Thursday, March 01, 2007

Skeptic's Circle 5 x 11

The latest Skeptic's Circle is now up, courtesy of EoR at The Second Sight. Please take a number and check it out.

Speaking of numbers, my next post falls on a post number whose importance is debatable: 100. Since that post is full to the brim as it is, I'll mutter on about the significance of 100 a bit here. The primary reason it's significant is that we work in a base-10 system, thanks to the number of fingers we have. From this, any landmark in a power of 10 becomes somewhat significant. 100 also has the added utility of being used for our percentile system, as it's both a clean power of 10, and it provides a balance of precision and brevity.

But wait a second, let's go back to number bases. It's obvious that whatever number base we use (outside of base 1 and bizarre negative bases), we'd call it "Base-10." And then, we'd count of significant milestones on numbers like 100 and 1000 (though for smaller bases, like what we'd call Base-2, 100 isn't so big). With this added twist, 100 becomes a significant milestone whatever base you're using, because the base then makes 100 significant.

Open thread here, though I've got a little puzzle for anyone who wishes to solve it: How could you count in Base Negative-Three? How about counting from zero downwards?

4 comments:

AustinAtheist said...

I have no idea how to count like you mean.

And I can't believe I didn't think of using 5x11 instead of 55! That's what I get for posting at work.

I just started reading an esoteric old book called "Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," and I'm right in the middle of alchemy and numerology.

It was originally written in 1841 but someone had it republished in 1979.

I'll have to shamelessly promote it once I'm done. It's damn near 700 pages!

Akusai said...

I've heard of that book and almost bought it on a couple of occasions. If you give a resounding review, I just might pick it up.

An Anonymous Coward said...

Open thread here, though I've got a little puzzle for anyone who wishes to solve it: How could you count in Base Negative-Three? How about counting from zero downwards?

Up from 0 to 20 (that is, to 20 base 10):
0, 1, 2, 120, 121, 122, 110, 111, 112, 100, 101, 102, 220, 221, 222, 210, 211, 212, 200, 201, 202

Down from 0 to -20:
0, 12, 11, 10, 22, 21, 20, 1202, 1201, 1200, 1212, 1211, 1210, 1222, 1221, 1220, 1102, 1101, 1100, 1112, 1111

How's that? Did I get it right, or did I make a mistake somewhere? (Or is this not what you were asking?)

Infophile said...

Anonymous Coward - Looks correct to me, but anyways, the real trick was just figuring out what the helly you're supposed to do anyways, which you've got.