Goldilocks and the Metric System

Sat 30 October 2010

An Australian asked me why Americans don't use metrics. My theory is we never internalize it. We don't learn it until 7th grade science class, and we never use it outside the lab. We never learn a meter is about yay long. If we don't think in it, we won't use it.

I got a metrics lesson at the gym. I set the treadmill to 4.0 to start. Too slow - I almost tripped. 2.6mph is too slow to walk.

Then I tried to bench press 30kg. The plates looked small enough, and the bar didn't add any weight. I stopped trying quickly. These weights were tooooo big at 70 lbs -- the top of my range when I went to the Y regularly. 20kg, 44 lbs is much more comfortable for my atrophied muscles.

My guesthouse stay comes with one kilo of laundry free per day. That's as much clothing as fits in a plastic shopping bag. Just right.

Is there an equivalent word to 'illiterate' for quantities? I'm there.

Category: Day to Day