# Simple numbers question... Or maybe not so simple.

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eric76
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07 Jun 2013, 3:29 pm

In Babylonian Base-60, there are only 59 symbols. There is no symbol for zero.

naturalplastic
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07 Jun 2013, 10:01 pm

Looks more like a base-10 system to me.

A base ten that arbitrarily cuts off at 59.

Tufted Titmouse

Joined: 6 Apr 2012
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09 Jun 2013, 12:01 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Lets get to the nub of the issue.
Basically you want to get rid of negative numbers.
Is that a fair summary of what youre after?

Hmm... no. I don't want to get rid of negative numbers. I want to perfect his representation, and I think that Spiderpig already solved it for negative numbers.
naturalplastic wrote:
What you want is to have all of all negative integers replaced by nine newfangled digits that dont yet exist.

For the sake of arguement lets use the first nine letters of the alphabet as stand ins for these numerals.

A = -1, B=-2, C= -3, and so on.

That way we could eliminate subtraction all together.

"Nine plus G = 2" would replace both" 9-7=2", and "9+ -7=2" as the way we express subtraction. There would be no more subtraction-just adding these new newfangled numbers- which would have negative values.

Is that what this is all about?
Yes, about negative real numbers, it does it right, and turning a subtraction into an addition is a nice improvement.

Deluge88
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Joined: 10 Jun 2013
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12 Jun 2013, 11:53 pm

ruveyn wrote:

But the system efficiency is ruined when we have decimals, or negative numbers. With these we have 2 extra symbols, the "." and the "-".

The "-" can only be placed once, and only on one position. Meanwhile the "." can be on any place, but can be present only once.

That's wasteful. We have 12 symbols, but we can´t represent 12^n different numbers.

.

You have confused number (the mathematical object) with numeral (they way numbers are written out).

You evaluation of negation and showing the fractional parts of real or rational numbers is just plain wrong.

ruveyn

So you say it isn't the case that you can place the '-' and '.' symbols amongst the number symbols on a more abstract level when considering the (formal) system? Without those two symbols, the system would be helpless.

What he is fantasizing about is a system where the two are obsolete or incorporated more finely (they can occur everywhere and don't have a special place). Such a system can only be more counter intuitive than the current one in my opinion, but of course I'm biased as we all are about our number system in 2013 or any given age