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In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, however in practice there are many...
 « Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 04:48:14 pm » Bigger Smaller Reset

IIRC In the Scientific American / Scientist there was an article a few years ago about counting. The stories main line was that counting in its earliest form was "body part" based.
Even the most "primitive" civilizations understood the number 1 to 5 (fingers) Above that there was only infinity. For some others the next important frontier was 20 (fingers + toes) .
Can't find the article but a related link - http://www.es.flinders.edu.au/~mattom/science+society/lecture3.html -

This number 20 has still a separate name e.g. in French "vingt" , it is not the same grammatical construction like thirty (which derives from three-ten), in French you even have 80 called quatre-vingt 4x20.

Just to add to the confusion...

Q: how to represent negative numbers in base64? one or two complements? (is -0 an other number than +0)
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Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -

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 « Reply #16 on: January 01, 2013, 05:01:30 pm » Bigger Smaller Reset

The number of people who still do mental calculations is constantly decreasing. We don't have to worry
too much about the names of numbers in certain languages.
the decimal system was nothing more than the product of an accident: biological or historical or both.
Now let's go back to the computers because most of the calculation are made with computers, and ask ourselves
an honest question: what is so special about the decimal system and why are we still using it?
For mobile phones it might be useful but in the case of computers  it's a different matter.
The best option would be to use base 60 in parallel and to allow easier conversions between bases.
There is no need to be so obsessed with the decimal system just because we like to be nostalgic.

For about 500 years the entire planet ignored its existence. Then, because of an accident, it became the
most famous painting of the world. Now, we all agree about this but we still don't know why it is the most famous
painting of the world.

The story of the decimal system looks very similar to the story of Mona Lisa.

 « Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 05:04:26 pm by littlewolf » Logged

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 « Reply #17 on: January 01, 2013, 06:51:37 pm » Bigger Smaller Reset

One could make the same argument between English units and Metric units, and time even, all based on some arbitrary standard.
Length of some kings foot, some (relatelively) poorly made distance between 2 points divided by a million, the number of vibrations of some atom.

I don't see much point in counting
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b c d e f
and then some arbitrary symbols that are equivalent to
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 3a 3b 3c 3d 3e 3f
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 4a 4b

when in computing, which is definitely not going away, binary will always rule the day - 0 & 1 are the king of states.
Perhaps eventually "quantum computing" with "bits" that can have more than 0/1 states will see the light of general use, but that it aways away.

Only takes 26 letters to express ourselves clearly (versus thousands of pictures of words in other languages), and time/experience has shown that just 2 numbers, 0/1, and its shorthand for readability, 0-9 or 0-F, can get us everywhere we can go.

 « Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 07:14:23 pm by CrossRoads » Logged

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 « Reply #18 on: January 01, 2013, 07:11:24 pm » Bigger Smaller Reset

Quote
It's a nice pic but I've seen a lot better. In the art world you don't have to be good, you just have to kiss the right arse.

Quote
we still don't know why it is the most famous painting of the world.
For the same reason that some talent-less moron becomes famous these days, promotion and a brain-dead populace.

______
Rob
 « Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 07:13:17 pm by Graynomad » Logged

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