2 thoughts on “Out of Site, Out of Mind — The Era of World Wide Metrication

  1. Some years ago I read that in the 1950s France was going to switch from being a metric country to adopting imperial, at least in industry. It may have been American and English pressure but for some reason the plan fell through. It may have been from the fact that the ISO which was created in 1947 became metric based and there was work being done to refine and update the metric system that resulted in the creation of SI in 1960.

    One of the most interesting developments was the US creation of the unified inch fastener system which was intended for world-wide adoption. But the ISO created its own series of SI based fasteners that spread world-wide instead. The British really didn’t want to give up Whitworth in favour of an American variation but they had no problem giving it up for metric.

    As American hegemony was increasing all over the world the resistance to US customary units was the only thing the US could not force the world to adopt. And a good thing the world did resist. Because the world technological development is surpassing the US and metric is the fundamental component of these designs. Imperial/USC is not suited for the technological development we have today, especially in the micro-miniaturization of electronics.

    The Americans are obviously not happy with the way things have worked out and it still upsets them that the world has gone metric and used it to an advantage against the US. but that is the fault of the US for demonising the metric system instead of seeing value in it and moving forward with it.

  2. I agree with Ametrica about the US falling behind due to not adopting the metric system. I do believe that we will fall further behind by clinging to the old and outdated system. I have stated before that I have contacted the senators and representatives of my state, Alabama, to urge them to support legislation to have the US adopt SI. The replies I receive, if I even get a reply, always defend the present use of our current system and bring up the costs associated with converting as well as having to educate the populace. Just as Maven wrote in his blog. One very recent example of the cost and delay of clinging to an outdated system has occurred in my neighborhood. A couple I know started this past November to open a specialty coffee shop. They encountered a big delay when some of their new equipment, made in Germany, arrived and because the connections were metric, the plumbers were having a difficult time finding the parts to enable them to connect all of the water lines and so forth. I can imagine that such added expense and delay happens daily in the US on larger and more costly projects for businesses and industries. I believe that a large part of the problem with the US adopting SI lies in many, especially politicians and industrialists, thinking that the rest of the world is dependent upon the US. The US needs the rest of the world as allies and trading partners than the rest of the world needs the US.

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