Welcome to The STEM Sessions podcast. I am Jarl Cody, your host and narrator.
Several weeks ago, a excerpt from “Wild Thing: A Novel” depicting a humorous comparison between the metric and imperial measurement systems from was posted to the mechanical engineering subreddit.
Paraphrasing the excerpt, it read, in the metric system, one milliliter of water is one cubic centimeter in size, weighs one gram, and one calorie of energy increases its temperature by one degree centigrade. Whereas in the American system, the answer to “how much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water” is “Go f#*% yourself,” because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities.
The comments that followed were mostly in good fun. One correctly pointed out the American system is not the imperial system. Another said if you change water to any other fluid in metric, the answer is also “go f#*% yourself.”
As these online debates go, this one was atypical. It was entertaining and neither side pushed too hard. But the typical metric versus American measurement system debate always turns so dogmatic, which I find silly and pointless. Here’s why.
This is The STEM Sessions Podcast – Episode Two. Cults of Measurement