# Simple math, ancient Egypt:

sonhouse
Science 13 Oct '17 13:30
1. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
13 Oct '17 13:30
2. venda
Dave
13 Oct '17 19:46
Originally posted by @sonhouse
Thanks for that.
Interesting.
I read a long time ago that if humans only had eight digits arithmetic would have been conducted in base 8 and not base 10 and therefore computers would have developed more quickly along the lines of the video(1,2,4 8 and so on
3. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
16 Oct '17 11:46
Originally posted by @venda
Thanks for that.
Interesting.
I read a long time ago that if humans only had eight digits arithmetic would have been conducted in base 8 and not base 10 and therefore computers would have developed more quickly along the lines of the video(1,2,4 [b] 8
and so on[/b]
Yes, but they were already doing binary in ancient Egypt which was the point of the video. The problem with that method is, while it is good for normal numbers, say 5 or 6 digits, try that method with 50 digit numbers.....
4. venda
Dave
16 Oct '17 12:09
Originally posted by @sonhouse
Yes, but they were already doing binary in ancient Egypt which was the point of the video. The problem with that method is, while it is good for normal numbers, say 5 or 6 digits, try that method with 50 digit numbers.....
Not sure what "method" you mean.
Don't computers use hexadecimal for bigger numbers?
5. 16 Oct '17 12:11
Originally posted by @sonhouse
Yes, but they were already doing binary in ancient Egypt which was the point of the video. The problem with that method is, while it is good for normal numbers, say 5 or 6 digits, try that method with 50 digit numbers.....
Then you'd want to use exponentials and logarithms.
6. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
16 Oct '17 12:593 edits
Originally posted by @venda
Not sure what "method" you mean.
Don't computers use hexadecimal for bigger numbers?
Computers go 1, either/or, and 2. This is called three state logic. The one I call
either/or is a high impedane state that will just go with the flow but no current or very little current flows so a long parallel line of parts can sit on the same bus lines. Otherwise you could not stack a dozen or more chips together. So only one device is activated and the bus therefore dedicated to that particular chip long enough time to get the bits out, like a memory chip but others do the same. So for X period of time, one chip gets to talk the others are in high impedance and unable to effect the buss. The bits can be organized into hex or 8 bits (octal) or 16 bits, 32 bits, 64 bits, 128 bits and so forth, the more bits you have as a unit the more memory you can acess. The very first CPU's were only 4 bits, the 8008, and could only access 16 memory bits at a time. Then came the 8080 with 8 bits, which could directly access 256 bits and they added trick bits to up that butThe bottom line is they still have to use binary, only the true1's and 0's are actually used for computing. Hex comes in where a human interface is needed so extra circuitry is used to convert 4 binary bits to hex, 1000 is 8, 1001 is "A" 1111 is F and that is how hex is used. For our benefit, not the computer. Then we can stack them, 8 bits conflate to 2 hex bits. Hex is used because of that convenience. To count from zero to 15 using 0-9 plus A, B, C, D, E,and F, the only letters used.
It really doesn't matter what number system we use, if we counted in binary, we would just read out the bits directly. We could just as easily use tertiery, where instead of 0 and 1, you get to use 0,1 and 2. or quad, 0,1,2,3 or base 60 where you need 60 digits but your numbers would be very efficiently read out in terms of number of digits to represent large numbers. But of course we would have to install and remember 60 separate symbols and the computer could care less about all that, still running on ones and zero's. A pain to have to engineer a binary to 60 base converter, representing all the symbols.
7. 16 Oct '17 15:20
You asked about 50 digit numbers. If you want to deal with numbers that are very large, then using logarithms and exponential functions is very useful.

Perhaps you never understood logarithms and exponential functions. Don't worry, very few people do.
8. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
16 Oct '17 18:35
You asked about 50 digit numbers. If you want to deal with numbers that are very large, then using logarithms and exponential functions is very useful.

Perhaps you never understood logarithms and exponential functions. Don't worry, very few people do.
Wow, I have been into electronics longer than you have been alive and you think I don't know logs and exponents? I was talking about normal people doing math the ancient Egyptian way. Maybe not even 50 digit numbers. They might have had difficulties doing 12 digit numbers but I doubt if any practical need ever occured for numbers that large. BTW, I am also the top level amateur radio operator, a ham with my first licence age 13. You need logs and exponents for that and I studied that when I was 12 for my first ham test. I built a theramin at age 12, my first radio age 8. My first real short wave radio kit at 14, a heathkit AR3. Don't know whatever happened to that radio. It worked fine first time I powered it up. A little story about that radio. A year later, my step dad and rest of family drove us up to Alaska where I attended HS. We first lived in a little cabin with no electricity or running water. While still there in the cabin, I was wandering around the forest and came upon a small building I surmised was some kind of water pump, could hear it humming away. I looked around and found a pole with a 110V power plug. I was ecstatic! Ran back to the cabin, grabbed the radio and 30 feet of antenna wire, ran to the water pump building, plugged it in and lo and behold, I was listening to many shortwave stations, which I had not been able to do in months! I spent a lot of time at that building and nobody ever showed up to kick me out. A fun time was had by me for sure.
9. 16 Oct '17 19:291 edit
Originally posted by @sonhouse
Wow, I have been into electronics longer than you have been alive and you think I don't know logs and exponents? I was talking about normal people doing math the ancient Egyptian way. Maybe not even 50 digit numbers. They might have had difficulties doing 12 digit numbers but I doubt if any practical need ever occured for numbers that large. BTW, I am also ...[text shortened]... me at that building and nobody ever showed up to kick me out. A fun time was had by me for sure.
Not many people know how logs and exponentials work. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't.

Funny how you thought a 50 digit number would be a concern with the average person.

After all, you did think that squaring the square root of x was the absolute value of x and not simply x. If you didn't know something as basic as that, why assume you know anything at all?
10. Soothfast
0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
17 Oct '17 06:43
Originally posted by @venda
Thanks for that.
Interesting.
I read a long time ago that if humans only had eight digits arithmetic would have been conducted in base 8 and not base 10 and therefore computers would have developed more quickly along the lines of the video(1,2,4 [b] 8
and so on[/b]
Some human societies did use base-8:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octal

The Yuki language in California and the Pamean languages[1] in Mexico have octal systems because the speakers count using the spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves.
11. 17 Oct '17 08:473 edits
Originally posted by @soothfast

The Yuki language in California and the Pamean languages[1] in Mexico have octal systems because the speakers count using the spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves.
That's interesting. Using the spaces between the fingers rather than using the fingers themselves somehow seems much less intuitive to me so I'm a bit surprised they did it that way. I suppose to make this more intuitive (at least to me), instead of counting the spaces between them, you could make a clear distinction between fingers and thumb and then only count the 8 fingers themselves i.e. simply exclude the thumbs in the count.
12. venda
Dave
17 Oct '17 13:23
Originally posted by @soothfast
Some human societies did use base-8:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octal

The Yuki language in California and the Pamean languages[1] in Mexico have octal systems because the speakers count using the spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves.
I didn't know that
13. venda
Dave
17 Oct '17 13:36
Originally posted by @sonhouse
Computers go 1, either/or, and 2. This is called three state logic. The one I call
either/or is a high impedane state that will just go with the flow but no current or very little current flows so a long parallel line of parts can sit on the same bus lines. Otherwise you could not stack a dozen or more chips together. So only one device is activated and ...[text shortened]... zero's. A pain to have to engineer a binary to 60 base converter, representing all the symbols.
You're obviously way ahead of me in this field.My best attempt at programming computers ended with the zx spectrum which reminds me of a story:-
I loved playing the game Marsport on the spectrum.Can anyone else remember it?There were a number of puzzles you had to solve -often cryptic whilst avoiding the Mars monsters which killed you.One day a "cheat" was published in a magazine which I assumed would removed the monsters.I studiously typed in the codes listed only to find there was a misprint and the cheat didn't work.I then got out my spectrum code book and worked out where the misprint was.I then typed in the correct code only to find it didn't get rid of the monsters at all but gave all the answers to the puzzles!! - Damn!!
14. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
17 Oct '17 15:381 edit
Not many people know how logs and exponentials work. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't.

Funny how you thought a 50 digit number would be a concern with the average person.

After all, you did think that squaring the square root of x was the absolute value of x and not simply x. If you didn't know something as basic as that, why assume you know anything at all?
You should know the basics of gravitational lensing, Einsteins formula for finding the angle of bending given mass and radius, right?

If so, then work out where the focal point is given mass and radius number, radius of 1 say, 1.4 say and so forth. Should be easy for someone as educated as you.

You think the average person would not have trouble multiplying 2 50 digit numbers?
15. 17 Oct '17 15:42
Originally posted by @sonhouse
You should know the basics of gravitational lensing, Einsteins formula for finding the angle of bending given mass and radius, right?

If so, then work out where the focal point is given mass and radius number, radius of 1 say, 1.4 say and so forth. Should be easy for someone as educated as you.

You think the average person would not have trouble multiplying 2 50 digit numbers?
Is that taught in basic math?

I don't think so.

Finding the inverse for functions is taught to anyone going to college in all math classes.

Logarithms and exponentials are also taught to all, but few understand them. I believe it is because of how it is taught. My kids seem to get it pretty quickly once I changed how I taught it.