Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why the metric system sucks

This was the most important bit in it all;

"Most important of all, however, is the fact that the measurement has been defined in terms with which the average human being has no relationship, and no
familiarity either."

When one wants to measure something, and be able to relate that very measurement to another human, there are no other systems that present a more reasonable degree of communicating that measurement than the imperial system, because of its inherent anthropometric basis. This relative system is as ancient as the practice of architecture itself, one of the most primal instincts of man, that of manipulating his environment to better suit his needs. Its use in teaching the fundamentals of correct proportions is found in many iconic architect's buildings and drawings, including Vitruvius, Alberti, Michelangelo and Corbusier, to name just a few.

Interestingly enough, I was recently watching a program on the idiot box, and the native people of the area were building canoes with an adz, hollowing out an enormous tree truck...and using their hands, spanning from thumb to pinky, as their measuring device. And it worked just fine for proportioning the thing. Why change something that works so well and is at your disposal at an instant?

I'm sticking with the foot and inch for measuring, thankyouverymuch, and fuck the damned metric system. I'm not switching to some other godawful nonsense, even at the point of a gun.

That is all.

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Blogger NotClauswitz said...

Interesting book you might like is called "Measuring America" by Andro Linklater and deals with the land-surveying of the United States and the very real and adventurous failure of the Metric System to get a hold here.

1:10 PM  
Blogger theirritablearchitect said...

I think I might have a look at that, Dirt.

1:57 PM  
Blogger NotClauswitz said...

It's a fairly entertaining read, what happened to the French trying to get the Meter across the pond is hilarious! :-)

12:56 PM  
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