On the contrary, this is eminently practical. Instead of an unreliable and privately held nearly inaccessible standard we now have a reliable standard that can be accessed by everyone anywhere. This is the most practical improvement since the abrogation of the prototype meter.
The (kilo)gram has gone through these conventions:
- 1795: gram = mass of one cubic centimeter of water at 0 C
- 1799: changed to 4 C, where water has maximum density
- 1799: platinum cylinder
Interesting, is seems "we" went from an measurement (mass of one cc) to a physical blob of metal, and now back to a specified measurement?