# Imperial versus metric

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A double-base system is da best, 6 & 12 (aka double-6).

First of all, the set of dividers. And counting by 12 on fingers.

Also, even 10 is too much for small sliding rules, because the marks are too close.
Six is enough good for a compact one to be always at hands (in a pocket or tattooed on the lower arm).

While 12 is good for longer rules, of the table length.

Also you can place 6 circles around a circle of same diameter.
It's very handy itself, and you can easily design a compact rotating mechanical calculator base-6.

If replace them with pairs of smaller ones, you get 12 around a bigger 1.
Still useful.

Also  it makes natural the honeycomb-like structures and geodomes.
And the snowflakes.

Mechanical wheels.  The six is the first which gives a smooth rotation.

Landing legs. Six is the most stable. 1 fails, 5 stand.
(And count those pipes in the Starship tower, btw).

A human can keep in mind 7..9 objects at once, so count objects by sixes looks comfy.

A die has 6 faces, so it is another natural reprsentation of base-6, together with 6 circles around 1.
A pair of dice gives you 1..12 and also represents the whole idea : 12 is 6 and another 6.

A 6-bit CPU word together with a parity bit and a control or lock bit are 8 bits which you can easily virtually implement on any 8-bit architecture.

We need a simple way to cross 6&12 and binary architecture.

12 = 3 * 4
16 = 4 * 4

3 * 4 * 4 = 48 = 4 x12 = 3 x 16 = 6 * 8

So, 3 16-bit words or 6 8-bits easily represent 4 * 12 or 8 * 6.

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i use metric until i need to go to the hardware store.

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Seriously, though, I use metric for my woodcarving, and really any fine measuring I have to do. Millimeters are so nice and clean. 16ths of an inch are just dumb.

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I don't care how many factors 12 has, I have 10 fingers.

I also don't like having to remember conversions between units within the measurement system I'm using.

The metric system is logical, consistent, and scientific. The imperial system, having built up over centuries, is inconsistent, messy, and incomplete.

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2 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

I don't care how many factors 12 has, I have 10 fingers.

A human needs just two fingers to type on keyboard (and only due to the Shift/Ctrl/Alt ones).

So, the binary system is all what we need.

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I work with both out of sheer necessity. It's not difficult to learn both or even convert between them.

I do find metric easier to work with, but my society is used to/ happy with imperial. I don't insist that society must convert to my preferred system, nor do I assume that America's insistence on using the imperial system has ever hampered their ability in technological or scientific advancement.

Best,

-Slashy

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On the other hand, if base-12 is the best, 12 in./ft. would suddenly become logical...

Some cultures count in base-8. They do it by counting with the spaces between their fingers. I think it's mostly a Native American thing. If you expanded this to include the spaces outside your fingers (i.e. past your thumbs and fifth fingers) you would get base 12...

Surely this is how we were meant to count.

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3 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

nor do I assume that America's insistence on using the imperial system has ever hampered their ability in technological or scientific advancement.

Ask the poor researcher who barely managed to secure funding for his further career, to work with the data from the Mars Climate Orbiter ...

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Meh. using all metric didn't stop the Russians from installing their accelerometers backwards, did it? Stuff happens. Besides, last I checked the US was still the world leader in spaceflight, imperial units notwithstanding.

If you work in an engineering field in America, you learn to work with both systems. No amount of crowing about metric's "superiority" will change the fact that we still have to use imperial whether we like it or not.

Best,

-Slashy

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12 minutes ago, GoSlash27 said:

Meh. using all metric didn't stop the Russians from installing their accelerometers backwards, did it? Stuff happens. Besides, last I checked the US was still the world leader in spaceflight, imperial units notwithstanding.

If you work in an engineering field in America, you learn to work with both systems. No amount of crowing about metric's "superiority" will change the fact that we still have to use imperial whether we like it or not.

Say bye to all those steampunk units since computers prefer clear decimals. They just cosplay the imperial ones and base 12.
There is even no standard base 12 representation in the string formats.

A lot of base 12 sliding rules?

(Of course, since  C++ 14 you can define your own literal prefix for that, lol).

51 minutes ago, SOXBLOX said:

12 in./ft. would suddenly become logical.

And what about 1/12 in and 12 ft? What are they? Are they?

How many feet in one mile? In a nautical mile?

Of course, the metric system will replace the steampunk very soon, because it's just a cosplay of medieval.

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20 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Stuff...

I have no idea why you're arguing about this here, especially with me, given the fact that I have absolutely no authority over America's units of weight and measures. *shrug*

You're incorrect, BTW. #1 Imperial doesn't require the ability to count in base 12 and #2 Computers actually prefer binary or hex, not decimal.

Best,

-Slashy

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Just now, GoSlash27 said:

#1 Imperial doesn't require the ability to count in base 12

12 in = 1 ft

Even the BCD numbers can't represent this, as they are binary-decimal.

2 minutes ago, GoSlash27 said:

#2 Computers actually prefer binary or hex, not decimal.

Computers use format functions for strings, BCD numbers for decimals, and the database field precision is decimal, too.

So, 12 is totally unnatural for the computers.

The CAD coordinate grid is decimal and can be scaled by 10x as long as needed.

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Just now, kerbiloid said:

12 in = 1 ft

Even the BCD numbers can't represent this, as they are binary-decimal.

Computers use format functions for strings, BCD numbers for decimals, and the database field precision is decimal, too.

So, 12 is totally unnatural for the computers.

That's all software, not hardware. You can set up software to run in any arbitrary base, whether it's decimal, dodecimal, or even sexagecimal. Case in point: your phone is able to display the time, it has no problem figuring out base 12 *or* base 60. Not "unnatural" at all.

And I still don't understand why you're arguing with me.

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1 hour ago, GoSlash27 said:

Besides, last I checked the US was still the world leader in spaceflight, imperial units notwithstanding.

Seriously this argument? NASA uses the metric system

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Just now, Beccab said:

Seriously this argument? NASA uses the metric system

The launch providers don't, nor do the aerospace contractors who build the payloads. Contrary to popular belief, this duality has not kept the USA stuck in the technological stone ages.

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8 minutes ago, GoSlash27 said:

The launch providers don't, nor do the aerospace contractors who build the payloads. Contrary to popular belief, this duality has not kept the USA stuck in the technological stone ages.

Some contractors don't, yes, that is what caused the Mars Climate Orbiter incident. Here literally nobody is saying that the imperial system will cause the fall of the modern society, nor that "it keeps "the USA stuck in the technological stone ages" like you keep repeating; it simply is an unnecessary annoyance full of illogical convertions and with very little more real use than metric contrary to what its supporters say.

People still use imperial != imperial is necessary

Edited by Beccab
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23 minutes ago, GoSlash27 said:

You can set up software to run in any arbitrary base

I know decimal, octal, binary, hexadecimal numbers in the real world software systems. Literal formats, string formats, none.

But none mentions the base 12 (this actually puzzles me, as the American would probably implement the 12; but no, for some reasons they don't).

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

And what about 1/12 in and 12 ft? What are they? Are they?

How many feet in one mile? In a nautical mile?

I didn't say those would make sense...

But I guess, a dozenth* of an inch and a dozen feet? Four yards? There are 440 dozen-feet in a mile, so that works. Sort of.

*I know, I know, it isn't English.

Edited by SOXBLOX
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50 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

I know decimal, octal, binary, hexadecimal numbers in the real world software systems. Literal formats, string formats, none.

But none mentions the base 12 (this actually puzzles me, as the American would probably implement the 12; but no, for some reasons they don't).

Sure they do, as do yours. The hours on your clock are base 12, the seconds base 60. Your spreadsheet can convert to it.

Point is, regardless of what base you input and output your numbers, the computer still must convert it to hex before it can process it. There is nothing uniquely easy or difficult about whichever base you choose if it's not a power of 2.

Best,

-Slashy

58 minutes ago, Beccab said:

Some contractors don't, yes, that is what caused the Mars Climate Orbiter incident. Here literally nobody is saying that the imperial system will cause the fall of the modern society, nor that "it keeps "the USA stuck in the technological stone ages" like you keep repeating; it simply is an unnecessary annoyance full of illogical convertions and with very little more real use than metric contrary to what its supporters say.

People still use imperial != imperial is necessary

And I keep telling you: It's not up to me and nobody in charge of such decisions gives a flip what either of us think about it. So why do you keep trying to argue about it with me?

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I don't think anyone is arguing with you, @GoSlash27 This is a discussion forum and people are reasoning on a topic that we have all chosen to say something about. That's what forums are for

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21 minutes ago, Deddly said:

I don't think anyone is arguing with you, @GoSlash27 This is a discussion forum and people are reasoning on a topic that we have all chosen to say something about. That's what forums are for

I disagree. I think *most* here are simply reasoning on a topic, but not all. Some are just fanboying about their favorite system and looking to fight with someone about which is "superior". I see no point in it, other than perhaps ego stroking.

Best,

-Slashy

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It's impossible to have a favourite system for me, as since school the SI is the only scientific system for me, after the older SGS, SGSE, etc. And all of them are implementations of metric.
Of course, I'm aware of existence of various historical systems , with 1 pound = 453.6 g, 1 pound = 409 g, 1 pound = 327 g, etc, but the world-wide metric system is a fait accompli for me, and other units still exist just for inertia of human habits, nothing to argue about.

Btw. the citadel of the Imperial / British  unit system, the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_sterling

Quote

### Decimal coinage

Since decimalisation on Decimal Day in 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence (denoted on coinage, until 1981, as "new pence"). The symbol for the penny is "p"; hence an amount such as 50p (£0.50) properly pronounced "fifty pence" is often pronounced "fifty pee" /fɪfti pi/. This also helped to distinguish between new and old pence amounts during the changeover to the decimal system. A decimal halfpenny was issued until 1984 but was removed due to having a higher cost to manufacture than its face value.[25]

### Pre-decimal

Before decimalisation in 1971, the pound was divided into 20 shillings and each shilling into 12 pence, making 240 pence to the pound. The symbol for the shilling was "s."—not from the first letter of "shilling", but from the Latin solidus. The symbol for the penny was "d.", from the French denier, from the Latin denarius (the solidus and denarius were Roman coins). A mixed sum of shillings and pence, such as 3 shillings and 6 pence, was written as "3/6" or "3s. 6d." and spoken as "three and six" or "three and sixpence" except for "1/1," "2/1" etc., which were spoken as "one and a penny", "two and a penny", etc. 5 shillings, for example, was written as "5s." or, more commonly, "5/–". Various coin denominations had, and in some cases continue to have, special names—such as florin (2s), crown (5s), half crown (2s6d). farthing (14d), sovereign (£1) and guinea (q.v.). See Coins of the pound sterling and List of British coins and banknotes for details.

There is no more applied thng for the base-12 numvers than the daily payments, when you divide by 2,3,4,etc.

But even the GBP decided to become "metric", 1x100, instead of historical 20x12, like it was in Dickens times and my school years.
(We were learning about the 20 shillings x 12 pence, from the Dickens-time texts, whien the GBP already was 100 pence for about a decade).

Edited by kerbiloid
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On 6/17/2021 at 11:19 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

I have a sneaky suspicion that the metric system is 'too made up'.  - speed of sound is close to 300m/s.  Speed of light is close to 300,000 km/s  --- waaaay too convenient.  Someone is cheating.

In the case of the speed of light, the value is based not on arbitrary choice but rather the value arrived at by several measurement experiments conducted over the span of a century. (Textbooks generally round up to the 300,000 km/s we often cite). I imagine the same is true for the speed of sound; a value arrived to by a compendium of measurements.

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8 minutes ago, Exploro said:

In the case of the speed of light, the value is based not on arbitrary choice but rather the value arrived at by several measurement experiments conducted over the span of a century. (Textbooks generally round up to the 300,000 km/s we often cite). I imagine the same is true for the speed of sound; a value arrived to by a compendium of measurements.

I know.

It's entertaining snark - drawing a connection between the 300 and 300,000.

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