The English System: How is this Still a Thing?
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It is your best friend’s birthday party,
but you forgot it was today. You need to bake a cake before the party,
so you find a cookbook and turn to the double-chocolate fudge cake (mmm cake) and
you begin the first step. But soon you realize that the cookbook is in metric
and you have English cooking tools! As you struggle to convert all the units
from the metric system to the English system you wonder, “why shouldn’t these
conversions be simpler?” Now, you will never finish the cake on time!
Frustrated, you just go buy the cake at Blue Wall. As you walk to Blue Wall, you begin to
question the whole concept of how we perceive basic units. How did such things
become the way they are? Why isn’t there just one ****ing system?? Today we’ll be discussing the English system, and how is this still a thing?? The English system is 1500 years old, and its current units original from Anglo-Saxon England. Many of the English system’s units
became outdated quickly because they were tied to the
culture in which they were created and had no precision whatsoever.
Take the unit “furlong”, for example. Defined as the “length of a traditional
trench plowed by ox teams on Saxon farms”. The English system’s units for
temperature are just as horrible. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit defined the unit in 1724 using barbaric experimental procedures. Why did he define zero degrees Fahrenheit to be the coldest temperature in his German hometown? He set 32 degrees to be a mixture of ice and water, and 96 degrees to be the temperature of body heat. The problem? These fixed temperatures are completely arbitrary. The system went through a series of changes and is now defined by the temperature at which water freezes (32° Fahrenheit) and the temperature at which it boils (212) but these numbers still aren’t
mathematically sound. The English system is flawed because of the units of measurement are really obscure. For example, pounds are 16 ounces,
a mile is 5280 feet (or 1,760 yards) and there are some weird, irrelevant
measurements nobody knows about, such as nautical miles, fathoms, a bushel, and a peck. (𝅘𝅥𝅮 “America” – Team America)
The United States (also known as the greatest country in the world) is the
only country in the world that still uses the system. The more universal
metric system is used for science and medicine. Teaching the Imperial system
causes confusion later on when students are taught to use the metric system in science. In fact the misuse of the metric system has caused avoidable accidents to happen throughout the world. A 125 million dollar spacecraft manufactured by aircraft engineers at Lockheed Martin and paid for by NASA called the “Mars
climate orbiter” was lost because the engineers used incorrect measurements.
The company that built the spacecraft inconsistently exchanged pound-seconds and Newton-seconds to measure the impulse of the orbiter, causing it to disintegrate in the upper atmosphere of Mars. On Air Canada flight 143, the plane ran out of fuel because the fuel was not weighed properly. The flight was the first of Air Canada’s to use metric units instead of English units, so the crew did not properly weigh the fuel, and thought that they had double the fuel that they actually had. This forced an emergency landing during the flight. Even Christopher Columbus made a mistake using the English system, and used Roman miles instead of using nautical miles. That’s why he landed in the Caribbean,
instead of in Asia (like he expected). And now we shall move on to a system the rest the world uses, the metric system! The metric system was developed in 1791 by a man named Antoine Lavoisier, and the committee of the French Academy of Sciences. The majority of this committee was executed during the French
Revolution. Yes, during a time of mass executions and murders, the French were
able to make an incredibly simple system, go French! The metric system, later known
as the “International System of Units” or “SI units” for short, is the updated
version of the metric system. Lavoisier and the committee based the units on the dimensions of water and the earth, unlike the English system using plows
and stinky feet for references! One unit of measure
equals one physical quantity, it’s that easy! Compared to the English system (which has a multitude of unknown and even outdated units) the metric system is
very short and precise. What the heck is a “furlong“? Additionally, the metric system can be readily scaled to large or small
quantities with the help of the prefixes. Simply add “kilo” or “centi” onto one of the
base units, and you have a unit of certain magnitude. The metric system is base-10, so converting from different magnitudes is simply moving the decimal
place around, one meter is a hundred centimeters. Also, by utilizing a decimal system,
units are much simpler to compare with each other. Very neat, huh? So how do we rid our society of the English system? Well, every country managed to do this except for the United States, so what can you do? Be a rebel. Go against society’s standards and make the metric system part of your daily life. Be that person whose phone is on Celsius
and 24-hour time, maybe someday everyone will think like you do,
and we’ll never have to use the complex math, tables, fractions, or even Google
for every single unit conversion ever again. Until then, you’ll just have to wonder, “the
English system, how is this still a thing?”

3 thoughts on “The English System: How is this Still a Thing?

  1. I dont understand how using one source as a baseline for measurement under the SI system is inherently better than a baseline for the english system? So what?

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