Commentary: Metric Mayhem
Practically the entire world uses the metric system. Is it time for the United States to follow suit?
- By Michael Milstein
- Air & Space magazine, March 2001
(Page 3 of 3)
A few years back, the late Brian Welch, head of NASA’s news operations, issued a directive saying the agency would use inches and pounds in news releases because that’s what the public and the press understand. He was deluged with critical e-mail from metricationists. “I did not think it was our job to unilaterally drag the American public into the metric system,” he recalled.
That may be, but doing nothing is almost always the easiest way to go. And as long as we can do nothing, we probably will. We’re so used to everyone else adapting to our ways, we may simply have forgotten how to adapt ourselves. Oh, that spacecraft orbiting the asteroid? Listen up, editors: It circled 62.1 miles from the rock and then descended to a 31.05-mile orbit.
At least I think that’s right…