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The US Actually BEAT Europe to Metric - In One Specific Way

  • čas přidán 20. 02. 2024
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    Over here in the US, we catch a lot of grief for having never switched to the metric system, but the fact of the matter is, we tried several times. So today let’s talk about the history of metric in the US, all the times that we tried to make the switch, and why each one failed.
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    0:00 - Intro
    2:15 - Why Haven't We Switched?
    5:10 - Early US-Metric History
    9:50 - Two Competing Systems of Measurement
    10:20 - Tangent Cam
    11:13 - The Battle of the Standards
    13:11 - Metric in the 20th Century
    16:36 - Metrification Today
    19:41 - Sponsor - Ground News
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Komentáře • 4,3K

  • @Nefville
    @Nefville Před 4 měsíci +1421

    Here in Kentucky we've adopted the hillbilly measurement system. Things are measured in drops, pinches and dollops, distances are measured in stone's throws, over yonders, country miles, and "a ways", and finally time is measured in _a while_ and _a while longer._ Everyone should use these, its as easy as pie.

    • @endersblade
      @endersblade Před 4 měsíci +103

      Now I know you're lying, you said "You guys" instead of "Y'all" 😛

    • @mikeguilmette776
      @mikeguilmette776 Před 4 měsíci +53

      Truthfully, any measurement system will work if it's used consistently and accurately. We could send a mission to Mars using cubits - as long as everyone involved used the same cubit.

    • @117johnpar
      @117johnpar Před 4 měsíci +21

      What kind of pie exactly?

    • @404_Name_Not_Found
      @404_Name_Not_Found Před 4 měsíci +35

      And difficulty is measured in pies.

    • @Graeme_Lastname
      @Graeme_Lastname Před 4 měsíci +4

      @@mikeguilmette776 So you use cubits and the rest of the world uses metric? Sounds as silly as the current situation. 🙂

  • @Crojach
    @Crojach Před 4 měsíci +60

    Switching the industry (manufacturing, tools etc would definitely be costly) but here in Croatia we recently switched to the Euro and one thing that was added is to have all prices in Euros and then in smaller print in Croatian Kuna. We did this for 6 months before the transition and now we have it through 2023 after which we will only display Euros. I think that's quite a good way of slowly shifting the minds of people to think in a different unit. I know that you would have to shift between a bunch of them at the same time but just having it displayed in two units might help in the long run (I don't even know how much this would cost)

    • @eekee6034
      @eekee6034 Před 4 měsíci +3

      I was thinking that would be a good way to do it.. :)

    • @sillyjellyfish2421
      @sillyjellyfish2421 Před 4 měsíci +2

      Same here in Slovakia. Before we switched to euro, the exchange rate got frozen on something like 30SVK : 1 EUR or so.
      For few months, we still used SVK but prices everywhere were displayed in both numbers so we would get used to them.
      Then starting one day, every time you would pay in SVK, you were given a change in EUR. You could also pay entirely in EUR.
      Then once all money in circulation was exchanged, we kept double pricing for another year or so, so while everyone was using euro, you could just do the usual calculation in crowns alongside to that.
      And just like that, it was done.

    • @nirfz
      @nirfz Před 3 měsíci +1

      They already have theirs and metric units on many things (that are also sold outside the US).
      I think all the food packaging has their things + grams on them.
      So in my opinion at some point the manufacturers will just nor print the US unit onto the package to save a fraction of a cent, and one by one they will silently switch without the public taking great notice.
      (maximizing profit is the single most important thing for US companies, and this way with tiny changes they could do that)
      The most difficult will be the ones that are publically constanly on display and talked about: street signs for example.
      Peoples height and weight and distances to travel.

  • @mikerisner
    @mikerisner Před 4 měsíci +71

    I was in elementary school in the late 70s, and I remember a push to go metric. At first, I thought it was cool. Quickly though, I found it confusing and became resistant. Now that I'm (much) older, I would support metric conversion today. It makes more sense to me now. And most people are a lot smarter than me, so it should be a breeze for our nation now 🙂

    • @highlorddarkstar
      @highlorddarkstar Před 4 měsíci +2

      The big confusion factor was that no one used metric units outside school, so there was no use for such measurements.

    • @giannapple
      @giannapple Před 4 měsíci +3

      Uh… you found “confusing” to divide and multiply by 10 while you were at school? Are you serious? What kind of elementary math is teacher in the USA??

    • @highlorddarkstar
      @highlorddarkstar Před 4 měsíci +5

      @@giannapple the math was simple. The confusion was any intuition as to what was being measured. Is 15C jacket weather? Is 20kg a lot of weight?

    • @douglasclerk2764
      @douglasclerk2764 Před 4 měsíci +1

      ​@@highlorddarkstarIs 20 kg a lot of weight? Just pick it up and feel - you eventually get the hang.

    • @highlorddarkstar
      @highlorddarkstar Před 4 měsíci

      @@douglasclerk2764 eventually is the key. When you’re 10 and everyone measures in pounds, you don’t get many chances to even figure out 20kg is 44lbs, much less try and lift it. That was very many years ago, I can convert quickly but it’ll never be intuitive for me.

  • @TorbenRune
    @TorbenRune Před 4 měsíci +227

    Denmark switched to metrics i 1907. Up till then, we also had foot, but.... feets are different. A US feet is 0,3048 meters, a old Danish feet is 0,3139 meters. And we even had a separate unit for two feets, called an Alen = 0,6277 meters - naturally, most people have two feets.
    But it gets worse: A Greek foot was 0,3082 m, a Roman foot was 0,296 m, a Chinese foot was 0,320 m (but varied over the different dynasties), a French foot was 0,3248 m (also known as a Paris foot), and the English foot was 0,3048 meters like the US one, but prior to that used the North-German foot of 0,335 m, also considered the largest foot in the "system of feets".
    The smallest foot ever was the German foot from the region of Hessen which was 0,250 m.
    No wonder that shoe sizes are so difficult to compare.
    Brillant video btw.

    • @Tanson32
      @Tanson32 Před 4 měsíci +34

      I think the most ridiculous part of imperial is the arbitrary number of units to form the next higher unit. For example, the most common small unit of distance in imperial is 1/16 of an inch. Of course, 16 to one inch. There are 12 inches in a foot. Three feet to a yard. 1760 yards to a mile. And volume and weight are no different, with no structure or predictability. If someone asks you how much is 6 ounces, you need to ask if they're talking about weight or volume, as an ounce could be either. Fathoms, furlongs, leagues. Honestly, evolution of measurement systems has been happening for thousands of years. Metric, as of now, is the current system. Embrace the present, and quit being the old people who measure their prune juice in hogsheads.

    • @rogerwilco1777
      @rogerwilco1777 Před 4 měsíci +7

      thats a lot of feet!

    • @simonabunker
      @simonabunker Před 4 měsíci +9

      Ironically the foot is now defined in metric!

    • @TorbenRune
      @TorbenRune Před 4 měsíci +12

      ​@@Tanson32 , the imperial arbitrary units was actually one of the arguments used during the French revolution, as it was seen as a way to keep the uneducated and unprivileged from understanding numbers and calculations. As formulated: "There was a wish that the units of measure should be for all people and for all time and therefore not dependent on an artefact owned by any one particular elite or nation."

    • @weedfreer
      @weedfreer Před 4 měsíci +6

      This is likely an artifact of the fact that an inch is the measurement of 3 barley corns placed end to end.
      Ok, which variety and under what growing conditions?

  • @Stepan8511
    @Stepan8511 Před 4 měsíci +12

    I am an canadian immigrant. Came from metric country 12 years ago. 1) i saw 2-3 Canadians who was complete Imperial and they looked like having issues to recalculate to Metric for me 2) i worked in construction for some time and didn't experience any issues with converting to inches-feet 3) having 2 systems is actually fun game that you play every day
    Very informative video, Joe! Thanks

    • @pseudocalm
      @pseudocalm Před 3 měsíci +1

      Spoken like a true fellow canadian playing life on the edge

  • @PatClevenger0709
    @PatClevenger0709 Před 4 měsíci +291

    Joe, I'm an American and I studied physics in college and grad school. Always used metric. Then I studied engineering and the hardest thing for me to do was to go back to using imperial units instead of metric. That was the most difficult thing for me.

    • @hoe4_sho
      @hoe4_sho Před 4 měsíci +6

      Ahh crud, these are the exact fields of study I am working towards. I hadn't even considered this.

    • @jamesmerutka889
      @jamesmerutka889 Před 4 měsíci +30

      Yeah. Working in a corporation that does work in the U.S. and in the Netherlands, we use both metric and imperial.
      In all honesty, metric is WAY easier.
      Sucks living in the U.S. but preferring the metric system. 😂

    • @PatClevenger0709
      @PatClevenger0709 Před 4 měsíci +8

      @@jamesmerutka889 I agree. Multiples of ten and 100 is so much easier

    • @jamesmerutka889
      @jamesmerutka889 Před 4 měsíci +14

      ​@@PatClevenger0709Another annoying thing... on the side, and as a hobby, I work on cars and small engines...
      And it is absolutely annoying that I need two different sets of sockets, wrenches, hex wrenches, etc... if we switched to metric, only one set of each...
      And holy hell... it's about money.
      Think about how much money companies make, when in many, many professions, tools and equipment are needed for both systems of measurement.
      Freaking duh...

    • @Soupy_loopy
      @Soupy_loopy Před 4 měsíci +5

      ​@@jamesmerutka889 cars and most things are all metric. I mostly only have metric tools and don't have a problem. You can usually find a metrc size to fit imperial bolts.

  • @solomonsmith3658
    @solomonsmith3658 Před 4 měsíci +77

    In the uk we haven’t actually completely transitioned to metric. Our road signs are still in miles and if you ask most people their height/weight they’ll answer in stone/feet

    • @shirleymental4189
      @shirleymental4189 Před 4 měsíci +8

      Yeah, unless you're the BBC.

    • @jamessharpe2625
      @jamessharpe2625 Před 4 měsíci +4

      I typically answer in both, I use KG professionally in my role but used stones and pounds growing up.

    • @solomonsmith3658
      @solomonsmith3658 Před 4 měsíci +2

      @@jamessharpe2625 I’ve not used either in years. Engineering knocked it out of me

    • @magnisfo
      @magnisfo Před 4 měsíci +10

      I'm an Aussie and a few months back I travelled to the UK for the first time. At Gatwick I hired a car and did a double take when the road signs were in mile units. Australia - a dutiful member of the Commonwealth - migrated to kms back in the 70s. But miles are a real link to the long history of the land in the UK - so it's an understandable exception to metric conversion.

    • @tribaltalker1608
      @tribaltalker1608 Před 4 měsíci +4

      I'm in the Uk (retired engineer, ex-physicist) and I use metric for weights and measures. I don't know my weight in the old system.
      One thing I find useful is the similarity between yards and metres - very useful for small-distance road signs in the UK.
      The only thing I liked from the old system was the thruppenny bit. A rare treat when I was a youngster.

  • @richardgustafson5529
    @richardgustafson5529 Před 4 měsíci +7

    I remember the effort to switch to the metric system when I was in elementary school in the 70’s. It failed miserably, but the one thing I still remember being taught is that a centimeter is roughly the width of your pinkie finger nail. This has helped a lot through the years to convert to metric measurements.

  • @markvandermeijen-page4111
    @markvandermeijen-page4111 Před 4 měsíci +6

    As somebody who grew up in the UK, was 10 when decimalisation took place & who now lives in New Zealand, I agree that it takes no small amount of mental adjustment to switch systems. Currency, distance & liquid volumes aren't so difficult, but I personally still struggle with weights - even after nine years. Every time I'm asked for my weight, I still automatically answer in stones & pounds! My kilogram equivalent just doesn't seem to remain in my head - maybe because it's such a BIG number! lol

    • @krashd
      @krashd Před 4 měsíci +4

      Set your bathroom scale to use KG, then you don't have to learn to convert, you just answer what the scale tells you.

    • @rustomkanishka
      @rustomkanishka Před měsícem +1

      Human beings learn through repetition. A bathroom scale tends to do help train one's brain.
      We had this weird hodge podge of measuring systems for a lot of things, which often just went away with time. I still measure distance in metric, but ask me how tall a person is, and i might struggle a bit. It's easier, for example to say, oh she's tiny, like 5'2 instead of 1.58 meters tall. I train my brain by getting one of those height measuring stickers they have in schools for young kids.
      Also, one more odd habit coming not from colonialism but because of sheer dumb luck- as a kid everyone got compared to dad. So, how tall is say, Gerard Butler? About as tall as dad. Liam Neeson? 2 inches taller than dad. Every poor bugger across the planet had to be compared to dad.
      As an adult I'm about the same length as Liam Neeson (193cm) and it turns out way too many of my friends now use me as the measure. For example "we saw this massive christmas tree at their house, it was bigger than you!". I'm personally not a fan of this system but no one is obliged to care.
      You just gotta train your brain.

  • @KennethMills
    @KennethMills Před 4 měsíci +98

    I was in my twenties when a big part of Europe, including my country, adopted the Euro as a currency. It took some adapting and in my experience mostly older people sometimes still have to convert to the old Belgian currency to get a feel of the value of something (mostly large sums). But it quickly felt natural to me and I never really noticed much “cultural inertia” in my surroundings. I also don’t recall many practical problems (except for getting familiar with the coins and many prices seemingly rising somewhat).

    • @MichelleEvans_CatLady
      @MichelleEvans_CatLady Před 4 měsíci +6

      Yeah my dad would always ask "what's that in old money?" For us was the Irish punt

    • @agar322
      @agar322 Před 4 měsíci +2

      I've heard similar stories from a lot of European countries, and it's always fascinating to me. You must've had very low inflation before and since to have such a clear picture of prices. Here in Brazil inflation from the past 10 years is 111%. My notion of money is always from the last few years, so everything always sound expensive and I can't really remember old prices, save for a few items. For instance, I know a pastel I buy once in a while used to be R$8.90 some years ago. Now it's R$20.50.

    • @alaric_
      @alaric_ Před 4 měsíci +9

      No one in Finland does that anymore. Milk costs what it costs (one store sells it at 1.4€ and one sells at 1.5€, no higher maths needed).
      -Gasoline costs what it costs, you need to refill to drive. Doesn't take long to see what station has the smallest numbers on the board and pick that one.
      -Buying TV, check the adds and pick the lowest price! Those TV's were not even sold 20 years ago so no point in comparing to those times!
      -Houses are bought very rarely and looking at the first 10, you get pretty good estimate on market prices.
      I mean this all happened some 20+ years ago! If someone hasn't learned that milk carton costs 1.5€ and has to convert it instead to 8.5FIM has some serious soul searching to do...

    • @peglor
      @peglor Před 4 měsíci +3

      @@MichelleEvans_CatLady Ireland also only moved to metric in 1972, using the same 240 pence to the pound as the UK, so depending on the age of the person, they'll have lived through 2 dramatic changes in currency. The change to metric currency kept the large denomination coins, so a shilling became 5 new pence instead of the traditional 12 pence. The old coins - the sixpence, three pence, penny, hapenny and farthing (quarter penny) were all retired and new half penny, penny and 2 pence coins were made, with the half penny being phased out in the '80s and 20 p and 1 pound coins being added.
      Ireland's biggest mistake when moving to the Euro was keeping the wrong side of the coins, so instead of beautiful pictures of Irish wildlife, celtic knotwork and livestock on one side and a harp on the back, every Irish Euro coin has the same boring harp on the country side and the same generic Euro coin value side as every other country on the front 😞.
      Incidentally Ireland converted to km/h speed limits and km distances without any difficulty in 2005, but EU law had made km/h indications on car speedometers mandatory anyway (And people wanted them anyway so they could take trips to continental Europe), so not really a problem. The dumbest thing about the application of US customary units is the massive gulf between feet and miles (5280 feet/mile), combined with peoples insistence on measuring altitude in feet but linear distance in miles.
      The legacy of the US pound being a force and a mass unit now means that even though the metric system was designed specifically to avoid this problem, US manufacturers trying to use metric units have created the abomination that is the kilogram force, so by staying on the US Customary unit system they've actually made the metric system worse.

    • @AngryAnt0
      @AngryAnt0 Před 4 měsíci +6

      I know my family (as a Brit) will still say the exact same thing as @MichelleEvenas_CatLady said, "whats that in old money". Even though they were in their 20s/30s back in the 70s.
      Honestly I'd personally prefer the UK went all in with the metric rather than the half in, half out system we personally have now. Its just so much easier (yes yes I hear the "it made you better at maths" arguement alot too) and while the UK won't be adopting the Euro anytime soon (sorry guys =( most of us want to come back), the £ and € are pretty similar so would be a pretty easy switch mentally.
      The one that really annoys me is when the weather will randomly switch from C to F because "it sounds hotter" & since imperal hasn't been taught in schools in the UK since the 70s, most of us under the age of 60 are pretty lost.

  • @alanfarnworth2802
    @alanfarnworth2802 Před 4 měsíci +1

    Switching can be just a matter of using different measurements for the same sizes. In the UK, fence panels are sold in metric measurements (say 122cm), but they are actually 4 foot panels ( or whatever other "foot" size fence panel existed pre metric conversion). and most tape measures and rulers show both units. Beer is in pints, milk in litres. most food tins (like soup or tomatoes) are 4 inches high by 3.5 inches wide (roughly 14 oz contents sold as 400g)

  • @neilscole
    @neilscole Před 4 měsíci +23

    I'm in Canada and we have a combination of metric and imperial. There are some factors for why that is, but one of them is the integration of the Canadian and American markets. So certain products aimed at both Canadian and American markets end up with imperial units, like all of our ovens. But again, it's a mix, because we measure long distances in metric, but short distances and the height of a person in imperial.

    • @yanis905
      @yanis905 Před 4 měsíci +7

      Moved to Canada last year and this is one incongruity that is difficult to adapt to. My house surface area measures in sqft, highway distances are in km, but most measurement tools work in imperial. How not to make up one’s mind…

    • @krashd
      @krashd Před 4 měsíci +1

      @@yanis905 You'd love the UK then, we have three systems, imperial, metric and antiquated, your weight can be in pounds, kilograms, or stones depending on where you are.

    • @theguyfromsaturn
      @theguyfromsaturn Před 4 měsíci

      "Some" Canadians measure short distance in imperial. A smaller and smaller proportion every year. First gen born Canadians like myself, rarely use imperial ever since we did school in metric and our parents at home never used imperial.

  • @ydderynnad
    @ydderynnad Před 4 měsíci +61

    In 1990, a new highway was built in Delaware which had both metric and imperial units and people kept shooting at the metric signs. You know, with guns. There was an editorial in the local paper that called the metric system, "Communist." This was only 30-odd years ago so I wouldn't bet on it happening.

    • @iratebovine
      @iratebovine Před 4 měsíci +1

      Oh my gosh, this takes me back. My family had to go to Dover to shop all the time from pre-built up Middletown, and I kinda remember seeing those around Smyrna

    • @ItsASuckyName
      @ItsASuckyName Před 4 měsíci

      I have noticed a lot of people throwing the word "communist" around and trying to involve politics into unrelated topics so I would not be surprised if that would happen again

    • @dogphlap6749
      @dogphlap6749 Před 4 měsíci +16

      I'd say that the level of dumb that would make someone want to shoot a road sign is a good marker for the intellectual capacity of those that think imperial is somehow superior to metric.

    • @AbiGail-ok7fc
      @AbiGail-ok7fc Před 4 měsíci +6

      Guns with calibers in millimeters?

    • @RustedCroaker
      @RustedCroaker Před 4 měsíci +5

      Bet they where using 9mm ;-)

  • @NoName-ds5uq
    @NoName-ds5uq Před 4 měsíci +3

    I grew up in the then new metric system here in Australia in the 70s, and learned that at school and the imperial system at home. Metric is far simpler and just makes sense.
    There’s also a system of measurement in parts of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory that I believe is still in use where distance is measured in cans.

    • @Australian_Made
      @Australian_Made Před 3 měsíci


    • @Australian_Made
      @Australian_Made Před 3 měsíci

      Here in Victoria, when metric came in, the primary school FORCIBLY REMOVED all wooden rulers, and replaced them with metric wooden rulers. Having a ``dual scale´´ ruler after that date, got you sent to the head master for the Paddle on your buttocks 6 times.

  • @5SMA
    @5SMA Před 4 měsíci +3

    I have been working in India and Germany in the automotive industry since 2008. Got to see drawings much older than that.
    We collaborate with American Engineers frequently as a lot of components are shared across the projects.
    Never seen a proper engineering drawing that was not in grams, millimetres and millilitres.
    (We seldom need units other than those.)

    • @JurgenErhard
      @JurgenErhard Před 4 měsíci

      Milliliters? Really? I'd expect the proper cubic centimeters. Liter is just an accepted SI unit, cubic centimeter is the standard unit (or rather, centimeter is the prefixed standard unit, and cubic is just, well, a cubed centimeter)

    • @5SMA
      @5SMA Před 4 měsíci

      @@JurgenErhard Millimetre is a unit of length.
      Cubic centimetre is a unit of volume.
      Length of components are measured/ mentioned more than a million times in the process of making the simplest of cars.
      CC/ cubic centimetres/ liters are used a handful of times to measure the amount of a fluid/ lubricant or to measure the displacement of the piston - cylinder(s) in internal combustion engines.

  • @jasonericson
    @jasonericson Před 4 měsíci +5

    I work for a distillery, and while packaging is in milliliters, excise taxes are based off of proof gallons, which are different from wine gallons (the regular gallon you know and love). It's a bit maddening.

  • @floram9481
    @floram9481 Před 4 měsíci +2

    I'm from the US and I've been trying to learn metric, etc and use it more. I use it a lot in the past when I sew and work in photoshop, etc, but also I have a lot of friends around the world thanks to the internet and I've been trying to apply more (such as celsius) to my vocab so speaking about stuff is more seamless. I think it's possible it'll become more common, but it'll likely b e slow and will probably be used side by side or more interchangeably similar to England, Canada, etc.

    • @TucoBenedicto
      @TucoBenedicto Před 4 měsíci

      There isn't really much to "learn" about metric. You learn the conversion rate of ONE measurement as initial reference and every other bigger or smaller unit scales by a perfect factor of 10 or relates directly to it a beautiful and elegantly simple manner.
      A centimeter is the 1/100 of a meter, a millimeter a 1/1000 of a meter, a decimeter aìis a 1/10, a KILOmeter is 1000m and so on.
      One gram is one cubic centimeter of water. One KILOgram 1000 grams OR a 10 cmx10cmx10cm of water. One metric TON is a cubic meter of water.
      the Celsius measurement for temp goes from zero (when water freezes) to 100 when water boils.
      One calory is the energy required to warm a cubic cm of water by one Celsius degree.
      Etc, etc, etc.
      People who like to pretend that any comparison between imperial and metric is "kinda of wash between pros and cons of each" are delusional.
      One of the two is CLEARLY better than the other and more suited for math.

    • @floram9481
      @floram9481 Před 4 měsíci

      @@TucoBenedicto yeah, it's definitely better (and really why I tend to use it in sewing and when using Photoshop/similar. It's much easier to scale patterns and measurements than if I use imperial.
      Though for me, I have a difficult time grasping talking about things like the weather in metric since even though I know water freezes at zero and generally what freezing temperatures and ice feels like, it's easier for me to remember/get a feel for what 20°F feels like than knowing what it feels like in celsius.
      For example, if I'm about to go out and I'm talking to an international friend while leaving and I mention how cold it is, unless I look at the temperature on my phone for the weather forecast I have a difficult time gauging about how hot or cold it feels atm based on my body for some reason and it becomes difficult to give them a good idea 😅
      I also got super used to doing certain things like travel, etc in miles and the conversations for metric are easy but if I'm giving a description on about how far away something is, I'm still learning how far 1 mile feels vs 1 kilometer if I'm giving an approximate. Though if you ask me about how many meters or centimeters something is I'm fine since I use it often and can scale it easily (might just be a me thing though edit: or alternatively it's remnant ways of thinking of space, etc based on the imperial system lol)

  • @RobertLiebold
    @RobertLiebold Před 4 měsíci +11

    Been using imperial AND metric for nearly 45 years now and have tools in both, designed machinery in both since we buy robots from a Japanese company. In the late 1980's I designed dies for stampings in imperial units for parts dimensioned in metric. So, it's been here a long time, I just incorporated it into my daily life as an additional unit of measure.

    • @daveb3910
      @daveb3910 Před 4 měsíci

      Bingo! Let the machinists do it the way they are most accurate. Engineers can deal with a little extra math, that's what they do

    • @krashd
      @krashd Před 4 měsíci +1

      @@daveb3910 Except the engineer can destroy a 120 million dollar rocket and satellite when they get the "little extra math" wrong.

    • @RobertLiebold
      @RobertLiebold Před 4 měsíci

      @@krashd I remember that!

  • @brycewilson2
    @brycewilson2 Před 4 měsíci +23

    I used to work for Vestas a Danish wind turbine producer with factories in the US and everything was done in metric there and it was much easier to work with than imperial, we should switch ASAP

    • @iancameron6457
      @iancameron6457 Před 4 měsíci

      I feel like that's the only way it'd really happen in the states, a gradual globalization of foreign companies telling their US branches that they can't use monkey units

    • @Thurgosh_OG
      @Thurgosh_OG Před 4 měsíci +4

      MAny US industries are fully metric already. The Car industry for example, has been for some time.

  • @AndyCallaway
    @AndyCallaway Před 4 měsíci +1

    Here in the UK we haven't fully converted. The roads are still measured in miles, and speeds in MPH. Also milk is sold in pints, you can still order a pint of beer, and in the weather report the temperatures are still occasionally given in Fahrenheit. 🤔

  • @viviannichols3582
    @viviannichols3582 Před 4 měsíci +2

    Growing up in the ‘90s, I recall many instances of teachers, explaining the difference between the meter stick and the yardstick. 😂 They seemed to want to teach both, but it was too confusing.

  • @jb888888888
    @jb888888888 Před 4 měsíci +8

    I was in elementary school in the 1970s. I remember we had to learn about the metric system because the US was going full metric soon; it never entirely took for me. And all the banks around me which had time-and-temp displays had the temp in Fahrenheit and also in Celsius. And then it just stopped. Nobody talked about metric any more, at least outside of science class.
    I feel the same way today about "lumens" as I did back then about metric. Obviously a higher number is more than a lower number; but I have no idea how bright "800 lumens" is. But if you say "60 watt equivalent" I know exactly what you mean.

    • @elisehalflight
      @elisehalflight Před 4 měsíci +2

      Funnily enough it is the opposite for me, I find lumens to be quite straight foeward, while every time i buy light bulbs based on wattage the result ia very inconsistent due to the manufacturers sometimes using equivalents and others just writting the actual wattage in the box, I'm assuming things are different outside of Mexico tho'

    • @jb888888888
      @jb888888888 Před 4 měsíci +3

      @@elisehalflightEvery box I see says something along the lines of "800 lumens, 60 watt equivalent, 8 real watts." Whatever the particular brightness of the bulb is. There might be manufacturers which skip the "X watt equivalent" line but I haven't seen them. Maybe my mind edits them out like an inverse blind spot.

  • @yooper5638
    @yooper5638 Před 4 měsíci

    I used to work for Ford, and they switched to metric for new programs during the 90s. But legacy vehicles were still built using the imperial system. So for example, the Lincoln Town car had 1/2 inch wheel lug studs while the Continental rolling down the same assembly line had 12 mm wheel lug studs. This required two seperate sets of lug nut installation tools called multi-spindles. One set of these multi-spindles cost something like $300,000. Plus it took double the assembly line space and double the workers needed.

  • @danielstarr9037
    @danielstarr9037 Před 4 měsíci +14

    I wish the official switch to metric would take place. In the military, we use metric for everything (I guess cus NATO and ISAF is/were a thing). I did however get really good at memorizing conversions in college, which I think should be a staple of all college degrees

    • @spunkyprep
      @spunkyprep Před 4 měsíci

      I remember getting quarter-decked for being stupid enough to answer a question posed by my kill hat in boot with meters instead of yards.

    • @JurgenErhard
      @JurgenErhard Před 4 měsíci

      NATO and similar cooperations. Just imagine you'd have a norwegian forward observer relaying artillery coords to a US artillery group… who does the conversion? Because while I'm rather certain some brass entertained the thought of making all NATO (and all other allies) go Imperial, this of course had no chance of getting implemented. So… risk converting between metric and imperial? With, obviously, potentially *very* dire consequences? Or just have the US military go metric?

    • @danielstarr9037
      @danielstarr9037 Před 4 měsíci

      @@JurgenErhard I think teach us metric from the beginning, but have us learn conversions pretty early on in MOS training too

  • @dustinsellers5602
    @dustinsellers5602 Před 4 měsíci +95

    I'm surprised he didn't talk about that the fact that the US is in fact metric (at least to my understanding). surprising i know. the US Weights & Measures Division bases everything off of Metric Units, then converts it. public scales that you use (think grocery stores, postage scales when you ship a package, the scales they use to measure your luggage at the airport etc) are all calibrated by this body, or a local body, and then converted to imperial units. when we buy products manufactured overseas its in metric units, we just convert to imperial so the general public never sees it and doesn't complain.

    • @tj2375
      @tj2375 Před 4 měsíci +4

      I'm also surprised that Joe doesn't mention this in the script. Maybe he thinks it would be too complicated for his audience 🤦‍♂️

    • @c31979839
      @c31979839 Před 4 měsíci

      ​@@tj2375or maybe he thought that most people already know since most of his audience also watches massive CZcamsrs like Veritasium (sp) and other who have talked about that at length.

    • @squirlmy
      @squirlmy Před 4 měsíci +6

      The US government being metric, is different than "the US" being metric. I mean, it's a fun bit of wordplay as an introduction to your story, but it demonstrates how alienated Americans feel from their government.

    • @dustinsellers5602
      @dustinsellers5602 Před 4 měsíci +5

      @@squirlmy you do have a point there. i just find it interesting how much effort we put into not using it here in the US. i mean, i've heard that the legislation passed in the 70s required industries show an "intent to change" which is why American cars have both metric and imperial bolts requiring mechanics to have 2 sets of wrenches instead of 1. good for the tool industry, bad for manufacturers and mechanics alike.

    • @midtownmariner5250
      @midtownmariner5250 Před 4 měsíci +1

      We should use a unit of measurement that is equal to .01 arcseconds on a great circle on earth (or something that is very close to that measurement).

  • @bnthern
    @bnthern Před 4 měsíci +1

    as a retired RN, switching from inches outside the of medicine was a pain when having spent 12 to 16 hours going by 10 by ten by 10 was so easy!

  • @ThalassTKynn
    @ThalassTKynn Před 4 měsíci +1

    When the english converted so did Australia. The government set a ten year timeline and published howto guides for industry and individuals (which are still online somewhere). I'm sure it was a huge adjustment, but even my grandparents use metric for most things nowdays.

  • @frankmalenfant2828
    @frankmalenfant2828 Před 4 měsíci +3

    Canada switched to metric between 1970 and 1985. We're still using both units in informal context, but eacj generations is moving one more step away from imperial unit. I'm of the generation who dropped the Farenheight for water temperature, my father dropped the miles, younget people mostly dropped the foot and inches...

  • @DisturbsOthers
    @DisturbsOthers Před 2 měsíci +1

    I was in high school when the last push to metric came. They made a big deal distributing learning materials at school and we were all groaning about the crazy of it all, and then it just got dropped. No announcements, no explanations.

  • @Fugansnot
    @Fugansnot Před 4 měsíci +5

    I'd switch to metric fairly easily. It's a more intuitive system in my opinion, well, with the exception of cooking measurements. I think the trend I've seen, where there is imperial and metric units on some things. Just add metric to everything along side the imperial units, then over years just slowly phase out imperial measurements. That way it's not "Yesterday I was 6'2" but today I'm 188cm, grrr". Having a period of years where everyone sees those measurements side by side and I think it be an easier transition.

    • @norbertnagy5514
      @norbertnagy5514 Před 4 měsíci

      Yes, things like this need a gradual change, and that is the correct way, but they want to force them to lazily switch from in one moment to anothet just to get over with it

  • @Zod_JB
    @Zod_JB Před 4 měsíci +20

    Admittedly I almost never listen to your sponsor segments, but I listened to this one because it genuinely caught my interest. The news climate seems like every news outlet has an extreme biased with none of them even trying to find middle ground. It’s exhausting. I’m definitely gonna check out this weeks sponsor.

    • @GreenCurryiykyk
      @GreenCurryiykyk Před 4 měsíci +2

      Ditto, and that segue was smoooooth!

    • @simonb4757
      @simonb4757 Před 4 měsíci +1

      I use ground news, it's the only service I've ever been advertised on CZcams that I already use, it's great, not only does it give you more balance and break down media silos/bubbles, it also makes consuming news easier as it puts it all in one place and you can have a widget on your phone that gives you live headlines to make it even easier to keep in touch with what is going on in the media and all while helping break down your unconscious media bias.

  • @bobbyjackson4452
    @bobbyjackson4452 Před 4 měsíci +2

    I remember when the UK made their currency a decimal based currency. I modern analog to the old UK currency system is found in the Harry Potter books. The wizard currency seems to be based on 3 6 & 9.

    • @Vojtaniz01
      @Vojtaniz01 Před měsícem

      It doesn't. The wizard currency is based on random prime numbers. There were 17 Sickles in a Galleon, and 29 Knuts in a Sickle, meaning there were 493 Knuts in a Galleon.

  • @Galiuros
    @Galiuros Před 4 měsíci +2

    When I was in 8th in 1968 my math teacher told us that the U.S. would be metric in less than 5 years. So, he proceeded to immerse us into the world of metric. I memorized all the terms and their values. The metric system made sense because of how measurements were multiples of 10. Though the Country never converted to metric, I still use what I learned all those years ago.

  • @antimatterhorn
    @antimatterhorn Před 4 měsíci +1

    the loss of the Mars mission is actually an object lesson in how much more painful switching now would be, because rather than being a great example of the superiority of the metric system, it's a great example of the catastrophic failures that can result from accommodating two different systems. and for sure, any attempt to switch would necessarily come with a protracted period of using both systems. we'd have a Mars lander catastrophe every week, all up and down the entire economy.

  • @JBujold
    @JBujold Před 4 měsíci

    From Canada here. We switched in 1975 and I can’t say it’s fully integrated yet. Body heights and weights are comonly mesured with the imperial system, however the moment you’re out of “body scaled” mesures, people switch to metric. I think one of the main reasons for it is the lumber industry that has yet to convert to the metric system since we sell much of ours to the States! Since most lumber lands within comprehensible distances, people still understand these short measures with the imperial values.

  • @yukelalexandre8885
    @yukelalexandre8885 Před 4 měsíci +5

    Funny story: I got to learn the Imperial system backwards when studying at UCLA because they were teaching the metric system people to the rest of the class 😂

  • @tangoteamleader
    @tangoteamleader Před 4 měsíci +100

    I’d love for CZcamsrs (especially in the science, tech, education scene) to use metric by default and then overlay imperial units. Same way people learn foreign languages by seeing subtitles.

    • @Wesenskern
      @Wesenskern Před 4 měsíci +7

      I really like this idea!

    • @TheExileFox
      @TheExileFox Před 4 měsíci +2

      Depending on context this does happen, but it is typically temperature, velocity or distance and other things are less common to have both.

    • @floflo1645
      @floflo1645 Před 2 měsíci

      The only sciences youtubers I watch are paleo youtubers and thank god they generaly use both

  • @smavtmb2196
    @smavtmb2196 Před 4 měsíci +1

    Joe you're awesome. I really enjoy this channel because you talk about interesting things and explain it in a fun and rational way. The metric system definitely makes more sense. Example: It cearly makes sense to refer to the freezing point as 0° Celsius. However the freezing point in Fahrenheit in a nonsensical 32°

    • @krashd
      @krashd Před 4 měsíci

      Every fluid has a different freezing point though that changes with air pressure, there is no reason why water must be zero Celsius other than the fact the guy who devised Celsius chose the freezing and boiling of water at sea level to be 0° C and 100° C respectively. When Fahrenheit was devised 0° F was the coldest temperature known to humans, with the advent of Celsius people now had to deal with negative temperatures such as -17.77° C for absolute cold (0° F).
      Then Kelvin came along with absolute zero and gave even Fahrenheit negative temperatures.

  • @kh_trendy
    @kh_trendy Před 4 měsíci

    You mentioned other roads in the US having metric measurements on signs. This happens on a lot of roads in the north where we border Canada.
    I lived in New Hampshire for a while, it caught me off guard the first time I got closer to the border.

  • @stay_curious_BATS
    @stay_curious_BATS Před 4 měsíci +2

    I switched my thermostat and vehicle and apps to metric. I’m getting used to it by using it! The car works since the speedometer shows both. My kids and I talk in meters. You can use metric now, too!

  • @maxsmodels
    @maxsmodels Před 4 měsíci +1

    I remember the 70s metric push. Billboards and grade school classes about it were everywhere.

  • @Cant_find_good_Handle
    @Cant_find_good_Handle Před 3 měsíci

    When I studied mechanical engineering in college we learned both. The text books in the US typically alternate between one problem in metric and the next in imperial. When I worked as a sales person for a small custom rubber component manufacture we had hundreds of customers in different industries ranging from automotive, tiers for Amish wagons, to all kinds of gaskets for manufactured products. The prints and CAD files we would get from customers were about half metric and half imperial. So the text books in the US had it about right with a 50 / 50 split.

  • @Fernando-ek8jp
    @Fernando-ek8jp Před 4 měsíci +12

    You can go bit by bit.
    We use metric, but stuff like weight and volume have generally been measured in imperial.
    Gas pumps used to sell in gallons, they eventually switched to liters.
    Grocery stores sold meats by the pound, now it's by gram, but both are labeled, and a lot of stores have the conversion rate plastered on the walls.

    • @krashd
      @krashd Před 4 měsíci +2

      Exactly. Enact a law that for the next 20 years any time a road sign gets replaced the replacement must carry both miles and kilometres, then in 20 years time enact another law that says any time a road sign gets replaced it has to contain only kilometres. Over 30 years or so you would have converted the population to kilometres through virtually no cost. You could do the same for just about anything, no one says conversions have to happen over night.

    • @lolidemon3163
      @lolidemon3163 Před 2 měsíci

      ​@@krashd thing is no one really looks at the signs anymore, bc gps is a thing and quite prevalent (aka phones) so signs aren't really doing much. And for supermarkets u realize how much more annoying it will be? Ppl can't even bother reading the price of stuff (largest number on a label) u think that would actually do much (i work in a supermarket and i can't tell u how many ppl insist one thing is a certain price despite the price tag saying otherwise). Now for serving sizes it would be more annoying bc unless u have a measuring cup that has metric, it will be hard to calculate something like oh i need 500 ml of milk in this cereal and x grams of cereal, yeah barely anyone even reads serving sizes on stuff like that

  • @NicolasLunaFilms
    @NicolasLunaFilms Před 4 měsíci

    I enjoy all your videos and find them fascinating... While my comment isn't about the metic system I was wondering if in a future video you could go more in depth in retro-causality? I know you've touched on it a lot in your quantum physics videos, but I'm perplexed at the larger implications of this theory. No pressure though... I know I'm not yet a Patreon supporter, but it would make mine and others day to see such a video.

  • @PaulMacQ
    @PaulMacQ Před 2 měsíci

    As a Kiwi this happened in my childhood. I was born in 1965. New Zealand started metrication in 1969 with the establishment of the Metric Advisory Board (MAB) and completed metrication on 14 December 1976.Until the 1970s, New Zealand traditionally used the imperial system for measurement, which it had inherited from the United Kingdom.

  • @juliaspoonie3627
    @juliaspoonie3627 Před 4 měsíci +1

    I (as someone from Austria) don‘t understand why it’s so complicated and people seem to worry so much about it? The transition period might be annoying but it’s not so hard, really.
    We didn’t change to the metric system recently but we did change our currency. The Euro is only 21 years old and when we switched every price shield had both currencies on it for a loooong time. People calculated back for a while, especially the older people but even that stopped for most of us.

    • @pawsnpistons
      @pawsnpistons Před 4 měsíci

      And still we use Horsepower for cars in europe even tho the Watt was set as standard in 1970s.

  • @joelentwistle1080
    @joelentwistle1080 Před 4 měsíci

    Yo Joe, your vids are top notch!
    Scotland Loves you, Man!

  • @cade83642
    @cade83642 Před 4 měsíci +1

    I love when people from either side of the debate complain that this or that video isn't in their preferred units I put in a comment below theirs what the conversions are and say there you go you never have to complain again! You can do the conversions yourself now!! Having grown up in the states where we were taught both since elementary school it's pretty easy to picture or understand both units. I think it's great we have the best of both worlds! Work in medicine its all metric. Work in construction its all imperial units!

  • @bloepje
    @bloepje Před 4 měsíci +15

    The biggest problem we had to learn in technical English is the difference between the English billion (10^12) and the US American billion (10^9) . That was around the 80's. In middle school we already got the BiNaS book, that's a dutch condensed reference guide for SI biology and chemistry. And it already stressed the need for mega and giga.
    And then on UNI that technical English part that warned us for that. Yeah, when possible I won't use billion.

    • @bloepje
      @bloepje Před 4 měsíci +3

      To be clear: how many of the British here has learned billion as 10^12 and not as 10^9 and thank you Hollywood.

    • @GH-oi2jf
      @GH-oi2jf Před 4 měsíci +1

      I think the use of different characters to mark the beginning of the decimal fraction is a bigger problem. The ambiguity of “billion” can be resolved in scientific work by simply not using the term, which is unnecessary.

    • @User31129
      @User31129 Před 4 měsíci +1

      The Heck do you call 10 to the 9th then?

    • @Kenionatus
      @Kenionatus Před 4 měsíci


    • @shirleymental4189
      @shirleymental4189 Před 4 měsíci +4

      A lot!

  • @Boomken76
    @Boomken76 Před 4 měsíci +1

    Id like to ad when I was in high school (graduated 95) he did try to teach us metric & even then I under stood why, I just think it would have been easier for many of us if it was learned early it would have helped. In my "age" of elementary school we had alphabet tape across the top & measurements under it but inches so it was legit the first unit of measurement my gen learned with

  • @dvdschaub
    @dvdschaub Před 4 měsíci +1

    To clarify one point about I-19, the speed limits are given in mph, not kph. You can imagine what would happen if the speed limit signs said "120."

  • @mfaria11
    @mfaria11 Před 4 měsíci

    In the 90's I was working for a Engineering and Surveying company and NJDOT was trying to convert to metric. For about 2 years all Surveys and Construction plans involving State property or Roads had to have Metric and Imperial units on them. Imperial to be phased out over time. Then the metric just vanished almost overnight.

  • @blaze71002
    @blaze71002 Před 4 měsíci

    when we switched to euro it was confusing for some time but we figure it out at the end we adjusted. we had both the currencies for a year. every price label was on both, so I believe that's the thing. if you label both systems in everything you use then in some time you will learn the metric.

  • @arthurhamlin6594
    @arthurhamlin6594 Před 4 měsíci +1

    I was disappointed that there was no discussion of why we use 2L bottles for soda, and cars have KPH on the speedometer. My memory was that progress was being made in the 70s, but when the auto manufacturers were pushed to make KPH the dominant markings, they asked when all the Interstate signs were scheduled to be updated. They got the answer that there was no date, and they said then there is no date for the speedometers to change. And that killed all the momentum.

  • @thomasnowicki5844
    @thomasnowicki5844 Před 4 měsíci +6

    When I was in Jr high back in the 1970s right after the Metric Conversion Act was signed (que the harp music 😄), our teachers told us, "We're gonna teach you guys the metric system and you'd better learn it because you're gonna need it. It's coming, people, like it or not!" Then they gave us all metre sticks, which we used for all kinds of purposes other than measuring 😄.

  • @michaelc.4321
    @michaelc.4321 Před 4 měsíci

    I used to drive down that highway every day for a summer job I had. I was always weirded out by the random metric measurements (it’s also the only highway I’ve ever got a speeding ticket on). I didn’t think much of it but now I’m flabbergasted to realize that it was completely unique across the US

  • @claywilliams8618
    @claywilliams8618 Před 4 měsíci +1

    I personally would struggle, i have been a carpenter/wood worker most my life and its second nature to me. That being said i do know quite a few cabinet shops and other trades that have switched 100%. I do use it alot more now that i have a laser and a cnc router, but it is still extremally difficult to picture mm sizes in my head.

  • @scorpleeon
    @scorpleeon Před 4 měsíci

    I remember it being introduced in Mr Schmeling’s 4th grade class (1972-73 Indiana) and it seemed to just disappear after the roll out and we never heard about it again.

  • @jamesvanwyk1378
    @jamesvanwyk1378 Před 3 měsíci

    When the metric system was legalized, in 1866, US version of imperial system was defined in metric, making it soft metric. A conversion that made meter to yards easy was adopted. Land is measured with this system. Later a conversion (at later defined legally) system which was based on easy conversion between inch and centimeter became the standard for everything but land. Land unit lengths are shorter than everything else units. The difference is small, but makes a difference in first order surveys over long distances. In the 1970s road signs were largely dual units (kilometers & miles) & (kph & mph).

  • @BRBTechTalk
    @BRBTechTalk Před 4 měsíci

    Canada switched in 1975, some things stayed imperial, tire pressure for one is still PSI, we still use cups/teaspoon/tablespoon when in the kitchen, lumber is still sold by feet and inches, so we have switched most things but some of us still use a mix of both units.

  • @bridgetsclama
    @bridgetsclama Před 4 měsíci +7

    Back in the 70s, there was a series of commercials on the metric system. To be honest, I found those commercials a huge help to getting used to it. Like one lady was at a gas station and said "A kilometer is just a little over half a mile"....so when it became a comparison it was more clear to me and not so bad. To this day, I can convert Celsius to Farenheit in my head. But I'm really good at math so maybe that's what helped me.

    • @bridgetsclama
      @bridgetsclama Před 4 měsíci +1

      What they should do is just start teaching both systems in schools. Stuff is far easier to learn when you are younger than when you have old people problems lol.

    • @bridgetsclama
      @bridgetsclama Před 4 měsíci +1

      Cheat sheet for beginners: a kilometer is just over half a mile (.6 of a mile), a meter is just over a yard (about 39 inches), an inch is about 2.56 centimeters so 2 inches is 5 centimeters, a liter is just over a quart. Once you have those down, then it's just a matter of extrapolating to the next. So, if you are talking in miles (it's 10 miles down the road), if you double it, you'll be fairly close to the kilometers measurement. It's not perfect, but it's close enough for referencing.
      My UK friends are just in awe that I can switch temperatures in my head. The actual formula is fairly easy to shift.
      From F to C: subract 30, then divide by 2. (It's actually subtract 32, then divide by 9/5 but the adjustment to 30 and 2 makes it easier)
      From C to F: double and add 30.
      Try it and check it through Google. It'll be fairly close every time.

    • @Pupil0fGod
      @Pupil0fGod Před 4 měsíci +1

      ​@@bridgetsclamathe schools taught both systems when I was in school in the 90s and 2000s. Emphasis was on metric for science

    • @Thurgosh_OG
      @Thurgosh_OG Před 4 měsíci +1

      @@bridgetsclama They do teach both but don't follow through in further education, unless you choose a field like the sciences, which are metric in the US.

  • @evenberg8499
    @evenberg8499 Před 3 měsíci

    Some terms die hard in Norway. The yardstick, or rule, is still called "tommestokk"
    ( 1 tomme = 1 inch ), even if it displays centimeters. Some also use feet when measuring depth at sea.

  • @gamesturbator
    @gamesturbator Před 4 měsíci +1

    This video had so many jokes in it I kept busting out in laughter and had to pause the video.

  • @davidbroadfoot1864
    @davidbroadfoot1864 Před 3 měsíci

    In the video, it is claimed that there has been basically no progress since 1982
    But legislations was introduced that required most federal agencies to use the metric system in their procurement, grants, and other business-related activities by the end of 1992. There was another step announced in the news recently, but I cannot find the article.

  • @jonathanscherer7482
    @jonathanscherer7482 Před 4 měsíci

    Hey, Joe. This video reminds me of one you had earlier this year, i believe. It explained in a rather balanced way why America hasn't adopted the metric system. I recall it touching on the nation's relative isolation compared to most countries and the infrastructure that would need to be changed, not to mention the cultural process involved. Then factor in basic human dislike for change. I can't find this video now. I'd appreciate it if you could point me to where i can find it. Thanks.

  • @jerryfick613
    @jerryfick613 Před 4 měsíci

    I am a mechanic approaching 50 yrs old., I have to maintain metric and SAE tools, and even if we formally and legally converted to metric tomorrow...
    I would still finish my career maintaining both tools and the mechanic who replaces me when I retire would still probably need them.
    Machinery made with SAE fasteners and components will be in service for decades to come even if we stopped building with it today.
    I am on board with the transition, but it will take generations to fully transition. Imperial units will need to be understood by maintenance crews for a long time.

  • @leftcoastfunk
    @leftcoastfunk Před 4 měsíci +39

    I think it's less about wanting to switch, and more about...we have SO MANY worse things we need to worry about

    • @ThizOne
      @ThizOne Před 4 měsíci +6

      Maybe it‘s just the thing needed to start a “butterfly effect” that will cause all the other problems to evaporate 😆

    • @markfornefeld299
      @markfornefeld299 Před 4 měsíci

      Druglords in Mexico are already using the Metric and now it’s killing us

    • @BurningPaperMusic
      @BurningPaperMusic Před 4 měsíci +12

      You can do two things at once :-) just think all those millions you would save that you could use for infrastructure etc. imperial system has an on going cost to run.
      Whilst your at it, what about switch date formats too, to fit in with literally every other country in the world? 🤣

    • @lucashouse9117
      @lucashouse9117 Před 4 měsíci +3

      Not to mention numbers are hard for a huge portion of America.

    • @greggc68
      @greggc68 Před 4 měsíci +2

      @@lucashouse9117It’s because numbers are hard for the huge parts of America, we should go for the switch. Metric system is way easier to calculate. Getting rid of all the fractions of an inch for starters. 1/8, 3/8? How can you even picture numbers like that?

  • @BenjaminVaterlaus
    @BenjaminVaterlaus Před 4 měsíci

    I live along I-19. I can confirm that the highway signs are all in KM vs miles once it leaves Tucson. :)

  • @eulogionavarro6935
    @eulogionavarro6935 Před 4 měsíci

    In Spain Metric System was officially introduced in 1849; but it is funny that even today in my home village in La Mancha is not unusual to hear of "arrobas" (either 16 liters or 11,5 Kilograms), celemines (a measure both for volume and area), fanegas... or even "libras" (actually pounds) specifically for chocolate

  • @DancesWithSpiders
    @DancesWithSpiders Před 4 měsíci

    😄 Enjoyable as always Joe. Whenever I was born back in 1964 in Scotland we had the weird bloomin' imperial system. I started infant school in '68. I'd get sent down the road to buy a thick cut loaf and some lard with a thrupenny bit, and then moved on to junior school when I was in 7 in '71 - just when the metric system was introduced. Two things: first me Dad had just said he would give us a sixpence (which they called a tanner) pocket money every week - well, that actual coin was retained as 2 and half new pence in the new system 😶 So I bought a little spaceman who you chuck up in the air and he came back down on a plastic parachute.
    All very well, you may say. But even now, let's say some Brit (I live in Spain just now) says "how tall are you then?" - "Erm about 182 I think, at least if I'm stood up straight" - they'll say "what's that in old money? 'bout 6 foot or what?"
    The switch over takes a while.

  • @Crisdapari
    @Crisdapari Před 4 měsíci +1

    I think there is a plus being "measurement bilingual". For example Caribbean and some Latin American Countries learn to use both metric and imperial because of de facto "industry standards" with screws, tools, machinery, etc. I like it, you learn that inches or centimeters aren't the only way. We use to think seconds are the reality, but not, measures of time are an invention.

    • @GH-oi2jf
      @GH-oi2jf Před 4 měsíci +1

      The word is “bimetral.”

    • @monkofdarktimes
      @monkofdarktimes Před 2 měsíci

      I think you mean trimetral
      US imperial
      Spanish imperial

  • @Dad......
    @Dad...... Před 4 měsíci

    Did I encourage this deep dive into your channel? I've been on a rabbit hole of my own watching your old content lol.

  • @stephencroft761
    @stephencroft761 Před 4 měsíci +3

    When Alabama was trying to get a new Mercedes plant they actually installed kilometer markers along the highway between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. After they were chosen as the location the state went back out and removed them.

    • @GH-oi2jf
      @GH-oi2jf Před 4 měsíci

      Not the first time we spoofed the Germans.

  • @mikejosef2470
    @mikejosef2470 Před 2 měsíci

    Us Aussies switched in 1974. I was 3 at the time but I remember when I was about 8, going to the butcher for mum, she'd write 1lb mince. A few years later she'd fully converted. A lot of people, me included, refer to their height in feet and inches, and that's true for anyone above about 35 years of age. Newborn baby weights are the only weights I sort of need in pounds and ounces, to know if it's big, small etc.

  • @Grant2406
    @Grant2406 Před 4 měsíci +1

    I wouldn't sweat about changing to metric. The UK still have a lot of stuff in imperial and most people still understand imperial.
    Heck, we buy fuel in litres, but fuel efficiency is measured in MPG.
    Most of our metric measurements are also just rounded imperial. 15 and 22 mm pipes, 244 by 122cm sheet goods etc.

  • @guyblack9729
    @guyblack9729 Před 4 měsíci

    considering learning video editing just to get a 3 second clip of joe scott saying "you can get arrested for thinking about a foot"

  • @AlanaBananaCanada
    @AlanaBananaCanada Před 4 měsíci +1

    Living in canada, I had to learn BOTH growing up because of the states. Imagine my confusion nowadays because we use metric for some things and imperial for other. I constantly have to convert!

  • @AZOffRoadster
    @AZOffRoadster Před 4 měsíci

    I try to avoid driving I-19 and even the I-10 intersection area. A lot of freight coming and going.
    I never even think about the speed limit signs. Same limits, different markings.

  • @Vaaluin
    @Vaaluin Před 4 měsíci +25

    I'm an American that moved to Europe last year. It was confusing at first but it finally clicked for me when I went on an 8km walk. That sort of grounded the system in my head and it all made sense. Obviously the math itself is easy to learn in a few minutes but having that referential memory to think about it in a physical sense helped quite a bit. At this point, I don't care what the US does anymore. I'm staying here and metric works great.

    • @tenJajcus
      @tenJajcus Před 4 měsíci +11

      So the problem is in the unwalkable american cities, again ;-)

    • @lmost
      @lmost Před 4 měsíci +2

      @@tenJajcus 🌎👩‍🚀🔫👨‍🚀 Always has been.

    • @ryankline1164
      @ryankline1164 Před 4 měsíci +1

      Ah yes the good ole 4.97 mile walk.

    • @pawsnpistons
      @pawsnpistons Před 4 měsíci +1

      Thats why i like yards since yards almost equal meters.

  • @kevinmcqueenie7420
    @kevinmcqueenie7420 Před 4 měsíci

    UK native here (live in Japan now BTW) Wasn't there for the end of the Carolingian System, popping out right at the tail end of '78, but I do remember vestiges of it hanging around, like notations showing back-conversions from the metric (for the Olds, ya know!) and I vividly remember when the halfpenny (or ha'penny - pronounced HAYP-nee) was withdrawn from circulation in 1984 and I had to raid my piggy bank, which was actually a hippo thanks to my bank account being with RBS, to return them all to the bank, except one which I kept and of course have unfortunately since lost.
    TL; DR: I'm quite old too, Joe! (and I realise this came off a bit like an Abe "Grampa" Simpson story about going to Shelbyville with an onion on his belt "which was the style at the time". OK, I'll stop)

  • @justinberdell7517
    @justinberdell7517 Před 4 měsíci

    I am an electrical engineer in the US. I and everyone I know only use metric professionally. The MEs use both if needed for a customer request or if a vendor uses imperial or something, but all the technical work is in metric. I only use imperial for driving and I guess technically grocery shopping

  • @BurningPaperMusic
    @BurningPaperMusic Před 4 měsíci

    You run one of my favourite and most trustworthy channels to watch, and your videos are pretty much bias free. I think you nailed this, for the most part. This video did seem to be a response / defence video, and there were a few things I would comment on.
    Can I also add to this date formats? This is actually my biggest issue. It affects everyone, especially in IT... "Our software stops working on the 13th of every month!" - oh, the developer hard coded mm-dd-yyyy as the date format, that only the US uses!
    You said Europe had riots over this. The UK didn't convert to metric until 1965, and the adoption was not a revolution. I do admit that the UK's hybrid is a bit dumb (buy petrol in litres, but still use miles on motorways, speed, and fuel efficiency in imperial).
    It was ironic that you made fun at the old British coinage as a push back.
    As opposed to riots, which is a little dramatic, the downsides would be the initial cost, politicians trying to be popular, and you might also find consumers prices might go up and companies try to take advantage of the change (shrinkflation). It doesn't have to be a revolution, and you can be metric and still use miles on your highways - Britain does this even now.
    I do empathise a little though. British CZcamsr's won't get the same level as comments (from brits at least) when then use imperial units (as a vernacular). So it is a little odd that American CZcamsrs will get such comments on units, and maybe there is a background of sentiment - or they are just finding something to troll you about?
    Anyway, don't take it to heart - you are a great advert for your country 🙂

    • @peteroleary9447
      @peteroleary9447 Před 4 měsíci

      Bias free? Like where an inch is racist?

    • @BurningPaperMusic
      @BurningPaperMusic Před 4 měsíci

      @@peteroleary9447 interesting how you claim he says an inch is racist, when in fact he just states a quote on the origins of the imperial system and said it was used as part of anti-French sentiments. Racism does not have to be between skin colour, there's been prejudice between French and English (Anglo) for centuries.

  • @edgarflyer5939
    @edgarflyer5939 Před 4 měsíci

    I never thought about it, but I think in Europe we do have imperial for the TV screens.
    in the US, do the doctors use metric when administrating medication in an hospital? Like ml, mg, etc?

    • @JurgenErhard
      @JurgenErhard Před 4 měsíci

      We have displays in inches, but by law the shops have to list the metric size too, in as big a font as the inches.
      And medicine in the US is indeed metric.

  • @thcottquistafoi1597
    @thcottquistafoi1597 Před 13 dny

    All the roads in Puerto Rico are in KM, we are a us colony that drives in KM, fills out tanks with liters and measure our body temp in C.

  • @Krmpfpks
    @Krmpfpks Před 4 měsíci +12

    I grew up in Germany and apart from harley motor cycles and the occasional bicycle screw everything is metric. Bottles are 1L, Butter comes in 250grams, Screws are in mm, wire gauge is in mm diameter, you buy 1cm or 2cm lumber (and it actually is 2cm thick) and so on. Everything makes sense. Now I live in Costa Rica, here we have the metric system too. But I buy water in 18.9l bottles, I buy 2.5cm x 5cm lumber which actually is smaller if you measure it.
    We have AWG here which is bonkers and the US pipe measures are even worse (1” steel is not 1” copper is not 1” pvc… and dont get me started on pipe threads).
    So despite Costa Rica being technically metric, often we have the worst of both worlds here….

    • @User31129
      @User31129 Před 4 měsíci

      I recently found out that Costa Rica's currency is comically small compared to the U.S. Dollar. I heard they have a 1 million note. Which is like $2,000 or something.

    • @Krmpfpks
      @Krmpfpks Před 4 měsíci

      @@User31129 it’s just a number. When I moved here I got 670 CRC for one dollar. Now I get 500 CRC for one dollar. The dollar is very weak against the CRC. Everything above a certain value is just traded in USD here to avoid the big numbers, but the USD lost more than 20% of its value here in the last two years alone.

    • @concretew
      @concretew Před 4 měsíci

      Pipes are often measured in NB (nominal bore) which pretty much just means 'close to' . I belive this is a legacy from when manufacturing pipe was difficult and accuracy was not a priority.
      And as far as plumbing and hydraulics go, almost everything is still imperial. I live in NZ and have only ever known metric until I started working in hydraulics. There's BSPP, BSPT, JIC, NPT which are the most common and are all imperial!

    • @k1ng5urfer
      @k1ng5urfer Před 4 měsíci +1

      Lumber the world over as far as I'm aware is all still imperial with very few exceptions. It's sold as metric in Europe but is standardized to the same dimensions as north american lumber. IE, we use 2x4in x 8-16ft normally in construction and in europe that would be 45x95mm x 2.15-4.88m instead.
      What sizes are commonly used in construction varies from country to country depending on local geology, snow/wind loads, eathquakes, wealth level, etc but its all standardized sizes of lumber most anywhere in the world.
      I live in the caribbean for example and work in a few different countries down here, and i've worked with both metric and imperial lumber and its all the same finished dimensions as far as I can tell whether its sold as metric or not.
      I've worked with a few guys from the UK and from the Netherlands and a few guys from Africa and they all say its 2x4 or its the metric equivalent there. Asia is imperial lumber as well.

    • @Krmpfpks
      @Krmpfpks Před 4 měsíci +1

      @@k1ng5urfer in germany it's definitely metric and the size is as described. We do have 5x10cm, which is roughly equivalent to a 2x4 because it's just a nice size to work with. But if you buy boards its 1cm or 2cm thick and not 1/2" or 1". And no matter if you buy surfaced or rough lumber, if you pay for 2cm you get 2cm :-) But the UK is different, because the UK has never fully transitioned to metric. With the netherlands I'm not sure, but I would guess they are like the rest of Europe (except the UK) completely metric.

  • @InservioLetum
    @InservioLetum Před 4 měsíci

    "Because cows have.... fewer ...toes?" _WHEEEEZE_ * collapses in gigglefit *
    I love you man, don't ever change. You are my happy place

  • @davidburrow5895
    @davidburrow5895 Před 4 měsíci +1

    Almost any manufactured product (vehicles, electronics, etc.) is already metric and has been since about the 1980s. The actual sizes don't really matter, since people just perceive them in comparison to like items.
    Also, for as much grief as the U.S. gets for not going metric, some countries that officially do use that system are quite different in everyday life. In the United Kingdom, for instance, road signs are still in miles and people still give their weight in stone. In Canada the official weight on packaging is in grams, but grocers advertise meat and produce in pounds. And, even in long-metric countries like most of the Hispanic world, people still buy "cuarto de libra" hamburgers both from McDonalds and from the local competitors.

    • @monkofdarktimes
      @monkofdarktimes Před 2 měsíci

      Spanish distance and land measurement are still used quite often today even though it's metric

  • @the3cl3ctic
    @the3cl3ctic Před 4 měsíci +1

    The tangent cam revealed what looks like a huge stash of supplements! Could you disclose your supplement stack plz 🙏🏻😁

  • @TWTolman
    @TWTolman Před 3 měsíci

    It would actually be really interesting to hold a national vote for the marshmallow test 😂 there would be totally chaos

  • @rbkahuna8192
    @rbkahuna8192 Před 4 měsíci +1

    If everyone had to take a college chemistry class, we’d switch lol 😂

    • @GH-oi2jf
      @GH-oi2jf Před 4 měsíci

      When I took college chemistry, I just used the units that were used in that class for the classwork. At the end of the class, I used the units that were used outside the class. I never thought about choosing one or the other to be used everywhere. Nobody was talking about changing the way we measure things. We were fortunate not have the World Wide Web, which allows people the world over to badger us (in the USA) about how we do things.

  • @disky01
    @disky01 Před 4 měsíci +6

    As an American I sometimes feel trapped by the Imperial system. Like our country is stuck in something that we're too deeply mired in to break out of. And if we can't get out from under the weight of this, what other anachronisms are going to hold us down over the next century?
    Anyway, this didn't help! But it was a good history piece all the same. Thanks Joe.

    • @iqnill
      @iqnill Před 4 měsíci +6

      "As an Imperial American..." Shockingly Canadians and Mexicans are also American, just metric...

    • @joedoe3688
      @joedoe3688 Před 4 měsíci +1

      "what other anachronisms are going to hold us down over the next century?"
      maybe your weekly American school shooting?

    • @peglor
      @peglor Před 4 měsíci +1

      But you measure most of your ammunition in millimeters... Surely that on it's own is a good enough reason to change everything else to metric too.

    • @HitchensImmortal
      @HitchensImmortal Před 4 měsíci

      @@peglor That's because NATO and the Cold War my man. Well, technically it's because WW2 and supplying countries with weaponry that didn't use our measurement system to fight off Nazis and ward off Commies. Katyushas do not mount well on Studebakers with the wrong screws and all.
      HAD YOU guys not burned your continent to the ground and roped us into it twice, I imagine we'd still be an isolationist country using old world barrel sizes.

  • @papitodecasquito
    @papitodecasquito Před 4 měsíci

    Loved the video! I agree with you on the fact that you think the US is so to say “a stand alone country” yet, you are also right in saying that globalization should help the country adopt some other “uses and customs” such as the metric system. I think it’s just a matter of time and specially need; take language as an example. Arizona, California and Texas are practically bilingual… cannot deny the history behind it but, if focused in present / future needs, we’re talking about US states that NEED to speak (there I say at least UNDERSTAND..?) Spanish language 👌🏼

  • @aatu050
    @aatu050 Před 4 měsíci

    Hey Joe, you forgot how expensive it was to fix Hubble space telescope when Nasa got confused over units. ;)

    • @GH-oi2jf
      @GH-oi2jf Před 4 měsíci

      The problem with the Hubble telescope had nothing to do with units.

  • @soilsurvivor
    @soilsurvivor Před 2 měsíci

    You're not old enough to remember, but for a while, at least in the DC metro area, they had highway signs that showed miles and kilometers. (Mid-70s if memory serves. Around the same time car makers starting putting dual, mph/kph scales on their speedometers.)

  • @pushkar_65
    @pushkar_65 Před 4 měsíci

    i personally liked this video compared to the rest of videos lately , it just feels better than the ones on the background

  • @vlmellody51
    @vlmellody51 Před 4 měsíci +1

    I grew up in the 60s and 70s, and I vividly remember the haphazard attempts at teaching us the metric system. It didn't work.
    I have often thought that it might have worked if there had been less drama around teaching it.

  • @vivienclogger
    @vivienclogger Před 4 měsíci +637

    I'm from the UK: I was taught metric in the 1970s and we STILL have people coming into the hardware store where I work and ask for 1" screws. Fifty years and we STILL can't quite make the transition. So don't let anyone from the UK mock you - we use mile per hour for speed and car distances, but we fill up at the gas station (or petrol, if you will) in litres. It's mental.

    • @enzycal
      @enzycal Před 4 měsíci +52

      To be fair maybe some of them actually need a 1" screw.

    • @yolanda8563
      @yolanda8563 Před 4 měsíci +41

      I'm 29 years old, a UK citizen and I have grown up using both imperial and metric.

    • @KeefsCattys
      @KeefsCattys Před 4 měsíci +10

      @@enzycal I just need a screw, but 1" ???

    • @vivienclogger
      @vivienclogger Před 4 měsíci +24

      @@enzycal lols. 1" is 25.4mm. We sell 25mm screws. 😁

    • @samdaniels2
      @samdaniels2 Před 4 měsíci +29

      Most young people are more metric. I've never known a gen z refer to their weight in anything other than KG, and I imagine all those people asking for '1" screws" are probably boomers.

  • @urbangorilla33
    @urbangorilla33 Před 2 měsíci +1

    An interesting topic. I moved from the US to Europe 30 years ago and metric was never an issue for me. I was a kid in the 70s and remember being told in school that we had to learn metric because we were converting soon. My father was an auto mechanic and said he was against conversion because he'd have to buy all new tools. Well it's ironic that the auto industry converted anyway, even if most of us didn't notice in our everyday lives. Similar to the automotive industry, many industries in the United States use the metric system in manufacturing and engineering processes, especially where international standards and collaboration are essential. Today the metric system is commonly employed in Aerospace, Medical and Pharmaceutical, electronics, chemical and materials science, energy and power industries as well as construction and building design. And then there's those two-liter Coke bottles.

  • @voodoobram
    @voodoobram Před 4 měsíci

    I love you put the cm and kg on screen when using units. If only all cooking channels did that.

  • @BoyFromBogota
    @BoyFromBogota Před 4 měsíci

    I lived in Sahuarita AZ, there are MILE markers on i19. When u call 911, that's what they want to know what ur closest to if ur on that highway reporting an accident...