[LMB] OT: measurements was pizza dough

Agnes Charrel-Berthillier agnes at charrel.net
Tue May 29 17:22:02 BST 2007


Peter H. Granzeau wrote:

> And the standard kilogram is NOT related to the meter.  Originally, 
> it was intended to be the weight of one liter of water at certain 
> standard conditions of temperature and pressure,
<snip>

Nitpicking here, but since the liter is derived from the meter -- one 
cubic decimeter (1/10th meter) -- the kilogram *is* related to the meter.

Switching from one system to another is *hard* (says she who, after 7 
years in the USA, still doesn't have a feel for Fahrenheit, and can't 
spell the word either). France changed its currency in the late 50s, 
where one "old" franc became one hundredth of the "new" franc. In 2000, 
as France was gearing to switch to the Euro, most people over the age of 
50 still counted using the old system (especially amounts over 1000).

That said, while the arbitrariness of the original values for the 
measurements can be discussed forever, there is a lot to be said about a 
system that doesn't force me to count in base 12 or 8, and is consistent 
from the micro to the macro level (no need to switch system to measure 
an electron or a galaxy).


Agnes

PS: the meter's current value is based on the second and the speed of 
light -- the old platinum "metre etalon" was retired a long time ago.


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