October 23, 2006

Measuring EU stupidity

The EU has a metric obsession, everything must be sold in metric and soon only metric.

Why ban supplimental measurements? Perhaps I want to buy cord by the Cubit, and I do since 2 cubits is the perfect length for making a prussik loop (if you don't know what a prussik loop is and why it is important read Touching the Void by Joe Simpson). If I get my 2 cubits and they get 2 cubits worth of money who exactly has lost out from this transaction? Nobody. But if I do not get my 2 cubits and they do not get their 2 cubits worth of money then we have both lost out.

Supplimental measurements increase information and so make trade easier. I want Cubits but you understand Picas (and as every typographer knows there are 210437.71 Picas to the Furlong) then have labels for both and we can conduct our transaction with ease. Having only one or the other exclusively and trade suddenly becomes alot harder. All this directive is is yet another of the EU's non-tarrif barriers, those slippery things that the EU uses to further it's counter productive protectionism making everybody poorer.

This may be an obscure example, but there are plenty of others, and I'm deliberately using some obscure measurements to avoid the whole 'but metric is so much better' arguement which will always come up in talking about metric vs. imperial measurements. Metric is based around base 10, and so is our current numbering system. But that does nothing to change the fact that unless a measuring system is understood it is useless. Having supplimental measurements increases the chance of at least one of them being understood and so is better than any single measuring system.


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