There are a lot of things we as humans do, that we do out of convention or habit, because it is the "way things have always been done". These conventions tend to be rather slow to change, exactly because once they take hold they are somewhat ingrained in the way we do things, and change is always difficult, especially when a larger amount of people are involved. Change means all of them have to agree to some level on the new way of doing things, otherwise you risk any potential gain from the new and hopefully improved way of doing things being diluted by the increased difficulty in connecting with the people who prefer the old way, for one reason or another.

Because changing these conventions is so difficult once they have been established, education plays a huge part in either maintaining them, or when talking about large scale efforts to standardize on something new, changing them. If you are able to educate children in the new way of doing something, the old way will eventually die out as the practitioners of it age and die. Depending on what exactly the convention is, something like legislation may also be enough, if the official way of doing something is changed—like say, currency—people will generally adapt to the new way of doing things because of the other mostly established convention of following the law and societal rules in general.

That was all a long way of prefacing what I have been thinking about, namely currency. Or, to be more specific, the denominations of it, and more generally the way we have structured our numbers with the decimal system.

Pretty much everyone outside of the USA—who cling on to the imperial system for measurement—has become rather accustomed to viewing most things from this base 10 mindset, both when it comes to things like the metric system as well as the separation of currency into the currency itself and cents or something like it—I am sure there are other exceptions to this as always, but I'm looking at this from what I know. This is of course rather convenient, since we can apply the same type of shorthands for many different types of calculations and approximations we do, and don't have to learn different ways of thinking for something like measuring and paying, but is it really optimal?

I admit, I like it rather much and find the imperial system somewhat annoying to work with—not that I have to work with it much or at all—and find that doing things like multiplication on base 10 is much easier than with most other things, but is that merely because that's what I'm used to and have learned? Many people don't seem to have any problem working in the imperial system, and it has survived this long despite the derision it at times receives from the outside, so is there some hidden merit to it?

There was an interesting video I saw a while back about old currency, specifically in England, and one of the things pointed out in it was the to modern sentiments strange thing of being partially based on steps of 240 instead of 100, which on the surface feels a lot less convenient and confusing, yet does come with the advantage of making things like division by 3 a lot easier. Of course, for most applications, merely using a repeating three is accurate enough, so it's not really a problem necessarily, but it is still something that has caused me to question more the reason behind some of the conventions that we hold, or more so made me more aware of the potential value in having different ways of doing things available and keeping a more open mind. Because I admit, I was very much in the "the imperial system is dumb"-crowd, and now I'm not quite so sure—even if having to convert from imperial to have a better gauge of the size of something in our modern US-centric world does get rather annoying.