View Full Version : more accurate or more precise (non gun talk)

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 01:21 PM

since i only had christopher and tony to talk to this morning, i thought i would bring this up here

is it proper to say metric is more accurate or more precise in comparison with standard/Imperial?

(Yes is said standard, Kenny Powers MFCEO Blades bitch, we set bars and crap).

I mention it because im wondering, if there are differences here (in a form of measurement) can that be applied else where, such as time?

I think it depends on what is being measured and the scale of the measurement. But you could go back and forth. For example, 1mm = 0.03937 inches. Now in terms of something that needs to be precise that decimal inch ismore mathematically accurate but it also complicates things because you're talking about decimal units that are not easy to visualize. Plus if rounding starts to occur, then things get really wacky.

On the flip size you could consider Celsius to Fahrenheit the same way. 0f = -17.78c.

However neither argument is valid if you are consistently using the same measurement system. Accuracy is only questionable when converting into either a) a different unit say length to capacity b) into an entirely different system like Imperial to Metric.

Since both are based on a combination of math and physical objects it's all a matter of relevance to the situation.

Metric makes a lot more sense mathematically being base 10.

Harry

04-04-2012, 02:07 PM

I don't understand how it could be more precise. It's just numbers.

I don't understand how it could be more precise. It's just numbers.

Both are precise; the question is would one be more precise?

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 03:37 PM

Both are precise; the question is would one be more precise?

bingo.

i bring it up cause on the mayan vs gregorian count, the mayan calendar is seen to be much more precise then what we are using. The big argument is that the western calendar is off so crap would have happend, and even if we account for the inaccuracy what ever was supposed to happen in 2012, should have happened already. also the discussion is based on the system not the possible events.

now if we apply what seth said to this, a fraction of a variable will be much more the longer period of time. this can be taken like a rifle shot at a target 10 feet away has a lot less variation than one shot to a target 10,000 feet away (redic, but you get the picture)

since most of us know universally of 1 time ( 60sec in a min, 60min in a hour, etc), how this could possibly be effected when it's based against something with supposed better accuracy.

bingo.

i bring it up cause on the mayan vs gregorian count, the mayan calendar is seen to be much more precise then what we are using. The big argument is that the western calendar is off so crap would have happend, and even if we account for the inaccuracy what ever was supposed to happen in 2012, should have happened already. also the discussion is based on the system not the possible events.

now if we apply what seth said to this, a fraction of a variable will be much more the longer period of time. this can be taken like a rifle shot at a target 10 feet away has a lot less variation than one shot to a target 10,000 feet away (redic, but you get the picture)

since most of us know universally of 1 time ( 60sec in a min, 60min in a hour, etc), how this could possibly be effected when it's based against something with supposed better accuracy.

Time is an interesting concept because it's basically based on visual cues and only in the modern era could we assume math has helped correct those invalid visual cues. Obviously our understanding of science, especially astrology, has only increased our ability to measure "time" but since we are so far off base now, it's hard to correct without a redesign to the entire concept.

What makes time volatile as in your example Pun, is that there are forces in the universe that physics can account for (and some it cannot) which makes any basis of measurement immediately inaccurate without a corrective factor. So I guess the questions then become - How far off are we? Can we even determine the percent of variance between the "true" time and what we believe it is? Can we come up with a system that can apply an accurate correct?

Frankly I would assume we would have to adjust our measurement or corrective factor with more frequency. Consider that the recent earthquakes impacted our axis rotation which disturbs the time in a day ever so slightly. Well it's like the concept from The Office and their rounding money scheme; take those little fractions and add them up over time. If the earth is as old as some claim (from wikipedia 4.54 × 109 years ± 1%), it's fully feasable there have been thousands of events in history that could have impacted time measurement; regardless of when the system was created since it was already built on a flawed concept.

nhlfan

04-04-2012, 04:27 PM

You can't really say the metric system is more precise than the imperial system. It's just a whole lot more convenient to work with.

I'm not sure what to say about the Gregorian calender system being "off". I know we've played around ways to account for slight errors in the past (leap years at the moment, but I think we "jumped ahead" like a week or more at some point back in Roman times to make up for not using leap years for a while). Seconds, hours, and days all have definitions that aren't relative. We've come up with leap years to adjust for our definition of a year being different than a solar/earth year, which is one revolution around the sun.

Stealth

04-04-2012, 05:08 PM

What a dumb question

Just because they are different standards doesn't mean one is more or less accurate/precise

If your getting into which one is easier to use, that's a different story.

Gamma_B

04-04-2012, 05:39 PM

As an engineer, I'm kind of missing where you are looking at when you say one system is more/less precise or accurate than the other.

The two have completely different meanings. The SI and imperial units are just units of measurement, the tool you are using to measure with or are referencing too will be what you base your precision on, and how good you are at reading your tool or how many digits you measure to will give you an idea of how accurate it is. You have seen the bullseye anology?

Most units have a base and another system is just converted or derived from it. For example everything is based off the almost perfect recreation of the meter, and so things like the yard, inch, etc. and other imperial units is just converted over from it. Of course there is room for error, but at some point the margin is so small its almost negligible.

You're right but that's what we're trying to solve for. Is one unit of measurement more accurate? Look at the definition of a yard on wikipedia (yes, we will agree the accuracy of the article is subjective). As with many basic units of measure, it has a few variations of origin but generally accepted is that it came from a physical distance. So if you take some of those examples and apply them to another unit, say an inch verses meters, one of the two has to be more accurate for a basis of what it was supposed to measure.

Let's say an inch was derived from trying to measure the distance of the tip of a nail to the knuckle on your thumb. Every person probably isn't a perfect inch but if an inch is defined as that distance, meters may not be proper to use because you're dealing in a decimal.

Working with a socket set is probably the best example when you're dealing with fractions. Because you don't get a perfect match if you mix your metric and standard. The problem there as we're all in agreement is that you're mixing units of measure so of course you can't be perfectly accurate. But we're wondering if you are given a situation where you need to pick a unit of measure, if one would give you a more precise outcome verses another.

I think this link sums up what we're discussing.

http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/58148.html

In the end, the application and end-user have to decide if 1/3 or 1.3333... is more accurate. We're wondering if that can apply to an entire unit of measure in terms of an application like Time.

Stealth

04-04-2012, 07:41 PM

I don't think you understand how standards work.

There will always be an exact number for whatever measurement your looking for in either standard.

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 07:41 PM

What a dumb question

Just because they are different standards doesn't mean one is more or less accurate/precise

If your getting into which one is easier to use, that's a different story.

What a dumb answer.

Just because there are easier means of delivering a ring, doesn't mean you should have to travel on foot.

Since obviously you don't understand the question, you fail this test. You get nothing, good day sir.

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 07:43 PM

I don't think you understand how standards work.

There will always be an exact number for whatever measurement your looking for in either standard.

Aways an exact number? What is 2/3 of a minute?

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 07:51 PM

Most units have a base and another system is just converted or derived from it. For example everything is based off the almost perfect recreation of the meter, and so things like the yard, inch, etc. and other imperial units is just converted over from it. Of course there is room for error, but at some point the margin is so small its almost negligible.

the question is what is the basis for time. as stated if you do 1/3 you get .333333333333... in which 3 goes into infinity. now using that if you have a large enough number, minor error start turning into large ones.

so i thought, what makes one set of units (western calendar vs mayan calendar) more accurate/precise than the other. its not a question of which is more convenient, but if in theory the basis of time could be off by a significant margin

nhlfan

04-04-2012, 08:14 PM

I think this might be what you're looking for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_calender#Haab.27

The Mayans had a 365 day calender, with no leap years. Therefore, their calender kept "advancing"...a day would effectively occur sooner in a rotation around the sun every year.

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 08:31 PM

I think this might be what you're looking for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_calender#Haab.27

The Mayans had a 365 day calender, with no leap years. Therefore, their calender kept "advancing"...a day would effectively occur sooner in a rotation around the sun every year.

no i saw that, im looking for whether or not it's more useful for obtaining proper time. like by wiki definition, it says

As a calendar for keeping track of the seasons, the Haab' was a bit inaccurate, since it treated the year as having exactly 365 days, and ignored the extra quarter day (approximately) in the actual tropical year. This meant that the seasons moved with respect to the calendar year by a quarter day each year, so that the calendar months named after particular seasons no longer corresponded to these seasons after a few centuries. The Haab' is equivalent to the wandering 365-day year of the ancient Egyptians.

where as if you read here http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-mayan.html

Although there were only 365 days in the Haab year, the Mayas were aware that a year is slightly longer than 365 days, and in fact, many of the month-names are associated with the seasons; Yaxkin, for example, means "new or strong sun" and, at the beginning of the Long Count, 1 Yaxkin was the day after the winter solstice, when the sun starts to shine for a longer period of time and higher in the sky. When the Long Count was put into motion, it was started at 7.13.0.0.0, and 0 Yaxkin corresponded with Midwinter Day, as it did at 13.0.0.0.0 back in 3114 B.C.E. The available evidence indicates that the Mayas estimated that a 365-day year precessed through all the seasons twice in 7.13.0.0.0 or 1,101,600 days.

We can therefore derive a value for the Mayan estimate of the year by dividing 1,101,600 by 365, subtracting 2, and taking that number and dividing 1,101,600 by the result, which gives us an answer of 365.242036 days, which is slightly more accurate than the 365.2425 days of the Gregorian calendar.

(This apparent accuracy could, however, be a simple coincidence. The Mayas estimated that a 365-day year precessed through all the seasons twice in 7.13.0.0.0 days. These numbers are only accurate to 2-3 digits. Suppose the 7.13.0.0.0 days had corresponded to 2.001 cycles rather than 2 cycles of the 365-day year, would the Mayas have noticed?)

In ancient times, the Mayans had a tradition of a 360-day year. But by the 4th century B.C.E. they took a different approach than either Europeans or Asians. They maintained three different calendars at the same time. In one of them, they divided a 365-day year into eighteen 20-day months followed by a five-day period that was part of no month. The five-day period was considered to be unlucky.

Punisher11

04-04-2012, 08:36 PM

also they mayan reference was just out there, im also looking at the chinese and jew calendar

ISPKI

04-05-2012, 02:18 AM

They are both units of measurement that can be converted into each other, neither one is more precise than the other. That argument is completely pointless. At work, we measure weld depths using a combination of acid etching, extreme heat catalysts, and a microscope that magnifies over 500x. We measure down to 0.0000001 inches.

The only advantage of the metric system is that the numeric values can be converted easier. Each level of measurement increases or decreases by a single decimal point, whereas US standard advances in goofy numbers that do not make any sense. This does not really matter however, since a computer or calculator can convert any measurement instantly anyways.

Punisher11

04-05-2012, 10:18 AM

They are both units of measurement that can be converted into each other, neither one is more precise than the other. That argument is completely pointless. At work, we measure weld depths using a combination of acid etching, extreme heat catalysts, and a microscope that magnifies over 500x. We measure down to 0.0000001 inches.

The only advantage of the metric system is that the numeric values can be converted easier. Each level of measurement increases or decreases by a single decimal point, whereas US standard advances in goofy numbers that do not make any sense. This does not really matter however, since a computer or calculator can convert any measurement instantly anyways.

no, you're missing the point. im not using the system to measure the size of an object. its obvious the X size of something will be X size no matter which unit, but when you do convert from any Y measurement to Z measurement there will always be some error, going beyond 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001, even to infinity. it doesnt matter for your purposes becuase it doesnt effect your outcome, but if i apply it to something with a greater number, like time, (age of the earth, age of the galaxy, etc.) those small errors get magnified significantly.

Reaper

04-05-2012, 10:42 AM

you guys are thinking to much about this..

time is only an observation, it has no scale to be measured on.

Punisher11

04-05-2012, 10:43 AM

you guys are thinking to much about this..

time is only an observation, it has no scale to be measured on.

but im trying to put a scale to it godamnit

Reaper

04-05-2012, 11:34 AM

lol, make one up.. that is what everyone else did

Stealth

04-05-2012, 06:31 PM

What a dumb answer.

Just because there are easier means of delivering a ring, doesn't mean you should have to travel on foot.

Since obviously you don't understand the question, you fail this test. You get nothing, good day sir.

I guess you have selective reading as my first point said neither are more or less accurate.

Aways an exact number? What is 2/3 of a minute?

40 seconds....

if u wanna do it the hard way, u set it up in proportion

2/3=x/60

cross multiply and get

120=3x and u just divide 3 on both sides and get 40

40 seconds.

Dummy.

Stealth

04-05-2012, 06:41 PM

http://i44.tinypic.com/v7v2hs.jpg

Fkntkn

04-05-2012, 08:20 PM

:lulz:

ISPKI

04-06-2012, 02:06 AM

There is no error when converting measurement values. You can convert them perfectly, the only "error" is in how many decimal places the computer system you are using will read to. That is not actually error in the conversion though, just a limitation on technology. Although I am willing to guess that modern computer systems can probably get down to trillions upon trillions of decimal places.

ISPKI

04-06-2012, 02:08 AM

Oh and btw, you come up with the most random and pointless arguments, were you smoking a bowl of weed just before coming on here and posting this topic?

Punisher11

04-06-2012, 05:13 AM

Oh and btw, you come up with the most random and pointless arguments, were you smoking a bowl of weed just before coming on here and posting this topic?

it was originally gun talk, but i moved it to use time.

either way it was pretty much the only 'hot topic' we've had in weeks

an again, i did say X measurement = X measurement. but if you did convert 1/3in to mm you get 8.46666667 where 7 is the equiv to a hard stop because 6 would go on to infinity, would you agree?

now if you did that to the age of the earth 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4.54 × 10^9 years ± 1%), where the error is .05 billion, you have an error of 50,000,000 years. that Error seems to be significant when you are trying to place what today really is

Punisher11

04-06-2012, 05:15 AM

http://i44.tinypic.com/v7v2hs.jpg

You work in retail, you must love game stop.

Says he doesnt care he gets banned from ycz, tries so hard to get back in :lulz:

Stealth

04-06-2012, 07:26 AM

You work in retail, you must love game stop.

Says he doesnt care he gets banned from ycz, tries so hard to get back in :lulz:

.

ISPKI

04-07-2012, 03:11 AM

Heres the issue, that number is infinite, meaning you choose where it ends. So yes, the error percentage of 1% is significant, but since you can effectively choose where the end of the equation occurs (since we could effectively compute the equation infinitely) you can decide to have that error percentage be whatever you want it to be. Meaning you can decide to have it be so small, it would be completely negligible.

Either way, you have proven your point, there are certain conversions that are not entirely perfect, but, they can be made so close to converting perfectly, that any error that may occur wont make a difference anyway.

What about measuring value?

Here's a good read. Snippet below

I read a great article from Imprimis, the free publication put out by Hillsdale College in Michigan, titled The Floating Dollar as a Threat to Property Rights. [1] The article started out with the curious case of the incredible shrinking kilo (a problem normally faced only by drug lords that employ users as traffickers). Apparently this one particular metallic cylinder securely housed at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, France, is the "reference kilo" for not only the global metric system, but even the U.S. customary system in which 2.2 pounds equals this particular kilo.

The problem is, it's shrinking! So far it has only shrunk by 50 micrograms, about the weight of a fingerprint on Earth. [2] But even so, this is a big problem for scientists that deal in exacting calculations that require global standardization. The problem boils down to the definition of a kilogram. The global standard definition of a kilo is this particular cylinder! It was cast in platinum and iridium by Johnson Matthey in 1879, adopted by the first general conference for weights and measures in 1889, and has been the global reference point for the measurements of mass ever since. But some scientists are now complaining that with the exacting tolerances of today's high-tech world, the 21st century kilo needs a new definition. Modern science needs a better reference point for mass. [3]

This got me thinking about reference points, and how they have all—in every single case; temperature, distance, force, pressure, time, etc.—changed and evolved their definitions throughout history to best fit the cutting-edge needs of the time. [4] This is a trend that always faces the opposing forces of inertia—the resistance to change—and progress—the need for change.

Another obvious trend in the evolution of reference points, when viewed in a long-line historical context, is the expansion from local to national to regional and finally to global standardization. This trend, especially, faces the opposition of inertia as national reference points have become part of the national identity of their people. The remnants can be seen everywhere. For temperature we have Fahrenheit and Celsius. For mass we have avoirdupois ounces, troy ounces and metric grams. The world is littered with national currencies. And even foreign languages are a good example of our innate resistance to global standardization.

This trend toward global reference points is a practical—not a moral—evolution. It will continue whether we like it or not. It is an artifact of the human Superorganism. [5] What ends up happening most times is that nations will keep their old reference point for identity purposes, but they will either adopt the best external reference point as a secondary standard or they will affix (peg) to the definition of the most widely used reference point, also known as the focal point. [6] We see this in almost everything. English has become the global standard among many foreign languages. The Imperial pound is pegged to the metric kilogram, as noted above. And prior to 1971, the world's major national currencies were all pegged to gold through the U.S. dollar, another national currency.

The main point here is that while our symbols of national (or regional) identity will always be with us, the unfolding of future "new and improved" reference points will always be global in scope. Just as time moves in only one direction, it can be no other way. In other words, new global standards will be layered on top of quaint and sentimental artifacts of the past. [7]

http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2011/03/reference-point-revolution.html

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