Reply to post: We use base 10 for a reason

Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

Tim99 Silver badge

We use base 10 for a reason

We can count off on 8 fingers and two thumbs (alright we can go to 20 in warmer climates if we can use our toes). Some people in the world still count in 60s using the same 8 fingers and two thumbs. If you are predominantly right handed, use your right thumb to count to 3 with the top, middle and lower phalanx of your right hand little finger, then three more with the ring finger joints, then the middle finger, then the index finger to give 12. Extend the little finger of your left hand to count off the first 12, the repeat for another 12 with the right hand and extend the ring finger for 24, then count another 12, and use the left hand middle finger for 36, then the left index finger for 48, and finally the left thumb for 60.

It may be one reason why old farts like me were taught the duodecimal system. We bought things in dozens and paid for them in shillings and pence - Also ten is only divisible by the integers 1,2, and 5; twelve is divisible by 1,2,3,4, and 6; and sixty is divisible by 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15, 20, and 30 - So very "handy" when selling items or dividing them up between people. There were 12 shillings (and 240 pennies in the pound), so we could divide a pound by 16, 24, 30, 40, and 60 as well.

"Uphill both ways, in the snow, barefoot" might allow a higher count...

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