From Merzbach and Boyer's "A History...

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From Merzbach and Boyer's "A History of Mathematics" (good read by the way, heartily recommend) -

"The decimal system, common to most civilizations, had been submerged in Mesopotamia under a notation that made fundamental to the base 60"

>base

>60

Why? What would compel them to do this?

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>>7779247

What would compel you to do base 10? It's all arbitrary.

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>>7779247

Because fuck it, I made up a base 16 number system when I was little because I was bored. It has absolutely no effect on anything.

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>>7779256

You actually want the number to be as composite as possible, senpai.

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>>7779256

We have 10 fingers

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I prefer base G!, or as I've come to call it, base 10.

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>>7779289

That's an extremely problematic statement, you shitlord.

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>>7779256

This >>7779289. Merzbach and Boyer actually discuss in the opening chapters how base systems developed. There's a small section on anthropological studies that looked into the base systems used by Native Americans - most tribes used either decimal or quinary system (after the number of fingers), and that a small percentage either used a binary or ternary system. 10% used a vigesimal system (base 20). The simple conclusion is that we developed from a basic system of two's and three's, to counting with one set of fingers, or both sets, to some systems which used both fingers and toes.

But base 60 as used in Mesopotamia has no parallel.

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>>7779294

Base 10 is ableist and reeks of thin privilege. Not everyone can see their digits due to problems with excess adipose tissue, shitlords!

Also, it's sexist and an obvious sign that math is patriarchal. See how the big, long, powerful one - very much like a phallus - precedes the round, softer, 0 which looks of course like a vagina. The 1 is thrust before the 0, saying "The penis comes before the vagina".

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>>7779247

Any other mathematics history books for a beginner? Come on faggots, recommend one.

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>>7779318

The History of Mathematics isn't really for a beginner, it gets quite heavy going later on. A better text for a beginner would be Mathematics for the Non Mathematician.

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It is possible for people to count on their fingers to 12 using one hand only, with the thumb pointing to each finger bone on the four fingers in turn. A traditional counting system still in use in many regions of Asia works in this way, and could help to explain the occurrence of numeral systems based on 12 and 60 besides those based on 10, 20 and 5. In this system, the one (usually right) hand counts repeatedly to 12, displaying the number of iterations on the other (usually left), until five dozens, i. e. the 60, are full.

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>>7779247

Two reasons: 60 can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. This can be useful for representing fractions as decimals. And this can be represented on the hand by pointing to one of the 12 knuckles on one hand's 4 fingers with one of the 5 fingers on the other hand, giving a unique representation for all 60 digits (5x12=60)

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>>7779247

>good read by the way, heartily recommen

I'll take you up on that you shill

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>>7779247

>What would compel you to do base 10? It's all arbitrary

base e!

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>>7779336

base 12 systems are very common, even English goes 12 then thirteen, inches and feet are another example.

12 is divisible by 1,2,3,4 and 6, while 10 is only divisible by 1,2 and 5 making 12 a very easy number to work with.

60 is, as another anon said, 12x5 and is therefore divisible by 5 too.

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