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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
W Balboos, GHB13-Jun-18 2:54
mveW Balboos, GHB13-Jun-18 2:54 
GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Member 798912213-Jun-18 4:05
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GeneralSo this reply was accepted by CP after all... Pin
Member 798912213-Jun-18 5:04
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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
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Greg Lovekamp13-Jun-18 6:19
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Greg Lovekamp19-Jun-18 9:27
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Member 798912219-Jun-18 23:12
MemberMember 798912219-Jun-18 23:12 
Not that it matters for the principles discussed here, but to fill in the details:

The old hymnal, dated 1870, was an attempt to merge three older hymnals (the oldest one from 1699) into a common one for all congregations of The Church of Norway. Consider it a "beta release": Which hymns would actually be used, when a much richer selection was provided? A number of hymns were translated from German and Danish into Norwegian for the new hymnal (Danish and German had been 'church languages' for ages, but were being displaced by Norwegian.) Writing new hymns was a popular activity among poets and composers. So, in 1926, a revision was published, with the never-used hymns removed and a lot new hymns added. It was left to the congregations when to switch to the revised hymnal, some clung to the old versions for 10, 20 or 30 years. So, the benefit of the new hymnal was to have all the hymns being used in a single volume, and not too many obscure, forgotten hymns.

Advantages of metric system? The obvious one: Everybody else is using it. The question of convenience: Regularity. If the road measures 34 mm on a 1:1000.000 map, how many kilometers is that? If it measures 1 3/8 in, how many miles is that? What is the speed of light, measured by furlongs per forthnight?

The majority of scientific values, such as density of some matter, temperature etc. is stated in units that can be processed directly within the metric system. Temperature differences are stated in Kelvin, of the same granularity as Celsius; absolute temperatures in Kelvins above absolute zero. You never have to multiply by arbitrary factors of, say, 3 or 7 or 12, because of the choice of units (obviously, a given matter has properties like water requiring 4.2 kJ for heating 1 kG by 1 K, but the 4.2 factor is not from how units are defined).

One specific example (from my own house remodeling project): In building construction, the heat flow through a wall, a window etc. is indicated by its U value. Norwegian regulations require U < 0.18 for walls of new residental houses. How much is the heat loss through a wall of 2.50 by 4 meters when the temperature outside is -30C and the indoor temperature is 20C? U * area * deltaT, 0.18 * (2.5*4) * (20-(-30)) = 90 W. (Measure that wall in feet and inches, and state the temperatures in F, and see if the calculation is that simple!) -- The U values is per surface unit. For a given insulation, the 'lambda value' is specified: Multiply it by the thickness of the insulation to get the U value - whether you measure by mm, cm, or m. You just move the decimal points; the digits are unchanged.

Simple multiplication/addition of well known values, with no 'magic factors', no 1/8-of a unit, no 'how many yards to a mile?', no units that depends on what you measure... The metric calculations are so much more transparent and non-magic; you can grasp them easily. And you can relate to them. Even though I cannot off hand tell you how large a soccer field is in square meters, if you tell me that it is 100 by 60 meters, I immediately relate to it as 6000 square meters, which is five times the size of my garden lot. If some area is specified as the size of ten football fields, neither I nor very many others immediatly know how much that is in square foot or acres; it isn't transparent in the same way.

As long as a given unit is used alone, never related to other units (say, inches never related to miles) and the reading is used 'as is' and that is is, then any unit that 'everyone understands' is fine. The great advantage of the metric system is when you combine different measures. If you want to saw that new football field with grass seeds, and the seed vendor tells you to use so-and-so many grains (as a weight unit) of seed per square foot, how many pounds of seed will you need? In principle, you make the same calculation as with metric units, yet it involves a fair number of extra factors that you will have to know of.

Imperial units has one great value: You have to make so many extra multiplications and divisions that you really learn to do those operations - moving the decimal point doesn't give you nearly as much math drill. But you have this advantage only if you actually make the calculations regularly, such as measuring on the map in 1/8 in units to determine the distance in miles, and the time to drive that distance at a speed of x furlongs per forthnight. If you just read the value and to not convert it, you loose this advantage.

modified 20-Jun-18 4:24am.

GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Greg Lovekamp20-Jun-18 4:13
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Alan Burkhart14-Jun-18 10:26
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