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Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 14:57:27 -0500 (EST)
To: pycyn@aol.com
Cc: lojban@yahoogroups.com
In-reply-to: <5f.1d86e8e2.291eeca5@aol.com> (pycyn@aol.com)
Subject: Re: [lojban] Re: possible A-F...
Reply-to: bob@rattlesnake.com
References: <5f.1d86e8e2.291eeca5@aol.com>
From: "Robert J. Chassell"
... the theoretical grounds for preferring one to another of the
central schemes -- 10, 12, 16 -- come down to the fractions, which
are in order (with about a halving of frequency at each step) half,
quarter, third, fifth, eighth, ....
The *practical* grounds are that people mostly use
half, third, quarter,
for everyday fractions, and 12 is the smallest base that does this
well.
Also, you can count by fractions of 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 on a hand, by
bending your fingers forward and looking at the knuckles and finger
tips.
Using this method, it is easy to visualize 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4.
In base-12, these are 0.6, 0.4, and 0.3.
In base-10, finger fractions are much more difficult.
In base-10, 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 are 0.5, 0.3333..., and 0.25,
and neither of the last two can be readily visualized by looking at
your fingers.
(You can readily count integers on your fingers in either base 12 or
base 10. As you say, the preference depends on the fractions.)
--
Robert J. Chassell bob@rattlesnake.com
Rattlesnake Enterprises http://www.rattlesnake.com