Friday Something Something and Open Thread


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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28 Responses

  1. Aaron W says:

    A proposal for economic stimulus:

    Convert the US to the metric system.

    I mean, come on, short term increase in construction, capital equipment, and education spending + long term efficiency gains from easier trade and from not having to keep two sets of ****ing wrenches (and other tools/machinery) around to deal with American versus foreign made parts. I say win-win!Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Aaron W says:

      long term efficiency gains from easier trade

      This. Cato interns are sometimes shocked when I say we’d obviously be better off if we used the metric system. Then I point out that U.S. Customary Measurement functions as a tariff.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        Everybody would be better off if we were on the metric system.Report

        • I’d suggest that Obama not adopt this as part of his platform until after the election.Report

          • Aaron W in reply to Jaybird says:

            What? Just think of the wingnut response!

            “Unelected bureaucrats determining what units you measure your height in”

            “We’re not giving an inch on Standard units!”

            “Obama implementing socialist world government through metric system!”

            “Keep your hands off my yardstick!”

            This stuff basically writes itselfReport

            • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Aaron W says:

              I need to put together a post titled “Stuff Libertarians Should Like, but Don’t.”

              The metric system will probably be #1 on the list.Report

              • Aaron W in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                Yeah, pretty much. Adoption of the metric system could be coupled with looser immigration restrictions since it would be much easier for immigrants to integrate into American society with the same measurement system used worldwide.

                Unfortunately, despite being a really good idea, I don’t think it’ll ever happen until America loses global military hegemony. Luckily we seem to be squandering our natural advantages left and right (pun intended) over the past decade, so that may happen sooner than we might expect!Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Aaron W says:

                I think this might be the first time I’ve ever seen anyone claim that the US military is responsible for Imperial measurements still existing.

                PS there’s plenty of aerospace stuff done by US defense companies for the US government that uses the metric system.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I hear that both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are conspiring to sell product using the Metric System.

                This is why I purchase RC.Report

              • Aaron W in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I didn’t mean it as a conspiracy theory. I meant it more as because the US is in a privileged position in the world, it can continue to avoid using the SI system compared to other countries.

                It might also just be inertia, obviously.Report

              • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Aaron W says:

                Inertia is necessary, but not sufficient. In the eighteenth century, every other country had their own traditional measurements. Each had inertia; each was abandoned. So… why not us?Report

              • James K in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                I’m a libertarian and I like SI units. It doesn’t hurt that the Imperial system is fairly ridiculous.Report

              • Murali in reply to James K says:

                And what are americans doing with an Imperial system anyway. One war or another, its tellingReport

  2. Scott says:

    Barry’s illegal alien uncle released from jail. So much for no special treatment. He ignored a deporation order but they let him go now and people wonder why folks think the govt is broken.

  3. DensityDuck says:

    My wife is beautiful and I love her, and if I have any regrets it’s that I didn’t invest in Amazon and am not a millionaire and cannot shower her with jewelry tools and scrapbooking stuff and cake-decorating gear.Report

  4. Ryan Bonneville says:

    I just saw Yo La Tengo in concert on Tuesday this week (with Wye Oak and The National). They were considerably more excellent than I expected.Report

  5. Scott says:

    Nanny state strikes again. Cops ticket citizen that tries to help out during traffic light outage. Sometimes I think the gov’t really wants to kill any initiative that anyone has.