Number geeks!

Robin Debreuil has a great post about how the world would be a better place if we had four fingers like the Simpsons (or virtually any cartoon characters). He doesn't say anything about the yellow color or the rubbery hair, but it would sure look cool too.
His article is amazingly well documented and thought through. You can see that this guy has been thinking about building a new numbering system for years. Very impressive. And very geeky too, in a hilarious kind of way.
Unfortunately, his proposition for easier arithmetics has even less of a chance to be widely adopted as, say, the US has to adopt the hugely superior metric system or Swatch has to impose its "internet time".
So it is a total waste of energy, totally useless, impressively time-consuming and funny at the same time.
And thus highly recommended reading.
A few things worth noting and objections, though:
- I would actually have loved a numeric system where 4233 sounds like "butthole sniff sniff". How boring would the solar system be if we didn't have Uranus?
- A complete tutorial with exercises and a diploma at the end would be great (there are exercises at the end of the paper, but that's not enough: I want to learn)
- As has been noted in the comments, the balanced ternary system is surprisingly good too. Any chance of mixing the two for a balanced ternary bioctal system? And for a better name than that?
- I'll be saying bioctal too from now on instead of hexadecimal
- You're completely mad to spend so much time on trying to improve everyone's life whereas you should be working on your SWF/C# project
- If we forget about one of our fingers, how easier is it to count on them? Anything you can't do with the decimal system?
- Bioctal sounds like a french anti-acne medication, which is ok as geeks keep their acne quite late.


  • Well, Robin, not my idea, it came from a comment on your blog. After that, it was just adding nevi and minus nevi.

    Actually, I might give you a few hints that you may find useful or not, dating back from my thesis work, which was about graded algebras, with a focus on ternary algebras. Perhaps you know of Grassmann algebras, which are non-commutitive Z2-graded algebras, for example. Here, it looks like you're building a graded algebra but can't find the right grading group. See the sign as the grade, and the grading group is then Z2. Now, zero does not belong in the grading group, but in the algebra (otherwise, your grading group is no longer a group because it has no neutral element). What's the grade/sign of zero? You decide (the folks who designed the way signed integers are coded in binary decided it was positive).

    Seems like you have some more useless thinking to do.

    By the way, did you consider publishing your stuff in a scientific paper, something not too academic like Scientific American? It would be great fun to see this in a mainstream journal.

    Do you realize that thanks to you, when you type "Microsoft butthole anus" in Google, chances are you'll end up on my blog? Thanks a lot, really.

  • Just try it. If you've got good material like your stuff, it's probably easier than it seems.

    About the old config file, use the web.old.config name instead of web.config.old. That will take care of it as the .config extension is never served.

    I'll think about the Google ads, thanks for the tip.

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