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Page 107 Discussion 
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
projekcja wrote:
The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.


BERYL has never met another civilization, as long as she's been alive there has only been the Loroi Union and the Umiak. So for her this is a first, and since she's a xenophile AND an information sponge by trade it's a pretty exciting situation. Doubtless the humans are already laying plans to switch their system to the Trade one, though the US probably won't switch for another hundred years after all they probably just adopted Metric the month before first contact.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
hi hi

I can imagine an anthropologist would be super excited to find a previously undiscovered society of humans living in some remote corner of the world, even when there are already many known human cultures to study. Beryl is learning things that no Loroi has ever known before, so I could see the appeal.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
projekcja wrote:
The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.


BERYL has never met another civilization, as long as she's been alive there has only been the Loroi Union and the Umiak. So for her this is a first, and since she's a xenophile AND an information sponge by trade it's a pretty exciting situation. Doubtless the humans are already laying plans to switch their system to the Trade one, though the US probably won't switch for another hundred years after all they probably just adopted Metric the month before first contact.


If the humans have any brain cells left they will all switch to duo decimal and let the computers handle out the rest. From an arithmetics point of view both the octal and the decimal are inferior to the duodecimal.

But then again, the US will still be using Imperial so that's certainly an obstacle.

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
dragoongfa wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
projekcja wrote:
The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.


BERYL has never met another civilization, as long as she's been alive there has only been the Loroi Union and the Umiak. So for her this is a first, and since she's a xenophile AND an information sponge by trade it's a pretty exciting situation. Doubtless the humans are already laying plans to switch their system to the Trade one, though the US probably won't switch for another hundred years after all they probably just adopted Metric the month before first contact.


If the humans have any brain cells left they will all switch to duo decimal and let the computers handle out the rest. From an arithmetics point of view both the octal and the decimal are inferior to the duodecimal.

But then again, the US will still be using Imperial so that's certainly an obstacle.

The US will switch... once a socialist independent political candidate wins two presidential elections by a landslide, and people stop being irrational and/or stupid.

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:44 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
The USA has switched at least unofficially. schools teach metric first. So do colleges. National and state standards have to be listed in both. Basically it is old people who don't want to switch. You can't force those people, so you teach young people metric over and over again, make sure all labels have both and by the time you suggest switching publicly in another 20 years there won't be enough old people that don't know mettric for it to matter.

if you need proof go look at your gallon of milk, or any label. everything has dual labels so they can be sold everywhere. Businesses are cheap if they think they can save money by switching to metric by printing less on labels they will bur our politicians to do just that.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:01 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
For weights you might be on to something, but for distances and temp? I don't see that process underway at all.

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:00 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
projekcja wrote:
The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.


BERYL has never met another civilization, as long as she's been alive there has only been the Loroi Union and the Umiak. So for her this is a first, and since she's a xenophile AND an information sponge by trade it's a pretty exciting situation. Doubtless the humans are already laying plans to switch their system to the Trade one, though the US probably won't switch for another hundred years after all they probably just adopted Metric the month before first contact.
Over a hundred years from now? The US might be using a purely-decimal derivative of Imperial instead of one of the traditional Imperial systems. After all, the Metric system was invented by the French. I'd personally suggest something based on the foot, since, you know, it's in the realm of the length of the average human foot.

peragrin wrote:
The USA has switched at least unofficially.
Actually, I believe that the switch was official (back in the 50s, 60s, something like that). The unofficial switch was the one that didn't happen.

Siber wrote:
For weights you might be on to something, but for distances and temp? I don't see that process underway at all.
Supposedly the British still use miles. Real-world units and engineering-units don't intrinsically need to be the same thing, particularly since Real-world units are primarily colloquial in use, not precise. The Fahrenheit scale is similar: Celsius has a more sensible footing from a technical perspective (Kelvin honestly beats it, but still), but the Fahrenheit scale matches better to human comfort, thus more sensible for the 7-day forecast.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:21 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
peragrin wrote:
The USA has switched at least unofficially. schools teach metric first.


When did that happen? I'm 29 and I don't remember any metric at all.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
peragrin wrote:
The USA has switched at least unofficially. schools teach metric first.


When did that happen? I'm 29 and I don't remember any metric at all.
Text book makers set the majority of the standard, and then just tweak their books to suit the individual PTA (or school board, or...). Either it got left out of your books, or your teacher didn't feel it to be important and thus skipped it.

I was taught a little metric, and I'm about the same age as you.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
peragrin wrote:
The USA has switched at least unofficially. schools teach metric first.


When did that happen? I'm 29 and I don't remember any metric at all.


I'm a bit younger and I remember 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade being filled with the metric system. Then, I changed schools.

In high school, metric units were used in science for "physics" and for chemistry, and later, for actual physics. They were used mostly because of the easier calculations.

For example, Charles' Law and Guy-Lussac's Law are a lot harder to use when use
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Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:44 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
When I was a kid in the 70's we were taught the metric system in school and were told that the US was going to convert. But that didn't happen, because people want to continue driving miles and filling with gallons of gasoline, and thinking of the height and weight of people in terms of feet, inches and pounds... because that's what they're used to, and there's nothing wrong with that. The advantages offered by the metric system are irrelevant to 95% of the people. The ability to more easily convert units has no appeal whatsoever to an ordinary person who is trying to buy milk. Almost all labeling and packaging gives measurements in both systems, so if you want to use metric... knock yourself out.

If you're in the field of science or engineering and you can actually benefit from SI units, chances are you're already using them. Only a few hardware engineering and fabrication disciplines insist on still using Imperial units. That's not a problem as long as everyone is clear on their conversions -- the infamous Mars Orbiter screw up had less to do with the unit systems and more to do with NASA's incompetent bureaucracy.

I make a point of using SI units the comic, but I still think in miles and gallons and pounds rather than in kilometers and liters and kilograms in everyday life.

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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Absalom wrote:
peragrin wrote:
The USA has switched at least unofficially.
Actually, I believe that the switch was official (back in the 50s, 60s, something like that). The unofficial switch was the one that didn't happen.
Metrication (or metrification) is the process of introducing the International System of Units (or SI), commonly known as the metric system, to replace the traditional or customary units of measurement of a country or region. Although all U.S. customary units have been redefined in terms of SI units, the United States does not commonly mandate the use of SI. This, according to the CIA Factbook, makes the United States one of only three countries as of 2015, with Myanmar (Burma) and Liberia, that have not adopted the metric system as their official system of weights and measures.
[emphasis added by me]

I also found a website giving a brief explanation of the US customary units. As I don't know them and don't use them, I found it an interesting read.

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Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:51 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Imagine Alex holding this rant for Beryl regarding measurements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7x-RGfd0Yk :mrgreen:


Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:54 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
When did the UK fully adopt the metric system? AFAIK, they started metrification in 1965, but still haven't really completed it, since one still buys beer in the pub by the pint.

The UK didn't adopt a rational (decimal) currency until 1971. The US has had one since 1792.

So... we'll let you be behind us by 199 years in adopting decimal currency, you can let us be behind you by 199 years in adopting the metric system. We'll get around to it in 2164. Still 4 years to go in Outsider.


Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:30 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Absalom wrote:
Supposedly the British still use miles. Real-world units and engineering-units don't intrinsically need to be the same thing, particularly since Real-world units are primarily colloquial in use, not precise. The Fahrenheit scale is similar: Celsius has a more sensible footing from a technical perspective (Kelvin honestly beats it, but still), but the Fahrenheit scale matches better to human comfort, thus more sensible for the 7-day forecast.

"Turn left in 0.5 miles, then in 200 yards at the roundabout take the third exit."
- An example of a British sat-nav talking.

Petrol pumps definitely count in litres. Mostly we use Celsius (certainly TV weather reports do)... except when it's hot, and Fahrenheit allows people to give a ridiculously high number to make their point.

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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Why do you use stone for weight?


Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:50 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
hi hi

How do we know the Loroi don't have their own local measurements as well? Maybe Deinar, Taben, and Perrein all have their own local units of measurement?


Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:35 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
icekatze wrote:
How do we know the Loroi don't have their own local measurements as well? Maybe Deinar, Taben, and Perrein all have their own local units of measurement?

They do, and some of them are plenty archaic. Beryl would not find the Imperial system to be unusual.

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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Switching to metric doesn't mean that those older units just go out of use and vanish.
People here in Germany still buy a Pfund (pound) of bread/sugar/etc... , farmers still sell a Zentner (roughly a hundreadweight) of potatos if you want that much and a lot of people still convert prices in Mark to get a better feeling if its a fair deal (me included). You don't lern them in school, you lern and use them in everyday use.

Thats why I can see Alex thinking about how many miles he is away from home or guessing Beryls height in feet, etc...

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:32 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Yes, but the German pound has changed its meaning to mean half a kilogram [1], and the "Zentner" is even worse, as the Germans mostly understand 100 pound (100x500g = 50kg), whereas in Switzerland and Austria the "Zentner" is the (metric)"Zentner" (100x1kg = 100kg), so to differentiate, the Germans use the "Doppelzentner" for 100kg [2].
[Wikipedia: [1], [2]]

People will still use old units, as they are used to it. The meaning might change slightly to adapt to round numbers in the new system....

BTW: I stopped converting from EUR to DM already some 5 months in. Beforehand I did a lot of converting from DM to EUR, or from HFL (Dutch guilder) to EUR, to be able to compare prices (on purpose to EUR, I could have converted directly DM<->Hfl). I am so happy with our common currency, although i am unhappy about certain elements of the implementation.

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:43 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
i've been told that everyone has a Doppelzentner somewhere in this world...

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:44 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
The meaning was changed by the German Zollverein in 1833, to unify the various different types of measurements of the german states. The same with the Zentner. Its just very interesting that those units are still in use today and coming back to the Loroi: Are those archaic measurements still in common use today?

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:45 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
well, in sweden we do have 'mil' not to be confused with the 'mile' even if both are measures of distance, we kept it simply because it was close enough to 10km so we just shrugged and said 'lets redefine it as 10km' and everyone was happy.
also tons of other when it comes to cooking...but i blame those disgusting imperial swines for that.


Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:45 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
Why do you use stone for weight?
Why do people try to use kilograms for weight despite the appropriate unit being newtons? If you buy a kg of helium, you're going to ask the seller why it's so light.


Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:29 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Absalom wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
Why do you use stone for weight?
Why do people try to use kilograms for weight despite the appropriate unit being newtons? If you buy a kg of helium, you're going to ask the seller why it's so light.


To be more accurate one would ask the seller why it is so heavy since helium can only be sold in tanks that are worth far more than it :P

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