1643: "Degrees"

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1643: "Degrees"

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:49 pm UTC

Image
"Radians Fahrenheit or radians Celsius" "Uh, sorry, gotta go!"


My preferred solution: live somewhere where it's -40 degrees all the time.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:52 pm UTC

I still don't get the rounding thing, why not use a unit with a useful granulation to begin with? You can just round to the whole number...

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ebow » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:56 pm UTC

550 gradians Rankine?

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby sotanaht » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:02 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I still don't get the rounding thing, why not use a unit with a useful granulation to begin with? You can just round to the whole number...


So are you proposing a system of °C*3?

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:08 pm UTC

There's shades of the "what <foo> variety of <non-foo> are you?" to the title text.

The one I hear most often is the affirmed atheist/Buddhist/Sikh/etc visiting Belfast (a particular hotbed of Protestant/Catholic tensions) and being asked if they're a Protestant <whatever> or a Catholic <whatever>, by people who know only one or the other (and often don't look too kindly on 'the other').

As to temperature scale, we should all switch to the Delisle measure:
"Better put your scarf and gloves on, it's nearly 150°D!"
"I really need that iced drink, it's about 100°D out there..."


(So is Cueball saying it's a tad under 10 degrees-whatever (probably Celsius), pre-conversion? Does someone want to check a weather site for where Randall is assumed to be at the moment/the last few days?)
Last edited by Soupspoon on Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:10 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:The one I hear most often is the affirmed atheist/Buddhist/Sikh/etc visiting Belfast (a particular hotbed of Protestant/Catholic tensions) and being asked if they're a Protestant <whatever> or a Catholic <whatever>, by people who know only one or the other (and often don't look too kindly on 'the other').


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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

If our tabloid newspapers are to believed, in the UK we use Celsius in the winter ("UK TO BE HIT BY SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES!!1!1") and Fahrenheit in the summer ("100 DEGREE HEATWAVE ON ITS WAY!!!1!1!")...
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ebow » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:16 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I still don't get the rounding thing, why not use a unit with a useful granulation to begin with? You can just round to the whole number...


I find Fahrenheit's granulation pretty useful. There's very little need to use decimals--whole numbers provide enough precision for typical usage--and if you lop off the ones place (50s, 60, 70s) you can represent a clothing / comfort range pretty well.

Plus, Fahrenheit was made for me! I'm a white, middle-class, European-stock guy living in a temperate zone. Almost my whole life's in the 0-100 range.</joke>

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ebow » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:18 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(So is Cueball saying it's a tad under 10 degrees-whatever (probably Celsius), pre-conversion? Does someone want to check a weather site for where Randall is assumed to be at the moment/the last few days?)


Assuming he's still in Massachusetts, we've had record low temps the last couple of days -10F or so overnight, single digits (F) for the high yesterday.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby scharb » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:24 pm UTC

Celsius would be a lot better if 360º, not 100º, were the temperature of boiling water at sea level. The decimal base really isn't necessary.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Showsni » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:28 pm UTC

Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby The Moomin » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:30 pm UTC

I assume one radian is the unit of heat generated by one standard radiator?
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Falanwe » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:33 pm UTC

That makes me glad to be European. I only get to choose between °C (which everyone understands well around here) and K (which are very very pedantic, but so sweet!).

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:34 pm UTC

Since we don't have nearly enough competing standards, I'd like to propose my own, the Pilchard.

Absolute zero = 0 Pl
Triple point of water = 1 Pl

<1000 mPl - freezing (<0 C, <32 F)
1000-1040 mPl - cold (0-10.9 C, 32-51.7 F)
1040-1080 mPl - warm (10.9-21.8 C, 51.7-71.3 F)
1080-1120 mPl - hot (21.8-32.8 C, 71.3-91 F)
>1120 mPl - very hot (>32.8 C, >91 F)

Scientific *and* (barely) practical! :)
Last edited by CharlieP on Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:50 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:41 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!


In today's world of computing, let's just use the Binary-based angle (sometimes anomalously known as the Binary 'Radian', or "brad") that is 1/256th of a full turn. (If single-byte integer precision isn't good enough, an enforced-ceilinged version of a float could be employed, or else just use a double-byte/word store of 256nths of a circle, as a division, for the appropriate n...)

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Flumble » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:58 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!

If you want an angle revolution at all, make the new standard 1 revolution. Any equal division of a full circle simply becomes a fraction and conversion to either radians (multiply by τ, which you never calculate in your head anyway) or old-fashioned degrees (multiply by 360; might be a bit tricky in your head) or gradients (just don't) is trivial.

And, since you're in the realm of fantasy already, also make duodecimal base the standard, so you can easily tell whether an angle is acute (0.0..,0.1..,0.2..), right (=0.3), oblique (0.3..,0.4..,0.5..) or straight (0.6) from their positional notation.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!



Luddite! π is completely deprecated in favor of τ
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby HES » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:20 pm UTC

It does make sense that temperature is related to pie. Of course, you still have to deal with the conversion between conventional and fan ovens.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby airdrik » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:28 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!

If you want an angle revolution at all, make the new standard 1 revolution. Any equal division of a full circle simply becomes a fraction and conversion to either radians (multiply by τ, which you never calculate in your head anyway) or old-fashioned degrees (multiply by 360; might be a bit tricky in your head) or gradients (just don't) is trivial.

And, since you're in the realm of fantasy already, also make duodecimal base the standard, so you can easily tell whether an angle is acute (0.0..,0.1..,0.2..), right (=0.3), oblique (0.3..,0.4..,0.5..) or straight (0.6) from their positional notation.


Radians are really only useful when either measuring arc-lengths as ratios of the radius, or when multiplied by π or τ. Degrees has a couple of minor benefits for every-day usage: 90° angle is pretty ubiquitously known to be a right angle (with similar for common usage of 180° turn, 360°, etc.), and many other common angles resolve to whole or nearly whole degree values (45° for the common diagonal on a square grid or a right isosceles triangle, 60° for the angles on an equilateral triangle and 30° when that is cut in half).

I do like Flumble's idea of using a simple ratio of a whole circle (and using the duodecimal base would make conversion to-from degrees quite a bit easier, I imagine: 0=0, 30=.1, 45=.16, 60=.2, 90=.3, etc. It just takes a little getting used to the idea that 1/2 = .6 and 9+1=A and such)

On the subject of temperature measurements, I've considered the idea of instead of measuring temperature which is roughly a measure of entropy where absolute zero, at least according to my (mis)understanding, is virtually impossible to attain/requires an infinite amount of something, I'm not entirely sure what; we measure the inverse of the entropy using absolute zero as positive infinity, and using either 0 or negative infinity for maximal entropy. I never really thought much through it, though it did seem like with the bounds so far away from every-day temperatures that the curve through every-day-usage temperatures might be flat enough to be usable.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Story » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

I'm surprised noone has suggested Kelvin yet. As long as you care about SI standards over useability, you might as well use the actual standard.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:45 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!



Luddite! π is completely deprecated in favor of τ

I vote for Pie. Pie is tasty, while Tau (or touw, Dutch for rope) is far less tasty.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby cryptoengineer » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:06 pm UTC

It was -0.45 Radians C here yesterday morning.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Flumble » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:12 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
cellocgw wrote:
Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!



Luddite! π is completely deprecated in favor of τ

I vote for Pie. Pie is tasty, while Tau (or touw, Dutch for rope) is far less tasty.

I thought you'd know better by now. Vote τ and get twice the amount of pi!

Speaking of deprecation, zero-based indexing needs to go away too.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:25 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:
cellocgw wrote:
Showsni wrote:Talking of radians, why do we still use degrees when measuring angles? Do they offer any advantages over radians? Couldn't we do away with them entirely and just teach radians at school?

I mean sure, whole numbers are nice and all... But pi!



Luddite! π is completely deprecated in favor of τ

I vote for Pie. Pie is tasty, while Tau (or touw, Dutch for rope) is far less tasty.

I thought you'd know better by now. Vote τ and get twice the amount of pi!

Speaking of deprecation, zero-based indexing needs to go away too.


But next time someone reinvents the calendar, they really should include a year 0.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby HES » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:25 pm UTC

We haven't covered all the degrees yet. "It's a Bachelor of Arts outside. We're due some Masters later in the week".
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby The Moomin » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:58 pm UTC

HES wrote:We haven't covered all the degrees yet. "It's a Bachelor of Arts outside. We're due some Masters later in the week".


If you keep complicating matters like this, you'll get the third degree.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby richP » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:04 pm UTC

I'm still partial to "Hultaunits" for temperature. Named for my Jr. High Science teacher Mr. Hultman. For every worksheet, test, quiz etc. relating to the temperature portion of class he made up a new arbitrary temperature scale and gave the students just enough information to develop the conversion factors. Example might be: If water freezes at -22 Hultaunits and boils at 57 Hultaunits, what is 75F in Hultaunits.

Of course, the scale changed from one test to another, so you couldn't just memorize the formula, you had to actually reason through the process to get points. Drove our future valedictorian up a wall, since her reasoning ability wasn't nearly as strong as her ability to grind through rote memorization.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Laeraren » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:10 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:Since we don't have nearly enough competing standards, I'd like to propose my own, the Pilchard.

Absolute zero = 0 Pl
Triple point of water = 1 Pl

<1000 mPi - freezing (<0 C, <32 F)
1000-1040 mPi - cold (0-10.9 C, 32-51.7 F)
1040-1080 mPi - warm (10.9-21.8 C, 51.7-71.3 F)
1080-1120 mPi - hot (21.8-32.8 C, 71.3-91 F)
>1120 mPi - very hot (>32.8 C, >91 F)

Scientific *and* (barely) practical! :)


I'd like to introduce my own, as well, it's called the Staker (after renowned physicist Peter Ian Staker, obviously).

Absolute zero = -3 PIS
Freezing point of water = 3 PIS
Boiling point of water = 27.2315 PIS

Logical. Simple. Concise.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ManaUser » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:12 pm UTC

If you're going to convert a temperature to radians, I think Fahrenheit makes more sense, because the 180 degree range between freezing and boiling makes half a circle.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:13 pm UTC

People still use Fahrenheit? Is this like when I go to the States and suddenly I have to drive half as fast?

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby SAI Peregrinus » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:15 pm UTC

Really we ought to be using inverse temperature (aka coldness or thermodynamic beta).

http://www.umsl.edu/~fraundorfp/ifzx/zbpercal.html

It's naturally measured in zetabytes per kilocalorie, and is far better than either Celsius or Fahrenheit for temperatures normally encountered. It also provides good intuition about less common thermodynamic problems, and lacks the singularity at the zero (Kelvin) crossing that temperature has. That makes it good for discussing lasers, and lasers are awesome. Therefore it's awesome.
Last edited by SAI Peregrinus on Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:19 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ilduri » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:17 pm UTC

Can I take this oppurtunity to gripe about partial metrication? Canada, like some other countries, got stuck half way through switching over, and now you pretty much need to know both systems just to get by here.

The ridiculous thing is that this was just due to petty politics. The Liberal government started the metrication process in 1971, planning to slowly roll out the metric system over the course of the next two decades. Then the Conservatives got elected in 1983, after making a campaign promise to go back to the old system. Once in power they found it too impractical to revert the changes the Libs had made, so instead they just stalled things where they were (which is like pretty much the definition of conservatism, so kudos to them for sticking to their values I guess). The Tories remained in power for ten years, during which time everyone just got used to using both systems, it became the new status quo and the impetus for change was lost.

And so now everybody just has to keep a lot of extra information in their heads. At my last job I had to memorize all the numbers needed for converting between kilograms and pounds, litres and quarts, and centimetres and inches. Most younger people know their height and weight in both systems. And many people will instinctively switch between systems depending on context: for example, it's very common here for peolple to use Celsius for the ambient temperature but use Fahrenheit for the oven temperature when cooking. That sort of thing can be very frustrating in industrial settings, and I imagine it must be difficult for newcomers to the country as well.

Oh yeah, and it also nearly caused a plane crash.

So basically, I would love it if the US switched to metric 'cause I think that would finally give us the motivation we need to finish the job.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:22 pm UTC

As an engineer in Canada, I can tell you it won't catch on. Dimensional lumber products will continue to be produced in Imperial sizes just because it would be prohibitively expensive and difficult to suddenly stop making 2x4's and start making 38x89's, to say nothing of the standardized 2438mm lengths. Steelwork is a little different, since Canadian mills do produce metric steel, but all metric steel has an Imperial equivalent so the two are largely interchangeable. Hell, we export to dozens of metric-using countries but we export Imperial dimensional lumber.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:36 pm UTC

If the answer he gave is accurate, then it's almost 10 degrees outside (9.912). If that's in Celcius, it's almost 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's in Fahrenheit, it's -12 Celsius.

If it's in Kelvin, I don't think going outside is a good idea...

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Eutychus » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:39 pm UTC

As someone who grew up with °F and now lives in a land of °C, I have to say that I now find none of the comic's arguments in favour of °F very convincing.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Archgeek » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:57 pm UTC

Remember kids, like my HS physics teacher always said: if no unit is listed, it's always radians.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby armandoalvarez » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:06 pm UTC

Eutychus wrote:As someone who grew up with °F and now lives in a land of °C, I have to say that I now find none of the comic's arguments in favour of °F very convincing.

I would think "valuing unit standardization over being helpful possibly makes me a bad friend," is a pretty good argument. He lives in the U.S. His friend is asking what the temperature is. If the friend asks "How could is it outside," and he answers, "Five degrees," and that is because it's 5C or 40F, he's mostly just communicating poorly. If his friend doesn't already know that Cueball is likely to respond in Celsius, he's going to over-dress for the not so cold weather. Responding in Celsius in the U.S. is not encouraging metrication. It's not improving awareness of science. It's more a form of pedantry, like responding, "I don't know, can you?" to a question like "Can I use your bathroom?"

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Story » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:People still use Fahrenheit? Is this like when I go to the States and suddenly I have to drive half as fast?


As illustrated in the comic, Fahrenheit is a lot more useful for describing everyday weather.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby MrNumbers » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:44 pm UTC

I just love that "If I value standardization over being helpful, I am a bad friend" is a reason...

... and it still doesn't seal the deal for him.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:51 pm UTC

When you °C it, you'll shit °B.
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