How was the metric system independently rediscovered by the four races and universally adopted as standard after the EVE gate collapse?

That’s a really good question. And one that I too would like answered.

Right now in my head, I would say “metric” is just a place holder term.


Otherwise handwavium and sweep it under the rug?


I find it easier to believe that the metric system survived (not much to improve to it anyway) than that the four races are all still talking in one of the same languages as existed back then.

Maybe it’s all just automatically translated, including the metric system, so that we understand eachother better?

I’ve tended to view it in a similar way.
A common agreed language to allow the Empires to communicate and a common measurement system to ease the sharing of equipment and services.

Even within an Empire a similar problem exists. Different worlds, with different residual populations, will have their own languages, measurements and cultures that need to be folded in not an Empire.
I suspect there is an analogy to the way English (proper English) was influenced by Empire. From the adoption into English of local language (bangle, dinghy, cot, shampoo - all from India) or where an English variant becomes adopted as the local language (such as that weird sort of C17th Cornish accented English they speak on the other side of the Atlantic).
English is a weird pot-stew of a language.

Metric has a lot of advantages - very few odd proportional constants between values. This helps a lot when building systems or trying to avoid errors interworking systems.
The old “joke” about Imperial measurement getting man to the moon is wrong: The Apollo Guidance Computers worked internally in metric and only converted at the display for the crew. You save a lot of storage not having all the weird and error prone constants in the calculations.
You can imagine a similar coherent unit system existing in the Eve universe.

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So Metric may have survived the EVE gate collapse? Cool!

More likely: there will be a scientifically useful set of common units that get adopted for business between the Empires. For us poor humans trying to understand New Eden we’ll assume the interface translates it to commonly understood and used measures.

Similarly: I’m fairly sure I don’t understand Amarrian, but I’ll live with the translation service provided for me!


I like that idea. It would indeed be confusing if the game displayed text in the language actually spoken by the empires, like Amarrian or Caldari.

Mae’r rhyngwyneb cyfathrebu wedi methu.

Correctamundo. There’s thousands of languages just on current day Earth, there’s probably hundreds of thousands, possibly millions in New Eden, though maybe a few hundred of those get any widespread use.

As for the OP’s question, it is very probably one of the many things agreed upon at the very latest during the Yoiul Conference (in which Universal Time was also decided), though I find it far more likely that metric measurements were rediscovered (if they ever were truly totally lost) individually and independently far earlier in all the spacefaring cultures of New Eden, though also very likely not called “metric” in any of them.


Problem of an imperfect simulation. There’s some kind of interstellar measurement unit, probably standarized by Concord. The game calls it a kilometer because it would be cumbersome to use some fantasy unit, and it would be too difficult to readily understand scale - which is already a problem enough in Eve.

The standardized system is probably close enough to metric that the game uses metric as a conceit. That doesn’t mean the actual unit in universe is called or identical with a modern kilometer. (Though it could be, for whatever reason.)

Same reason other scifi/fantasy settings far removed from Earth refer to things like parsecs or lightyears.

I think we see this same effect in the naming of some ships, like the Loki or Tengu, which are named after things not quite the Earth mythological equivalent but maybe “close enough” that the game “translates” them that way.


A meter is pretty easys to define related to the speed of light … roughly the distance light passes in about 350 picoseconds

The base metric units are all originally derived from the Earth:

  • The second is a sixtieth of a sixtieth of a twelfth of the mean time between sunrise and sunset (twelve and sixty were ancient bases for counting).
  • The metre is one ten-thousandth of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator via Paris (because).
  • The gramme is one millionth the weight of one cubic metre of water.
    The derived units, such as the Newton (unit of Force), are set to give unitary coefficients. 1 N = 1 Kgm/s²

Anyway, I agree with the OP, I suspect local worlds have their historic units based on something physical. The Empires will have standardised within their own areas. CONCORD will have defined units for standardisation across New Eden to allow trade and exchange of designs and ideas.
And as capsuleers we use the New Eden standard measures - but nicely they are made familiar to us earth bound monkeys playing in the New Eden simulator that is Eve.

It’s a bit analogous to the Apollo Guidance Computer: it world internally in Metric (for ease), it was only at the DSKY, the display/keypad, that it was translated to “United States customary units” for the crew as that were their familiar units.


It’s probable that, like the Yoiul calendar (which is basically the Gregorian calendar) and 24-hour day cycle, the empires had to do a lot of digging of historical records to rediscover the metric system. Of course, it’s also probable that New Eden measurements is completely indistinguishable to metric, but it just happens to be converted to metric for the players’ understanding.

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They actually miscalculated by a bit, I cant remember how much they were off by, IIRC it was less than 100KM

In 1792 Jean-Baptiste Delambre and Pierre Méchain, two renowned astronomers, were sent from Paris in opposite directions to measure the width of the Earth. Indeed, the freshly created revolutionary government of France had commissioned them to precisely measure that piece of meridian arc which ran from Dunkirk through Paris to Barcelona. Why? To reform the unit of length “for all people, for all time.” Its ambitions were to reform the world the French people were living in, with the goal of freeing them from the monarchy.........Mechain was a high-strung man who made a mistake in his calculations at one point, then tried to suppress the evidence so as to make the meter conform with expected data......Since 1983, the meter has been defined as “the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second ”


After reading a lot of the replies, I think the most likely answer to this question is that people in New Eden use whatever measuring system they use, and our NeoComs just translate it to metric for us capsuleers.

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