Le Baron wrote:
If a goal is not quantifiable, then it is not achievable. To make it quantifiable, you use units (words, hours, pages, etc.). You use whichever units are easiest to quantify for your purpose.
No, I don't think it's that, but rather people wanting to seem scientific. There will be some that may well be easier to say, like e.g. 'eleven hundred dollars' rather than 'one thousand, one hundred dollars', but this is mere convention, not precision. Both are precise. A 'year' or 'day' is precisely quantified and agreed upon; everyone knows what it signifies, which is why it works. So is a 'litre' or a kilogramme, obviating the need to count things like bags of sugar as 1000gs or 2000gs (2 bags, since we know it's sold in 1kg bags). 500 grammes, half a kilo, 0.5kg are all the same thing, there is no special precision in any one.
Well, some of us are scientists and engineers. When I say, "precise", I'm referring to scientific precision in reference to measurement
. To use years and be precise, you'd have to use decimals with the correct number of significant digits, which I'm not sure why anyone would use or if anyone would understand (also, I think this would actually be in units of day-hours, since you're not studying the whole day).
Anyway, you asked and I tried to answer. I flip between ohms, kohms, Mohms, pFs, uFs, etc. all day. Most people say, "1000pF', though we very well could say, "1nF". Sometimes I say, "1000 Mbps", sometimes I say, "1 Gbps". Sometimes I say, "Hi", sometimes I say, "Hello".
Le Baron wrote:
AllSubNoDub wrote:It's a lot easier to think of the age of very small children in months than it it is partial years, partial decade, etc.
Is it? I think 24 months is pushing it a bit. And is this precision always so urgently required? Why am I not filling in government forms with my year age, plus months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, if precision is what I seek? The birthdate and the mental arithmetic of the person reading it does this task.
Yes. It appears you started replying before you read my whole post. You
don't need to add months. You don't need to add days, hours, or minutes
because that information isn't useful to anyone. You don't need to add seconds
because that would be too precise based on our dataset.
When a toddler
is 24 months, that means it's precisely
2 years old, not just 2 years old. When a child is "2 years old", on the other hand, it could be 24 months or 35 months. Precision matters at this age, not at yours, hence, "he's in his 30's" and not "he's in his first decade/singles" (or whatever the construction would be).
Le Baron wrote:
AllSubNoDub wrote:Are you suggesting that progress be tracked in number of days times hours/day (which still yields hours)? Ok, so I'll study 365 days for 5 hours a day. Oh wait, what happens if I study 4 hours one day?
Why would that matter? Since the plan is to do roughly the same number of hours per day. If not, and that were to be taken into account (i.e. some days I do 5 hours, but some days I only do 10 minutes) the entire concept of saying '3000' just becomes hazy and means any number up to 3000 over any length of time from 1-4 years to 40 years!
The major governing bodies of all language certification programs use number of hours to quantify study time in order to give the student a level of expectation based on an easily quantifiable measure. "I studied French for 4 years in high school" means nothing to me. "I studied French for 2000" gives me a much better idea. "I studied French for 120,000 minutes" is cumbersome and adds no greater level of insight.
Le Baron wrote:Perhaps Stalin ought to have called his 5-year plan: the 60 month plan, for precision. Though that might have made the goal seem very far away.
I prefer to be on the opposite side of Stalin for most things, but here I have to agree with his choice of units.