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# Thread: Any tricks to thinking in meters than feet

1. Originally Posted by zsas
I'm buying a camera where all distance is done in meters. Well, schooling here standardized on feet. Any tricks any of you used to retrain you mind to evaluate in meters? I am aware of the conversion 3 feet = .91 meter, just currious if there are any "tricks" or things that help get the mind to convert faster?
Don't bother converting. Just learn to think in meters. Or seconds pendula.

2. Originally Posted by Steve Smith
Your nose to the end of your outstretched arm is about a metre. Or fingertip to fingertip of two outstretched arms (both on the same person!) will be about two metres.

Steve.
A seconds pendulum is very close to one meter long from point of suspension to center of oscillation.

3. EvH - True but don't they say when learning a language we always think in our native language then translate? I natively speak English but when I speak to someone in Spanish my mind still thinks in Enlish then gets the word...sí?

My camera will measure in meters (Contax G2) but I'm just looking for pointers to think metric.

I've some great pointers above too!

4. Originally Posted by zsas
EvH - True but don't they say when learning a language we always think in our native language then translate? I natively speak English but when I speak to someone in Spanish my mind still thinks in Enlish then gets the word...sí?

My camera will measure in meters (Contax G2) but I'm just looking for pointers to think metric.

I've some great pointers above too!
When you are using a camera that gives both meters and feet, say an slr, pay attention to the meters scale and some object you are familiar with, so you know what that object looks like at that distance. You'll make the shift easier than you might think. Did you know that the metric system has been legal for trade in the U.S. since 1866?

5. Originally Posted by zsas
EvH - True but don't they say when learning a language we always think in our native language then translate?
I think that you can only really consider yourself fluent in a second language when you can speak it without translating it to your first language in your head. In that case, I'm not quite fluent at French yet!

Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
Did you know that the metric system has been legal for trade in the U.S. since 1866?
But has it ever been used?

Steve.

6. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the US to adopt the metric system back in the 1780s... Would have made life better for many of us...

7. Originally Posted by zsas
EvH - True but don't they say when learning a language we always think in our native language then translate? I natively speak English but when I speak to someone in Spanish my mind still thinks in Enlish then gets the word...sí?
That holds true during the learning stage, but then at some point you become fluent, and there is no longer a need for the translation. Of course, that is, until you stumble on a word you don't know in the second language.

8. Originally Posted by Coffeehound
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the US to adopt the metric system back in the 1780s... Would have made life better for many of us...
That was Jefferson, in 1790.

9. Originally Posted by Steve Smith

But has it ever been used?

Steve.
Yes. Among other applications, General Motors used it on some fasteners in their engines, in the late 1980s. Other fasteners in the same engines were still SAE inch standard; this is true but I will not be surprised if you don't believe it.

10. Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
When you are using a camera that gives both meters and feet, say an slr, pay attention to the meters scale and some object you are familiar with, so you know what that object looks like at that distance. You'll make the shift easier than you might think.
I like that one! I've a SLR that has both. I don't have the G2 yet (which only demarcates what it measures in meters), this is a great hands on way. Why is the most simple sometimes the least obvious...

Thanks all for the pointers! Fun discussion!

If only [edit Jefferson] got his wish, but then again we wouldn't be having this conversation. What I like some much about this conversation is it's the ultimate analog discussion. Seeing the world in numbers, algorithms, etc. neat'o in my book!

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