Base 12 system
• 0 both hands together in fists
• 1 one closed fist held forward
• 2 one fist held 1 finger out
• 6 one hand, all fingers splayed
• 7 one hand one fist
• 8 one hadn one fist one finger
• 12 two hands
was how I thought counting might work with 10 digits.
Actually the idea of a 'base 10' number system is somewhat modern. I forget when it came into practice, but I know there were ancient cultures that used different numbering systems.
Actually the idea of a Base system is what really drove the science of mathematics forward. Other number systems were more of tally notes, based on addition. A Base N system centers around multiplication followed by addition, which allows the mathematical system to easily handle big numbers.
Think about it, in an ancient time how often does your average person need to count to more than 100 or so? Up until about the 1800s or so, few people really needed to deal with numbers, and for a big chunk of the world a lot of people were barely taught basic math skills till after 1900, and even then it isn't till something like the 1950s or so that the majority of people are expected to know.
But when you think of how we actually write numbers, and the theory of Zero, a base 11 or base 6 system actually makes more sense. Write it out while you count on your fingers. Show yourself Zero. Now start counting digits till you get back to zero again. Surprise,... Our hands aren't base 10, they're base 11.
If you are counting things out and writing them down, it actually makes more sense to learn in base 6, you hold your writing tool in one hand, and count with your free hand.
That humans use a base 10 system most likely does stem from our having digits on our hands, but this is most likely because it is a translation from a tally number system, not a pure mathematical 'base' system.
We would have learned to count before we made a numbering system, that is we learned one, two, three, four, five, etc, and THEN we learned to write 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.
I might be mis-remembering but I think that the base 10 comes from the Persians and the concept of the zero comes from the Chinese. Me n numbers aren't the best of friends so I sometimes forget exactly.
Here is a view of the stove I finally managed to put together.
I think I'm going to start looking at how imported objects (that I create in other software I find more usable) do...can I still use styles on them, as that's what really grabbed my attention in Sketchup...
Off the top of my head, I know the Babylonians used base 60, as did the Sumerians before them, but the Babylonians were the ones who really developed the math. How on earth you'd keep track of 60 numerals I have no idea!
Originally Posted by Talroth
edit: And the Maya used a base 20 system. I guess maybe that's why they all wore sandals?
For my culture, I'm basing things on multiples of 6 and 12 - or, at the very least, factors of 12. So they may have 48 alphabetical characters, each representing the 48 "sounds" that they make. 12 punctuation characters, etc. It's mystical, so they may have created systems with 64 spots, but only have 59 of them in use as they search for the missing 5.
A basic well (I just can't figure out how to make rope yet!)...and an overview of the primary community farm.
Well, well, well.....sorry couldn't resist! :)
Which reminds me of Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle's Footfall novel, where an alien race derived from elephants try to take over the world, similar by different to Lucifer's Hammer (comet strike on Earth, and subsequent survival) in flavor.
However the elephant aliens had a single trunk that divided into 4 trunks about half way down, which ended in 4 finger like tenticles at the end of each, so they used Base 8 for everything. Like their mother ship in orbit had 64 engines on it, etc.
Using non-Base 10 is a cool way to make a given setting unique. Though I haven't introduced the idea in a game, thus far, worth thinking abou though.