Yeah, like you say, vestigial use. I lived in France and old people still go buy a pound of butter at the store there. Even in France ferchrissake! And across the entire world, goofball units are still used to define shoe sizes, clothing, barrel gauges or powder weights in cartridges.
But officially the entire UK is solidly metric, and crucially most people think metric 99% of the time.
Also the mm/dd/yyyy pyramid thing bothers me. There’s no logical reason to do it one way over the other, so that image just assumes that their way is better because they’re the ones doing it, which is a VERY American mindset ironically.
As a side note, I always find it funny when people whinge about this-or-that unit system, but nobody seems particularly bothered by the definitely non-metric system of time units. Metric time is a thing that nobody has adopted anywhere, and I bet anything if I were to give a time in metric time, I’d be jumped by the most ardent metric system zealots on this here board.
The point being, if you’re use to something, it’s as good and fine as anything else.
I totally understand that point. Being a dual-citizen of the US and Canada, I’ve had a ton of experience with both systems. I don’t particularly prefer one over the other, they’re both equally valid systems to use. Sure metric is often a bit less confusing, but does it really matter? Just let people use what they’re used to for god’s sake.
I’ve also always found the time thing strange as well. People always say stuff like “oh America should convert to metric”, but the idea of changing their time system is absolutely insane to them. It doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, it’s just an interesting observation.
The division of time as we know it is very convenient and sticks around mostly because we live on Earth. If we lived in space, the metric time would probably have won out.
Also, the divisibility of 60 makes it very convenient. Base 60 systems have been used by several civilizations in history for that very reason, and I believe it survives in time divisions because if you’re willing to ditch the advantages of base 10 metric, you might as well make it convenient to use.
As for the usage of Imperial in the UK. I haven’t lived there since last millennium, but I have lived in the UK for more than half my life, and certainly in 1999 Imperial was still more than vestigial. Pints were real pints, both beer and milk, a lot of foods were still sold by the pound (or ounce).
Sure things in supermarkets might have been marked in both imperial and metric, but it was hardly vestigial then.
I’m partial to Unix time personally. Somehow I’ve looked at files with Unix timestamps so many times that I kind of have a good idea of when or how long ago they were generated just by looking at the number.
There’s the Epochalypse in 2038, when signed 32-bit second counters will overflow. Fortunately, most Unices have already switched to 64-bit time counters. Also, just like Y2K, it’s just going to be a wet firecracker, the fear of which clever entrepreneurs like yours truly in 1999 will profit handsomely from
Sure: back in the nineties, I worked on DOS-based legacy embedded systems. We engineers all knew Y2K was all but a moot problem at this point. But sensationalist news outlets began hyping this minor problem as a possible apocalyptic event of epic proportions - what with planes falling out of the sky on New Year’s Eve 1999, power plants shutting down and killing premature babies in incubators, and yaba-daba-doo. Back then, the more dire the predictions, the more newspapers sold.
A bunch of friends and I decided to cash in on the scare in our little field. We made a diagnostics floppy disc for DOS-based computers - including Win 95, which was only a graphical interface on top of MS-DOS 7 after all - that simply set the clock to Dec 31, 1999 23:59:59, let the clock pass midnight and read the time back to see if the system reported Jan 1, 2000 or Jan 1, 1900. In the latter case, it would propose to install a TSR to skew the clock 100 years forward and correct the problem.
We whipped up the diagnostics tool and TSR in one evening, spend a couple days devising clever “emergency kit” stickers and hyping it up as the tool you needed to save your data from global catastrophe, and more importantly, ensure that your insurance company would pay out if something happened (because buying our diskette would prove due diligence in face of the problem), etc etc.
We sold the diskette for £50 (and £99 for the “enterprise” version, which also printed a certificate) and we sold thousands of them. We made out like bandits