shameful censoring of mono opposition

Andrew Sayers andrew-ubuntu-devel at
Tue Jun 9 06:50:23 UTC 2009

Christopher Chan wrote:
> These are about 'standards'. Can there really be a technical argument 
> between using say the metric system versus the foot/yard or the ounce/pound?


1) state your technical requirements
2) state the relevant properties of each standard
3) argue about which properties best match which requirements
4) profit

For example:

1) I want a system of measurements that:

* minimises the amount of learning necessary in schools
* is controlled by an international body which represents my interests
* allows easy comparisons between different quantities


Imperial units:
* Older people know Imperial, they can spend the time to teach kids
* Kids who have learnt from (grand)parents needn't learn in school
* Imperial uses multiple words per unit (inch, foot, yard)
* Imperial is controlled by the British government
* Imperial is widely use in places that won't go away (e.g. roads)
* Older people will never know anything but imperial
* You can't make comparisons unless you know what the quantities mean

Metric units:
* Metric only requires knowledge of base 10, except to count time
* Kids already need to learn base 10, and to count time
* Metric uses a single word per unit (metre, litre)
* Metric is controlled by SI
* Because it uses base 10, metric is very easy to compare

3) If we started over from scratch, the benefits of imperial would be 
moot.  But we're not, so moving away from imperial would cause 50+ years 
of difficulty comparing quantities.  But if the move to metric is 
successfully completed, we'll have hundreds or thousands of years of upside.

4) Being an optimist about how much time we've got on this planet, I 
vote metric.  Intelligent people may disagree, especially if they have 
different requirements.  I respect those that disagree, and accept that 
the requirements I've laid out do not necessarily reflect the 
requirements of the Ubuntu project.

Contentious issues can be argued civilly, you just need to be a bit 
careful about it.  When discussing topics that can get religious, please 
consider a premise-reasoning-conclusion model like the above.

     - Andrew

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