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Education Misc

The Mile

In which I talk about trying to switch, personally, to metric and some of the origins of the Imperial measurements we use in the United States.

I catch a lot of crap from people I know for trying to learn and use the metric measurement system (as well as the Celsius scale, for temperature). Despite most of the known world using it, and science using it exclusively, it’s hard to change the opinion of hundreds of years of Imperial measurement being drummed into our heads, as Americans.

Recently, I came across a short article about the history of why the mile is an awkward 5,280 feet, versus the easily convertible 1000 meters to a kilometer. The article keeps on giving, though, with different measurements, like the Nautical Mile and the Pound. Much of what we know (at least, again, here in America) for measurements is based on arbitrary and generally inaccurate measurements of a given area or volume. Some of these measurements are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. The history, however, is fascinating.

I’m going to keep on learning how to Metric and Celsius, despite it all. I find they’re much easier to identify and convert between. I do, however, find myself converting to miles or Fahrenheit for family and friends frequently, though. It’s and uphill battle, but I just have to take it one step at a time.

By Nathan

Hello! My name is Nathan and I'm a technologist living and working in the south east. I love breaking crap and fixing it. I tend to break more than I fix. When I'm not breaking and fixing stuff, I'm playing games with my son or going to Disney with my family. I strongly support open source software, hardware and greater transparency in government.