They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Discussion of the Gold portion of the Permanent Portfolio

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Ad Orientem
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They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by Ad Orientem » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:48 am

A number of the generally accepted standards of weights and measure, including the kilogram, have been redefined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/ ... 0c85c30f2c

It was already confusing enough with 1 kilo = 35.27396195 ounces or 2.20462 lbs. Of course that is the United States Customary or old English Imperial Ounce (16 oz = 1 lb). Gold and silver are measured in Troy which is 12 ozt = 1 lb (imperial).

Ugg...

I have always shied away from anything metric when it comes to gold and silver which I think was a good idea in hindsight.
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Re: They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by Xan » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:00 am

Ad Orientem wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:48 am
A number of the generally accepted standards of weights and measure, including the kilogram, have been redefined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/ ... 0c85c30f2c

It was already confusing enough with 1 kilo = 35.27396195 ounces or 2.20462 lbs. Of course that is the United States Customary or old English Imperial Ounce (16 oz = 1 lb). Gold and silver are measured in Troy which is 12 ozt = 1 lb (imperial).

Ugg...

I have always shied away from anything metric when it comes to gold and silver which I think was a good idea in hindsight.
They haven't changed the weight of the kilogram, for practical purposes: they've just changed the way it's defined. A similar thing happened to the second (unit of time) a long time ago. Instead of our colloquial definition, it's now the amount of time it takes some particular cesium atom to vibrate a certain number of times.

It didn't change the length of the second, it just made it more precisely measurable for high-precision science.

The definition of the kilogram was the amount of mass in a big platinum cylinder in France. That isn't a terribly useful definition. But it's been hard to find a better definition that isn't circular.

What we call a kilogram here in the real world won't change. And the definition of the pound (it's defined in terms of kilograms) won't change either. Just like an inch remained 2.54 centimeters, even after the meter was changed from its original definition of some fraction of the distance between the north pole and the equator to some fraction of the distance that light travels in some fraction of a second.
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Re: They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by dualstow » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 pm

Imperial stuff, like inches and ounces used to make good sense because it was easier for carpenters to divide by 12 and 16. Dividing by 10 gets messy. Hence shillings and pieces of eight and the weird way you say 99 in French instead of neuf-neuf. And "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie."

The metric system makes everything so much easier with its common denominator, but when I go out to eat with friends, I kind of wish our number system was dozenal or base-16.
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Re: They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by dualstow » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:21 pm

By the way, how did they know the metal bar was several micrograms too light? How did they weigh it before they had the Watts thing?
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Re: They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:21 pm

dualstow wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 pm
Imperial stuff, like inches and ounces used to make good sense because it was easier for carpenters to divide by 12 and 16. Dividing by 10 gets messy. Hence shillings and pieces of eight and the weird way you say 99 in French instead of neuf-neuf. And "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie."

The metric system makes everything so much easier with its common denominator, but when I go out to eat with friends, I kind of wish our number system was dozenal or base-16.
I'm not getting how 12 and 16 are easier to divide than 10.
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Re: They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by Xan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:15 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:21 pm
dualstow wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 pm
Imperial stuff, like inches and ounces used to make good sense because it was easier for carpenters to divide by 12 and 16. Dividing by 10 gets messy. Hence shillings and pieces of eight and the weird way you say 99 in French instead of neuf-neuf. And "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie."

The metric system makes everything so much easier with its common denominator, but when I go out to eat with friends, I kind of wish our number system was dozenal or base-16.
I'm not getting how 12 and 16 are easier to divide than 10.
I think he really means divide into. You can divide many more numbers into 12 or 16 than you can 10.
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Re: They just redefined the standard of weights and measures

Post by dualstow » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:21 pm

Sorry, yes. Divide into.
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