Groups

# If we had 12 fingers...

would there be a decimal system...

(serious thread, please don't turn into a chat thread)

(serious thread, please don't turn into a chat thread)

Groups

would there be a decimal system...

(serious thread, please don't turn into a chat thread)

(serious thread, please don't turn into a chat thread)

Original Poster

Original Poster

11 fingers 1 thumb per hand

12 toes.

Original Poster

no at the start of humanity everyone had 12 fingers.

Reported for Racism ;-)

dacka dacka dack shakalar mahal

I think the decimal system would be abolished, and we'd go back to feet and inches, pounds and ounces, and old money.

And you'd see a sharp rise in people wearing mittens, as gloves would be useless.

lots of people are born this way

[CENTER]][/CENTER]

[CENTER]]

][/CENTER]

Everyone? even the ones who had to battle the dinos?

i only eat yewmanz with 10 fingers sorry chomp

result of the condition polydactylism.

Try the Roman or imperial measurements.

not really, you only say it's simple as you are used to it. there is no real reason why a decimal system should be better that say a hexadecimal system (in fact, the latter is better as base is a power of 2)

]http//en…_10

Decimal isn't the only base we have. Any geeks present will be familiar with base-2 and base-16, or binary and hexadecimal as they're otherwise known. They might even be able to count using them. But, while the systems are useful within their specific areas, they're just not as intuitively easy to use as base-10, and this is why, even though there've been methods of counting before it and after it, base-10 is the one that should see humanity through to the end.

I mean, compare representation of 24 with the three bases. Under base-10, it's just a 2 in the tens column, and a 4 in the singles column. In hex, it's 19. In binary, it's 1100. Add a single unit, and it just becomes 25 in decimal. Hex becomes 1A, binary 1101. Multiply it by 10, and it becomes 250 in decimal, and something too complex for me to be bothered working out in either of the other two systems. Ease is good.

If we didn't have 10 fingers, I don't think it would've made any difference. Maybe base 10 would've been discovered later on, perhaps. It would still prevail as the most effective and efficient system, though. Mind you, I'm not altogether sure that decimal does derive directtly from our fingers. Remember - we don't represent 10 values with our fingers, we represent 11. Even 12. 10 values for each of our fingers, then an 11th for no fingers at all. Or 12, for no fingers on each hand, perhaps with two hands as fists representing two 6s. Or 14, with fists representing 6s, and flat hand representing 0. Alternatively, our hands don't necessarily represent base-10. If you think about it, it's nearer 10 bits in base 2, with each finger representing a bit. Total range of 0 to 1024 to represent with just your fingers using each as a bit.

But, yeah. All thinking aloud aside, we sort-of do have 12 fingers in the sense that we have 12 combinations, and, no, it hasn't stopped us using decimal.

sorry but your argument just isn't valid. as i said before there isn't a good reason why base 10 should be superior. calculations are done in the same way independent of the base; so quoting an example stating how easy it is to multiply something by 10 just doesn't really prove anything. equally i could say how easy it is to multiply something with 16 in a base-16 system as you just need to add a 0.

coming back to the original question, i guess there is little doubt that we have a decimal system as we (normally) have 10 fingers.

Original Poster

:thumbsup:

IMO we should use 14.

couldnt agree more, is that thread over now?....u shud make a new one bg1........forum code of conduct.....discuss....would b fun!

Isn't it 18 in Hex and 11000 in Binary.

:whistling:

Original Poster

that what im tyring to point out.

Original Poster

we would never have developed any other counting system because we only have 10 fingers

but on the other hand (admittedly wo research)most other counting systems have been implemented to cope with technological advances rather than evolution.

then again i never could be arsed with maths

more relevant is what were ounces designed to measure in the first instance? and who though to split them into quarters/halfs

I think it's reasonable to assume that base 10 has become standard due to ten fingers although as pointed out there are other systems such as hexadecimal (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F) which offer more.

John

Not that anyone would probably want to if you dont already know how but you can translate and calculate binary and hex using the windows calculator. Just change it to scientific mode.

Good tip on the Windows calculator as it's a surprisingly handy feature because it's available on most PCs...always seem to end up working with hex on some obscure PC with not much else to assist.

John