Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Notable Problems in the Metric System

by Matt Bulman

Admittedly, Metric has covered some things well. I’ll give you the metric units for length, mass, time...but what about shoe size? The Metre, Kilogram and Second were innovative, no doubt, however, a consistent unit for shoe measurement we clearly lack.

Might I suggest the “Ped” or the “Pod”, and its definition should render shoe measurements as both precise and accurate. Shoe technicians should be heard to yell, “4 pods high, 6 pods long, 2 pods deep.” Or, perhaps, “2 pods double deep...we’ve got a fatty,” for the obese.

The original base unit for pod is derived from the length of the big toe of Nike Founder Bill Bowerman. This toe, the original pod, will be placed in the Parisian International Museum of Weights and Measures, next to the Kilogram.

Another strength of the Metric system is practicality in the field of science. It kicks the pants off of the Imperial system of weights and measures for precision and accuracy, especially when considering its simplicity to work with quantity using a base of 10. But here is a conundrum: How much better is the Metric system than the Imperial System? 10 Metres? 10 Kilograms? 10 Seconds?

No, the Metric system has once again failed us completely.

Here we must return to a much more primitive system of weights and measures to draw comparison. In fact, we must invoke the work of an American pragmatist, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, in order to find a unit to describe comparative, quantitative “amounts of better” between systems of weights and measures. My extensive research has uncovered the unit,” Ish”, which, when applied to the formula of:

Quantity of betterness = (Number x Ish)x Better/1

will answer any debate stirred up from what Metric lacks.

And, applying Dr. Franklin’s formula of Quantity of Betterness (which, incidentally was originally used during the invention of the bifocal) we can clearly demonstrate that the Metric System is 4ish times better than the Imperial system; Not coincidentally, the International System of weights and measures is only 2ish times better than the Metric System, which is consistent with Newton’s Third Law of diminishing returns in improvements to Future Measures.

The “ish” has applications outside of the realm of comparison (known to scientists as the field of betterness). Though we are lacking a mathematical unification model, it is likely that ish is somehow related to time, as in the oft heard question, “What time will the orgy start?"

Answer, “11ish.”

What about, Magic or how much you hate someone? Could you have 10 metres more magic than your evil wizard nemesis, or have 10 kilograms of hate or love for someone? Unlikely. Clearly, the metric system, if not all of science, has yet again failed us.

In conclusion, the “pod” and the “ish” are two useful units of measure which modern day society can harldly go without. Several areas of magic, hatred,love and betterness lack standardization, as does footwear sizing. While this proposal raises more questions than answers, both the” ish” and the “pod” are put forward as useful solutions. I propose that the next meeting of International Bureau of Weights and Measures consider these matters, and their implications, in the name of science. We will finally answer, in number, how much better we are than our neighbours, and we be able to poke fun at their massive, ugly feet in a much more precise and accurate fashion.

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