Time we switched to unicode? (was Explanation of this Python language feature?)

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 02:26:21 CET 2014


On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:16 PM, Rhodri James <rhodri at wildebst.org.uk> wrote:
> It's not quite that simple, sadly (for me).  I have mild dyscalculia, which
> in my case is another way of saying that collections of digits *aren't*
> tokens to me unless I ascribe a specific meaning to them.  I don't work with
> day-level time differences a lot, so 86400 is just a string of digits to me.
> Powers of two and one less than powers of two I use a lot, so 65535 for
> example is a token.  The more digits there are in the number, the harder it
> is for me to take in in a way that doesn't happen with letters.  Even
> "forty" is better than "40" if you want me to recall it!

Interesting. This suggests that your brain works happily with words
(since you can recall "forty" more easily), but not with digits.

But even in the normal case, that will be true to some extent. It's
common to break up long numbers into groups of three or four digits -
look at credit cards and phone numbers, for two very common examples.
Treating 86400 as a single token comes more easily when you know it's
the number of seconds in a day, and recognizing 604800 as the number
of seconds in a week is pretty much essential to seeing it as a single
token.

ChrisA



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