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Why I really appreciate the Kerbal players here


RocketBlam
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4 hours ago, Farex said:

What I don't understand is why rocket *scientists* still use the imperial system, in presentations even. It's highly impractical and does not follow a logic whatsoever, just arbitrarily defined nonsense for measurement for use during the colonial times of the british people.

Is there actually a benefit for using the imperial system in science? <- this is a serious question, because I just don't get it.

 

@GoSlash and Starhawk

:) 
 

I was born in a country that uses imperial, yet I taught myself how to use metric for almost everything now because metric is so much cleaner and neater.

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4 hours ago, pincushionman said:

I love how even that position has ITAR requirements.

It seems odd, but you have to account for conversations that may be overheard in the lunchroom, or papers that might get left lying around, or a dropped USB drive.

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I see, thanks for the explanation.

 

Here at my work place I tried to talk about the SpaceX powered landing and what it means, but unfortunately no one cares. It's a bliss to be able to read all the opinions here :)
 

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6 hours ago, Red Iron Crown said:

NASA is fully metric internally now, has been since 2007. They only use Imperial for public presentations to US audiences.

I was about to express my dumbfoundedness at what OP said, since every other scientific agency of the US government has used SI units since I was in elementary school.

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/21/2015 at 10:37 AM, Farex said:

Is there actually a benefit for using the imperial system in science? <- this is a serious question, because I just don't get it.
 

Oh boy. I’d hate to sit through one of your presentations…

The benefit is “not losing your audience.” The whole point of the video is to explain something to a certain audience. An audience that has no clue what you’re talking about when you're using SI units. “Then they should learn the SI System” (note that I will not call it “metric”, that’s just as incorrect as using miles and inches). Well yes, and they should also exercise daily and stop smoking. But is that the responsibility of the video makers?

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As a physicist, I can tell you that SI units and the metric system are almost as silly as Imperial units. You still have just as big a mountain of silly constants and conversion factors to work through in just about every equation. It's not worth getting all religious about.

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5 hours ago, bewing said:

As a physicist, I can tell you that SI units and the metric system are almost as silly as Imperial units. You still have just as big a mountain of silly constants and conversion factors to work through in just about every equation. It's not worth getting all religious about.

For every kilometre, theres 1000 metres. For every metre, there 1000 centremetres. For every centremetres, theres 10 milimetres.

 

Compare that to:

 

There are 12 inches (why 12?) in one foot. Theres 5280 feet in one mile (WHY THOUGH?) and 63360 inches in a mile...WHAT?

 

Metric doesn't even come close to being as stupid as imperial.

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For every centimeter, there's 10 millimeters. Why 10? 10 is a completely stupid number. "Because most humans have 10 fingers." So what? There's nothing special about base 10. Base 12 is better (if you look at it rationally). Base 16 is better still. People need to get out of their human-centric worldviews.

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15 minutes ago, bewing said:

For every centimeter, there's 10 millimeters. Why 10? 10 is a completely stupid number. "Because most humans have 10 fingers." So what? There's nothing special about base 10. Base 12 is better (if you look at it rationally). Base 16 is better still. People need to get out of their human-centric worldviews.

I like how you're accusing us of a 'human-centric worldview' while using base 10 to describe other bases to us.  There's no real inherit advantage to any of the bases, aside that 99% of people will understand base 10, 9% of people will understand base 16, and a whole nine people will understand base 12.

 

10 hours ago, Engineering101 said:

There are 12 inches (why 12?) in one foot. Theres 5280 feet in one mile (WHY THOUGH?) and 63360 inches in a mile...WHAT?

Actually it's 12 inches per foot, 3 feet per yard, 22 yards per chain, 10 chains per furlong, and 8 furlongs to the mile.  It all makes perfect sense!  And by perfect sense, I mean is laden with irrational legacy and is ravingly insane.  Granted that modern usage tends to drop the chain and furlong and just state a mile as being 1760 yards.. Y'know, for um, reasons and uh, stuff.

(Don't forget, there's three miles to the league.  Also, outside of a handful of agreements, most regions used a different length of 'mile' - some nearly as long as 15km)

I'm not a fan of progress-for-the-sake-of-yay-new-shiny, but this is one seriously rusty old system that needs to violently die.

 

23 hours ago, Kerbart said:

Oh boy. I’d hate to sit through one of your presentations…

The benefit is “not losing your audience.” The whole point of the video is to explain something to a certain audience. An audience that has no clue what you’re talking about when you're using SI units. “Then they should learn the SI System” (note that I will not call it “metric”, that’s just as incorrect as using miles and inches). Well yes, and they should also exercise daily and stop smoking. But is that the responsibility of the video makers?

I'd hate to sit through one of YOUR presentations then.  I'd have to convert the legacy units in YOUR presentation.   Most of the world lives outside of the US and uses non-US measurements, eh?

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48 minutes ago, bewing said:

For every centimeter, there's 10 millimeters. Why 10? 10 is a completely stupid number. "Because most humans have 10 fingers." So what? There's nothing special about base 10. Base 12 is better (if you look at it rationally). Base 16 is better still. People need to get out of their human-centric worldviews.

True but we wouldn't want to be dishonest and clam to have a non-human-centric view. Or are you keeping a secret?

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The first time you show this to somebody who's only used to the metric system he completely laughs his poophole off:

605px-English_length_units_graph.svg.png

 

That's because we expect the imperial system to be quite the same, just with a different starting point. We don't expect the relations between the units to be so random.

Same thing with paper sizes.

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53 minutes ago, bewing said:

For every centimeter, there's 10 millimeters. Why 10? 10 is a completely stupid number. "Because most humans have 10 fingers." So what? There's nothing special about base 10. Base 12 is better (if you look at it rationally). Base 16 is better still. People need to get out of their human-centric worldviews.

Even if you want to say base 10 is arbitrary, it doesn't take away anything from the argument that a consistent method of conversion is better than an inconsistent one. It's not an argument about which base is better anyway. Base 12 wouldn't be better if your units were all wonky.

Since we do use base 10, converting via factors of 10 is a simple thing to do, and if you learn the basics of converting the different units, you can work with any measurements intuititively... speed, distance, volume, whatever. 1,10,100,1000anyandeverythings is objectively, rationally better than

12/3/1760/5280distances

1/2/4/4volumes

etc

 

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Law of the Internet #1: no thread stays on-topic forever.:P

23 minutes ago, LittleBlueGaming said:

Even if you want to say base 10 is arbitrary, it doesn't take away anything from the argument that a consistent method of conversion is better than an inconsistent one. It's not an argument about which base is better anyway. Base 12 wouldn't be better if your units were all wonky.

It's all about a question of removing historical cruft in favor of a more rational design. Base ten is historical cruft -- cultural inertia. But metric enthusiasts try to have it both ways. You want a more rational system of units, fine. Just realize that half the system is still rooted in historical cruft. And if all bases were the same, then computers would calculate in base ten.

 

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50 minutes ago, Renegrade said:

I'd hate to sit through one of YOUR presentations then.  I'd have to convert the legacy units in YOUR presentation.   Most of the world lives outside of the US and uses non-US measurements, eh?

I hate to break this to you but I was raised metric. For a metric audience I would use metric units. For an imperial measurements audience I would use imperial units. My point was that I'm not so pedantic as to make a presentation "right" for the sake of being "right" regardless of whether my audience will understand it.

Yes, your presentations will be horrible, as clearly the concept of "take your audience into consideration" is alien to you. Alien! Well, you're playing KSP after all. :)

37 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

How did a thread about "Why I appreciate KSP players" turn into a metric/Imperial debate?

Stay on topic, please!

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1 hour ago, Renegrade said:

I like how you're accusing us of a 'human-centric worldview' while using base 10 to describe other bases to us.  There's no real inherit advantage to any of the bases, aside that 99% of people will understand base 10, 9% of people will understand base 16, and a whole nine people will understand base 12.

But only 10 kinds of people understand base 2...

 

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1 hour ago, Geher said:

The first time you show this to somebody who's only used to the metric system he completely laughs his poophole off:

605px-English_length_units_graph.svg.png

 

That's because we expect the imperial system to be quite the same, just with a different starting point. We don't expect the relations between the units to be so random.

Same thing with paper sizes.

In all fairness, every single person on Earth would agree that was a jumbled mess. But those of use who are belabored with the Imperial System actually only use 4 of those 38 terms, making that chart almost 10 times the size it should be.

Nobody but an expert in some field that uses the special terms even considers anything outside of:

Inch -12-> Foot -3-> Yard -1750-> Mile, and for most of us (myself included, I had to look it up) that "1750" is actually just "a lot."

Are the numbers logical? No. Are they the worst thing to befall mankind since the dawn of civilization? Nope, not that either. Are they a minor inconvenience that I'd rather be rid of? You betcha. But so are about 100 other things in life.

Edited by 5thHorseman
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1 hour ago, bewing said:

Base ten is historical cruft -- cultural inertia.

Cruft doesn't just mean old or traditional, it means something left-over and inefficient or fundamentally flawed. I just don't see how that applies to the decimal system.  Sure, it's somewhat arbitrary but what should we do about that? Even-more-arbitrarily switch the planet to a hexapentagesimal system merely to avoid the possible appearance of "cultural" inertia? And which culture is that anyway? Mauryan? Revolutionary French? If we switch to a vigesimal system isn't that just Celtic cultural inertia?

Now if you want to talk specifically about decimal time and Sumerian cultural inertia then I'm your huckleberry...

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2 minutes ago, Korvath85 said:

I love it.  Metre vs. Meter, Litre vs Liter, Theatre vs Theater, Honor vs. Honour.....

Darn Brits!  :cool:

That had nothing to do with spelling.

1000 centimeters to a meter?

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