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From Mike Scott <m...@scottsonline.org.uk>
Subject Re: [Calc] Feature request: Change default cell width from 2,27cm to 2,50cm
Date Mon, 04 Jun 2012 13:43:32 GMT
On 04/06/12 13:07, James Knott wrote:
> John Hart wrote:
>> The English system evolved to fit human needs.
>
> The English system was based on things that were convenient at the time,
> but are completely arbitrary, such as foot, barrel etc. Often, units
> with the same name will vary in size, depending on context, such as
> gallon, ounce (volume or weight?), mile, foot, ton etc. The metric

Not arbitrary - just usually "about the right size" for the job in hand. 
As has been noted by others, "the centimetre is an excellent unit; its 
only fault being that it's approximately 2.54 times too small". And a 
gramme is daft for, say, cooking - a kilogramme being too big.

> system is a rational, consistent system based on physical properties and

No way!!! Remind us what the original intent of the metre was - and how 
wrong (and pointless). And the current definition is, well, arbitrary, 
is it not?

And how do entities like the litres and are fit into a "rational" system 
that already has cubic this and square that?

And don't get me going about the "fundamental" unit of weight being the 
kilogramme. Logically - you did say the system was rational, did you 
not? - we should have such abortions as millikilogrammes.

> relationships. Again, if you want to "guestimate" by eye ratios such as
> 1/2, 1/3 etc., it makes no difference which system you use.

Except 10 only has divisors 2 and 5 - can you divide accurately by eye 
into 5? 12 inches to a foot though - and you can divide into 2 or three 
quite readily.


Each to their own. But /please/ don't pretend something is rational when 
it isn't.


-- 
Mike Scott
Harlow, Essex, England

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