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# Universal logarithmic measurement unit

Use one unit to express large and small amounts of something
 (+4, -2) [vote for, against]

Why should I use weeks to measure the time I'm dating somebody, and miliseconds to measure the time between the finish of two racing cars? Because 20/60.480.000 th of a week probably sounds kind of silly to express the difference between the finishing of those two cars.

But what if there would be a measurement unit that would be as acurate as miliseconds, but also be confortable to use as it is with weeks? Maybe logaritmical (I'm not a math wizard so I'm not sure) So it would sound like: "we broke up 1,5 units ago" and also: "I finished just -0,2 units before him". The unit should be usable in both situations and you don't have to remember how to convert those unit type of things.

Like I said, I'm not much of a math wizard, so I could be way off base here, and it's probably not even practical to use such a complex unit (then again, I'm still having problems converting degrees celcius and farenheit), but it's something that came up, so I committed it to my favorite bakery. :-)

Maybe one of you guys can shine some light on my idea.

 — psneekes, Sep 26 2002

Exponential birthday intervals http://www.halfbake...irthday_20intervals

 'Maybe one of you guys can shed some light on my idea'

is that a pardox?
 — [ sctld ], Sep 26 2002

 No, psneeks is asking for a logarithmic unit of time. Say we set the base as 60 and the zero point as one second, this will give

1 second = 0 ulmus
1 minute = 1 ulmu
1 hour = 2 ulmus
1 day = (gets calculator out...)
 — st3f, Sep 26 2002

 1 day = 2.78 ulmus 1 week = 3.25 ulmus 1 year = 4.22 ulmus

 Converting the other way

 -5 ulmus = 1.29 picoseconds -4 ulmus = 77.2 picoseconds -3 ulmus = 4.63 microseconds -2 ulmus = 278 microseconds -1 ulmus = 0.0167 seconds (1/60 of a second) 0 ulmus = 1 second 1 ulmu = 1 minute 2 ulmus = 1 hour 3 ulmus = 2.5 days 4 ulmus = 150 days 5 ulmus = nearly 25 years

all, of course completely arbitary and fairly pointless. Cute, though.
(puts calculator away)
 — st3f, Sep 26 2002

Hmm... relearning the concept of time.. Nope, not my bag, sorry.
 — Mr Burns, Sep 26 2002

 Logarithmic units are only really useful when comparing quantities which tend to be logarithmic in meaning. For example, if on a recording a person's voice is 6db louder than the jackhammer in the background, it will remain so regardless of the volume at which the recording is played.

A useful place to which this sort of scale might be applied is audio frequencies, with the formula being 12*lg(freq_in_hz/8.1758) [so middle C would be a value of 60 and frequencies would line up with MIDI note numbers.
 — supercat, Sep 26 2002

Give me .1693 ulmus to decide if I'll ever utter a public ulmology.
 — reensure, Sep 26 2002

[admin] Corrected spelling in title, changed category.
 — st3f, Sep 26 2002

 Logrithmic units are used for many things already. A few logrithmic units I can think of off of the top of my head:

Decibels (sound) Richter (earthquakes) Stellar Magnitude (stars) Storm Magnitude (storms) pH (Acidity)
 — Krate, Sep 26 2002

I'll buy [supercat]'s idea for logarithmic frequency units. I've seen way too many cases where log(f) is more directly useful than f itself. But I'm not sure if the normalization to the MIDI note numbers would be as universally useful as a plain log_2(f) or log_10(f).
 — BigBrother, Sep 26 2002

ulmu.com is available. Cool.. I can't imagine there are many 4-letter domains available...
 — waugsqueke, Sep 27 2002

BigBro: I'll grant that lg(f) may be more useful than the MIDI-normalized value (i.e. a difference of one unit per octave); I don't see much use for a log10-based scale, though. Two pitches may be easily heard as being in a 2:1 ratio (or 4:1, or 8:1, or 16:1), much more so than a 10:1.
 — supercat, Sep 27 2002

 [supercat]: I was thinking more general-pupose signal analysis, not audio necessarily. But on further thought, octaves are still more useful (generally) than decades, so log_2(f) it is.

 // Two pitches may be easily heard as being in a 2:1 ratio //

Not in your typical high school band. :) You'd be hard pressed to find an integer ratio in that mess.
 — BigBrother, Sep 27 2002

If you are doing scientific work, then you already work in seconds. With some very large and very small multipliers. Which are powers of ten, so I think we are already using logarithmic measurement!
 — pfperry, Sep 27 2002

¯waugsqueke: utus.com (as in arbutus) is available … I also wonder how many four letter domains are available.
 — reensure, Sep 27 2002