# 10 vs. 12

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by stateofmind, May 10, 2009.

1. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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Why do we use a number system based on 10? 10 can only be divided evenly into halves; 12 on the other hand can be divided into halves, quarters, and thirds.

The strangest thing of all is that in the U.S. we use a measuring system based on 12 but a numbering system based on 10! How irrational!

Changing to a 12 based numbering system would be relatively simple and would make counting and dividing much easier - too bad everyone's too "set in their ways." Between this and the 12 month calendar, I don't know which is a bigger travesty to human rationality.

3. ### CutsieMarie89ZenRegistered Senior Member

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12 is easier to divide and 10 is easier to add and multiply. I guess it depends on what you're doing. But it's much easier to work with ten.

Last edited: May 10, 2009

5. ### CheskiChipsBannedBanned

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You're such a foo.

7. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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How do you figure? Remember, I'm talking about a different numbering system, so you can't look at it in the context of our number system that's based on 10 - you get what I mean?

Is this directed at me or CutsieMarie?

8. ### EnmosValued Senior Member

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Wasn't the decimal system derived from the amount of fingers we have ? If you look at it like that it is logical.

9. ### RomanBannedBanned

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That's the theory, anyway. The Mayans had a base 5/10/20 system modeled after jaguar paws.

10. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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That's not too good of a reason to have a number system based on ten though. And in case you didn't know, some people are born with symmetrical 6 finger hands.

http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/6fingers2.jpg

11. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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I thought it was a base 12 and a base 20?

12. ### EnmosValued Senior Member

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It is in an age without computers etc.
By far the most humans have 10 fingers though. That a small minority have a few more (or perhaps less) is hardly relevant.

Interesting, I didn't know that.

13. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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But why not discard an inferior tool for a better one? - especially something as basic and integral as our numbering system.

14. ### EnmosValued Senior Member

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Because we are used to it, and it works fine.
If we wanted to change it we should probably have done it before the computer age.. too much trouble and cost now I'm afraid.

15. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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You do acknowledge the superiority of a 12 based number system though, right?

16. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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Because we have only ten fingers.

17. ### OliHeute der Enteteich...Registered Senior Member

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Because base 12 isn't a better system all round - we Brits also used it for our small units of currency and a good part of the school curriculum was spent learning the "12 times table", what a waste of time.
Base 10 is faster and easier for multiplication and division.
Shifting a decimal point is far easier than actually calculating...
PS you missed out that 10 can split into fifths as well as halves.

18. ### EnmosValued Senior Member

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I don't know. You mean solely based on the fact that you can split it 4-ways ?
Anyway, it doesn't matter much. They aren't going to rewrite all the software..
And what of the kids that are halve way through elementary ?

19. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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If you were using a 12 based numbering system you would be able to just shift a decimal point - you're trying to conceptualize this within a 10 based numbering system.

What of the people who have already graduated high school (life myself?) I would be willing to change to it. It would be akin to changing all the fuel pumps at gas stations to heavy water stations for hydrogen powered infrastructure - but in the conceptual realm. Of course a bit of remodeling and resetting would have to be done but it comes with the prize of greater efficiency and ease.

20. ### Exterminate!!!Registered Member

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mankind is based on expansion. we seek not to divide but to multiply

CORPORATIONS RULE THE WORLD BASE TEN AT A TIME!

21. ### RomanBannedBanned

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Base ten is easier to use exponentially, too. Just add zeros. What would you add with base 12?

I know base 20 was in there. Maybe I made up the rest

22. ### CutsieMarie89ZenRegistered Senior Member

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The kids in elementary? I don't see how it would really effect them.

23. ### codanblada love of bridgesRegistered Senior Member

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they should have their own digitally challenged numerical system then.