Friday, June 24, 2005

Standards and Measures

One day, someone smart and forceful will say, whenever things are measured, the standardization will be global. I'm not just talking the metric system and the old English system either. (Which btw, should've given the world a clue about U.S. arrogance and stubborness).

Case in point: Co-worker turns to me and asks, what is a billion.

My response? "I can't answer that. I've been confused all my life about that question."

So then I look it up on and therein lies the quandry I've found myself in these past 30 years. In America, a billion = a thousand million, that is, 1 with 9 zeros after it. I grew up in Singapore, a commonwealth country. There, we were taught that a billion = a million million, that is, 1 with 12 zeros after it.

So, my question to you all is: #1 - so does China have 4,000,000,000 or 4,000,000,000,000? 2) is Bill Gates worth $40,000,000,000 or $40,000,000,000,000? and the same goes for our federal deficit.

Cause you know, those 3 zeros? They mean quite a lot.

Filed under thoughts.


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