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  • Cheddar's YouTube comments are full of people asking: What's wrong with you?

    我們 Cheddar 頻道 YouTube 影片下總是有許多人問:你們到底是有什麼毛病?

  • Why are these people so self-centered? Go metric already, what are you waiting for?

    這些人為什麼這麼自我啊?趕快改用公制單位啦,你們到底在等什麼?

  • The reason Americans don't use the metric system is a saga spanning over 200 years, with a twist ending.

    美國人之所以不用公制系統的故事持續了將近 200 年,並在最後有個反轉性的結局。

  • Technically, America is a metric country. Americans just don't know it.

    技術上來說,美國其實是個公制國家,只是美國人不知道而已。

  • Our saga begins during the French Revolution, the goal of which was to overthrow the French monarchy, and bring about a more enlightened and rational society.

    我們的故事要從法國大革命開始講起,而這個革命的目的是要推翻法國王室,並帶來一個更加開明且理性的社會。

  • That included replacing Idiosyncratic, traditional measurements with a decimal based system.

    這其中包括將奇怪的傳統測量方式,用一個以10做為進位基底的數字系統取代。

  • The metric system standardized everything, and made commerce, trade, and collecting taxes easier.

    公制系統將所有事物都標準化,並讓商業、貿易與收稅更加容易。

  • During this time, the United States was ripe for metrication. Francophile Thomas Jefferson was secretary of state, and enlightenment sympathetic George Washington was the President.

    在此期間,美國也準備好迎接公制化了。崇法派的湯瑪士·傑佛遜時任美國國務卿,而對開明思想抱持同感的喬治·華盛頓則是總統。

  • Jefferson championed decimal based system of weights and measures, and was hoping to convert the US to just such a system.

    傑佛遜支持以十進位系統來衡量重量與度量衡,並希望能使美國轉變為使用這樣的系統。

  • In 1793, France sent botanist and aristocrat, Joseph Dombi, with a meter long rod and a one kilogram copper cylinder, to demonstrate the system for Jefferson in the US.

    1793 年時,法國派遣了貴族植物學家 Joseph Dombi,帶著一條一公尺長的長條與一顆一公斤重的銅製圓柱體來向身處美國的傑佛遜展示公制系統。

  • But his ship was blown off course by a storm. He was captured by British privateers, who looted his stuff and tossed him in prison, where he died.

    然而他的船因為一場暴風雨而被吹離了航道。他被英國私掠者們給抓獲,身上的貨物被搜刮一空後丟進大牢,並在當地死去。

  • And congress wasn't ready to act on metric just yet.

    而國會當時也還沒準備好推行公制。

  • It wasn't clear if the metric system would even survive in France, thanks to political upheavals and fallout from Napoleon's rise and fall.

    公制當時能不能在法國存活下來都還是未知數,因為拿破崙的興起與衰落導致了政治上的動盪不安。

  • And besides, our main trading partner, Great Britain, still used inches and pound.

    除此之外,美國當時的主要貿易夥伴:大英帝國仍在使用英吋與磅。

  • By the middle of the 1800's, the French were really promoting the metric system, with an eye toward making international trade more efficient and profitable.

    到了十九世紀中葉,法國人鐵了心要推行公制系統,目標是讓國際貿易變得更加有效率且有利可圖。

  • So, in 1875, the United States was one of 17 signatories to the Treaty of the Meter.

    於是到了 1875 年時,美國成為了簽署《米制公約》的 17 個國家之一。

  • We might have signed the treaty, but there was no way we were switching to metric.

    我們或許簽署了公約,但絕不可能就此轉移到公制去。

  • This came right after America's massive industrial buildup and westward expansion.

    這個時間點正是美國開始大規模工業化,並且朝西部拓展的時代。

  • We'd just built a lot of infrastructure. Powerful industrialists blocked attempts at metricating.

    我們才剛建造了大量的基礎設施。強大的工業家們阻擋了公制化的進程。

  • They argued that the cost of replacing all of their equipment would be prohibitively expensive, and if they were forced to convert, it would damage American industry.

    他們爭論說若是要將所有的設備取代為公制樣式,成本將會高昂得無可比擬,而如果他們被迫要轉換,將會傷害到美國整體的工業。

  • Still, the US Government kept quietly inching towards metric, officially recognizing the meter and the kilogram as the fundamental standards of length and mass.

    儘管如此,美國政府仍在悄悄地慢慢轉換至公制,並在官方上承認公尺與公斤是長度與質量的最基礎標準。

  • So, technically, our yard, our pound, our inch have all been officially defined relative to the meter, and the kilogram.

    因此,從技術上來說,我們的碼、磅、英吋,在官方上來說都能夠以公尺與公斤來相對衡量。

  • By the mid 1900's, the metric system really took off, as the world's economies became more globalized.

    到了二十世紀中,公制系統隨著世界經濟變得越加國際化而開始興起。

  • The UK metricated in 1965 so that they could do more trade with the European Common Market, and the United States was part of this general trend towards metric.

    英國在 1965 公制化,讓他們能夠與歐洲共同市場進行更多的貿易,而美國也身處在這個朝向公制的潮流中。

  • In 1971, Congress published a report not so subtly titled "A Metric America: A Decision Whose Time Has Come", which recommended the US go metric within the next 10 years.

    1971 年時,國會發布了一個標題直截了當的報告:「公制美國:一個總算時機已至的決策」來建議美國在接下來的 10 年來轉變為使用公制。

  • But by the time the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 hit President Gerald Ford's desk, it was a toothless bill that said metrication was encouraged, but voluntary.

    但到了 1975 年公制轉換法案被送到傑拉德·福特總統的桌上時,這個法案已經名存實亡,只表示鼓勵進行公制化,而非強制進行。

  • Polls from this time show that Americans were fairly anti-metric.

    此時的民調顯示美國人相當反對公制。

  • Meanwhile, the most American of American businesses saw the economic benefits of switching.

    於此同時,那些最能代表美國的各家公司們卻紛紛從轉換中得到了經濟上的好處。

  • DuPont, Caterpillar, Ford, IBM, GM, John Deere, and Xerox were all on their way to metric, before the Metric Conversion Act of 1975.

    杜邦、開拓重工、福特、IBM、通用汽車、強鹿與全錄都在 1975 年公制轉換法案出現之前就已經開始轉被轉換至公制了。

  • The process was easier, cost less, and saved more than the company's estimated.

    整個流程更加輕鬆,成本更低,省下的錢比公司預期的還更多。

  • Before metrication, GM had over 900 fan belts of various sizes in their supply chain.

    在公制化之前,GM 的供應鏈上有著 900 種不同尺寸的風扇皮帶。

  • After metrication, they only needed 100 sizes, and that reduced the cost of warehousing all their parts.

    在公制化之後,他們只需要 100 種尺寸即可,而這降低了儲存他們所有零件的倉儲成本。

  • Not only did they recoup their conversion costs, they realized a profit.

    他們不但彌補了轉換成本,更達成了獲利。

  • Caterpillar said their switch to metrics saved them millions of dollars.

    開拓重工表示轉換至公制讓他們省下了數百萬美元。

  • All of these companies managed the changeover by starting with new product designs.

    這些公司都藉由設計新的產品來調適整個轉換過程。

  • Designers and engineers made the switch first, then people in the manufacturing floor, then the sales and field technicians.

    設計師和工程師們會先進行轉換,接著輪到生產部門的人們,然後再到銷售人員與現場技師。

  • They used incremental training programs that GM summed up like this: "Teach only those who need to know, only what they need to know, and only when they need to know it."

    他們使用了逐步的訓練計畫,而通用汽車則將整個原則簡述為:「只教導那些需要知道的人他們真正需要知道的部分,並在他們真的需要知道的時後再教導就好。」

  • And that's the approach companies have taken with consumers.

    而這也是公司們在面對消費者時所使用的方法。

  • The stuff we buy from multinational companies is designed and produced to metric specifications from your toothpaste to your car, even if it ends up with US customary units on the label.

    我們從多國公司手上購得的商品皆是以公制規格設計並製作,從牙膏到汽車皆然,就算最後標籤上寫的是美式英制單位也一樣。

  • But living half in one world and half in the other, has been costing us. Perhaps, most infamously, there's the time that NASA crashed an orbiter into Mars.

    但這樣各取一半的方式是有代價的。其中最為人所熟知的,可能是美國太空總署 NASA 將一台探測太空船撞進火星的事件。

  • The Mars Climate Orbiter reported its thrust of firings in metric Newtons while Ground Control systems used pounds,

    火星氣候探測者號上已公制單位的牛頓來表示推進器的推力,而地面的控制中心使用的則是磅,

  • resulting in a navigation error enough to send the 125 million dollar orbiter crashing through the Martian atmosphere.

    結果導致了導航錯誤,並把這台要價 1 億 2500 萬美元的探測器直直撞進了火星大氣層中。

  • Today, the metric movement in the US is still creeping along.

    直到今日,公制轉化運動仍在美國悄悄地進行著。

  • Here's a bold embrace of internationalism. - This happened in 2015.

    這是對國際主義的大膽懷抱。 - 這發生在 2015 年。

  • Let's join the rest of the world, and go metric. - He got laughed at, but still.

    讓我們加入世界的行列,使用公制吧。 - 他後來被笑了,但還是算數吧。

  • Hawaii and Oregon both introduced metrication bills. They died in committee, but still.

    夏威夷和奧勒岡州都曾經出現過公制化的法案。它們後來在委員會中難產了,但還是算數吧。

  • Metrication experts say, the US is situated along a metric spectrum, and were more metric than we realize.

    公制化專家表示,美國其實位在公制的區間當中,而且其實比我們以為的更加廣泛使用公制。

  • Our food labels and pharmaceuticals. I guess for that matter street drugs, our drug dealers sell cocaine in grams!

    例如在我們的食物標籤和成藥上。我猜要說的話非法藥品也算吧,畢竟我們的毒販們都是以公克在賣古柯鹼的!

  • We're likely to continue this slow, but steady creep towards full metric.

    我們可能會繼續這個緩慢但穩定的轉換過程,直到完全使用公制為止。

  • The TLDR, our government agencies, and big companies switched when it made economic sense,

    名字太長的偉人們、我們的政府機關以及大公司們都在經濟上說得過去時轉換,

  • but individuals in their daily lives didn't have a strong enough incentive for going to all the trouble. So, they didn't.

    但對於一般老百姓來說,並沒有夠多的誘因來讓他們非得經歷麻煩的轉換過程不可。於是他們便不轉換了。

  • Obviously, this is a quick version of a really long story.

    很顯然這只是一段非常漫長歷史的快速簡短版本。

  • So, if you want to nerd out, there's a really detailed and surprisingly readable history of the US journey towards metric,

    所以如果你想要發揮阿宅精神多做鑽研,有一本專門講解美國轉換至公制的歷史書籍,內容詳盡且出乎意料好讀,

  • written in 1971, from the National Bureau of Standards and the US Commerce Department.

    由美國國家標準局與美國商業部於 1971 年編寫而成。

  • Thanks for watching. Hit the comments section to defend the US customary system or argue passionately for the metric system.

    感謝收看。快前往評論區為美式英制單位系統辯護,或是激情地為公制系統聲援吧。

  • Then smash or gently tap the Like button, subscribe, and if you really want to go the extra mile or a kilometer, hit the bell icon to get notified, when we put out new videos. See you next time.

    然後大力拍下或輕輕按下喜歡按鈕、訂閱,然後如果你真的想要多進一步,千英里/公里之行始於足下,按下小鈴鐺來在我們推出新影片時獲取通知。下次再見囉。

Cheddar's YouTube comments are full of people asking: What's wrong with you?

我們 Cheddar 頻道 YouTube 影片下總是有許多人問:你們到底是有什麼毛病?

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