# 10 based numeral system

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Is  the  only  reason  that  our  mathematics are 10 based   because we  he 10  fingers and the  first  calculator was  only  our  fingers ?

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Yep. It doesn't make sense otherwise. From an efficiency standpoint, powers of 2 are better for computers (e.g. 8-bit bytes and 64-bit CPUs). And 12 would be more useful, because it can be divided up in more ways (i.e. into 2, 3, 4, or 6 parts).

Edited by Lorentz Jr
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6 hours ago, Saber said:

Is  the  only  reason  that  our  mathematics are 10 based   because we  he 10  fingers and the  first  calculator was  only  our  fingers ?

It is certainly a very significant reason but not something that can be proven.

As Lorenz says, 10 only has two factors  so 10 = 5 x 2 and we have two hands with 5 fingers on each.

and we see many primitive and not so primitive cultures from around the world that have an equivalent scratch mark of the '5 bar gate' where counting goes 1, 11 111, 1111 and then a new symbol for 5.

So 5 units make a 'hand' and 2 hands make 10.

But also as lorenz says, 12 = 2 x 3 x 4 and the next such is 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 = 60

Which brings us to the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians who had a number systems based on 60.

These numbers which lead to our modern measures of time and angle.

Interestingly the ancient cultures in the Americas has even more complicated bases (360) as they measure calendar time not hours, minutes and seconds as we do.

A fascinating subject.

Thank you for raising it +1

Edited by studiot
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8 hours ago, Saber said:

the  first  calculator was  only  our  fingers ?

I don't think so. I don't think our ancestors couldn't use pebbles, sticks etc. for calculations.

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We use decimal system because that's what we got from Hindus via Arabs, adopted it and have it spread. The reasons are historical.

I think, this happened too late for the number of fingers to be an important factor.

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Seems like the Brits had some base 12 going on for a while.  Divvying up money would be easier, due to the large number of nontrivial factors.

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I don't think it's a coincidence. It's obvious that our anatomy seems to favour use of 10-base number system. The Babylonians had a preference for 60-based number system. And the reason is the high number of divisors that 60 has: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30.

One problem is that you need sixty symbols or digits, which becomes cumbersome. But still, there are traces of the Babylonian system in our 12-based hour system, as well as in measuring angles.

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Is a use of quinary system by people known? We have a convincing explanation of its use ready.

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Is a use of quinary system by people known? We have a convincing explanation of its use ready.

Yes, perhaps you missed it but I have already mention the evidence.

I am in

Is a use of quinary system by people known? We have a convincing explanation of its use ready.

Yes, perhaps you missed it but I have already alluded to the scratch marks.

At the moment I am in Exeter so no in a position to post pictures.

edit

and struggling with this poxy unfamiliar laptop

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7 minutes ago, studiot said:

I have already alluded to the scratch marks.

I see now. Yes, it's good.

8 minutes ago, studiot said:

no in a position to post pictures

No need (for me). It's good enough.

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8 hours ago, TheVat said:

Seems like the Brits had some base 12 going on for a while.  Divvying up money would be easier, due to the large number of nontrivial factors.

12 has been used by many cultures for bartering. With a mix of languages present, you use the fingers to signify your offer. In the case of 12, you use the finger bones of the hand, and point with the thumb. 1,2,3 are on the index finger, 4,5 and 6 on the middle finger, 7,8 and 9 on the ring, and so on. So you can point to 8 or 12 etc. with one movement, and any trader will know what you mean.

Edited by mistermack
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Don't English names for the numbers up to twelve indicate a use of 12-based system?

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