# Decimal Time

• posted

Someone was talking about decimal time where the second is shortened by about 15% allowing 100 secs/minute, 100 minutes/hr, 10 hr/day.

I think the utility of this is limited and it would cause a lot of changes in society. We presently have a large number of convenient time increments which would not be so convenient in the new system.

First, the hour would be 2.4 times longer leaving us with no convenient unit about the same length of time as the hour. The closest would be the quad-deci-hour which would be 0.96 old hours. The deci-hour would be pretty convenient about 4% shorter than a quarter hour. The old half hour would now be about a fifth of a new hour, so we could call it a "fifth" which might become confused with a non-metric liquor measure, a fifth of a gallon which has since become 750 ml in metric.

The inconvenience would come from the need to totally recalibrate every type of measurement we use that considers time... speed limits, work days, time zones... Would we extend this change to measurements of angles which often are done in degrees, minutes, seconds?

How would we adjust the work day? Do we go to 3 hour work days which would be about 7.2 old hours? Shift work would have to split hours to get three shifts while some businesses that use two 12 old hour shifts would hum along just fine with 5 new hour shifts. Many businesses opening at 9 AM would now open at 4:00 (I assume we would just count 0 to 9 hours rather than the annoying AM/PM thing), folks would take a lunch break at 5:00 and banks would close around 6:00 while retail would remain open until 9:00 or 9:50 (hmmm, that is still about the same).

The minutes gets pretty whacked gaining 26.4 old seconds. So "give me a minute" becomes a quarter more weighty of a request. The original pulse was conceived to match the human pulse so our normal pulse rate will become 86 bpm instead of 60 bpm.

In science the changes would be enormous. With a redefinition of the second every time related measurement would have to change including many in EE such as capacitance/charge/current, heck, the definition of the gravitational constant and even the speed of light would have to change. Every text book would change and every instrument. This would create so much confusion that we really would need new names for the second, minute and hour.

This could go on all day (the one measurement that doesn't change) with a huge list of changes we will have to make and the many adaptations we as a society would need to accommodate. Then, in the end, we would still have leap years.

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

Anyone old enough may remember when the USA tried to go metric. The people just would not go for it and it was abandoned.

• posted

I don't remember that "people just would not go for it". I don't recall much resistance at all. I think the "resistance" was at other levels. We had a partnership with Canada to change together and had a multi-step program. We completed the first two or three steps and quit. That's why metric is taught today in schools, it was part of step two or three. When we had to take a step that would actually change something (I think it was highway signs) we told Canada to go on without us and we'd catch up later...

*much* later.

I can't believe that even today we still use English units in many engineering fields. Mechanical engineers often use inches and feet. God knows what civil engineers use, probably rods. It was just recently that I learned the acre comes from 160 square rods.

Actually I just looked it up and the acre was defined as 1 chain by 1 furlong while a rod is a quarter of a chain. A chain is 0.1 furlong, so they are all a related system of measurement.

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

Well you and I remember differently. I was involved in the teaching of the metric system to the people of the USA. There was great resistance and money for the project soon got thin. When I studied engineering in the 70's we used the metric system exclusively. We didn't call it SI, it was just the way the scientific community did it.

• posted

Tom Biasi wrote on 8/31/2017 11:13 PM:

What teaching were you involved in? I assume it was companies asking you to educate employees? That is not related to the government. It also has nothing to do with the "resistance" from the average person. No one was overly enthusiastic about it since it was a big change, but people were willing to go with the flow. Mostly they just didn't understand it as there had been only notification that it would happen and the education was only in the schools. I believe it was industry that resisted the change much to our detriment over the decades.

I don't know what you mean about metric not being "SI". I didn't know diddly about metric until I was in college (before the conversion program started) and was taught the SI system. I believe prior to SI there was a metric system that had a few units that were different from today's SI by some powers of 10. CGS and dynes come to mind.

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

It is worthless.

The animal bodies are regulated by the 24h system.

And it would be necessary to redefine the reference second which is now related to the cesiuaam atom.It is the international reference like the meter also related to this atom

• posted

Mpffffff... what is unique about time-keeping as-practiced? It is base-12. Meaning that its 24-hour days are nicely divisible by more prime numbers th an if it were base-10. It also goes nicely with 360 degrees, and such. It i s something that entire world agrees to - one of the very few things.

Esperanto, anyone?

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

• posted

If I may interject: A lot of years ago I was at a party. I was with a small group of people and I brought up the topic of Metric Time. I said it as if I really knew about it and that it was reported on the nightly news by Tom Brokaw the night before. I said the certain part of Canada had all ready switched over.

I said it as a joke but did not say that it was. Everyone was 'oh and 'aw about it and swallowed hook, line and sinker. I walked away from the group and moved else were, snickering all the way.

About 15 minutes later, I got a tap on the shoulder. I turned and faced a guy that was in that previous group. He had a serious look of embarrassment and irritation. He said "Metric Time?? Really??" I just smiled and said "Got Cha". And we had a good laugh.

Actually still laughing today. Since this post put me back to the a very funny moment in time.

Thanks for the memories.

Les

• posted

During the time of the pyramids and pharaohs, the Egyptian calendar had 5 days "out of time" at the beginning of the year, then 12 months of 30 days each.

That still makes more sense than what we do now.

• posted

If we did that now, the politicians will call those tax-free days, with the remainder being taxed at 100%.

• posted

Something like the 0 and 00 on American Roulette wheels?

Keep in mind that the 'modern' calendar was the creation of a religious ins titution to keep the calendar from 'slipping' and entirely for religious pu rposes. Islam uses a lunar calendar and slips by about 10 days each year. T his is most significant during Ramadan, when fasting is from sunrise to sun set. Makes things a bit hard the further north (or south) one goes when Ram adan falls in the local summer time. But, several other groups, including B uddhists and others use calendars apart from the Gregorian calendar - no su rprise there at all.

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

• posted

I gave you my experience and you disagree. That's it. Here is a cut from a Wiki article of which seems to be my experience also.

"The U.S. Metric Study recommended that the United States implement a carefully planned transition to the principal use of the metric system over a decade. Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 "to coordinate and plan the increasing use of the metric system in the United States". Voluntary conversion was initiated, and the United States Metric Board (USMB) was established for planning, coordination, and public education. The public education component led to public awareness of the metric system, but the public response included resistance, apathy, and sometimes ridicule."

• posted

Look165 wrote on 9/1/2017 4:28 AM:

Not sure what you are talking about. Animal rhythms are related to a daily cycle, it has nothing to do with "hours".

The second is defined as vibrations of the cesium atom in the same way the yard is defined in feet. If we wish to change the definition of the yard to four feet we do that and are done. Likewise we can change the definition of the second in the same way to a different number of vibrations of the cesium atom.

Has anyone pointed out that top posting is hard to reply to?

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote on 9/1/2017 7:08 AM:

Instead of redefining time measures, we should use base 12 for our day to day computations? That might actually be less work.

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

You didn't answer the question about what teaching you did exactly. I don't know what "That's it" means.

I will rephrase my statement. The resistance to metric was less than the resistance we have to our current President. No one marched in the streets. No one filed actions with the Supreme Court. Yeah, people were people and we had some editorials and a few indicated they had no reason to change, such as the machine shop I worked with at the time. But they eventually acquired metric capability anyway.

The "apathy" was the largest component of the response to changing to the metric system by far. If the government had stayed the course we would have been converted long ago and all the pain would be behind us.

I wonder why the wikipedia quote doesn't mention the fact that we did the conversion in cooperation with Canada? Because wikipedia sucks and often is not 100% accurate. Never use them for any disputed point without looking at the references.

From the Popular Science web site, "A Gallup poll at the time showed that

45 percent of Americans opposed the switch." That means less than half!

Here is a better reference... from NIST.

While the Congressional study recommended a coordinated conversion over a ten year period, Congress made the actual conversion voluntary. Consistent with the "apathy" part of your statement above, the efforts of the Metric Board were much ignored and the board was dissolved.

Today metric is a much larger part of our lives and I believe a conversion would not be resisted and in fact, welcomed by a much larger percentage of the population. Anyone who works on cars has both types of tools. Measuring sticks and tapes often are marked in both systems. Goods on store shelves are already marked in both systems. We are presently primed for the conversion.

There is some irony in a personal anecdote. I was a contractor with the Federal government and had to fill out forms justifying buying something that wasn't measured in metric. The crusty old government employee who oversaw purchasing didn't want to risk his pension so *everything* we bought had to have this document. I ordered a board that *was* metric so I didn't fill in the form and my PR was rejected. When I explained to him the board was metric he didn't believe you could buy anything in the US that *was* metric!!! This was in the 90's.

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

On Friday, September 1, 2017 at 10:36:59 AM UTC-4, rickman wrote: =

That would instantly remove (at least) 35% of Americans from the computational pool. Without 12 fingers, they would be entirely lost.

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

• posted

I posted this here because I figured the most resistance would come from a community that has a large interest in keeping things the same. So far no one has said much about the impact on repair.

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```
• posted

Hence the indirect reference to that 35% of Americans who are unable to compute without their fingers. Not only do they want things to stay the same, but they would very much like to roll back the clock by about a century, or two.

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

• posted

To answer your question I taught classes to the public under guidelines from the United States Metric Board (USMB) in 1975. I don't see why you needed to bring in the President, I don't wish a political discussion.

• posted

I have no idea what you are talking about. Where did I mention the President?

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Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms, ```

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