Metrics Confounded Compounded

Today’s guest post comes from Clyde.

When science and math people put on a strong push for adoption of the metric system a few decades ago, Isaac Asimov jokingly proposed we needed some other metric units. He proposed several, the only one of which I remember was the Milihelen, which is the amount of beauty it takes to launch one ship. When I worked as a lab tech, my lab mate and I, in response to Dr. Asimov, invented many of our own, especially on Friday afternoons. Most of them I have forgotten, or am unwilling to repeat. Two of them I have included below. I got to thinking we could use a few right now. So here are my offerings:

  • The kilobachman could measure so many things. Lets say dishonesty and insensitivity.
    • The microcheney equals a common everyday lie.
    • The decabeck describes a thumb skewed ten degrees from opposable.
    • The macromartha is 1,000,000 hours of pointless media time.
    • The unbiddenbidenbabble is 15 seconds of careless comment.
    • A mccain mile is the distance is decent man goes to find the larger view. (But the mccain mile has some potholes, the depth of which are measured in decapalins).
    • A Yankee penny equals $1,000,000 of player salary.
    • A nanodale meters the speed of cleverness.
    • The Connelly Constant expresses an ever-lighthearted point of view.
    • The Clyde Constant expresses an ever-lightheaded point of view.
    • A decacoffeesnort is a small bit of humor.
    • A kilocoffeesnort is too crude to discuss.
    • A kilobartholemew reports on the contents of TGitH’s closet.
    • A squarerenee measures yard space turned into garden.
    • Dynohollies express Utube searching skill.
    • Hemisemidemiquibbles are needed to measure rudeness on the Trail.
    • Gusgrits measure the rate of a Northerner’s adjustment to Southern life.
    • The lurker curve is a line below which are hidden unknown wonders and a too-quiet goatherd.
    • A decakilobaboon is a 100-post day on the Trail.
    • Centiblevin equals a ten degree forward nod of the head from boredom.
    • Thirteen duorhondas helped out with Steve’s tree.
    • A centitim equals 100 typing errors.
    • A megahurts measures fibromyalgia pain level.

    • OMGdro’s number: number of pointless text messages sent everyday in America (6.022 ×10 to the 23rd power).
    • Potatoes cubed is what I am working on for supper.
    • An angstdrum holds 120 gallons of fret and worry.
    • Kilowhats measure, well . . . some folks just don’t get it. At all.

I could not think of a good measure for basic human goodness, which says something about me, the state of the times, the media, or all of the above.

What would you name the unit for human decency/kindness/generosity?
(Or anything else I missed.)

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59 thoughts on “Metrics Confounded Compounded”

  1. the illustrations are wonderful. the thoughtwaves nanoriffic and the baboonisity is unequalled. thank clyde for the superwordscalasmithology witnessed on the trail today.
    as for kindology and niceisticism lets keep it simple so all will be aware of what it is when it occurs. it happens but we certainly dont want it to be confusing or mislabeled. it would be nice if it were incrementally reintroduced to the world as a standard in the way we go about life. one of the stepping stones to get from here to there in the interaction of human beings daily exchanges. the other day someone quoted kurt vonneguts uncle alex who suggested to kurt that the most important thing is to take time to notice. “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” you have got to take note.
    “if this isnt a wonderful post clyde. i dont know what is.”
    thank you

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  2. Whoa Clyde,
    That is a goodish bit of cleaver to have to process without a cup of coffee in hand!

    I do, however, have one wee spot of Hemisemidemiquibble for you though: Maligned though we may be, the blondes will have you know that Ms. Bachmann is decidedly NOT of our number.

    I’m not sure exactly what units one would use to measure common decency, maybe there aren’t any units assigned to it because it is supposed to be a constant in every equation.

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    1. Sorry, it was meant to be highlights and then I forgot to add back in black around the yellow highlights. The first couple versions with solid black hair was, well, just black.

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  3. Good morning. Excellent!, Clyde. You have scored very high the greatpost meter. Very good drawings of tim, Dale, and MB

    I could get kind of serious and name a unit for goodness after someone like Dr. King, but I want to go with something that is more light hearted so that I don’t end up too low on the Connelly Constant scale. For goodness I propose the AndyandOpiecenta.

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  4. For kindness and generosity, I suggest a scale instead of a unit of measurement. Maybe we could call it the Wellstone scale:
    magnitude: effects observed:
    1 May produce smiles from a few highly sensitive people
    2 Widespread smiles and nods
    3 Hearts warmed
    4 A few tears of gratitude shed
    5 Many tears and some verbal acknowledgment
    6 Blog comments or status updates on Facebook alerting friends to the generosity
    7 Formal thank-you notes written
    8 Gratitude expressed in small gifts tied with pretty ribbon
    9 Significant pile of thank-you notes and gifts
    10 Building named in honor of the agent of kindness

    For example, Donna’s cabin invitation would be about an 8.2 on the Wellstone scale.

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    1. i am so disappointed I missed donnas cabin. it was a necessary miss but shucks… Life only kicks out so many magic moments. I really do hate to pass

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  5. Excellent start to the day, Clyde… and impressive. Definitely up there on the nanodale chart!

    I like the word “joule” which I didn’t know until recently with all the Higgs Boson talk. Maybe we could use “thoughtful-joule” or “caring-joule” – keep it simple as tim suggested.

    I also agree with Linda’s assessment of Donna’s cabin invitation and hospitality — a huge Wellstone number!

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  6. I seem to be low on the nandale scale today and high on what I would call the kilocan’t scale. I need to try to work my way up the scale that always produces, the megatimwit scale.

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    1. I might be low on nanodale scale, spelled nanodale and not spelled nandale, but I scoring well on the centitim scale.

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    2. Love the “kilocan’t”. This is a measurement that I often have to apply to myself on mornings when I can’t think of a good answer to the daily question!

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      1. Due to the very low scores for hemisemidemiquibbles on this blog, you can go ahead and post anything that comes to mind without worrying about not being too cleaver. If you are having day when your kilocan’t score is high no one will be worried if your nanodale score is low.

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  7. Have been thinking lately on the notions of contentment and happiness and how they are not the same as several friends talk about rough patches they are going through right now. A couple of them seem bent on finding “happiness,” which mostly seems to make them more unhappy. Pursuing happiness may not work, but seeking contentment or noticing it (see Vonnegut, above) seems more productive and perhaps an easier task. Content is not a peak high like happiness, but it is a constant. Perhaps contentment is measured as the Linda constant (since LiSPWS is so often content) – it is presented in baked goods units. Its opposite would, of course, be the cranky-erg, a measure of frustration, fussiness or discontent (though perhaps direct discontent, as I think along here, should actually be measured in “winters”…so Shakespearean).

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  8. Clyde, you must have had a great time putting that together. Personal favorite is the angstdrum.

    At the risk of being unoriginal (and since I’m somewhere on the kilocan’t scale today), I would suggest this word to measure things that are a bit “over the top”:
    superfragilisticexpialidocious

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      1. I think that is better than kilocan’t and I will be able to increase my centitim score if I need to spell that. Notice I am not trying to spell SUB_________ or HYPO___________, here.

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        1. Right, here we go: SUBcalifragilisticexpialidocious or perhaps HYPOcalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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  9. I am starting to regret all the squarerenees we have in our yard, since everything is starting to produce now, and we have to pick and put by lots of produce on weekends and when we get home from work each night. On Sunday night we picked peas and had 8 cups of shelled peas when we were done. The peas are not finished producing yet. Eggplants are going wild, (we are making and freezing the eggplant curry recipe provided by PlainJane) and I will have quarts of pesto to make when we get back from our vacation to Pine Ridge . The chard is also mass producing, and I fear that the savoy cabbage will be ready soon, too. I think the raspberries will be finished by the end of the week. The pole beans are always later, as are the tomatoes and peppers, so we may have a lull for a couple of weeks in August. Don’t even talk to me about weeds. They grow at the speed of light.

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    1. I’m not as over whelmed as you seem to be Renee, but I know what you are saying. I should do something with the extra basil I have and with the extra supply of kale, collards, and yellow summer squash. Also, the green beans are starting produce more than we need for the table.

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    2. My straw bales are overwhelmed by the tomato plants – the dogs used to run out the backdoor and between the two rows of bales, but now they go around, it’s so overgrown! Tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I’m guessing that in a week or so, I’ll be canning/roasting/freezing quite a bit.

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    3. For weeds try vinaigrette with white vinigar and ground peppers (jalapeño or habenarios)
      And if you have lemon juice concentrate. Organic as hell kills em now

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  10. I don’t know… a lifetime of altruistic reciprocity? No. Too wordy. A mega-ton of altruism? Nah. Mega-humanity? Or in the case of MB, nano-humanity? Hm.

    How do you measure compassion except by having experienced it? It is an immense feeling you have with regard to a relational experience. This is a deep subject, Clyde, and very well done. I might have too shallow a mind to tackle it.

    I like the Wellstone scale that Linda created above. It comes the closest to measuring degrees of humanity.

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  11. You’ve outdone yourself, Clyde. Very cleaver! Had to chortle at the angstdrum and the megahurts, very cleaver indeed. Megamagnanimous strikes me as a good measure for extraordinary kindness and generosity, and, since I agree with Linda that perhaps it’s useful to be able to differentiate between the degrees of largesse, perhaps a less generous degree could be expressed as micromagnanimous. Since I’m still struggling with remembering how many inches there are in a foot, and at what degree Fahrenheit water boils, not to mention the whole oz. to quarts measuring mess, I’m hesitant to endorse a whole scale, so I’ll just stick with those two. And that’s my unbiddenbidenbabble for now.

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    1. Never thought about what it might be like to have to learn our strange system of measures after school-age…

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      1. I’ve waited for years, learning only the bare necessities, thinking that the US would switch to the metric system. By the time I realized it wasn’t going to happen in my lifetime, my old noodle squawked at having to learn a new system. Another example of too soon old, too late smart!

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  12. Greetings! Wonderful, Clyde! How about “OT-postie” for how far off topic a post can get? That’s about all I can conjure up for now. It’s good to be back on the trail!

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  13. Thank you for the compliments. It was a rather long labor. Your additions are better.
    It looks reads/looks vastly better with Dale’s excellent layout. Crisp and clean, making it easy to read.
    There is a hidden joke to be found.
    Here are those that did not make the cut:
    A microerg is the amount of work accomplished by Congress each week.
    Gladdengabbles measure the time ex-jock color commentators talk about their careers.
    Centablackhooves report percentage of fat in goats milk.
    Jimgrams measure weight of saved seeds.
    Benwatts measure stage lighting of corn.
    Baboobpi measures the joy of eating 3.14 servings of desserts name by too many baboons to name.
    Baboonpi squared describes sugar heaven.

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    1. Among other things, I discovered early this morning when I looked under my typing table and saw a very large spot of blood on the carpet that with psoriatic psoriasis toenails can come off very easily. I guess I bumped it on a table leg or something. So I spent an hour trying to clean out the blood spot without bleeding on another place. And that was the “bright spot” of my day.

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  14. Well, the day got away with me again. I did come up with these 2 before I was interrupted.
    Now, I get to enjoy what others have written. Good fun Clyde.

    snideometer to record level of snarkiness
    karmastick—to measure one’s accumulation level of good deeds

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  15. Evening–

    Nice job everyone! Way to go Clyde.
    I have a metric butt load of Kilo Cants. I got nothing…

    I’ve been lulled into a stupor by our supper tonight. We were out in the boonies somewhere; I’d never be able to find it without a guide again. But the broiled catfish and breaded crab was delectable!
    Dale, tell Gus to put the coleslaw on the crackers. It’s WONDERFUL!

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