# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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SI Units
From: Lu Abel
Date: 2009 Oct 22, 22:18 -0700

```Given the success of the meter and kilogram units introduced by the
French, I have to wonder why the metrication of angles and time failed.

As many on the list have pointed out, units are arbitrary.  So if we can
be convinced to measure in meters, why can't we be convinced to measure

Even more puzzling, why did metric time (a day of 10 hours of 100
minutes each of 100 seconds each) fail?  A "metric second" is about 15%
shorter than today's second.    Just as we who are still burdened by
"English" measurements learn that a liter is slightly larger than a
quart and a kilogram is slightly larger than two pounds, conversion to
"metric time" would be straightforward -- a metric second is about the
same as the one we're used to, a metric minute is bit less than two of
the usual ones, and a metric hour is a just under 2-1/2 of the
old-fashioned ones.

As an earlier post mentioned, the English system is either binary (if
some obsolete measures like pins and gills are included, there is a
remarkable binary progression from the fluid ounce to the barrel), or
duodecimal.   The 12 inches making up a foot are quite easily divided
into quarters, thirds, halves.   And our inches have binary fractions --
halves, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, etc.

Oh, and as a comment on Frank's mention to US Coca-Cola bottles now
being metric, as an oenophile, I was amused when the US mandated that
wine bottles be 750 ml, whilst wine shipped by the French are (or at
least used to be) 4/5 of a gallon (the traditional US liquor measure of
a "fifth")

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