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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.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog

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.
__________________
a hug a day keeps the psychiatrist away

 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 -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors Written Worlds -- My blog
March 1 2013, 04:47 PM   #19
Shaytan

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.
__________________
Not on strike.

March 1 2013, 05:09 PM   #20
thestrangequark

Location: Brooklyn
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.
__________________
thestrangequark

The Enterprise is my TARDIS.

 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 -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors Written Worlds -- My blog
March 1 2013, 05:15 PM   #22
Shaytan

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 ?
__________________
Not on strike.

March 1 2013, 05:17 PM   #23
thestrangequark

Location: Brooklyn
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...
__________________
thestrangequark

The Enterprise is my TARDIS.

 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 -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors Written Worlds -- My blog
 March 1 2013, 05:33 PM #25 Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral     Location: Becoming a general liability to the team Re: Math question The Minbari in Babylon Five use base 11; 10 fingers plus the head. That's my useless contribution to the topic . __________________ Shall we grow old, you and I and all, in a universe bereft of light? - Iloja of Prim
March 1 2013, 05:34 PM   #26
thestrangequark

Location: Brooklyn
Re: Math question

 Christopher wrote: Well, that's what Rhubarbodendron's comment sounded like.
I do believe she was making a joke.
__________________
thestrangequark

The Enterprise is my TARDIS.

March 1 2013, 05:35 PM   #27
Robert Maxwell

Location: NJ Chapter
Re: Math question

 Christopher wrote: Well, that's what Rhubarbodendron's comment sounded like.
It was a joke, dude.
__________________
Not affiliated with those other white knights. I'm the good kind.
I has a blag.

March 1 2013, 05:50 PM   #28
Gov Kodos

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...
__________________
We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound... our home has no boundaries beyond which we cannot pass. We live in music, in a flash of color... we live on the wind and in the sparkle of a star! Endora, Bewitched

March 1 2013, 05:55 PM   #29
thestrangequark

Location: Brooklyn
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.
__________________
thestrangequark

The Enterprise is my TARDIS.

 March 1 2013, 06:24 PM #30 CorporalCaptain Admiral     Location: North America 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. __________________ “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

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