Tap to unmute

Why I will NEVER use the Metric System

  • Published on Oct 4, 2022
  • How Americans Missed out on the Metric System
    🌏 Exclusive! Grab the NordVPN deal ➼ nordvpn.com/johnnyharris . Try it risk-free now with a 30-day money-back guarantee!
    The US decided not to join the rest of the world to go metric. Here’s why.
    View my sources here: docs.google.com/document/d/1b...
    - ways to support -
    My Patreon: www.patreon.com/johnnyharris
    Our custom Presets & LUTs: store.dftba.com/products/john...
    - where to find me -
    Instagram: johnny.harris
    Tiktok: www.tiktok.com/@johnny.harris
    Facebook: JohnnyHarrisVox
    Iz's (my wife’s) channel: ru-clip.com/user/iz-harris
    - how i make my videos -
    Tom Fox makes my music, work with him here: tfbeats.com/
    I make maps using this AE Plugin: aescripts.com/geolayers/?aff=77
    All the gear I use: www.izharris.com/gear-guide
    - my courses -
    Learn a language: brighttrip.com/course/language/
    Visual storytelling: www.brighttrip.com/courses/vi...
    - about -
    Johnny Harris is a filmmaker and journalist. He currently is based in Washington, DC, reporting on interesting trends and stories domestically and around the globe. Johnny's visual style blends motion graphics with cinematic videography to create content that explains complex issues in relatable ways. He holds a BA in international relations from Brigham Young University and an MA in international peace and conflict resolution from American University.
    - press -
    NYTimes: www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/op...
    NYTimes: www.nytimes.com/video/opinion...
    Vox Borders: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLrFy...
    Finding Founders: findingfounders.co/episodes/j...
    NPR Planet Money: www.npr.org/transcripts/10721...

Comments • 14 761

  • Johnny Harris
    Johnny Harris  Month ago +1031

    Hey thanks for watching!
    A couple things:
    I have a Patreon where I share map backgrounds from videos as well as the actual scripts, you can find that here: www.patreon.com/johnnyharris
    I have custom presets & luts that I use to color my videos and photos. I developed them over a year with a professional colorist. In case that’s interesting to you, here they are: store.dftba.com/collections/johnny-harris/products/johnny-iz-luts-and-presets

    • Surf man
      Surf man 6 hours ago

      Hi I'm dyslexic too I feel very limited and relegated to intense labour work. You give me hope.

    • Roy Long
      Roy Long 2 days ago +1

      Dude, there is a reason why you didn't major in math, science, or engineering in college. This is one of the funniest videosw you made because it's silly. The imperial units are now based on the metric units, according to Veritasium. Also, most people are average, and the IQ of most Americans are average. They don't understand the metric units until they're being forced, for example, to work in a technology, manufacturing, or engineering company.

    • Gringo Starr
      Gringo Starr 6 days ago

      You do know that USA adopted si-system over 100 years ago..

    • Orange
      Orange 14 days ago

      American : i can't do metric
      Wellp no shit you guys need chinese / indian dudes to win math competition against chinese

    • นิกกี้ กลิ่นลำดวน
      นิกกี้ กลิ่นลำดวน 17 days ago

      Time to get cancalled

  • HM51
    HM51 Month ago +11914

    As a physicist, I shrink in horror from the thought of using imperial units for calculations.

    • Thenoobccom IPad
      Thenoobccom IPad Day ago +1

      Yeah a lot of math you NEED the metric system

    • orztaku
      orztaku 2 days ago

      @Thierry Pauwels made me chuckle. You do know that the imperial units in the USA are defined using the metric system ? So even in the US the mile is officially defined as a distance given in meters, has been for quite while now.

    • Omeganinjaboy
      Omeganinjaboy 3 days ago +1

      Meanwhile, here I am calculating acceleration in washing machines per second squared.

    • Joel Dumas
      Joel Dumas 3 days ago

      @Thierry Pauwels along with angles, decimal time is the main flaw of the SI. Mainly because of lobbying from Church and worker unions: imagine one mass and one day off every 10 days only! So all the planet still sticks to that old Babylonian 12 / 60 system.

    • Let's Doodle Something HOME
      Let's Doodle Something HOME 3 days ago

      16:30 if you wanna experience a physicist’s nightmare.. 😂

  • Joel Boutier
    Joel Boutier 21 day ago +1051

    Johnny... literally EVERYONE that changed over to the metric system in the past faced the same dilemma that you did. They weren't used to it. They got used to it & they got over it. Now, they enjoy a system where they don't gave to convert from a 1/16 in, feet to miles, or ounces to gallons. Now we're still stuck with this measurement system because people didn't want to adjust. They didn't get used to it & didn't get over it. Now we're still multiplying fractions & doing complicated conversions. I'm sure the adjustment we would have had to make would be long forgotten by now but we just didn't want to put in the effort. Now we're still stuck with it.

    • blublubblub
      blublubblub Day ago

      @Kevin you know, I hadn't noticed, but there are NO hardware stores in my country. Even if there were, it's not like we could sell the same dimensions as in America (a successful way to convert between units in different systems hasn't been discovered yet), or even stuff manufactured in America and just make the conversion, if even necessary. It's not like most stuff remains the same size as when originally standardized, what do you think values of a unit are? A number, convertible to the original units when needed? Don't be ridiculous. That's silly, like dividing by zero.
      I'm not sure I follow what you think the measurement of fuel efficiency has to do with unit systems in general. I think you're confusing dimensions (basically what exactly you mean by "fuel efficiency", like the definition) with units. I guess your referring to the miles per gallon/gallons per mile discussion, something like that? Unless you're arguing something related to the practicality of some standard units (Pascals and Newtons are notorious for being a bit small for most practical purposes, you could say that about the gram I guess but the standard is essentially the kilogram, yes it's a bit weird), I don't know what that's about.
      I will always enjoy watching things blow up because someone along the line of design and assembly of an incredibly complex system got the units mixed up or made a conversion error between systems, because some country or contractor insists on using unit systems Science has left behind for the most part. Imperial-unitists will forever be a source of much hilarity in that regard. Yes people at some point die in horrible accidents, it's not all unmanned Martian probes, but whatever. Americans don't value their plebs much anyway. When in Rome...
      /Sarcasm, btw, just in case.

    • Marwin Ewert
      Marwin Ewert 2 days ago

      @Kevin explain what you said about fuel efficiency, I don't see why would someone say that

    • Marwin Ewert
      Marwin Ewert 2 days ago

      @King killer just to say my experience with this, in Brazil we never use feet and inches (only for screens), always metric system

    • Hypotheticlz
      Hypotheticlz 2 days ago

      Apart from the UK, we tried to change, and failed horribly and now are the only country to use both in day to day life

    • Jovet
      Jovet 2 days ago

      @King killer Imperial is still prevalent in Canada, too. One industry for example is railroads.

  • steffenstein17
    steffenstein17 21 day ago +1298

    What is interesting in this context is that both the inch (2.54 cm) and the feet ( 30.48 cm) are now defined on the basis of SI units (metric).

    • John Undefined
      John Undefined 3 days ago

      @Bjørn Almestad
      I might be a bit more impressed if you re-defined US customary units directly on physical constants and there weren't people saying "see? you practically use metric anyway." But I do believe that the units had their own standardizing physical objects, much like metric did.

    • Bjørn Almestad
      Bjørn Almestad 4 days ago

      @John Undefined Yes, re defined because "the width of the human thumb" may not be the most precise definition.

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 5 days ago

      ​@Okaro: Yes, these folks really don't understand how these measurements had evolved. Even the video showed how the reference meter is wrong, based on the original definition of a meter, because of an error in calculations; plus, the Earth isn't a sphere, and its circumference (polar or equatorial) is never a perfect constant. So scientists settled upon the length of a specific rod made of a special alloy; they tossed out the link to Earth's "constant" circumference. Later, they expressed the meter in wavelength of light. Later still, they redefined the meter once again to a constant multiple of the wavelength of a specific light source.
      If these commenters looked up "International yard and pound" in Wikipedia, they'd get a better grasp of the subject and stop trying to say Metric is "more accurate' than Imperial/Customary.

    • MichaelTB
      MichaelTB 6 days ago

      You mean the foot?

    • Okaro
      Okaro 6 days ago +1

      Actually only the yard is in the convention of international yard and pound from 1959.

  • P. Morgan
    P. Morgan 19 days ago +350

    It's the reverse for me, I am French but studied urban planning in the US and I was always struggling with sqft, yards, acres... always secretly converting them to sqm, meters, hectares... to get a rough idea of what our teachers were talking about 😀

    • P. Morgan
      P. Morgan 10 days ago

      @Huquui 😀

    • Shivta
      Shivta 14 days ago +3

      @Huquui t'façon à partir du moment ou ça concerne pas des armes ou des burgers c'est pas la peine

    • Huquui
      Huquui 14 days ago +17

      Apprendre l'urbanisme aux USA ?
      Pire idée ever ?

    • Shivta
      Shivta 15 days ago +4

      @S Damer ok I guess

    • S Damer
      S Damer 15 days ago +1

      @Shivta Je m'appelle me Poo Poo!!

  • Mr. Grok'N'Roll
    Mr. Grok'N'Roll 8 days ago +173

    As a metric system user, I was always baffled by measurements in US (and some UKI) tv, shows movies and books. And really happily surprised that Star Trek used metric :)

    • Mitch
      Mitch 12 hours ago

      @BeTeK11 10?

      GAME OVER Day ago

      " school buses", " football field"

    • BeTeK11
      BeTeK11 4 days ago +3

      If I'm not wrong but I think us army is using metric system also. For example 10 kliks along the road.

    • Josh Tamargo de Rothschild
      Josh Tamargo de Rothschild 5 days ago +15

      all sciences uses metrics even in Usa.. and that includes the NASA guys .

    • SnowyOwl
      SnowyOwl 5 days ago +15

      I always found it funny when americans on tv were like 'metric units? So impractical, I can't imagine them.' like that's a YOU problem, not the problem of the system.

  • a a
    a a Month ago +4216

    I love the imperial system in medieval RPG's.
    It really gives it a sense of immersion into a primitive society where nothing makes sense.

    • okay
      okay 4 days ago

      @Sigma the metric system is so good even drug dealers use it

    • Martin Pammenter
      Martin Pammenter 4 days ago

      @Eusebius Thunked Well that’s obvious - 0.1 Binary looks much easier as we only have to learn two numbers but how do we count our fingers?😅

    • Martin Pammenter
      Martin Pammenter 4 days ago

      @Lian Vitos Three developing countries? Mr Biden may disagree

    • coresave
      coresave 5 days ago

      @Tom Beebe Nasa's Mars Climate Orbiter has left the chat 💢

    • Pedro Campino
      Pedro Campino 5 days ago

      🤣 harsh 🤣

  • Gustavo Molinari
    Gustavo Molinari 12 days ago +83

    The REAL thing about the International System of Units is that it is built on base ten. EVERYTHING multiplies or divides by ten. So it's really easy and intuitive to use.
    With time you get some interesting things:
    30 cm is a school ruler.
    1 meter is (approximately) the distance of a long pace.
    5 kilometers (5000 meters) is the average distance a person walks in one hour.
    1 liter is the average volume of a milk bottle.
    3 kilograms is the average weight of a newborn baby.
    Salute from Brazil.

    • Otera Ovatsu
      Otera Ovatsu Day ago +1

      @CL_0UD jokes don't have to make... sense...

    • CL_0UD
      CL_0UD Day ago +3

      @Jovet bro even as a joke, you don't male any sense

    • Jovet
      Jovet Day ago +1

      @Rigor Mortis It was a joke 😛 But no one ever uses nanodegrees.

    • Rigor Mortis
      Rigor Mortis 2 days ago +4

      @Jovet °C is NOT an SI unit. But the difference of 1°C and 1K is the same so that makes the conversion easy and these units interchangable in most calculations. Ofc it would be nice to change to K entirely.

    • Jovet
      Jovet 2 days ago

      Oh, I get it now. 23°C is just 230K? I get it!!

  • Andy Amos
    Andy Amos 20 days ago +221

    You are right, the metric system is so logical. I belong to the first UK generation who were taught metric from around 1973, which really meant it only existed in school for most of my childhood! Still, almost 50 years later and working with CAD I really appreciate the decimal simplicity 😁

  • Peter Pagel
    Peter Pagel 2 days ago +6

    I feel the same about the Imperial system - just don't have a feel for it. But I imagine that it's like when learning a foreign language. At first one is permanently translating from one's native language, but after a time this stops. So probably when living in a Metric environment it would be possible to switch from Imperial to Metric and vice versa. Living in a country where everything is Imperial that's virtually impossible.

    RELAXO IRL 21 day ago +97

    I kinda feel you for a long time of my life I have been exposed to US media and those units didn't mean anything to me. I always just asked myself why anyone would want to remember multiple convertion numbers rather than just adjusting the number of zeros.

    • DonMeaker
      DonMeaker 2 days ago

      Of course the volt, ampere, watt, and mile are the same in all units.

    • Jovet
      Jovet 2 days ago +1

      @RELAXO IRL The whole point of this video is explaining that systems of measure are a learned mindset, and if you're used to one system (no matter its flaws), it IS easiest to use that system.

      RELAXO IRL 5 days ago

      @Ken Berkstresser there is no way you have an easier time dividing by twelve then ten, like you may be more used to it because you most likely grew up with it, but dividing by twelve is like dividing by twelve is like dividing by ten and two. And of course you would use teespoon in recipes, but you also could say 28ml. Of course there units that have odd numbers like german math teachers insisting on giving every example for an area as how many football fields would fit in.

    • Ken Berkstresser
      Ken Berkstresser 5 days ago +1

      I personally don’t remember the conversions as equations, I just prefer to understand what each unit feels like in context if that makes sense. It makes much more sense to me to think of a tablespoon as what my spoon looks like full of liquid than a fraction of a cup or multiple of an ounce. I also admittedly don’t have to deal with many conversions in my daily life, because it’s much easier to say, for example, “two and a quarter miles” than “two miles and 1300 feet”. Also for certain things I find using a system in multiples of twelve to be more sensical, especially in my job as a sailor. Drafts and distances make more sense to me in feet and it’s easier to subdivide to the required accuracy in inches.

      RELAXO IRL 5 days ago +6

      @DonMeaker yes but why remember that on top of the equations, it's just another source of error compared to just moving zeros around.

  • jsveiga
    jsveiga 28 days ago +1456

    Hey, as a metric person and engineer, I feel the urge to point out that the official SI abbreviations are case sensitive, so for example from 21:15 on you use "M" instead of "m" for meters, then "KM" instead of "km" (but correctly use "cm", why?). Case is very important, as you don't want to confuse MW (megawatt) with mW (milliwatt) or PV (petavolt) with pV (picovolt)!

    • Robert Harris
      Robert Harris 4 days ago

      @Hans Janko And the Wright brothers were so obsessed by defending their patents that they actually held back American innovation in the air by decades. (This is quite well documented)

    • Hans Janko
      Hans Janko 7 days ago

      @Braxon Electricity was not found by Franklin. It was known long before. The French Charles du Fay dicovered the two poles of electricity, the Dutch Pieter van Musschenbroek was the first to store! electrical power in some kind of a condensator - this was all in the 18th century and long before the world changed to metric systemwhich came later.
      Airplanes - yes and no, there were a lot of other people flying before, but ok, the Wrights were the first to use a motor.

    • Hans Janko
      Hans Janko 7 days ago

      @Braxon you didn't discover electricity, nor cars, nor flying.

    • Carsten Einwort
      Carsten Einwort 14 days ago

      It would help a little to explain that upper case letters make bigger while lower case letters make smaller (sadly the k for Kilo is an exception here).

    • Braxon
      Braxon 18 days ago +2

      @LRed13 First, no one in the U.S. uses the imperial system. That is a British thing.
      Second, American use of custom measurements in daily life obviously don't hinder the fast pace of American technological achievement considering most of the tech you use today was invented by Americans or American companies.
      Third, a minority of people performing the scientific advancement in the country use the system most advantageous to that task, not the heavy lifting. Many people across the country contribute to the success of this country in ways that don't necessarily require easily convertible units, which is one of the reasons that single states in the U.S. have larger economies than many European states.
      Fourth, as I pointed out repeatedly, the metric system is widely used and understood even by the non-academic. You simply refuse to accept that fact because it does not fit your "barbarian America" narrative.
      And fifth, I mostly let it go before but American inventors did not ubiquitously prefer the metric system.
      The reality is that no one disputes that the metric system is a powerful system of measurements that is very effective in precision industries like scientific discovery. The reality is that this apparent obsession with whether the Americans refer to a non-metric system of measurement in their day-to-day discourse in addition to using metric measurements in their scientific discourse is only explainable as an excuse used to rationalize your view of Americans as intellectually inferior to other nations.
      The reality is that average Americans do use mm and cm daily, refer to meters as commonly as they refer to yards, and measure drinks in liters and mm as well as gallons and ounces. You have effectively invented a straw man America to fit your stereo-types and justify your criticism.

  • Miguel Cepeda
    Miguel Cepeda 4 days ago +2

    Working in property insurance all I can say is while I'm sketching, measuring, rebuilding homes in the U.S. I am always bi+$#ing at how backwards and unnecessary complicated the imperial system is. Calculations that take me minutes I would be able to solve instantly in my head if we used the metric system. And what upsets me the most is the horrible defense of the imperial system such as "it's American" or "it's easier than metric because if I need a foot how much is that in metric? " With answers like this it makes it totally clear why we still use the imperial system in the U.S.

  • Christian Krügel
    Christian Krügel 17 days ago +26

    What a great piece of story telling! You kept me sitting on the very edge of my seat. Not knowing were the whole thing will go until the last few minutes. I was constantly trying to guess, what point you will make in the end. As a european citizen I had to adapt to a new currency when the Euro was introduced - it took me years until I finally had the same natural sense about the new currency like I was used to in the old one.

  • Jodi J
    Jodi J 19 hours ago +1

    Something that might have helped the British Commonwealth with the metric switch was the fact they moved to decimal currency at about the same time. If you think imperial measurements is difficult enough, try working with a currency that has 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the Pound.

  • Haus of Krakel
    Haus of Krakel 2 days ago +1

    The interesting thing is that for Print (paper and the like), ISO and ANSI measures are different. Most countries use ISO system (A-C Category Class, 0-10 Numerical Class) aside from about five-to-ten outliers. ISO is metric based where ANSI is imperial based, but the differences are quite minute and A4 compared to US Letter is the exchange of a percentage of an inch (or a few millimetres).

  • Bad Money
    Bad Money Month ago +17215

    Imperial and metric have something in common: They're both incompatible with imperial.

    • trolo jolo
      trolo jolo 12 days ago

      @Rocksparadox From the blocks Another keyboard warrior. Get a life weeb..

    • HungarianGiraffe
      HungarianGiraffe 14 days ago


    • Parson K
      Parson K 14 days ago +1

      @DeusVult1527 the issue is never just measuring something. It is about the conversion in relation to other things. Kg, liter, volume etc.

    • willy mueller
      willy mueller 19 days ago

      Are you talking about imperialism ? 😂

    • K Nguyen
      K Nguyen 22 days ago

      @Solo Performer
      While most nations use the metric system, the US retains, for the most part, its own standardized system, often, and erroneously, referred to as the Imperial system. In truth, the US uses the US Customary System, which was standardized decades before the British Imperial System

  • Dan K
    Dan K 12 days ago +31

    I was born in 81 in the US, and most of my schooling was Metric, and then around Middle school high school everything switched to Imperial. It was very confusing.. I can remember asking my day, a Contractor, how many Centimeters something was, and he quickly had to teach me how to read an imperial Tape measure.

  • phil klop
    phil klop 18 days ago +20

    I understand you 100%, it is impossible for me to measure in feet, miles, pounds, pints, etc. What is surprising is that our French airmen (the metric system comes from France) use the feet as an altitude measurement system, and I think that all airmen in the world do the same thing... except the Russianst to facilitate exchanges with the ground armies. Our sailors use nautical miles which are different from American miles... in short, in France we have a humorous saying: why make it simple when you can make it complicated

    • Arjan Kleene
      Arjan Kleene 5 days ago

      China is an exception where they use meters for altitudes in aviation.

    • dress for the dystopia you want
      dress for the dystopia you want 15 days ago

      As for feet for altitude, I'm not exactly sure why they're used, but my best guess is that it's easier to convert b/c it's 6080 ft vs 1852 km.

    • dress for the dystopia you want
      dress for the dystopia you want 15 days ago +7

      Nautical miles and knots are used instead of kilometers and kmph in maritime and air navigation b/c measuring distance and speed while moving on water or in the air is difficult. The only predictable reference points are the sun, moon, stars, and earth. That's why the nautical mile is pegged to 1/60th of a degree of latitude, so that air and maritime navigators who lose the use of their instruments and/or GPS can still determine their position, speed, and heading.

  • Ron Kelley
    Ron Kelley 2 days ago

    Growing up in the 60s in the UK, I was initially taught Imperial units - including all the weird ones like rods, poles, perches, bushels... But, when I got to about 1970, we started to be taught in metric and SI units and ALL of my secondary education (1971 onwards) was in metric / SI. Yes, socially we might use yards and stones, but apart from speed limits being in mph, just about everything else is metric.

  • Martin Collins
    Martin Collins Day ago

    Some really great points made here. The thing is the metric system is great for science and standardisation however it isn't necessarily fantastic at everyday measurements where precision and/or accuracy is largely irrelevant. I regularly use inches and feet, occasionally used pounds, and sometimes even miles, and ounces or other imperial units. A system of measurement is a tool like any other and it is simply a case of using the appropriate tool for the job that decides which measurement system to use.

  • Hannah Russen
    Hannah Russen 16 days ago +9

    I was born in 1997 and went through the Irish school system. My parents were born in 1951 and 1961 respectively and went through the British school system (one in the UK and one in a British colony). How we measure and weigh things are completely different and while my mum has managed to learn the metric system and can convert the measurements in her head, my dad is a bit hopeless and still works in miles, yards, feet and inches. Consequently, I have a really odd set of measurements that I use, which is a mix of both metric and imperial. I don’t know how to convert between everything though (maths are not my strong suit!), so while my height is in feet and inches, all other length measurements are in metres and centimetres. I bake a lot; all my cake tins, boxes etc I know in inches, but all my recipes are weighed in grams. I have a couple of recipes in pounds and ounces and haven’t bothered to convert them.

  • NewSherwoo
    NewSherwoo 18 days ago +5

    This made me smile, I grew up in the UK as we moved over to the metric system. I remember my first engineering design job - like you everyone in the company could only visualise imperial measures.
    So they used to test me, asking how far away is that? How big is this? As I would intuitively pick the measurement system that was the closest round number fit. For some reason they found this facinating...

  • Pum Pum
    Pum Pum 5 days ago +2

    If you are used to a measuring standard it's really difficult to switch to a different one. For example, in the metric system the unit of measure of power is the Watt, so the power of the engines should be expressed in Watts and kiloWatts, but even in the "metric system world" everybody is stil talking horsepower.
    However changing to a different system is still possible, for everyone. In Europe we adopted a unique currency in 2003, the euro, which replaced the currencies of each country. At the beginning everyone was converting to the old currency, but now nobody does, we learned to measure the prices in euros

  • Arpad Miklos
    Arpad Miklos 16 days ago +2

    Well I grew up with and used the metric system for 40 years, then I've been exposed to the imperial system for 10 years. Zero problems with either and I don't really understand the animosity in the comments. There is no significantly "better" or "more logical" here, both are completely arbitrary systems, although I will say that 10-based metric conversions are somewhat easier to use, that's pretty much it. Then again, what's next, advocating a single, ultra-logical language with no exceptions and calling those that want to speak all the other ones "primitive" "asswipes" and the like? But wait, hasn't that been tried already (esperanto, looking at you), heh...

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 11 days ago

      Yeah, I hated that Esperanto experiment. It's like learning an odd version of Spanish. No comprendo.

  • Anthony Browne
    Anthony Browne Month ago +1462

    I was in high school in Australia when the whole country switched to metric. The text books were imperial one year and metric the next. The thing is they took the same text and changed the measurements. The technical drawing books would say draw a square 52 mm by 52 mm. Every thing I read had conversion factors built in. I was constantly doing conversions for my dad. (Not my mum, she was a pharmacist and was already across the whole metric system). After a while my dad got used to it too, it wasn't that hard.

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 11 days ago

      Now draw a 2" square (50.8 mm * 50.8 mm).

    • Dislob3
      Dislob3 20 days ago

      @Nico Caputto No. Stupid argument. The whole world changed to metric but it would be too hard for The poor little Americans? Booohoooo

    • Dislob3
      Dislob3 20 days ago

      Exactly. The whole thing about not switching to metric is pure misguided pride. Overinflated amerian ego.

    • Philip Shehan
      Philip Shehan Month ago

      @1crazypj I was 12 years old in 1966. The jingle with cartoon character 'dollar bill' was on TV in high rotation in the lead up to conversion day. I remember getting on the school bus that morning and getting shiny new one and two cent coins as change.

    • 1crazypj
      1crazypj Month ago

      @Philip Shehan I was in middle school in 1970 so I guess your 5~10 years older than me. Not sure how or why I particularly remember the cartoon and jingle I saw 52 years ago?

  • Fretless
    Fretless Day ago

    Engineer from the US here. It took me years to get it down, and that's with using the metric system every single day. Want to make your life even more complex? There are times when even global sources use imperial. I work in electronics, and I have clients who use mils more than mm for small measurements on boards. It's a nightmare.

  • The sexy gaming channel
    The sexy gaming channel 16 days ago +1

    As a Canadian where our official unit of measurement is metric and we're even taught that in schools, many of us use a hybrid method of a mix of feet, pounds, meters, cm, liters, ml, Celsius, fahrenheit. This is due our proximity to the u.s, but with the knowledge knowing that the metric system is superior.

  • Mathew Roberts
    Mathew Roberts 4 days ago +2

    This is a debate that I've had with many people. I live in the UK and my Father was bought up on imperial, but in my lifetime you are only taught metric here now. I learnt metric at school while I learnt imperial at home. With so many things in every day life here being in imperial but most knowing the metric system it has left us at a point where when you try to tell a European person your height and you tell them you are 6ft (most people know their height in feet and inches but don't use it for anything else) they ask you to convert it but most people cant. It was nice being taught both and how to properly convert because now I can happily use both and convert on the go as and when its needed.

  • kiwischeisse
    kiwischeisse 13 days ago +6

    I can feel your pain. I lived in Europe when we a lot of us changed our currencies to Euro and for the following years I was converting every price in 'real money'. When I got a handle on that I moved to a totally different place and had to get used to a new currency again. But it works, you get used to it, when you really have to and the new/other system is the only one around. Guess it comes down to the face that some of us are 'changers' who see the good in everything new, just suck it up and move on. Others are the opposite. The fact that really puzzles me is: in a country like the US where EVERYBODY (almost, some have been there a long time before, but even those people made a move to there) has a family history of 'make a change and go there' is so f**king scared of a change. Just dropping a nice idea for a video here? ;-)

  • mikosoft
    mikosoft Month ago +953

    As many many commenters pointed out, yes, you still can teach it not only yourself but also your kids and pretty much anyone.
    But there has to be a country wide switch.
    Same as we, a European country switched from our own currency to Euro. We had a one year transition period where all prices were mandatory double labeled. After that, everybody got used to euro, even my then 70 years old grandma and her friends.
    You just need to DO IT.

    • Bambi
      Bambi 23 days ago

      @Duck 0351 20 years ago inflation was different so no point converting it anymore.

    • Mecanic0_exe
      Mecanic0_exe 25 days ago

      @Narddogg81 impressive answer, you really proved your point

    • Narddogg81
      Narddogg81 25 days ago


    • GIllyMoMo
      GIllyMoMo 25 days ago

      And then they forget the US Military relies heavily on metric. There it's a very half and half world. With as many Canadians that come to the US you would have thought we'd switch by now. Also there are dual signs in Orlando that reflect both imperial and metric. I have a car that allows me to switch between the two and I use metric personally. Honestly it's a very easy switch in the long run (I've been running it for about year now). As is with the US we are stubborn and don't like much to change.

    • Mecanic0_exe
      Mecanic0_exe 25 days ago

      @Duck 0351 a minha avó tem 93 anos e já não faz essa pergunta, o pior é mesmo confundir a palavra euros com escudos e falar do preço das coisas no tempo dos escudos

  • William Stringer
    William Stringer 11 days ago +4

    Back in the day, when things changed from Imperial to Metric, I was already fairly old. Now that I am elderly, my mind's eye still relates to an inch, foot, yard and so on, and so I am severely inconvenienced these days as I cannot automatically envisage these measurements in metric terms. I keep a tape-measure which shows both Imperial and Metric which I use occasionally to gauge what people are talking about. However I am grateful that Sterling currency has changed to metric form. The nightmare of twelve pence to a shilling and twenty shillings to a pound was always an arithmetical problem in the "old days".

  • Martin Pammenter
    Martin Pammenter 4 days ago +1

    Great video and I love reading the comments, some people seem to take it all to heart. I have always been amused that the “imperialists” become “metrics” for small measurements - X 1000s of an inch.

  • Howard Simpson
    Howard Simpson 7 days ago +1

    As a metric and imperial Kiwi ex-colonial, I was brought up on both. But when I see rocket thrust, cargo weights etc in thousands of US pounds, I feel like Johnny. Why not tons? So much easier to imagine.

  • Anatoli Zinin
    Anatoli Zinin 3 days ago

    I've adopted imperial units easily soon after immigrating to Canada. And now I can use both equally without doing that "simple math" you mentioned. So, do not switch, just use metric when it works better for you.

  • Bas Berendse
    Bas Berendse Month ago +9105

    There is a reason why all the standard formulas in science are using the metric system… BECAUSE IT MAKES SENSE 🤣

    • ATMaui
      ATMaui 17 days ago

      @Patrik Floding That's what I meant but yes shifted is a better word than scaled. Technically any conversion is scaled. Just making fun of those who think one conversion is better than the other when neither truly shows true zero like kelvin.

    • Patrik Floding
      Patrik Floding 18 days ago

      @ATMaui "Celsius which is scaled version of Kelvin" It's actually just a shifted value. Not scaled (multiplied). Zero C is 273K. Zero K is -273C.

    • Patrik Floding
      Patrik Floding 18 days ago

      Was that satire? Zero: Water freezes, snow doesn't melt, and so on. Fundamental. 100: Water boils. Fundamental. Logical, and simple.

    • Patrik Floding
      Patrik Floding 18 days ago

      @Dave Monster American scientist use metric.

    • GeoDude
      GeoDude 18 days ago

      @Jürgen Erhard there are but in a sound and complete system you can derive any base unit from a combination of derived units, does that make sense? It’s very useful in mathematics and theoretical physics, doesn’t matter what the metric base units are because they exist in the same system as all the other units and can therefore be derived through simple dimensional analysis, as well as other means.

  • Domi Omi
    Domi Omi 9 days ago +8

    All of us have the same problem with the exchange rates of currencies.. When I was living in Australia I was always trying to convert the Aud in Euro to understand how much I was spending, but suddenly when I started to work and gain Aud, I understood the value of the currency. I think it's just a fact of practice, more you use a system and more you will learn to use that system.

  • NorCal Homestead
    NorCal Homestead 11 days ago +3

    After I seriously got into dieting, I got used to gram measurements when weighing food. Distance measurements in metric will forever escape me and volume is still difficult, but I've got the weight memorized.
    On a funny related note, there's approx 28 grams in an ounce, and I know my multiples of 28 from playing RuneScape since '06. So videogames helped me learn metric, at least partially

  • MrPetzold123
    MrPetzold123 21 day ago +84

    I feel your pain, this kind of conversions are hard. When Finland joined €urozone, it took me a couple of years mentally converting to our old currency...then after a couple of years I realized I didn't do that anymore. As an engineer, I am grateful to those french guys, SI system is so logical, because 1 J = 1 Ws = 1 Nm...it's beautiful.

    • Murgoh
      Murgoh 11 hours ago

      @patrickohooliganpl yes it is, especially in speech, but it's not the official unit. In things like registration documents and legal text it's kW all the way.
      Of course marketing likes horse power as it's a larger numerical value so seems like more.

    • patrickohooliganpl
      patrickohooliganpl 19 hours ago

      @Murgoh Horse Power is actually used as a measurement unit of engine power also in the metric countries.

    • Jovet
      Jovet 2 days ago

      @Lenobia13 It's unofficial as far as the official SI is concerned, but that's what the word means.

    • Lenobia13
      Lenobia13 2 days ago

      @Jovet I didn't know it was written tonne in English

    • Jovet
      Jovet 2 days ago

      @Lenobia13 I tend to assume "ton" is imperial ton (either British or American), and tonne is metric.

  • Jesus Pinto
    Jesus Pinto 3 days ago

    I moved to the US over 20 years ago and it took my brain a few years to fully think in imperial. It is difficult and it will take time, but eventually, you will adapt.

  • Rover Boat
    Rover Boat Month ago +534

    I'm an English carpenter. When I first went to school, we used Imperial units so I know both units. Believe me, metric is SOOOO much easier than Imperial. Nowadays when I watch American joiners or carpenters on RU-clip and they start doing calculations in inches and feet, I just think - hey guys, why not make things easier for yourself and use metric?

    • Wa°
      Wa° 3 days ago

      @Lena Blosfeld Was just adding fuel to the fire 🔥 I actually use metric along with rest of my good brothers and sisters.

    • Lena Blosfeld
      Lena Blosfeld 3 days ago

      @Wa° It's super easy to use fractions with meters too, if you prefer that.

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 5 days ago

      ​@David A. Craven: A US gallon is defined as exactly 231 cubic inches. A cubic foot is 12^3 or 1728 cubic inches. There's the connection. However, those units you cited are typically used to measure different things: I buy a gallon of milk, but dig up a cubic foot of dirt.
      The difference is just a matter of convenience, no different from Angstrom (Å) being used for wavelength measurements over 10^-10 m. We also use Celsius (or Fahrenheit) over Kelvin (or Rankine) for our day-to-day life.
      BTW, even the freezing and boiling points of pure water aren't exactly 0°C and 100°C after refining the definition of absolute zero as exactly -273.15°C. [See Wikipedia's page for "Celsius" and look at its "Key scale relations" table.]

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 5 days ago

      ​@Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla: You fail to realize that there's a definition for the US Customary unit of "cup". It's 8 fluid ounce, which is 1/16 a US gallon. And a stick of butter is 1/2 cup of butter. You can look it up so easily, yet prefer to remain ignorant and complain about it.

    • Rover Boat
      Rover Boat 16 days ago

      @Avram42 Kilogramme in full. One thousand grammes. Metric!

  • Dragos Radu
    Dragos Radu 21 day ago +1

    I live in New Zealand, coming from Romania, as an engineer, I had to deal with metric and inches, funny enough, not feet. A length of tube (pipe) is 6 m, but the diameters are in inches, this is due to the fact that they are made on the old dyes, so I learned to easily convert. Yes, it is easier to talk about a 3 in tube that 76.2 mm tube. Pipe is using the standard DN or Nominal Bore and tube is using the imperial. So, it is a matter of willingness, America will move towards metric system if that will be taught in schools, they will have a double up for a while, as is the case with UK, NZ and maybe Australia, eventually it will come right, but all they need is the will to do it.
    Plumbers are still using the old system, 1/2 in, 5/8 in, but I saw this in Romania as well.

  • Đejs
    Đejs 4 days ago +1

    I laughed my ass off when a friend from England said they measure their dogs weight in kilos, but themselves in stones...how silly is that?

  • blechtic
    blechtic 21 day ago +13

    The metric was taken up in France and Europe because when it was forced in France and they standardized from the 1000 or so (or whatever) regional and traditional units and everyone who traded anything outside their town realized how much sense it made.

  • arskajee
    arskajee 15 days ago +2

    Just so you know, one meter is about one "army step" (the one you see in parades) 20cm is about from tip of thumb to tip of index finger when you stretch it against something.
    They are about as precise as your foot vs standard foot, but at least some reference.

  • Karol Pasiut
    Karol Pasiut Month ago +998

    The trick in getting used to metric is not to start using metric in your head - it's to stop using imperial. And it can be done. It's like learning a new language - at first you're translating everything in your head until eventually something clicks and you just think in a new language. But yeah, probably not feasible to do it alone - you need everybody else doing it to keep you going.

    • bmxscape
      bmxscape 28 days ago

      you think you need to stop speaking a language to learn another language? are you daft?

    • John Robertson
      John Robertson Month ago

      Worked in Australia back in 1966

    • GroundHOG2010
      GroundHOG2010 Month ago +1

      Every person I have met in my country of origin has always used metric, which was always odd to me, given we adopted the metric system around 1970. And when I say everyone, I mean no matter how old, they did almost everything in metric. But given the trick you stated, it makes a lot of sense. They had to stop using imperial because nothing used it anymore and now probably can't.

    • Olivier Nicole
      Olivier Nicole Month ago +1

      Or it is like using a new currency when you are staying abroad, for a while you convert all the prices to your own currency and after a while you only use the local currency.

    • denelson83
      denelson83 Month ago +1

      Unfortunately, in the US, there is too much societal counterpressure to that trick.

  • Gun Engineering
    Gun Engineering 16 days ago

    I dunno man. I have been getting used to the metric system without even trying. I've learned to adopt it right along side imperialism just through dealing with people and problems on an every day basis. To me imperial and metric don't even seem like separate systems of measurement. Both systems require various ways of measuring on their own. So i've learned to just use those methods interchangably and will sometimes keep measurements based on round out. For example, if a measurement comes out to an exact number of meters, i may stick with that in stead of yards. And vice versa. Personally i see value in both systems, though admittedly metric tends to be the most comprehensive, even though it's the one i use least. I think a major reason i use metric less often is because i personally don't like to use decimals and you are less likely to need them in imperial than in metric. Basically, it's a matter of individual preference. The other and greater reason is the obvious fact that my country works mostly on imperial.

  • Isaak
    Isaak 5 days ago +1

    Thank you so much for including the sources. This is just perfect for my school essay and made it so much easier.

  • Tisamon
    Tisamon 15 days ago

    Some additions, another reason why France tried to get rid of the old measurements was that many were based on their king, who they weren't fond of any more. Other things they tried to change were the names of the month and the calendar, these two didn't stick around.
    What also helped with the spread of the metric system in Europe was that Napoleon conquered quite a bit and many smaller territories like City-States or kingdoms wanted his protection so they also adopted many of his policy. Some like the metric system and the Napoleonic Code were later adopted world wide. Because almost every territory had it's own versions of the old measurements. So a foot could would change it's length depending where you were and who ruled there.
    Old cities like Regensburg which still have their old town hall you can see the measurements like foot.
    But imagine been a trader in those times. Everywhere you trade you have to know if a foot is longer or shorter than what you're used to. Wouldn't you embrace a system which made the units no matter where you were the same?

  • Peter Bull
    Peter Bull 3 days ago

    Australia converted to metric system when I was in primary school (year 1-6) since we had been using Imperial before that the exercise books has conversion table of the back, probably so our parent could help with homework. I remember having a good laugh in class just reading out the wacky units. I worked on a ship simulator, like an aircraft simulator but with water rather than air, fluid dynamic rather than aero dynamics, all the maths was done in metric, you want to see the speed in knots just divide the km/h by 1.852. BTW the old units don't just die the get adjusted, in Europe a pound is 500g a bit easier to say then 1/2 kg.

  • Saffy
    Saffy Month ago +5649

    I decided to teach my kid both systems. It was really hard for him to grasp imperial system but metric system was a breeze for him.

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 5 days ago

      ​@kohi_tantan: A foot is 30.48 cm. Using 30 cm is about -1.5755 off.

    • boldCactus
      boldCactus 8 days ago

      kinda weird how so many adult europeans don't get it when American kids can learn both

    • Kusariyaro
      Kusariyaro 19 days ago

      Imagine that!

    • Sandra Lison
      Sandra Lison 28 days ago

      @Simplicity no in Europe we only use metric in education

    • Jürgen Erhard
      Jürgen Erhard Month ago

      @franek 123 No, it's not surprising at all.

  • Bill Kong
    Bill Kong 22 days ago +3

    I grew up metric but learned imperial when I moved to America. It's not quite as good but it's fine. I have independent intuition for both. I bet I can learn any other system of measure too provided there was a good reason to do so.

  • dress for the dystopia you want

    I bought a standing desk recently and it was missing several metric screws. I figured it would be easy enough to find them and I went to Home Depot. The section of SAE (imperial) screws was well organized and laid out. Every packet of screws was in the properly-labeled cubby and all the various combinations of sizes, thread, and head types were stocked. The metric section on the other hand was an absolute mess and the size of screws I needed was missing. I figured it would be easy enough to buy SAE screws that were close to the right metric size, but that strategy was a bust. Ended up having to order the right screws through amazon! I hate imperial units so much 😡

  • Nurlan Sultangaleyev

    I moved to US when was in high school and before that, I always used metric and absolutely didn't understand imperial system. In high school I had a lesson for how to use metric system, and when all my classmates clearly understood metric, I faild that classes just because did not understood imperial.

  • Kęstutis Stugys
    Kęstutis Stugys 21 day ago

    First of all, I'm doing the same thing converting from metric to imperial, because I moved from Lithuania to the UK, and the UK is still often using imperial. A mile is roughly 1.5Km, an inch is about 3cm, etc. To really appreciate the metric system you have to do science, particularly physics. Even more so when you are dealing with interactions between mechanics and electricity. See, electricity is mostly based on SI or metric system. I'm not aware of imperial volt, coulomb, amper, or farad. coulomb is a charge that would affect charged particles with newton force at a meter distance. Ampers are basically coulombs per second, volts are joules per amper, farad is a capacity for coulomb with volt voltage (the more charge you use to charge the same capacitor, the more voltage it would have, and larger capacitors have lower voltage for the same charge). So if you don't measure force in newtons, length in meters, power in vats, energy, and/or work in joules, you will struggle with doing any math involving electricity.

  • Phillip
    Phillip 3 days ago

    I can imagine that it would be an hell of an effort to change to the metric system in the US, watching over from Europe. But it was dumb to choose not to change in the past

  • Mr Grumblebum
    Mr Grumblebum 21 day ago +3

    I'm quite happy using both, for measuring everyday household type lengths I use centimeters, for longer distance lengths I use yards and miles, I fill my car tank by the litre then measure consumption by the gallon, I buy milk and beer by the pint unless the beer is in a bottle when I buy it in millilitres, in incongruities go on and on yet non of this is confusing nor do I find it in any way contradictory. What I do find infuriating is people who write recipes in cups, that's not even a measurement, one said a cup of apple, so how much is that? it entirely depends on how you chop the apple, sliced will be more than cubed and larger cubes will be less than smaller cubes unless you make just one cube to fill the cup, it can't even be accurate to itself so just stop it, use grams use ounces I don't care but use something that will always be the thing no matter how you chop it.

  • Luciano Góes
    Luciano Góes 6 days ago

    When i try to guess measures in imperial units its always confusing to me. I think i could if i got a good exposure to the system.

  • Petr Skupa
    Petr Skupa 18 days ago +2

    As European I
    1) can empathize
    - (it’s weird and difficult to adjust to the alternate systems units)
    2) I still (over some 15 years of watching RU-clip) got accustomed to most imperial measurements except:
    - > Temperature in Fahrenheits (🙄), And depth of seas and Sky in THOUSANDS of feets (instead of few km or few miles ... I cannot conceptualize thousands of units, which unintuitive to me in first place)
    ....> So jusk keep trying ;-) it gets slowly, yet gets better over years

  • Tyler VanProoyen
    Tyler VanProoyen Month ago +932

    I'm a metrologist and we strictly use metric in the lab. I really enjoy it over imperial. Best way to learn metric is having a relational thing to it. Just how it's done with any measurement system. Have objects that are normally a certain size, like 10mm for example. From there it's easy to start understanding how it works.

    • Måns Nilsson
      Måns Nilsson Month ago +2

      @King Starscream RG213 coaxial cable is about 10mm; actually its 10,16mm or .400" -- yes, because when precision is important, imperial goes decimal with the thou...

    • Kevin Cox
      Kevin Cox Month ago

      @Abi Gail Klopt inderdaad, niet aan gedacht.

    • Abi Gail
      Abi Gail Month ago +1

      @Kevin Cox Many highways in Europe have distance markers every 100m. In Dutch they are called "hectometer markers". Also, a common unit of area is the "hectare" which is a hectometer squared.

    • marvin
      marvin Month ago

      Is that like geoscience?

    • Prima_z
      Prima_z Month ago

      @TheOzumat one cm is one cm and only kids are using that

  • Gustavo Mazonave
    Gustavo Mazonave 12 hours ago

    As a pilot from Brazil i had to adapt my thought from km and km/h to Kt (Nautical miles per hour) for speed and feet for altitude. Its not that hard

  • walter cabell
    walter cabell 14 days ago

    I grew up with the metric system, then I spent a few years in the US and could never get used to imperial measurements, found them absolutely nonsensical.

  • MS
    MS 18 days ago +1

    The imperial system still lives even in countries that claim to be fully metric. For example the German "Zoll" (which is 2.54cm, which is 1in), is still used for screen diagonals, trouser lengths and widths, water pipe diameters, and more.

  • Xa Santh
    Xa Santh 15 days ago +2

    it's always odd to learn something disconnected from everydays life... but the thing is: if you want to you always can...
    it's the same with learning new languages... it's freaking hard for a long time until you feel comfortable with it... how long this long time is... well that's depends on how hard you chase your goals
    as for the metric system: it would be way easier to implement it if you always have everything written in both... the weird way and the metric system... over time it get's easier to know out of your head what it is like with a 2nd language... as the metric system is far superiour it will stick... once everyone learns it in school and use it in daily lives as everything has to be noted in both systems
    also once your children have to calculate with both systems he will understand why metric system is so superiour and will more likely to lean to it...

  • CurtisCT
    CurtisCT Month ago +1067

    I also thought I could never use the metric system, that is until I moved to Europe and was forced to get used to it. 20 years later and I can now easily convert to and switch between the two. I have to say though, that the metric system is BY FAR the more superior and logical of the two systems. It makes so much more sense and is just a joy to calculate.

    • Romulo Maia
      Romulo Maia Month ago +2

      @Persun McPersonson Thank you for that, never understood why Pound is Lb, i`m Brazilian so we use the word "Libra" which abbreviates to Lb. , i`ll never accept that Lb. Means Pound, it makes sense in Portuguese tho. Libra = Lb and Onça = Oz in portuguese.

    • Timmy Brolin
      Timmy Brolin Month ago

      @Biriadan no country is exclusively using metric.

    • Biriadan
      Biriadan Month ago

      @Timmy Brolin why do countries that use exclusively metric use kmh for speed limit and have clocks that show minutes and hours instead of kilosdconds and mega seconds?

    • Timmy Brolin
      Timmy Brolin Month ago

      @Biriadan only the second is metric.
      Minutes and hours are not.
      Minutes and hours are not even well defined units of time (due to leap seconds)..

    • Timmy Brolin
      Timmy Brolin Month ago

      @Papa Ice Breaker II a comparable adfition in metric would be 1720 + 2803 mm

  • Pisanarama
    Pisanarama 20 days ago +1

    I have worked in Aviation for the last 34 years and I have no Metric Tools at work. On thousands of Aircraft over the years I have never drilled a Metric Sized Hole. I have never installed a Metric sized fitting. We use Foot Pounds, Inch Pounds , and Inch Ounces. We use measuring equipment down to .0001 of an Inch. All accurate in the extreme.
    I cannot argue the simplicity of the Metric System; I am just not able to visualize the Metric measurment well. The Imperial system does require some Math and thought but it comes very easy to me.
    I do not have a problem with the world speaking 7,000 different languages so please do not bitch if I speak and understand a different measurment system.

  • Tiago Relvão
    Tiago Relvão 22 days ago +8

    During my lifetime I had to adjust to new currencies twice. First euro took over and then I decided to come to the UK. Here I also had to adjust to imperial measurements intertwined with metric. A couple of years later I was fine with miles, feet, pounds and pints but I still have no idea how many pounds are in a stone. If it's in use on a day to day basis, I pick it up quite easily. I'm pretty sure that after couple of years after the US makes the transition everyone will be OK with it.

    • Oahu Hawaii
      Oahu Hawaii 11 days ago

      @Santa: Leftists are full of hate, and always gravitate towards telling lies to spread their hate.

    • Santa
      Santa 18 days ago +3

      @blechtic metric vs imperial isn't a left vs right thing. dont make it so, there's enough divisiveness as is.

    • blechtic
      blechtic 21 day ago +2

      They would be if half the country didn't watch right-wing media who are nuts.

  • rabbit drink
    rabbit drink 20 days ago +5

    fun fact: a long time ago there was 12 ounces to a pound, instead of today where we have 16. this was consistent with the 12 inches to a foot. some british king changed this in the 1600s i think. lots of our technology today still runs on this 1/12 pound ounce, like 12ga shotguns all over the world (bore gauges measure as diameter of 1/x lb lead ball and in old ounces this would be 1oz)
    also could mean we once ran on a base 12 number system, giving us the chance to shift decimal (twelvcimal?) points around, and as always, is not rooted in a subprime giving us more ways to evenly split imperial units.

    • rabbit drink
      rabbit drink 9 days ago

      @romanvampire yeah it do that, economics is funny :)

    • romanvampire
      romanvampire 9 days ago

      you're money likely changed :-D
      cause i once saw a video of how a penny didn't used to be 1/100th of a pound at all :D
      all very forgettable, incredibly complicated for no clear reason whatsoever :D
      wow, i would hated trying to buy anything on trip to england had that shit still been standard :p
      although, we would probably have had some paper or calculators for quick recalculating :)

  • Dobri Dimitrov
    Dobri Dimitrov 8 days ago +1

    As a metric user from birth, I can tell you that we don't magically know how long a meter is.
    For example I know that the high from my belly-button to the ground is ~1m, the distance from my finger tips to my other shoulder is ~1m. the max distance between the tip of the thumb to tip of my little finger is ~20cm ... and so on. We also use physical and body references.

  • Professional Nugget
    Professional Nugget Month ago +855

    As a foreigner, I feel the same way you described at the end of the video about imperial, everything in my everyday life is in metric units, I'm not able to convert imperial units very efficiently bc I learned everything in metric growing up. I understand why metric doesn't really matter for your average American, but it is crucial for people that actually work in scientific fields.

    • Biriadan
      Biriadan 7 days ago

      @Autolykos it was easy in the past but not really anymore. Just type in whatever unit conversion you need into Google and put comes the right answer. And metric isn't free of non-trivial conversions, meters/second to kmh requires multiplication by a non exponent of 10 value, and kmh is used for speed measurements in nearly every country using metric.

    • Autolykos
      Autolykos 7 days ago

      @Biriadan It's pretty easy to screw up conversions between imperial units as well, since the system is a weird hodgepodge of Roman and Anglosaxon units. Between metric, it's basically impossible.
      With rocket engineering, that gave us some rather unintuitive measurements like "specific impulse" in seconds, because that was a unit the American engineers and Von Braun's team could agree on (but it's really ugly in practice once you leave Earth, because you implicitly divide by g).

    • xenotypos
      xenotypos 28 days ago +1

      @Biriadan That's why the makers of the video can, omg, include the conversion. So we don't have to worry about it ourselves (even if, honestly, you should in the US considering how it's used in a wide array of fields, and in school, but ok, I don't really care, just include the conversions in the video and I'm happy).

    • Biriadan
      Biriadan 28 days ago

      @xenotypos it's LBS, pounds. The contraction is short for Libra, a Roman unit of weight.
      And don't worry, most people in the US can't follow videos with C and kg.

    • Sandra Lison
      Sandra Lison 28 days ago

      @xenotypos agrre the same with me. I ignore annoying videos who only use imperial

    YURAN1UM Day ago

    9:45 - „a final meter *at the time*”.
    As for now, every metric unit is based on a physical constant of the universe: like speed of light in vacuum - for the meter, or the Plank constant - for the gram.
    Metric units are as precise as it gets, and together they form a system.
    For example, prefixes in metric are universal across all units, as they are just different multipliers of a ten(which conveniently is a base of a decimal system).
    Whereas imperial units are defined as fractions of metric units and are not related in any sensible way.
    And if amount of foots, or inches in mile are just some random numbers anyway why not replace it by km?
    5280&63360 aren’t any better than 3280&39370.
    That would have been a great first step and after experiencing a glimpse of logic and consistency in units of length, people would have pushed everything else themselves.

  • Gareth White
    Gareth White 16 days ago +7

    It's fine, you don't need to freak out. Just use both!! I build furniture and do floor plans in feet and inches and when I am working on my 3D printer or smaller stuff I use metric. I have different sets of tools for imperial and metric, and most electronic devices can seamlessly convert between them.

  • Logan S
    Logan S 10 days ago +1

    It’s an all or nothing switch, and it’s one that needs to be made. Don’t give up, convince more people.

  • Darwing Ortiz
    Darwing Ortiz 2 days ago +1

    Metric is superior and more precise than standard. If you disagree, it is just because you're use to a system and refuse to abandon your comfort zone.

  • THar Sul
    THar Sul Month ago +416

    Fun fact, the imperial system is actually defined by the metric system, which means that as a matter of technicality, even when using the imperial system, you are using the metric system.

    • AnnaEmilka
      AnnaEmilka 26 days ago

      @Da Spazz it's only easier *for you* because you lived all your life with it. I can easily guesstimate a meter

    • Da Spazz
      Da Spazz 27 days ago +3

      I mean that’s cool. Means y’all shouldn’t complain when I use imperial, Cause I’m using a wonky metric now.
      Sorry a foots easier to guesstimate than a meter. I’m not looking for precision, just for convenience.

    • Stevesculptor
      Stevesculptor 27 days ago +2

      @Mr Artistimo utter folly

    • THar Sul
      THar Sul 27 days ago +1

      @Stevesculptor while i may disagree, i must say, that is a delightful response.

    • Mr Artistimo
      Mr Artistimo 27 days ago +2

      @Stevesculptor It isn’t hogwash. Your units are defined off of metric now.

  • Josh4x4
    Josh4x4 Day ago

    I honestly do exactly the same thing, I estimate as best as a I can, I try and visualize length in fractions of feet or miles and it’s just impossible unless it’s you are immersed in it.

  • Gabriel Benchimol
    Gabriel Benchimol 7 days ago +2

    what’s funny is that in math we learned in elementary school the acronym for metric conversion King (km), Henry (hectometres), Decimetres (Decametres) Mother (metres), Didn’t (Decimetres), Care (centimetres) Much (millimetres) And now i’m learning that King Henry’s body was used for OG imperial measurement system. How about that 😂

  • august r
    august r 16 days ago

    As an Engineer, I will say that I work in S.I. and convert to give converted imperial dimensions to contractors/technicians. It's a step that adds maybe 10 seconds to each dimension, and really destroy an immeasurable amount of time converting crap to talk with my family and friends.

  • Dimitrios Papadopoulos

    Metric comes from the Greek word "μέτρο", meter. It literally means the equal state,the balance,tidness and housekeeping! Everything in order! Now you know what is the primary system, considering that ancient Greek civilization was the cornerstone of the modern world!

  • Marktm00
    Marktm00 Month ago +854

    I remember moving to the US during high school and it scarred me for life how confusing was doing measurements here. Metric makes so much sense 😩

    • GQQ GGQ
      GQQ GGQ Month ago +1

      @babblebob Lived with both systems, and from my experience the metric system makes people "better" at math and usability, since everything is just multiples of 10.

    • WTao
      WTao Month ago +1

      @DevinDTV fahrenheit it's a lot worse than celsius

    • WTao
      WTao Month ago +1

      @Raoul Simon it's totally different asking about a country and any US state

    • laliday
      laliday Month ago +1

      @babblebob That's true. With the metric system, you can easily move from what exists in the immediate life to what exists beyond it. People are better able to comprehend things they don't deal with every day, at least when it comes to units of measurement.

    • DevinDTV
      DevinDTV Month ago +3

      @Marktm00 celsius isn't any better than fahrenheit.

  • A_Cristian S
    A_Cristian S 17 days ago

    Haven't see the full video yet, but my main issue with imperial system, IMHO, is the random multiplication factors between different units of the same measured stuff (12, 8, 3, 1760 --->inch, foot, yard, mile). And I was kind enough to leave weight units outside. On the other hand, the base shouldn't matter in the end in any system. E.g. if a inch would have been 10th of a foot, a yard 10 feet and a mile 1000 yards, I think that would also made a convenient measuring system to be used.

  • UnjustifiedRecs
    UnjustifiedRecs 19 days ago +2

    As a Brit I use both daily. I'm a carpenter so use metric for that all the time, day in, day out. I don't understand imperial especially when you get into micro measurements. BUT absolutely use Miles, feet (for heights of stuff) and pints etc. I think best way is to use both for what you are comfortable with but that defeats the point of standardization

  • Beau The St Dane
    Beau The St Dane 13 days ago

    I was fortunate to have lived in a metric country as a child, so I can generally work in both systems, and metric is so far and away better.

  • Marek Rutkowski
    Marek Rutkowski Day ago

    You know what I'm a Polish engineer, I use the metric system for calculations, projects and ... I also don't know what a meter looks like :) The man has an average height of 1.75 m so just calculating the distance you can imagine a man in winter clothes who is lying down and you check the height to the balls . Seriously, I don't see the point in judging distance - unless you're shooting a gun or a bow (I shoot both). This is useful when specifying values on blueprints. Apart from that, distance estimation is purely intuitive.

  • Krombopulos Michael
    Krombopulos Michael Month ago +736

    I live in Ireland and we made the switch to metric in my lifetime to metric. I can say it takes time to rewire yourself but it isn't impossible. I think the main thing is that, like a language, it is hard to do it if your environment doesn't re-enforce it. I was used to miles and stones and feet but now they are hard for me to understand after so many years of only using the alternative.
    Americans could get used to the metric system but it would have to come from the top down, not just from individuals trying to learn it like a foreign language. It's going to be nearly impossible to think in French without being surrounded by French speakers, and the same way it will be hard to think in metric unless you're actually forced to use it and get frames of reference for it every day.

    • Beef Supreme
      Beef Supreme 21 day ago

      @Eusebius Thunked Enlightened Dozanalist

    • Evandro
      Evandro Month ago


    • Eusebius Thunked
      Eusebius Thunked Month ago +1

      @autohmae SI, not metric. We could as readily use Dozenal, retain most of our traditional units, and gain the advantages of a standard base without the disadvantages of the arbitrary decimal system for both human scale usage and computing binary usage.
      Edit: my point in distinguishing metric from SI is to avoid the decimalization that metric implies. Being a fixed ratio to the vibration of a cesium atom doesn't rely on 10s, just a fixed and standardized base.

    • autohmae
      autohmae Month ago +1

      The funny part is: the official definitions of the imperial system in the US are in metric. So the US is already on metric.

    • Billy Bob Wombat
      Billy Bob Wombat Month ago

      Top down....they'd cry oppression from communist china and start shooting at stuff 🤣

  • Kristopher Noronha
    Kristopher Noronha 8 days ago +1

    interestingly, I've moved from metric India to partly imperial UK. I use metric when anything precise is required, and can intuitively convert between metric and imperial when something imprecise (usually distances on road) are involved. I do hate navigation apps using yards though. I'm not sure how far is 200 yards, I just look out for the turn I nered to take! I'm decent with math though so I guess I'm better off than most people. and if speeds and distances are both in miles, it doesn't matter - you know your speed, you know how long it's going to take to get there! also, thankfully, time is universal (even though it isn't metric - I can live with that!)

  • Tomi Pemaj
    Tomi Pemaj 4 days ago +1

    I'm american and regularly use both. I don't see why people have such a hard time with it. It's not complicated. It honestly doesn't make much of a difference.

  • I R
    I R 6 days ago +1

    in the rest of the world when we meassure things without tools, we simply take steps that are roughly a meter each and count them

  • Space Channel Five
    Space Channel Five 16 days ago

    As a Brit we metricised when I was a kid, but never went full bore on it so there's still some legacy units still being used in specific circumstances.
    Miles are still used because nobody wanted to pay to replace the road signs or the speedos on cars, but shorter distances are pretty much metric now. Pints are still used because of the cultural significance of Beer but Milk has been decimalised for a while. People still use pounds (mass); but it's pretty much shorthand for 0.5KG and really only in food; especially meat such as ground beef / mince (partially to aid in adapting old recipes). One of the old measurements to transistion quickly was temperature because Fahrenheit makes no freaking sense.
    So to sum it up, Brits will always measure Beer in Pints, distance in Miles and velocity in MpH. Miles will probably slowly get deprecated if they redo all of the road signs, but a Pint will always be 568ml and that's the way we likes it.

  • Daniel Figueroa
    Daniel Figueroa Month ago +698

    The worst feeling in my engineering classes is getting test questions using imperial units and having to remeber all these conversions

    • Flopsinator
      Flopsinator Month ago

      @Jürgen Erhard Do they really? I find it hard to imagine that even carpenters can visualise and make use of 1/9th of a yard without using a ruler.

    • Jürgen Erhard
      Jürgen Erhard Month ago

      @Flopsinator " There is a reason people don't use fractions beyond 1/5th " Uh, look up how carpenters (for example) measure stuff in the US. They don't have millimeters. They can't use mils (0.001"), obviously. So… very tiny fractions it is.

    • Jürgen Erhard
      Jürgen Erhard Month ago

      @Steven Farnaby The diameter is measured in metric. It's just that the unit is a multiple of 2.54 cm.

    • Jürgen Erhard
      Jürgen Erhard Month ago

      @Paddington Weird fact: they do use metric. You could call their units "metric by proxy". The inch was "originally" the length of three barleycorns. It is now precisely 25.4 mm. (With the other units of course being, as they always have been, derived from that.)
      But I'm pretty sure you already knew that, so this is for anyone else who didn't. ;-)

    • Jürgen Erhard
      Jürgen Erhard Month ago

      @Holy.Chris There must be a reason the Mars Climate Orbiter -crashed- failed.

  • Alex Anitei
    Alex Anitei 18 hours ago

    Lol, the key to switching to metric is in your last sentences: "everything is in imperial". To switch you cannot do it as an individual. You need to do it as a country. Pass the Metric Act and switch every sign and label, every bit of information whether written or spoken to the metric system. It will hurt for a few weeks or months or years but eventually it will become just as natural as the imperial system.

  • Gary Hayward
    Gary Hayward 11 hours ago

    Ells, a north-west European unit of distance measurement, were equivalent to the cubit. The word "ell" means "arm" and lives on in the word "elbow", meaning the bend, "bow", of the arm.

  • Ty Campbell
    Ty Campbell 6 days ago +1

    As a woodworker in America, I used to hate the metric system, but it is far superior once you get used to it. I use imperial system in my day to day life, but definitely prefer the metric system when working.

  • William King
    William King 2 days ago

    I live in Canada and work in construction and engineering. I use both systems depending on what I am doing. Laying out roads I put a stake every 20m or measuring how far away something is 10km. But hanging drywall it's a 4x8' sheet and studs are 2x6 (they are not 2x6 they are metric) at 16 o/c.

  • Michael Jones
    Michael Jones Month ago +516

    I'm an American expat living in Europe. I decided to take the metric plunge, and started with temperature. I found that if I simply never referenced Fahrenheit and always looked up the temp in Celsius, that before long I intuitively knew what the Celsius degrees felt like. Now I can usually guess the temperature within a degree. For other measurements I found volume the next easiest, then distance. Weight has been the most difficult.

    • Saybro WT
      Saybro WT 22 days ago

      @Silvex I really don't hold onto textbook definitons too much, but look at the actual meaning of it in the context of it being used. For example a feminist by textbook definition is someone who wants equality between the sexes, yet modern day feminists only advocate for female superiority, therefore the te term feminism no longer means what its textbook definition is. Now onto expat: It's a term that only has come into recent *usage* and it is only ever used by immigrants from a Western country to basically say "Well yes, I also am an immigrant but I'm from a rich country so I'm gonna use a term to not be associated with the poor immigrants from third world countries". Also if according to another person immigrant and emmigrant cover all, then there's no need for them term "expat".

    • Mathis
      Mathis 22 days ago

      @Stuntman175 I am aware - that doesn't change the definition of the word expat though.

    • Stuntman175
      Stuntman175 22 days ago

      @Mathis The only language where the word expat exists is in the English language. All other languages use immigrant/emmigrant to describe someone who has either gone to another country. If I go and live in another country, I'm an immigrant, for the people left in my home country, I emigrated to another country.

    • caveman
      caveman 22 days ago

      @Mathis Saybro been real quiet since you dropped this bomb lmao

    • Silvex
      Silvex 22 days ago

      @Saybro WT Holy moly dude, look up the definition of expat. It's the same but Not Permanent and even then, the OP might decide later that they want to live in said country they're staying in. You're being obtuse and a prick.

  • Hector
    Hector 6 days ago +4

    I struggle with learning the imperial system, I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old only knowing the metric system I had a very hard time converting meters into feet but now I embrace the imperial system.

  • Jakobtheonlyone
    Jakobtheonlyone 15 days ago

    And it gets even more complicated when you look to Germany. The Germans in the 1800s redefined their imperial system to be based on the metric system. A pound was now a half of a kilogramm. They also redifined other units. Like the hundredweight as 50 kg and a "doppelzentner", a double hundredweight as 100 kg. I'm from a small town in Germany and we also still use these units, but that has to do with dialects, as about every other town has a different dialect in Germany. When we talk amongst our families (like you talk with your grandma) we don'nt use metric. Everywhere else we use metric.

  • LostMoonRaider
    LostMoonRaider 10 days ago +2

    I’ve had this same realization, its so hard to intuitively grasp something when were not surrounded by it in our environment.

  • Charles Underwood
    Charles Underwood 19 days ago

    The UK has transitioned largely to metric, but some elements of Imperial remain (miles and pints mostly). BUT it couldn't have come too soon. I am a scientist and realise just how stupid it is not using a decimal system. Even in the US everyone who needs accuracy in the US uses metric (scientists, NASA, drug dealers). Thinking back to my school X years ago, we did both systems in parallel and from the first memories of imperial it seemed really stupid.

  • F3nya
    F3nya Month ago +651

    I always found it funny how during my school years (in Estonia) we used rules that always had centimeters on one side and inches on the other and I never knew what those inches are on the other side, no one used them anywhere, but they were still there.

    • M. Xante
      M. Xante Month ago


    • Alex Mihol
      Alex Mihol Month ago

      @popstonia Eestimaa, ma olen nõus.

    • Alex Mihol
      Alex Mihol Month ago +1

      @Mea Dish We do

    • Mea Dish
      Mea Dish Month ago

      @Alex Mihol So the conclusion is that all over the world, we have half useless rulers... wait...?

    • popstonia
      popstonia Month ago

      @Alex Mihol eesti?