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We are incredibly ignorant whichever way you measure it

News that nasa's $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter fell into a black hole because one of the two teams responsible for telemetry worked in imperial while the other used metric mensuration can have come as no surprise to veterans of the construction industry's own wonder years. In the decade of decimalisation, such errors were common on building sites and widely publicised. Then, after the Metrication Board was wound up, an eerie silence fell, broken only by gasp-making episodes that ...

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