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On 15/03/07, Bruno Wolff III <[email protected]> wrote:
On Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 10:55:55 +0200,
> All American measurements are of these unusual division. The inch
> itself is 1/12 foot, which is 1/5280 of a mile. Maybe not arbitrary,
> but not very intuitive. The American measurements for weight (is there
> a measuement of mass?), tempurature, and other scalars are no better.

But at least we use weight as weight, not mass as weight like most of the
world. (The MKS unit for weight is Newtons, not Kilograms.)

I'm not certain that is a good thing. Weight is a measurement of
force, but for some reasons Americans talk about it as if it were a
measurement of mass. For example the sentance "I weigh 90 pounds" does
not have enough information to convey any meaning. Rather, the speaker
would have to say "I weigh 90 pounds at or near sea level on Earth". A
better sentance would be "My body causes 90 pounds of force on the
surface supporting me at or near sea level on Earth". Kilograms, as a
unit of mass, are a perfectly fine unit of measurement for saying "I
weigh 90 kilograms". It describes a physical, independant property of
one's body.

Also, who cares how much force one applies on the ground? The group of
people most interested it their weight/mass are dieters, and they need
to measure their mass. Otherwise, they could simply relocate to the
moon and loose a few tens of pounds.

Dotan Cohen


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