"Standards cover an awful lot of ground — how big things
are; how much they weigh; how fast they go; how much power they
consume; how pure they are; how they must be shaped so that they
fit together — the list goes on and on. But despite the
enormous range of characteristics that standards define, you notice
that they all have one thing in common: you can describe them by
using the word "how."
"In short, standards relate to measurable things. Indeed, the
earliest formal standards created in societies everywhere were
usually those related to weights and measures. Invariably these
were established when trade became more sophisticated than tribal
bartering. Ever since, the history of standards has largely been
one of establishing ways to define more and more measurable
characteristics as they became important and as the scientific
ability to test them came along."
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