[time-nuts] gravity controlled pendulumn clock?

Don Latham djl at montana.com
Wed Dec 14 16:02:12 EST 2011

OK, it's right most folks (except for NASA, poke poke) do not have to
know the difference between a pound mass and a pound force, or
capacitance in ??? etc. The SI units are best for science because they
are all tied together with common ground. OTH, my grandmother's cookie
recipe only puts pounds or is it slugs on me...

Justin Pinnix
> Contrary to popular belief, most of us in the U.S. have heard of the
> metric
> system and understand how it works.  Personally, I agree that it is a
> simpler and superior system.
> But, English is the system we "think" in.  We know that if a person is
> 300
> lbs they need to lose weight, you need to drink 8 cups of water a day,
> and
> wish for 70 degree days.  Grandma's cookie recipe uses 1 cup of flour.
>  Trying to convince 300 million people to re-learn all of that is a
> tough
> sell when there is no obvious advantage to them.  Most are not
> scientists
> or engineers and aren't likely to do business with a foreign country.
> Those of us who are scientists and engineers likely use metric at work
> and
> English at home.  Is that wrong?  Maybe, but we're smart people and we
> can
> deal with it :-)
> It's not like metric is totally absent.  We drink 2 liter cokes and
> defend
> ourselves with 9mm pistols.   Our cars use mostly metric parts.  Even
> ham
> radio operators, arguably the most jingoistic and set in the past bunch
> around, get on the 80, 40, and 20 METER bands.
> Furthermore, I've been to some of these countries that supposedly use
> the
> metric system.  One of them measured distance between cities in km and
> speed limits in MPH.  Now THAT was annoying!
> "Progressives" tried to force Metric on the U.S. in the 1970s and it
> didn't
> catch on.  Besides, we've got bigger standardization problems to deal
> with
> these days - getting everyone here to speak English!
> On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 2:29 PM, <shalimr9 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I told myself I would stop after my last posts, but I can't help it.
>> I do not pretend to know everything, but I am one of the relatively
>> few in
>> my circle of friends with extensive experience with both systems, and
>> after
>> 26 years here, the imperial system has simply not made a case for
>> itself as
>> far as I am concerned. It is my opinion, and a fact as far as I am
>> concerned, not that it makes it a universal truth in any other frame
>> of
>> reference. Your mileage may vary.
>> I agree that the decimal system is a big part of what makes me prefer
>> the
>> metric system. The meter itself is not a superior unit than the inch
>> or the
>> foot to measure anything. But there are other considerations when
>> using one
>> "system" versus the other.
>> Our designers and mechanical engineers here use decimal fractions of
>> an
>> inch in specifying mechanical drawings, but raw metal stock (and
>> tools) are
>> still only available in 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 (and so on) of an inch
>> dimensions,
>> so most dimensions have to be given with 3 or 4 decimals, and even
>> then
>> they are not always right. When trying to mentally add two, three or
>> four
>> dimensions each with 4 decimals, and one or two digits to the left of
>> the
>> decimal point, it stops being fun and its easy to make mistakes.
>> Somehow, that was never an issue when I was designing back in France.
>> Most
>> dimensions has 2 or 3 significant digits, making the mental juggling
>> much
>> easier.
>> That was the reason for my characterization of the imperial system as
>> being more error prone. I never said or implied that it was less
>> precise.
>> Precision is a function of the instrument, not the frame of reference.
>> In the metric system, screws and wires are referenced by their
>> diameter,
>> not a reference number that requires a table to figure out how big
>> they
>> are. I understand these numbers correspond to something, they are not
>> arbitrary, but while they may simplify "some" calculations, in
>> everyday
>> tasks, these numbers tend to complicate life instead of simplifying
>> it.
>> Here, every designer has tables after tables plastered on their walls.
>> In
>> France, I do not remember that we needed so many.
>> Another small thing I miss is that a liter of water weighs a kg (under
>> reference conditions, I forgot what that was :). Then the specific
>> weight
>> of various materials only has to be known by their "density" (ratio of
>> specific weight compared to water). It makes all sorts of calculations
>> (
>> and guestimations) easy.
>> But its just my opinion :)
>> Didier
>> Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless thingy while I do other things...
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Chuck Harris <cfharris at erols.com>
>> Sender: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com
>> Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 10:30:34
>> To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement<
>> time-nuts at febo.com>
>> Reply-To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
>>        <time-nuts at febo.com>
>> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] gravity controlled pendulumn clock?
>> Hal Murray wrote:
>> ...
>> >
>> > If you were an alien landing on Earth for the first time, which
>> system
>> would
>> > make more sense to you?
>> Ah!   A Godcentric view of the universe.  Decimal is an arbitrary
>> number system that came about purely because we had 10 fingers, and
>> a brain that could only think of using them to count on.
>> Your hands are probably right now fondling a model of a life form that
>> would find the metric system to be quite foreign, and unfriendly...
>> Surely you should count using a number system based on an even power
>> of 2?
>> There was a time when I spent more time doing arithmetic in octal
>> than in decimal.  If humans had been born with 4 fingers on each
>> hand, we would be talking about how certain we were that an alien
>> would find an octal centric measurement system made more sense.
>> Metric is purely arbitrary, as are all of the variants on the
>> English system.  Life would go just as smoothly if we had standardized
>> on the inch, pound, and gallon, and used decimal fractions and
>> multiples
>> to represent measurements larger and smaller than the unit.
>> -Chuck Harris
>> OBTW, as time nuts, we are steeped in the two units of measure that
>> are decidedly non-metric: seconds, and Hz.  Think about it...
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"Neither the voice of authority nor the weight of reason and argument
are as significant as experiment, for thence comes quiet to the mind."
R. Bacon
"If you don't know what it is, don't poke it."
Ghost in the Shell

Dr. Don Latham AJ7LL
Six Mile Systems LLP
17850 Six Mile Road
POB 134
Huson, MT, 59846
VOX 406-626-4304

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