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  • What does the French Revolution

    法國革命

  • have to do with the time NASA accidentally crashed a $200 million orbiter

    跟美國太空總署在火星表面上意外摧毀了20億的人造衛星有何關聯?

  • into the surface of Mars?

    跟美國太空總署在或火星表面上意外摧毀了20億的人造衛星有何關聯?

  • Actually, everything.

    事實上,

  • That crash happened due to an error

    這場碰撞是由於

  • in converting between two measurement systems,

    兩個度量衡系統的轉換錯誤造成的

  • U.S. customary units

    美國慣用的單位

  • and their S.I, or metric, equivalence.

    和國際單位制或是公制等值

  • So what's the connection to the French Revolution?

    這跟法國革命有何關連呢?

  • Let's explain.

    讓我解釋一下

  • For the majority of recorded human history,

    大多數人類的歷史記載

  • units like the weight of a grain or the length of a hand weren't exact

    糧食的重量或是一支手的長度單位都不準確

  • and varied from place to place.

    還會因環境而改變

  • And different regions didn't just use varying measurements.

    而且不同的地區不只是用不同的度量衡

  • They had completely different number systems as well.

    他們還有完全不同的數字系統

  • By the late Middle Ages, the Hindu-Arabic decimal system

    在中世紀晚期,印度-阿拉伯數字系統

  • mostly replaced Roman numerals and fractions in Europe,

    幾乎取代歐洲的羅馬數字

  • but efforts by scholars like John Wilkins to promote standard decimal-based measures

    學者 John Wilkins致力於推廣十進位的標準單位上

  • were less successful.

    並不是很成功

  • With a quarter million different units in France alone,

    光是法國就有25萬個不同的單位

  • any widespread change would require massive disruption.

    任何規模的改變都會帶來巨大的變動

  • And in 1789, that disruption came.

    在西元1789年那場變動發生了

  • The leaders of the French Revolution didn't just overthrow the monarchy.

    法國革命的領袖不只是推翻了君主政體

  • They sought to completely transform society

    藉由啟發的理性原則,他們想完全改造社會

  • according to the rational principles of the Enlightenment.

    藉由啟發的理性原則,他們想完全改造社會

  • When the new government took power,

    當新政府掌權

  • the Academy of Sciences convened to reform the system of measurements.

    科學研究院便開會改革度量衡系統

  • Old standards based on arbitrary authority or local traditions

    以專制權威及傳統為基礎的舊制

  • were replaced with mathematical and natural relationships.

    被數學及自然界的關係所取代

  • For example, the meter, from the Greek word for measure,

    舉例來說,公尺,來自度量用的希臘文

  • was defined as 1/10,000,000 between the Equator and North Pole.

    被定義為在赤道及北極點中間的一千萬分之一

  • And the new metric system was, in the words of the Marquis de Condorcet,

    而新的公制系統則是來自馬奎斯·孔多塞

  • For all people, for all time.

    對任何時代及任何人來說

  • Standardizing measurements had political advantages

    使度量衡標準化有政治上的優勢

  • for the Revolutionaries as well.

    對改革者來說也是

  • Nobles could no longer manipulate local units to extract more rent from commoners,

    貴族再也無法用當地的單位向平民強取更多的租金,

  • while the government could collect taxes more efficiently.

    而政府收稅也會更有效率

  • And switching to a new Republican Calendar with ten-day weeks

    傳換成新共和政體的一周十天制

  • reduced church power by eliminating Sundays.

    周日的取消降低了教會的權力

  • Adoption of this new system wasn't easy.

    要採納這個新制度並不簡單

  • In fact, it was a bit of a mess.

    事實上,是有點混亂的

  • At first, people used new units alongside old ones,

    首先,人民將新單位跟舊單位混用在一起

  • and the Republican Calendar was eventually abandoned.

    最後共和政體的日曆被廢除

  • When Napoléon Bonaparte took power,

    當拿破崙掌權

  • he allowed small businesses to use traditional measurements

    他允許小規模的貿易可採用被定義為公制的傳統度量衡進行

  • redefined in metric terms.

    他允許小規模的貿易可採用被定義為公制的傳統度量衡進行

  • But the metric system remained standard for formal use,

    但公制保留了正式的標準用途

  • and it spread across the continent, along with France's borders.

    並且橫跨大陸,拓展到法國的邊界

  • While Napoléon's empire lasted eight years,

    而拿破崙帝國持續了八年

  • its legacy endured far longer.

    他的附庸國忍受很久了

  • Some European countries reverted to old measurements upon independence.

    一些歐洲國家恢復舊有的度量衡,緊接著獨立

  • Others realized the value of standardization

    在這國際貿易的時代,其他國家意識到了「標準」的重要性

  • in an age of international trade.

    在這國際貿易的時代,其他國家意識到了「標準」的重要性

  • After Portugal and the Netherlands switched to metric voluntarily,

    葡萄牙和荷蘭也轉換成公制後

  • other nations followed,

    其他國家也紛紛仿效

  • with colonial empires spreading the system around the world.

    殖民帝國將這個系統流傳至全世界

  • As France's main rival,

    身為法國的主要對手

  • Britain had resisted revolutionary ideas and retained its traditional units.

    英國抵制這革命性的潮流並保留傳統的單位

  • But over the next two centuries, the British Empire slowly transitioned,

    但接下來的兩個世紀,英國也慢慢的轉變了

  • first approving the metric system as an optional alternative

    在逐漸使公制變成官方用的單位前

  • before gradually making it offical.

    英國終於允許了公制的流通

  • However, this switch came too late for thirteen former colonies

    但這場改變來得太慢,

  • that had already gained independence.

    有十三個殖民地已經爭取到獨立

  • The United States of America stuck with the English units of its colonial past

    美國維持英國過去殖民的單位

  • and today remains one of only three countries

    至今只有還未全部使用公制的三個國家和美國還保留了這個單位

  • which haven't fully embraced the metric system.

    至今只有還未全部使用公制的三個國家和美國還保留了這個單位

  • Despite constant initiatives for metrication,

    儘管對公制不變的創始精神

  • many Americans consider units like feet and pounds more intuitive.

    許多美國人還是認為尺和磅這類的單位比較好用

  • And ironically, some regard the once revolutionary metric system

    諷刺的是,有些人認為以前革命性的公制系統

  • as a symbol of global conformity.

    是一個全球化的象徵

  • Nevertheless, the metric system is almost universally used in science and medicine,

    然而,公制系統幾乎普遍的運用在科學和醫藥領域

  • and it continues to evolve according to its original principles.

    並且依據最初的原理持續的發展

  • For a long time,

    有很長一段時間,

  • standard units were actually defined by carefully maintained physical prototypes.

    標準單位(英制)其實是視為被仔細保留的物理原型

  • But thanks to improving technology and precision,

    但幸虧不斷進步改良的科技及精準度

  • these objects with limited access and unreliable longevity

    這些限制多又不可靠的東西

  • are now being replaced with standards based on universal constants,

    現在已經被全世界都通用的公制(國際單位制)所取代

  • like the speed of light.

    例如光速

  • Consistent measurements are such an integral part of our daily lives

    一貫的度量衡是我們生活不可或缺的一部分

  • that it's hard to appreciate what a major accomplishment for humanity they've been.

    實在很難去鑑別他們對於人類的重要貢獻

  • And just as it arose from a political revolution,

    如同它從政治革命的出現

  • the metric remains crucial for the scientific revolutions to come.

    公制為科學革命的來臨保留了關鍵重要性

What does the French Revolution

法國革命

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 公制 單位 保留 法國 標準

【TED-Ed】為什麼公制很重要--馬特-安蒂科爾 (【TED-Ed】Why the metric system matters - Matt Anticole)

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    Sh, Gang (Aaron) 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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