Standards. What do we think? I worked in a calibration laboratory ( MARCC ) for a while and learned that for everything we measure, there exists a physical standard to which we compare our measurements. One country’s centimeters are not different than another’s, because the scientific community the world over has agreed to abide by a standard, thus facilitating understanding and discovery.
In the US, our highest standards are located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology: NIST .
An interesting article on the practicality of standards here .
On a more personal side, we set standards of behavior for ourselves, based on what we agree are high quality models to live up to. Unlike scientific standards, we don’t have official examples to measure ourselves by. We have immediate examples, historical examples, personal examples, and cultural examples. We adjust ourselves on a constant basis and rely on feedback of acceptance, approval, criticism, and rejection to tell us if we are meeting the standards set before us. Beyond, or separate, are our internal standards. Those we make for ourselves. They are different. Sometimes they remain in the background and let society determine what we should be. Sometimes they overpower external messages and we become something truly unique.
What do you think?