But the main reason traffic WAS left is probably (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-_and_left-hand_traffic)
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Some historians, such as C. Northcote Parkinson, believed that ancient travellers on horseback generally rode on the left side of the road. As more people are right-handed, a horseman would thus be able to hold the reins with his left hand and keep his right hand free—to offer in friendship to passing riders or to defend himself with a sword, if necessary.
And legend has it that the switch to riding on the right in Europe was made because Napoleon was left-handed.

Quote
But if you have paid attention there are not many horses used as means of transportation and if you need the right hand now in a car, it is very handy for shifting gears (and giving other traffic contributors the middle finger)  ;D I believe even Jeremy from top gear had that belief (not sure though).
Fortunately I am also left-handed   8)
 

Offline madires

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #76 on: October 14, 2013, 03:38:19 pm »
Both the steering wheel and the driver in our cars are on the right side. Clearly, therefore, it is yours which are on the wrong side.

That might be true. But what about driving on the street? Since we're driving on the right side it's obvious you're doing something wrong. Pun intended :-)
 

Offline SLJ

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #77 on: October 14, 2013, 03:50:50 pm »
When the US made a feeble attempt to switch they changed some military specifications.  A hammer that previously had a 12.0 inch handle was redesigned with a 30.48 centimeter (still 12 inch) handle.

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #78 on: October 14, 2013, 05:41:36 pm »
The British started driving on the left of the road due to an arbitrary dictat made by the city of London over traffic congestion on London bridge. Not the present bridge the one that burnt down (as in the nursery rhyme)
The traffic was so bad over the bridge that horses and carts were getting tangled and blocking traffic flow over the narrow bridge  as there was no regulation at the time as to where in the road any one went, so a regulation was made as to which side of the bridge traffic went the left was chosen as it was thought that it would be a good idea to pass whip hand to whip hand the rest O london continued as normal for some considerable time but slowly every one just started to keep to the same side of the road when they left the bridge so driving on the left of the road became the norm.
Napoleon dictated that every one drive on the other side of the road from the British as Britain and france were at war with each other (What's changed) Probably a case of  so out of bloody minded that as Britain drove/rode on the left the French would do it the other way around.
 

Offline rolycat

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #79 on: October 14, 2013, 06:52:53 pm »
Apparently (but don't quote me on this), the latest ISS docking (CYGNUS space craft) failed on the first attempt because the ISS was using one measurement scale (metric) and the CYGNUS craft was using a different one (imperial).

So they had to back CYGNUS away from the ISS for a week or so whilst they altered the software on the CYGNUS space craft to use the metric system.

oops!

Whenever someone begins an assertion with 'apparently', it's time to do some fact-checking...

This has nothing to do with metric vs. imperial, for once.

The problem was with the GPS data. The American craft was using an old date format offset from 1980 which was incompatible with the 1999-based Japanese system on the ISS.

More details here, if you are interested:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/cygnus-cots-graduation-iss-berthing/
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2013, 07:05:01 pm »
When the US made a feeble attempt to switch they changed some military specifications.  A hammer that previously had a 12.0 inch handle was redesigned with a 30.48 centimeter (still 12 inch) handle.

This is one of the few "real" arguments I hear against the metric system here. All the numbers become nasty because all the stubborn dickheads refuse to change physical sizes.
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Offline Stonent

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #81 on: October 14, 2013, 07:10:35 pm »
I'm sure changing molds and forgings gets expensive. I'd be fine with dual labeling though.
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Offline Dongulus

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #82 on: October 14, 2013, 07:12:07 pm »
Poor old imperial system doesn't deserve the trash talk it gets. In general, each of the units occupy their own domain with little cross between. For example:
Distant location: Use miles
Visible/walking distance: Use feet/yards
Dimensions of small object: Use inches
Difficult to see: Use mils

For cases that fall between these domains, I never see decimal values so conversion factor doesn't often come into play. For example, if someone is 5ft 9in tall, I can imagine a length of 5 feet and I could imagine 9 inches above that. I don't try to imagine 5.75 feet.

I would imagine this is the same for all of you used to the metric system. Why would anyone need to factor in the fact that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer if just measuring height or some furniture? Why should I care that there are 1000 mm in a meter when fitting parts for a pcb?
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #83 on: October 14, 2013, 07:13:38 pm »
If people could accept a little rounding it wouldn't be an issue. 12" is close enough to 30cm to just call it that... but then you'd have people screaming for their 4.8 millimeters. :-\

Look on any dual-labeled package. They always say things like "10 fl oz / 295.735 mL" |O
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #84 on: October 14, 2013, 07:15:06 pm »
For cases that fall between these domains, I never see decimal values so conversion factor doesn't often come into play. For example, if someone is 5ft 9in tall, I can imagine a length of 5 feet and I could imagine 9 inches above that. I don't try to imagine 5.75 feet.

I would imagine this is the same for all of you used to the metric system. Why would anyone need to factor in the fact that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer if just measuring height or some furniture? Why should I care that there are 1000 mm in a meter when fitting parts for a pcb?

Tell that to Grandma when she's trying to figure out how many tablespoons are in a cup.
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Offline Dave

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #85 on: October 14, 2013, 07:19:09 pm »
and if you need the right hand now in a car, it is very handy for shifting gears (and giving other traffic contributors the middle finger)  ;D
Not to mention giving a friendly wave to the guy that let you into the lane, adjusting the air conditioning, switching songs on the radio, dialing a phone number (and before you start yelling, yes, hands-free bluetooth audio), putting on sunglasses, keeping a girl's leg warm, ... ;)
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Offline rolycat

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #86 on: October 14, 2013, 07:48:54 pm »
For cases that fall between these domains, I never see decimal values so conversion factor doesn't often come into play. For example, if someone is 5ft 9in tall, I can imagine a length of 5 feet and I could imagine 9 inches above that. I don't try to imagine 5.75 feet.

I would imagine this is the same for all of you used to the metric system. Why would anyone need to factor in the fact that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer if just measuring height or some furniture? Why should I care that there are 1000 mm in a meter when fitting parts for a pcb?

Tell that to Grandma when she's trying to figure out how many tablespoons are in a cup.

Ooh, I know this one. There are 16 tablespoons in a cup.
Hang about. According to Google, there are 13.3228 Imperial tablespoons in a US cup.
No, wait. It seems that there are 14.08 UK tablespoons in a metric cup.

Let's see, a tablespoon is about 20ml in Australia, about 15ml in the US, exactly 17.7581714 ml in the UK (Thanks, Google)...

It's a good thing Imperial cups aren't in use anymore, or things could have become complicated.

What was the question again?




 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #87 on: October 14, 2013, 08:39:13 pm »
Poor old imperial system doesn't deserve the trash talk it gets. In general, each of the units occupy their own domain with little cross between. For example:
Distant location: Use miles
Visible/walking distance: Use feet/yards
Dimensions of small object: Use inches
Difficult to see: Use mils

It is of course immaterial what the exact size of a unit is. An inch is an inch and a cm is a cm. One is not "better" than the other and each is equally ugly when expressed as a multiple of the other. Where the SI system has got it right however is the consistency of defining quantities within the system using powers of ten, and defining units using other units so you end up with multipliers of 1 nearly always. It is a true system in other words.
What i see as the curse of the imperial system is precisely this lack of systemic approach. Imperial dimensions are domain specific and while they work inside a problem domain, they do not do so well universally. Add to that historical and regional variations in identically named units and the brothel is ready go into business...

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For cases that fall between these domains, I never see decimal values so conversion factor doesn't often come into play. For example, if someone is 5ft 9in tall, I can imagine a length of 5 feet and I could imagine 9 inches above that. I don't try to imagine 5.75 feet.

Sorry but that is just BS. Maybe it works for you in this particular case but generally we who are accustomed to calculating in SI units look round eyed at the swamps of conversion factors and magic multipliers that the imperial formulas are full of. Yes you can do it but to me it looks like pulling wisdom teeth via your asshole. The only semi good argument i have heard for imperial measurements is that a wee dram tastes better than a wee 3 or 4 cl (whatever dram was, i forget).

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I would imagine this is the same for all of you used to the metric system. Why would anyone need to factor in the fact that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer if just measuring height or some furniture? Why should I care that there are 1000 mm in a meter when fitting parts for a pcb?

No, actually it is not the same at all, and this is the point i have been trying to make. It is a completely different mindset where you live in a world where there is one unit of measurement per one physical quantity. You then just apply the prefix that scales the unit reasonably. Dimensions for more complex quantities are (almost) logically derived from simple ones using the units of those simpler dimensions. It is a system you can and learn to trust so much that it effectively becomes invisible; if someone needs a 3 mm thick piece of aluminium sheet there is no ambiguity and no need to memorize gauges of this and gauges of that; diameters or radii of drill holes are not suddenly given in fractional presentation and wire sizes in yet another gauge making no sense to those who only know linear dimension units. If i need to find out whether a 1.5 mm^2 wire will carry a given current without overheating, i plug that cross section (or any other cross section) into the formula without first converting it from a presentation unusable, or usable only with extra unhelpful and unneeded conversions. If i need a liter of oil for my car or lawnmower, i don't need to worry whether it is a EU liter or someone else's liter, even when traveling.
The ultimate point perhaps is that you _never_ need to worry/wonder whether you are using the "best" or "correct" dimensions in a calculation. Say you start figuring the distance from earth to the sun in millimeters and later realize that this was perhaps not the optimal choice after all, no problemo. Just divide by 10^6 i.e. shift the decimal point 6 digits and you are in kilometers.

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Offline Zbig

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #88 on: October 14, 2013, 10:15:55 pm »
Poor old imperial system doesn't deserve the trash talk it gets. In general, each of the units occupy their own domain with little cross between. For example:
Distant location: Use miles
Visible/walking distance: Use feet/yards
Dimensions of small object: Use inches
Difficult to see: Use mils

For cases that fall between these domains, I never see decimal values so conversion factor doesn't often come into play. For example, if someone is 5ft 9in tall, I can imagine a length of 5 feet and I could imagine 9 inches above that. I don't try to imagine 5.75 feet.

I would imagine this is the same for all of you used to the metric system. Why would anyone need to factor in the fact that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer if just measuring height or some furniture? Why should I care that there are 1000 mm in a meter when fitting parts for a pcb?

It deserves all the trash talk it gets and then some. If anything, your attempt at rationalizing this only seems to make it worse and that's immediately obvious to anyone who hasn't been forced to put up with this "system" ;) Why not introduce yet another unit for "cycling distance", equal to circumference of a 26" bike wheel? And another one for "kind of difficult to see but still sort of possible if you squint your eye just right", equal to the standardized diameter of a Caucasian female's pubic hair? This, and using body parts as measurement units seems little passé in 2013. There are many downsides to living where I live but I'm glad I didn't have to dedicate significant amount of my limited brainpower to deal with this utter nonsense.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #89 on: October 14, 2013, 10:41:42 pm »
I often just substitute similar but imprecise measurements that are close. Liters and Quarts, Yards and Meters.

I can mentally estimate distances in imperial units fairly easy it would take a while for me to convert myself where I could do that in anything other than smaller metric units.

Since nearly everything on passenger cars is metric now in the US, I can reasonably eye-ball a bolt and guess the size.
I suppose if I have to start using kilometers, I'll cheat and pretend a kilometer is half a mile when estimating a distance.

I do worry if they try to force carpenters to metric that it will cause lots of problems with integrating with existing homes and also getting incorrect measurements because they are so used to what they do that it's automatic.
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Offline westfw

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #90 on: October 14, 2013, 10:46:42 pm »
Quote
A4 paper  297 x 210 mm.
You see, this is the part of metric that I don't understand.  There are all these lovely decimal units, and then the actual goods end up "297mm" long, or sold "per 250g"

I'm sure changing molds and forgings gets expensive. I'd be fine with dual labeling though.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #91 on: October 14, 2013, 10:49:12 pm »
Quote
A4 paper  297 x 210 mm.
You see, this is the part of metric that I don't understand.  There are all these lovely decimal units, and then the actual goods end up "297mm" long, or sold "per 250g"

It's a 1:sqrt(2) aspect ratio. That way, if you cut/fold it in half it maintains the same aspect ratio.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 10:50:46 pm by c4757p »
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Offline AlfBaz

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #92 on: October 14, 2013, 10:52:24 pm »
I have a vague notion that a meter, the basic unit of distance is derived as the wavelength of krypton (didn't know the French were big on superman), but what's the definition of a yard or inch or whatever the basic distance unit is in imperial?
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #93 on: October 14, 2013, 10:54:10 pm »
Quote
A4 paper  297 x 210 mm.
You see, this is the part of metric that I don't understand.  There are all these lovely decimal units, and then the actual goods end up "297mm" long, or sold "per 250g"

I'm sure changing molds and forgings gets expensive. I'd be fine with dual labeling though.
Job creation !

I think the purpose of metric should be to simplify, not make more complex. Why 297 x 210 and not 300x200? US letter paper is 8.5x11 which is a fairly round amount.

I did find it irritating when Coke came up with the 1/2 liter bottle. For the longest time it seemed (at least in my area) that Coke machines sold cans for 75 cents and 20oz bottles for $1.00. Now that the 1/2 liter bottles are out there, it seems that 1.50 for the 20oz bottles is the new norm since many machines can't accommodate the smaller bottles.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #94 on: October 14, 2013, 10:56:21 pm »
I think the purpose of metric should be to simplify, not make more complex. Why 297 x 210 and not 300x200? US letter paper is 8.5x11 which is a fairly round amount.

I just said that - a sqrt(2):1 aspect ratio allows you to keep the same ratio when folding or cutting in half. A0 has an area of one square meter, A1 is 1/2 of that, A2 one half of A1, and so on.

Damn, that took a couple brainfarts to get right :-\
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 10:59:30 pm by c4757p »
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Offline Stonent

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #95 on: October 14, 2013, 10:58:31 pm »
I have a vague notion that a meter, the basic unit of distance is derived as the wavelength of krypton (didn't know the French were big on superman), but what's the definition of a yard or inch or whatever the basic distance unit is in imperial?

A yard is 3 feet, a foot is 12 inches.
Initially the foot was supposedly the length of a king's food. I don't know if that's true or not.

A mile was based on a Latin term from ancient Rome for the length of 1000 paces of a soldier.
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Offline jiggles

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #96 on: October 14, 2013, 10:58:55 pm »
I use a rather horrible version of both. Small lengths: Metric, Hight and large distances: Imperial, Anything else is what mood I am in at the time! ^-^
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #97 on: October 14, 2013, 11:01:42 pm »
I think the purpose of metric should be to simplify, not make more complex. Why 297 x 210 and not 300x200? US letter paper is 8.5x11 which is a fairly round amount.

I just said that - a sqrt(2):1 aspect ratio allows you to keep the same ratio when folding or cutting in half. A0 has an area of one square meter, A1 is 1/2 of that, A2 one half of A1, and so on.

Damn, that took a couple brainfarts to get right :-\

Yeah we posted at around the same time so you got in the explanation before my comment posted.
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Offline Stonent

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #98 on: October 14, 2013, 11:02:19 pm »
I use a rather horrible version of both. Small lengths: Metric, Hight and large distances: Imperial, Anything else is what mood I am in at the time! ^-^

 :-+
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Offline Zbig

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Re: Why not ban AWG
« Reply #99 on: October 14, 2013, 11:03:05 pm »
I did find it irritating when Coke came up with the 1/2 liter bottle. For the longest time it seemed (at least in my area) that Coke machines sold cans for 75 cents and 20oz bottles for $1.00. Now that the 1/2 liter bottles are out there, it seems that 1.50 for the 20oz bottles is the new norm since many machines can't accommodate the smaller bottles.

Well of course if you were forced to deal with "imperial" for significant part of your life, it gets awkward to adjust to anything other. Change resistance is a normal human thing. But this doesn't make the Flintstone-metrics any less ass-backwards :P

EDIT:
I just realized that perhaps I missed the point of your post a little. Sorry for that, it's little late here.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 11:09:47 pm by Zbig »
 


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