Posted in Issues, Useful

Great Ideas 4

This one is simple. Let’s Go Metric! I love it that there’s an organization for just about everything, even going metric.

From today’s The Writer’s Almanac:

It was on this day in 1975 that Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act and started the “go metric” campaign with school activities, bumper stickers, public service announcements, and wall charts. But in 1982, Ronald Reagan disbanded the Metric Board and canceled its funding. The metric system was developed 200 years ago, during of the Age of Reason, and is based on numeric intervals of 10, while the U.S.’s measurement system is based on seeds and body parts. Today, the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar are the only nonmetric countries in the world.

From my previous blog entry about this topic: This map makes me laugh. Only Myanmar and Liberia (those bastions of democracy!) join us in being non-metric. We have this.

The US government won’t implement metric here at home, but will on the moon. It’s painful to think about the money that is being wasted because we’re not metric, and the lost business opportunities as well.

In case you’re wondering, as I’m writing this it is 12 degrees, and today’s high will be 19. When I lived in England, I used to think 25 was a really hot day. Since then, I’ve been to the Imperial Sand Dunes when it was 45 degrees.

Hmmm. This conversion to metric may take some doing. We’re going to need this handy tool.

Go Metric!

(seen at Caltech)

Previously in this series:

Great Ideas 1 – Let’s Keep Church and State Separate

Great Ideas 2 – Let’s Free Health Care From the Shackles of Capitalism

Great Ideas 3 – Let’s Get Rid of the Electoral College


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

3 thoughts on “Great Ideas 4

  1. Going metric is a great idea. Remember when JPL lost a satellite because the had programmed in imperial measurements? It will never happen, Washington DC is in the pocket of the American Ruler Lobby.

  2. The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President arises from the winner-take-all rule (currently used by 48 of 50 states) under which all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state. If the partisan divide in a state is not initially closer than about 46%-54%, no amount of campaigning during a brief presidential campaign is realistically going to reverse the outcome in the state. As a result, presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the concerns in voters of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Instead, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. As a result, 88% of the money and visits (and attention) is focused on just 9 states. Fully 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. More than two-thirds of the country is left out.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill has 366 legislative sponsors in 47 states. It has been signed into law in Maryland. Since its introduction in February 2006, the bill has passed by 12 legislative houses (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, New Jersey, and North Carolina, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, and California).


  3. I love the Metric system. It’s way easier to figure out. Fuck if I know how many feet are in a mile. (Well, Google can tell me that now..but anyway…) 1000 grams in a kilogram. Easy peasy.

    I don’t think we’ll ever convert to Metric. Imagine all of the stupid people in the US for one..and imagine all of the little things, much it will change sayings like “An ounce of prevention prevents a pound of cure..” or “Give him an inch…..” etc etc.

    Although I would love to see the film “8 Mile” re-named “12.87 Kilometer”.


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