Decimal arithmetic, was Re: Python GUI app to impress the boss?

Christian Tismer tismer at tismer.com
Thu Oct 3 20:55:03 CEST 2002


Chris Gonnerman wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Christian Tismer" <tismer at tismer.com>
> 
> 
>>(On bases: Actually, the primes (2, 3, 5) would give a quite
>>nice numeric base. They have lots of nice properties 
>>concerning harmony, and the multiples of the prime factors 
>>produce numbers people consider as "nice", most of the time.
>>So my number base would be at least 30 :-) )
> 
> 
> Didn't the ancient Babylonians use 60?  I've read we have
> them to blame for 360 degrees in a circle.
 >
> Just has another factor of 2... they must have been pretty
> sharp mathematicians.

Right. And see how simple they built their positional
system, using just two symbols:
http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Babylonian_numerals.html

Base ten is embedded into base 60. They could have done
it with 30 as well, but I have no idea why they have
choosen this, exactly. The above article gives some
discussion abou that.

ciao - chris

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