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 The Trek BBS Math question

 Miscellaneous Discussion of non-Trek topics.

March 1 2013, 02:51 PM   #16
Christopher
Writer

Re: Math question

 SmoothieX wrote: Also, buy a calculator.
As thestrangequark said, the point isn't about results, the point is about understanding the process. Sure, having a car means you don't have to walk everywhere, but the existence of cars doesn't mean we don't need to learn how to walk.
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March 1 2013, 02:55 PM   #17
Rhubarbodendron
Commodore

Location: Milky Way, outer spiral arm, Sol 3
Re: Math question

^excellent comparism!

 Christopher wrote: We use base-10 mathematics because we have ten fingers.
Sorry but I just can't resist: according to this theory all Britons used to have 12 fingers and got two amputated since the 1960s.
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 March 1 2013, 03:49 PM #18 Christopher Writer Re: Math question We use 12 a lot because of lunar cycles (roughly 12 months in a year), and because it has a lot of divisors that make it mathematically useful (2, 3, 4, 6). Ten only factors into 2 and 5; it's actually a pretty bad number to choose as a numerical base. But we use it anyway, and it's because we have ten fingers and thus have a natural inclination to count in tens (which is not to say that we're incapable of doing otherwise; some cultures have had base-60 or base-20 mathematics, but those are still multiples of ten). __________________ Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Major site update 8/27/13 including annotations for Rise of the Federation Book 1 and Only Superhuman audiobook! Written Worlds -- My blog
March 1 2013, 04:47 PM   #19
Shaytan
Bof

Location: Paris, Fr, EU.
Re: Math question

 Christopher wrote: We use base-10 mathematics because we have ten fingers,
My ancestors were astucious enough to know that they have also 10 toes and they used a base 20 system that survived a little in my language and in the collective culture.
For exemple, there is a hospital in Paris called les quinze-vingts (the 15-20) because it hosted 300 patients when it was created during the Middle Ages.
Another exemple : 80 = quatre-vingt = 4-20 litterally.
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March 1 2013, 05:09 PM   #20
thestrangequark

Location: thestrangequark
Re: Math question

Shaytan wrote:
 Christopher wrote: We use base-10 mathematics because we have ten fingers,
My ancestors were astucious enough to know that they have also 10 toes and they used a base 20 system that survived a little in my language and in the collective culture.
For exemple, there is a hospital in Paris called les quinze-vingts (the 15-20) because it hosted 300 patients when it was created during the Middle Ages.
Another exemple : 80 = quatre-vingt = 4-20 litterally.
But then you all started designing fabulous footwear and, alas, the base 20 system met its end. It's glorious, kitten-heeled end.
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 March 1 2013, 05:14 PM #21 Christopher Writer Re: Math question Again, I never said humans were limited to using only base 10, so I don't understand the objections. I just said that's the reason we use base 10 at all. __________________ Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Major site update 8/27/13 including annotations for Rise of the Federation Book 1 and Only Superhuman audiobook! Written Worlds -- My blog
March 1 2013, 05:15 PM   #22
Shaytan
Bof

Location: Paris, Fr, EU.
Re: Math question

 thestrangequark wrote: But then you all started designing fabulous footwear and, alas, the base 20 system met its end. It's glorious, kitten-heeled end.

Everything has to end so it'd better be in a silly and elegant way
But we're too sentimental to completely forget it.

 Christopher wrote: Again, I never said humans were limited to using only base 10, so I don't understand the objections. I just said that's the reason we use base 10 at all.
Where do you see an objection ?
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March 1 2013, 05:17 PM   #23
thestrangequark

Location: thestrangequark
Re: Math question

 Christopher wrote: Again, I never said humans were limited to using only base 10, so I don't understand the objections. I just said that's the reason we use base 10 at all.
Dude...no one has objected...
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 March 1 2013, 05:29 PM #24 Christopher Writer Re: Math question Well, that's what Rhubarbodendron's comment sounded like. __________________ Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Major site update 8/27/13 including annotations for Rise of the Federation Book 1 and Only Superhuman audiobook! Written Worlds -- My blog
 March 1 2013, 05:33 PM #25 Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral     Location: Warped off into the sunset. With fond memories of most of you, and not a little sorrow at leaving. Re: Math question The Minbari in Babylon Five use base 11; 10 fingers plus the head. That's my useless contribution to the topic . __________________ We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
March 1 2013, 05:34 PM   #26
thestrangequark

Location: thestrangequark
Re: Math question

 Christopher wrote: Well, that's what Rhubarbodendron's comment sounded like.
I do believe she was making a joke.
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March 1 2013, 05:35 PM   #27
Robert Maxwell
I Think It Is Beautiful

Location: Taken by sunbeams
Re: Math question

 Christopher wrote: Well, that's what Rhubarbodendron's comment sounded like.
It was a joke, dude.
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March 1 2013, 05:50 PM   #28

Location: Gov Kodos Regretably far from Boston
Re: Math question

 Deranged Nasat wrote: The Minbari in Babylon Five use base 11; 10 fingers plus the head. That's my useless contribution to the topic .
And Centauri use six bases for the ladies...
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March 1 2013, 05:55 PM   #29
thestrangequark

Location: thestrangequark
Re: Math question

 Deranged Nasat wrote: The Minbari in Babylon Five use base 11; 10 fingers plus the head. That's my useless contribution to the topic .
In Contact the creators of the universe used base 11 too.
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 March 1 2013, 06:24 PM #30 Coach Comet Vice Admiral     Location: North Pole Re: Math question No contemporary discussion of numeral bases would be complete without mentioning that, because computer memory is ultimately composed of bits, computer scientists frequently use bases that are various powers of two: binary itself (base 2), octal (base 8), and hexadecimal (base 16). Base 64 also has a place, although it's rare, if ever, for data in that base to be directly manipulated by humans. __________________ CorporalCaptain

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