Friday, 29 December 2017

avoirdupois or system of a down

The United States of America’s unique status globally as a hold-over on adopting and integrating the metric system of weights and measures cannot be laid at the feet of any historical incident or accident other than familiarity and resistance has become sort of a fount of national pride—with even the most traditional patches of England and her colonies rejecting the Imperial system as an outmoded artefact but it was nonetheless a pleasure to indulge that pirate intrigue had a hand to play in America’s delinquency in adopting the international standard.
A hodgepodge of units inherited from metropolitan Britain and concurrent thalassocracies was vexing the young country’s trade and threatened to intimate certain allegiances and so then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson invited one French scientist behind the development and standardization of the metric system, Joseph Dombey, to come and demonstrate the merits of his enterprise. Storms blew the visit emissary’s boat into the privateer-infested waters of the Caribbean, however, who ransomed Dombey (ransomed him to death—unfortunately) and cared nothing for his baubles—including a metallic rod that was to be America’s standard kilogram, though there’s a movement in place to divorce the value from a physical representative. It is difficult to gauge what consequence that the success of Dombey’s and Jefferson’s mission might have had, as America launched several other campaigns to align themselves with international standards (the USA is in possession of four archival kilograms for calibration purposes) but never managed to overcome the inertia of custom, which is a powerful thing to be sure.