We have basic words for the numbers zero to three, so why not use them to count?

  • None (0)
  • Single (1)
  • pair (2)
  • Multiple (3+ but we’ll use it as three)

So with those “digits” we can construct some numbers:

  1. Single
  2. pair
  3. Multiple
  4. Single nothing
  5. Single single
  6. Single pair
  7. Single multiple
  8. Pair of nothing
  9. Pair of singels
  10. Pair of pairs

And of course we can construct bigger numbers like:
42 = 4²×2+4¹×2+4⁰×2 = pair of pairs of pairs
128 = 4³×2 = pair of absolute complete nothinges For this last one I just use some adjectives to repeat the “nothing” as it looks really weird with multiple nothing in a row.

The distance between Stockholm and Gothenburg is a single multiple of none multiple multiples

Could I have a single multiple of bananas please?

        • ComradeSharkfucker
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          11 month ago

          I might be weird for this but one of my favorite things while high is to watch videos about scientific and political theory way beyond my level of understanding. It makes perfect fucking sense until I actually try and think about it. Fantastic time 10/10

  • IggyTheSmidge
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    2 months ago

    OP is clearly a troll:

    In fact, trolls traditionally count like this: one, two, three . . . many, and people assume this means they can have no grasp of higher numbers.
    They don’t realize that many can be a number. As in: one, two,three, many, many-one, many-two, many-three, many many, many-many-one, many-many-two, many-many-three, many many many, many-many-many-one, many-many-many-two, many-many-many-three, LOTS.
    Terry Pratchett - Men at Arms

    • HjalmarOP
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      222 months ago

      Yes, I’m indeed a traditional Swedish troll. Here I am, I’m the one to the right with red hair on this image:

      Me

    • @I_Fart_Glitter@lemmy.world
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      62 months ago

      But everyone knows camels are the better mathematicians, having always used base infinity.

      Lack of fingers was another big spur to the development of camel intellect. Human mathematical development had always been held back by everyone’s instinctive tendency, when faced with something really complex in the way of triform polynomials or parametric differentials, to count fingers. Camels started from the word go by counting numbers.

      Terry Pratchett - Pyramids

    • HjalmarOP
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      2 months ago

      Mathematically this works just like our number system, your just not used to it

  • Justin
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    92 months ago

    Lower bases like base-2 and base-4 are more efficient in some ways because they use fewer symbols, but with the tradeoff that the numbers get longer. e.g. 13033 vs 499. Most computers count in base-2, but ssds actually count in base-8, as it’s the most efficient way to store data on the kind of flash storage that they use. Honestly, for humans it probably matters more to have easy division, like with base-12, base-60, and base-360, than it does to have writing efficiency. Bases using square numbers, like base-4, base-8, and base-16 are convenient for computer scientists though, since they convert easily into base-2.

    • @justJanne@startrek.website
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      42 months ago

      SSDs aren’t just that simple. All of them have at least some SLC area, usually as cache, that’s in base 2. But the rest of the SSD can be SLC base 2, MLC base 4, TLC base 8 or even QLC base 16.

      And overall it’s still base 2 because each SSDs pretend one block of base 4 is just two blocks of base 2, and accordingly they pretend a block of base 16 is just 8 blocks of base 2 storage.

      • Justin
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        32 months ago

        Sure, I was simplifying a bit. But on the hardware level, TLC SSDs (the vast majority of SSDs in 2024) will physically address flash memory outside of the SLC cache as base-8. Each cell that gets written is written with a base-8 digit. But yeah, what gets exposed to the computer is all base-2. I just wanted an example of modern computers using higher bases.

        I guess another example would be busses that use PAM, such as Wifi, modern 100mbit+ ethernet over copper, 100gbit+ ethernet over fiber, PCIe 6.0+, and GDDR6X. These all send symbols that count in higher bases than the traditional base-2 NRZ/PE/BPSK signalling. Often these are base-4, but they can go up to insanely large numbering systems, like base-4096 with Wifi 7.

        • @justJanne@startrek.website
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          22 months ago

          You’re absolutely right on that count. If you switch fast enough, everything has a capacitance. That’s why with CMOS designs once you go above a few kHz you start worrying about fan out.

          It’s also why, once the ceiling is reached, everything starts using modulation tricks previously used in RF. Ethernet started with 1GbE, USB with 3.0, DSL did it from the start, with PCIe even gamers have probably seen eye diagrams in riser tests, and coax is the very definition of pushing RF over a wire.

      • @hddsx@lemmy.ca
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        22 months ago

        Wait. Too many acronyms. Why do SSDs count in non binary? I thought they were banks of transistors.

        • Justin
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          32 months ago

          Modern flash-based SSDs are banks of capacitors, and recent ones will usually store 8 different voltage levels per capacitor, allowing it to count in base-8 and saving physical size over counting in base-2. This is called “TLC”, or “Tri-level cell”, meaning it can store the equivalent of 3 binary bits of data in a single capacitor.

          • @hddsx@lemmy.ca
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            12 months ago

            Is there any sort of error correction for this? Don’t capacitors lose charge over time?

            • @justJanne@startrek.website
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              2 months ago

              Yes, of course there is error correction. Also, while the SSD is on power, it’ll constantly go through all data and fix the areas that are starting to deteriorate.

              But this does mean an SSD left without power will slowly lose data over months and years.

              This also means that writing data is much slower and the SSD can handle far fewer writes. But the tradeoff is that TLC and QLC SSDs can handle 2× and 4× more data than MLC SSDs for the same price.

              That’s why MLC SSDs are primarily used for professional use and TLC and QLC is primarily used for gamers.

              Some TLC and QLC SSDs even allow you to choose how much of the SSD should be used as SLC/MLC space (4× less data, 4× faster writes, 4× more endurance) and which part should be used as TLC/QLC (4× more data, 4× slower changes, 4× less endurance).

    • HjalmarOP
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      -12 months ago

      If you ask someone for “multiple” of something their almost always going to give you three of that thing (or nothing). In that context multiple is just three and as @CatsGoMOW@lemmy.world pointed out, if I use triple I could as well keep going with higher numbers (quadrupole etc)

      • @RainfallSonata@lemmy.world
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        72 months ago

        If someone asks me for “a few” I’ll give them three or four. If someone asks for “multiple” I’ll give them a handful and ask if that’s enough.

        I don’t know where in the world this theory is coming from, but here, two would be “a couple” and three+ would be “a few.” Not that “a pair” (never just pair) and multiple aren’t used in other contexts, but you wouldn’t use pair and multiple in the same context. A pair is specific, multiple is an estimate.

        • @person@lemm.ee
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          12 months ago

          Maybe it’s just me: had to double back on that literal use of “where in the world”.

        • HjalmarOP
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          12 months ago

          It’s just me thinking of what I ordered people near me would do. But I’m not a native English speaker so my feel for the language might be wrong; I’m from Sweden (and my mother tongue is Swedish).

      • @Plopp@lemmy.world
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        52 months ago

        If you ask someone for “multiple” of something their almost always going to give you three of that thing (or nothing).

        Huh? I’ve lived a long time and that’s not something that feels familiar to me. On the other hand I do have multiple dollars in my bank account and that equation checks out.

        • HjalmarOP
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          22 months ago

          I’m not a native English speaker so you (and everyone else here) are probably right. I thought it meant the same thing as the Swedish word “flera” whilst the proper translation seems to be “ett flertal”

          • @Plopp@lemmy.world
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            22 months ago

            I think it differs. To me, “flera” is like 3-5 maybe? Perhaps 4-10 in some cases. And I sometimes hear people use “par” to mean 3, probably short for “ett par tre stycken”, so a poorly defined 2-3 that sometimes is 3.

        • HjalmarOP
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          12 months ago

          Yeah, your probably right; my English ain’t perfect. A few would probably have been better to use as @RainfallSonata@lemmy.world pointed out

  • @antlion@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    72 months ago

    Should be single syllables to speak. Nil, bit, pair, few.

    15 is a few few. 12 is few nil.

    But for more than 2 digits, I think we need something better than just spewing digits. I would propose a vowel suffix for the higher digits. Y, O, and A. So 63 becomes few-y few few, and 64 is Bit-Y or “bitty”. Don’t need to say the nils after. 65 is Bitty bit. 255 is FewO FewY few few, followed by 256 which is Bitta.

    • HjalmarOP
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      12 months ago

      Smart, I like the shorter words. And for the suffixes your basically picking based on the digits position from the left? So you suggest the suffixes:

      Place suffix
      1 place
      4 place
      16 place Y
      64 place O
      256 place A

      I believe we’d have to continue a bit longer and maybe also have a suffix for 4th place? I would suggest using both prefixes and suffixes, maybe in this order:

      Place suffix prefix
      1 place
      4 place A
      16 place A A
      64 place O A
      256 place Y A
      1024th place O
      4096th place A O

      … And so on, you can probably see how you could keep going in order to express any number up to 16777216. After that we might have to start using two letter prefixes/suffixes like “la”, “ro” or whatever

  • @Etterra@lemmy.world
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    72 months ago

    Hey how many fingers were you born with? 10 probably. And now you know why we use base 10.

    Although to be fair the Babylonias loved them some base 60. See also time keeping and degrees in a circle.