9
deadPix3l
119d

semi dev related(later half)
A common and random thought I have:

A lot of units that humans use are either needlessly arbitrary or based on something weird. Like Fahrenheit. That shit is weird! 0°F is the freezing point of a water and salt solution. What a weird fucking thing to use!

But also, I like Fahrenheit more. Probably because it's what I was raised with and switching is tedious (though I'm trying. I'd like to use metric more), but also because one degree F is a smaller, more precise change. You can describe more accuracy without decimals.

On the other hand I prefer metric for length. Centimeters, and centimeters are way more precise and way less confusing than inches and .... 1/8th inches? Who the fuck decided on 1/8ths?!

Which brings me to my common thought:

If you look at a Unix timestamp, you can approximate somewhat when it happened. Knowing the current timestamp and a few reference points you can see RELATIVELY what a epoch stamp translates to. A few days ago, an hr ago, 2014ish.

This leads me to think that if we actually taught from a young age to think in epoch as a unit (not as a replacement to normal date formats but as a secondary at first) that we could just naturally read epoch time in the same manner we read dates like "28/01/2006 14:24:10 UTC"

In your brain you automatically know how old you were when that timestamp happened. What grade/job and where you lived at the time. What season it was. You know how far into the day it was, a little before lunch (or after or whatever, your time zone will vary). Now try with 1138458250. I can usually get roughly the year, and month if I really think about it, but that's it. And it takes much more effort

I'm sure there's other units we could benefit from but epoch is the one that usually brings this to mind for me.

Comments
  • 4
    😐Ive never understood Fahrenheit.

    0'C is Freezing point of water, (32'F)

    Yet 0'F is -17'C but you yanks can't settle for water, you got to make it complex and add salt to your equation 🀷‍♂️
  • 1
    @C0D4 right?! It's a completely stupid and needless measurement! But also it's what I grew up with, so if you said "it's 70° out" I intuitively know what that means and if I need a jacket. I can't so that with celsius.

    In a purely scientific manner, Fahrenheit is absolutely inferior. But it makes much more sense to me. Which leads me to think that anything can make sense if you teach it early enough. Hence epoch.
  • 1
    @deadPix3l epoch isn't that bad though,
    We humans don't read timestamps as an integer but as a date/time.

    See if someone says it's 70' outside, I'm like "how are you still alive?"

    Your 70' is like 20'c which is warm unless it's windy or raining.
  • 3
    @C0D4 πŸ˜‚ see 20' to me is like get a really thick jacket, snow day! Differences in units makes for fun misunderstandings.

    Right. People don't. That's my point. But we could. I know that there's 86400 seconds in a day. So I could probably math it out semi quickly with some paper. So the question is "if you teach it from a young age, could you learn to math it out in your head so intuitively that it's not even math?"

    Some languages actually don't have words for relative direction like left or right. You don't have a left foot. You have a West and East foot. Unless you reorient. This results in just always knowing magnetic north, like a human compass. What other things could we just naturally know if we tried to engrain it early?
  • 2
    @deadPix3l @C0D4 No more dumb units with arbitrary rules. Kelvin it is. Now every statement about Temperatur is absolute. 293.15°K
  • 0
    @p100sch isn't it 273? πŸ˜…
  • 0
    @p100sch well it still is based on something. And absolute zero is a much less useful baseline than freezing point of water for everyday use
  • 0
    @C0D4 I thought we were still at room temperature, 20°C respectively.
  • 0
    @irene yes, Fahrenheit is imperial.

    I like metric better, but I don't use it much because it's foreign to me and everything around me is imperial (damn the US, we need to switch already)

    I only prefer Fahrenheit a tiny bit over Celsius because when rounding to whole numbers only, Fahrenheit provides slightly more precision.

    And while I roughly know those numbers and roughly understand those things, my brain automatically picks Fahrenheit. And I don't really understand intuitively what a Celsius temperature feels like, but more I convert in my head.
  • 0
    @deadPix3l that thing with precision is treacherous. Salt/water solution as a base? Is it saturated solution? Saturated with which temperature? And with what air pressure?

    And better question: what is the measure of 100F? Because, obviously, it's not water boiling temperature :)
  • 0
    Fahrenheit is not 'imperial' (see Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...), it's just that the Fahrenheit scale predates the Celsius scale by a century or so; some countries switched to Celsius while other didn't.

    I grew up with all metric units and one or two remnants of older units, namely pounds (a 'Pfund' in Germany has been redefined to mean 500g—note the 'imperial' pound is about 454g) and 'Zentner' (probably the equivalent to a hundredweight but meaning 100 pounds, i.e. 50kg).

    Furthermore, by way of talking to Americans I got used to expressing my height in feet and inches, my weight in pounds, and the temperature in Fahrenheit, and by way of having lived in Ireland, I know how much a pint is, but otherwise I have no clue how much anything in imperial units really is. Square feet? British or US gallons? Quarts? No fucking idea…
  • 0
    @SomeNone mildly confused because literally the first stat in the sidebar is "unit system: imperial/us customary"

    So.... Yea. Imperial.
  • 0
    Emphasis on 'customary…'
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