An Observation of Sorts


100619_142324_0.pngAn Observation of Sorts I -


It seems that as Americans, we can do some pretty silly things.  In the matters of weights and measures we can hardly have been more intentional to be more confusing. It seems as if in fact we have set out to make weights and measures the great standard against which we cannot be measured.

As Americans, we buy gas by the gallon. soda by the liter and I honestly cannot tell you how we buy milk.   We simply go to the store, pick up what we need to bring home,  and we really don't pay a lot of attention to the units of measurement.

Most of our cars are built on the metric system.  The inch/foot system,  the British system for using wrenches and bolts and nuts,  is almost nonexistent, and yet we measure the distance we travel in our cars in terms of miles. That is true except when some states, like Maine,  decide that they must put kilometers on the roadside signs. meaning that drivers are either reading one sign, two signs, or avoiding one or the other mileage notations.  It is nonetheless entirely possible that a driver buys gas by the gallon and  measure mileage by the kilometer.   That's perfectly acceptable, but I wonder if such a driver ever grows confused by the systems, or if all drivers just live in multiple worlds?

In wondering about other places, it might be nice to point out that our Canadian neighbors have a two language system but a one measurement system.  There the signs are in French and English, but the distance is always measured in kilometers.

Again, the question begs itself - is it better to have one system of standards or multiple systems of standards?

And a second question is out there begging an answer -how do we teach this to children?

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