I don't agree with the vote to close the question "Why is the MKS unit of time the same as the CGS unit?". The question is, when Giorgi proposed to replace the CGS system, could he alternatively have chosen to replace the unit of time instead of the unit of mass. The answer is "no", because Giorgi aimed for coherence with the practical units ampere, volt and joule. This answer has been accepted by the OP.

User FGSUZ voted for closing the question because it might belong to HSM. But we are using SI today, so it is a question about today (why is the kilogram the SI base unit of mass). Kyle Kanos diverts from the question, which is about the replacement of CGS by MKS, by mentioning natural units. Other voters do not explain their vote. Some users incorrectly seem to imply the change from CGS to MKSA was arbitrary.

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    $\begingroup$ Since there are only 3 upvotes on FGSUZ's comment, I'm guessing that at least one user chose a reason other than 'off-topic because HSM's better'. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, perhaps somehow they read the question in a way that triggered a silent grumpy mood. Which is a pity because essentially it is a nice question. I suppose "closing" is a euphemism for "deleting after a short delay"? $\endgroup$
    – jkien
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ @jkien About auto-deleting closed questions. It's rare that the community chooses to manually delete a question just because it was closed. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, so it is probably a win-win game, effectively the votes are used to preserve it the way it is. That is fine. $\endgroup$
    – jkien
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Normally, the OP (you) might consider using the comments to improve the question and clarify why an alternative time unit might be useful in the CGS vs MKS difference. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ I am not the OP, I wrote the answer. I think the OP himself is the one to edit the question, although I did a suggestion in a comment. $\endgroup$
    – jkien
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ @jk the question is put 'on hold' for a few days before it's 'closed'. Technically, the two are similar on the system's side (i.e. no new answers can be added and users are allowed to cast reopen votes), but the wording is important. 'On hold' welcomes people to fix it up and reopen it. So at this stage, there's no euphemism. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


The question, as originally written is,

Though other units change in different systems, but time's unit never changes. Why is it

which is very different than your interpretation (Why did Giorgi maintain the unit of time as a second?). It was later modified to be simply a "Why?" at the end, but since there are no further remarks by the OP to give his/her intention of the question, we can only read it as was written.

As pointed out (by me) in the comments, there are other unit systems in which the unit of time is not the second, so it's not clear to me why OP thinks that there's only one unit of time (i.e., the second) in the other "different systems" that were vaguely identified. I voted to close based on that understanding.

I can understand a vote to close on the historical aspect (i.e., your interpretation), given previous discussion on the matter of questions of historical context. I don't believe the question implies in any meaningful way that it's a request for an historical perspective (note that it's not even tagged ), so OP accepting the answer based on an historical perspective increases the unclear-ness of the post (though it could just be a "fastest gun in the west" response: jkien answered first, so he gets the check mark).

To answer the titular question: close votes indicate that a subset of users believe that there is a problem with the post that needs remedying. Actual closure of the question prevents further answers from being allowed until the problem is resolved. In this case, OP needs to clarify the historical request (which should be asked on HSM) or something else.


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