It's precisely the precision of the metric system that turns me off. If Robert Frost had said I have promises to keep / and kilometers to go before I sleep / and kilometers to go before I sleep, it wouldn't have conveyed the roadweariness of miles. Kilometers are definite. Miles are indefinite. Poetry is what's lost in metrication. Some examples:
Saturday, September 1, 2012
In Defense of Standard Measurement
Three-hundred and thirteen years after the nativity of the metric system in revolutionary France, only three nations stubbornly cling to the old standard system - Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States. Other nations agree to the (quite sensible) subdivision of the time and space into tens, hundredths, thousandths. But I love standard. It's annoying, hard to remember, and makes our tools not work on foreign cars but it is poetic.
Glancing at a receipt for a flannel shirt this morning, I saw the shirt itemized as wovens . Now I realize I'm not in a strong posi...
It's not easy being an American abroad. Between being peppered with questions about politics and having your feet stick off the en...
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