Friday, February 6, 2009

The younger generation and their new-fangled measuring systems

Some of my European internet friends have defended the metric system and the euro to me, not on theoretical grounds, but on those of convenience. The older ones are defending it because they remember crossing a border and getting in trouble in a restaurant or store because they hadn't exchanged enough money.

It would be the utmost hypocrisy for me, an American addicted to the convenience of ATMs and 24-hour grocery stores, to deny foreigners similar convenience. Especially since, unlike most Europeans who mostly live in countries only slightly larger than the state I grew up in, I would have to drive for three days* to get to a location where places of business might demand a different currency.

But surely there is a better solution than imposing an artificial currency on multiple nations and depriving them of their proper one. Couldn't restaurants and stores close to borders offer currency exchange as one of their services? Or perhaps European credit cards could pay merchants in different currencies? There must be a better solution, a non-tyrannical one.

The younger ones, those who were born too late to see E.T. in the theater, are defending euros and the metric system because they're used to it and would find it difficult to switch over. However, they expressed sympathy for Americans, trying to grasp measurements other than the ones we grew up with, because they find it difficult to relate to Imperial measures when they need to.

And you see, this is how the changes will be put over: by convenience and by indoctrinating the young. We can protest and reason and resist all we want, but they know that our children have been brainwashed into the new systems and will give in easily. Remember the other day, when I was talking about how the purpose of compulsory education is to deprive parents of control over what their children are taught so that the children can be brainwashed to reject the values, morals and measurement systems of their parents? This is one example. An Englishman of P.G. Wodehouse's generation would have horsewhipped a schoolmaster or governess who taught his offspring the metric system. Today's parents are not permitted to horsewhip their children's teachers, though it should be obvious that horsewhipping one's children's teachers is a basic human right, as well as being necessary for the preservation of standards.

Note: Here, about two minutes in or so, Eddie Izzard describes the American experiment with the metric system.

*For at least 1,100 miles. I have no idea how many kilometers.

No comments: