Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/791

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department is transacted and who are not in the public service, as well as by those not in the public service who use the maps, charts, etc., of the department.

"In regard to the compulsory use of the metric standards in the transactions of individuals, certain additional considerations present themselves. It is to be borne in mind that there is nothing in the proposed change which will in any way favorably affect the usual course of private business in this country, and that the demand for a change from the present system does not come from business men, but is made in furtherance of a project designed for the general public good in international intercourse. There is no pressing necessity for immediate change, and it would undoubtedly be better, if the change should be made, to make it by concerted, simultaneous action on the part of all English-speaking people.

"The relations of trade between this country and Great Britain are such that the adoption of new standards of weight and measure by the one without the concurrent action of the other is extremely undesirable.

"As to the general question whether it is desirable to adopt a decimal system of weights and measures, there will probably be but little difference of opinion, since its adoption will to some extent simplify existing tables, and tend to establish a uniformity of practice throughout the world. As an actual practical fact, its adoption is a matter of no immediate importance, and certainly should not be made obligatory upon individuals before it has become generally understood by being adopted in the government service and taught in all public schools.

"The French decimal metric system has been adopted and made compulsory in France, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Chili, and the Argentine Confederation and Uruguay.

"Great Britain and the United States have legalized the system, but have not made it compulsory. Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Austria use partial decimal systems, but with different units of length and of measure."


THERE lies before every man by day and by night, at home and abroad, an immense field for curious investigations in the operations of his own mind.

No one can have a just idea, before he has carefully experimented upon himself, of the crowd of unheeded half-thoughts and faint imagery that flits through his brain, and of the influence they exert upon his