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Gmburns2000


Apr 23, 2012, 5:00 PM
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Hindu-Arabic Numbers
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I have to be totally new to this, but I thought it was cool enough to share. Does anyone know where the shapes of the Arabic numbers came from? Apparently there is no proof to this, but it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Is it possible that the numbers were created (i.e. - drawn) according to how many angles they have?

The following link isn't where I saw this, but it's the first place I could find that showed what I saw originally (though the 8 is different).http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/





and so on...


squierbypetzl
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Apr 23, 2012, 6:15 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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I heard that version several years ago but I dunno if it's true or not.

Weren't our numerals created by the pheonicians?

I was checking out japanese numbers yesterday (for those occassions where encryption comes in handy) and it turns out that most of their numbers >10 are sums of 2 or more lesser numbers, much like Roman numerals. For example, 14 is written as a 10 followed by a 4; 24 is written as a 2 followed by a 10 followed by a 4. Maybe this way of conceptualizing numbers and the daily exposure to arithmetic helps them stand out in maths and engineering?


(This post was edited by squierbypetzl on Apr 23, 2012, 6:18 PM)


jt512


Apr 23, 2012, 7:54 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
I have to be totally new to this, but I thought it was cool enough to share. Does anyone know where the shapes of the Arabic numbers came from? Apparently there is no proof to this, but it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Is it possible that the numbers were created (i.e. - drawn) according to how many angles they have?

The following link isn't where I saw this, but it's the first place I could find that showed what I saw originally (though the 8 is different).http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/1.gif[/image]

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/2.gif[/image]

and so on...

I don't give that much of a chance of being true. If you try hard enough, you can draw just about any digit to have the desired number of angles you want it to have. The "7" in your reference seems particularly contrived. Other sources of information on where European digits came from make no mention of this angle business at all.

Jay


Gmburns2000


Apr 24, 2012, 4:48 AM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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squierbypetzl wrote:
I heard that version several years ago but I dunno if it's true or not.

Weren't our numerals created by the pheonicians?

I was checking out japanese numbers yesterday (for those occassions where encryption comes in handy) and it turns out that most of their numbers >10 are sums of 2 or more lesser numbers, much like Roman numerals. For example, 14 is written as a 10 followed by a 4; 24 is written as a 2 followed by a 10 followed by a 4. Maybe this way of conceptualizing numbers and the daily exposure to arithmetic helps them stand out in maths and engineering?

That's an interesting thought, but I doubt it. I think Germany has had a pretty good reputation for engineering for a while and they use the Hindu-Arabic numbers. I think it's more to do with education than the type of characters.


Gmburns2000


Apr 24, 2012, 4:52 AM
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Re: [jt512] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I have to be totally new to this, but I thought it was cool enough to share. Does anyone know where the shapes of the Arabic numbers came from? Apparently there is no proof to this, but it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Is it possible that the numbers were created (i.e. - drawn) according to how many angles they have?

The following link isn't where I saw this, but it's the first place I could find that showed what I saw originally (though the 8 is different).http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/1.gif[/image]

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/2.gif[/image]

and so on...

I don't give that much of a chance of being true. If you try hard enough, you can draw just about any digit to have the desired number of angles you want it to have. The "7" in your reference seems particularly contrived. Other sources of information on where European digits came from make no mention of this angle business at all.

Jay

actually, almost all of the sources I read mention that this is a possibility but cannot be proven to be true.

It is kind of a coincidence, though. BTW - there are no angles with 0.


sungam


Apr 24, 2012, 7:58 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
It is kind of a coincidence, though. BTW - there are no angles with 0.
Looks horribly contrived to me.

A 7 has a base but a 1 doesn't? Maybe it's an old thing but I haven't ever seen this myself.

The zero gets curves but the eight and three don't?

The 9 gets a pass through but the 4 doesn't?

I dunno, it seems made up to me.


squierbypetzl
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Apr 24, 2012, 8:53 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
squierbypetzl wrote:
I heard that version several years ago but I dunno if it's true or not.

Weren't our numerals created by the pheonicians?

I was checking out japanese numbers yesterday (for those occassions where encryption comes in handy) and it turns out that most of their numbers >10 are sums of 2 or more lesser numbers, much like Roman numerals. For example, 14 is written as a 10 followed by a 4; 24 is written as a 2 followed by a 10 followed by a 4. Maybe this way of conceptualizing numbers and the daily exposure to arithmetic helps them stand out in maths and engineering?

That's an interesting thought, but I doubt it. I think Germany has had a pretty good reputation for engineering for a while and they use the Hindu-Arabic numbers. I think it's more to do with education than the type of characters.

Interesting you should mention Germany. When I studied German I was impressed with how structured it is. While not completely rigid, it's very orderly, mathematical I'd even say. Very much an example of what people consider "German".

Is it the character of a people that determines their language or, since language becomes the means through which humans conceive and describe everything in their lives (aside from math), can the characteristics of a language in turn influence the character of a people?

Cases in point: Mandarin uses inflexions and tonal variations (dunno the scientific terms) that require more from a listeners ear; meanwhile, they seem to have a great deal of very good musicians. Japanese, Russian and Korean are all very complex languages, and they have a reputation for being very good with complex mental tasks

It probably is their education more than any other factor, but like somebody once said: "Tell me how you speak and I'll tell you how you think."


jt512


Apr 24, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I have to be totally new to this, but I thought it was cool enough to share. Does anyone know where the shapes of the Arabic numbers came from? Apparently there is no proof to this, but it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Is it possible that the numbers were created (i.e. - drawn) according to how many angles they have?

The following link isn't where I saw this, but it's the first place I could find that showed what I saw originally (though the 8 is different).http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/1.gif[/image]

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/2.gif[/image]

and so on...

I don't give that much of a chance of being true. If you try hard enough, you can draw just about any digit to have the desired number of angles you want it to have. The "7" in your reference seems particularly contrived. Other sources of information on where European digits came from make no mention of this angle business at all.

Jay

actually, almost all of the sources I read mention that this is a possibility but cannot be proven to be true.

Then I think you're looking at a biased sample of sources.

In reply to:
It is kind of a coincidence, though. BTW - there are no angles with 0.

It's not a coincidence at all. It seems likely that "0," and empty circle, would have been a rather natural way to represent "nothing." Similarly, "1," a single straight line, seems a natural way to represent "one thing."

Most of the early Hindu-Arabic numerals, from which ours are derived, were pretty curly, rather than angular. From the chart below, you can see that our "2," "3," and "4" are similar to their curly antecedents, but rotated 90 degrees. Our "9" is almost unchanged from its ancestor, which, rather than having nine angles, has none. The ancestor of our "7" had only one angle, rather than the seven from your source, which like I said, is totally contrived. The only numeral that your sources get right is "4," which derives from a stylized cross.



Jay


Gmburns2000


Apr 24, 2012, 3:45 PM
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Re: [jt512] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I have to be totally new to this, but I thought it was cool enough to share. Does anyone know where the shapes of the Arabic numbers came from? Apparently there is no proof to this, but it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Is it possible that the numbers were created (i.e. - drawn) according to how many angles they have?

The following link isn't where I saw this, but it's the first place I could find that showed what I saw originally (though the 8 is different).http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/1.gif[/image]

[image]http://arabicnumerals.tripod.com/2.gif[/image]

and so on...

I don't give that much of a chance of being true. If you try hard enough, you can draw just about any digit to have the desired number of angles you want it to have. The "7" in your reference seems particularly contrived. Other sources of information on where European digits came from make no mention of this angle business at all.

Jay

actually, almost all of the sources I read mention that this is a possibility but cannot be proven to be true.

Then I think you're looking at a biased sample of sources.

In reply to:
It is kind of a coincidence, though. BTW - there are no angles with 0.

It's not a coincidence at all. It seems likely that "0," and empty circle, would have been a rather natural way to represent "nothing." Similarly, "1," a single straight line, seems a natural way to represent "one thing."

Most of the early Hindu-Arabic numerals, from which ours are derived, were pretty curly, rather than angular. From the chart below, you can see that our "2," "3," and "4" are similar to their curly antecedents, but rotated 90 degrees. Our "9" is almost unchanged from its ancestor, which, rather than having nine angles, has none. The ancestor of our "7" had only one angle, rather than the seven from your source, which like I said, is totally contrived. The only numeral that your sources get right is "4," which derives from a stylized cross.

[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/EuropeanFormOfArabianDigits.png[/img]

Jay

heh - I saw that diagram and completely ignored it. Laugh


Gmburns2000


Apr 24, 2012, 3:48 PM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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squierbypetzl wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
squierbypetzl wrote:
I heard that version several years ago but I dunno if it's true or not.

Weren't our numerals created by the pheonicians?

I was checking out japanese numbers yesterday (for those occassions where encryption comes in handy) and it turns out that most of their numbers >10 are sums of 2 or more lesser numbers, much like Roman numerals. For example, 14 is written as a 10 followed by a 4; 24 is written as a 2 followed by a 10 followed by a 4. Maybe this way of conceptualizing numbers and the daily exposure to arithmetic helps them stand out in maths and engineering?

That's an interesting thought, but I doubt it. I think Germany has had a pretty good reputation for engineering for a while and they use the Hindu-Arabic numbers. I think it's more to do with education than the type of characters.

Interesting you should mention Germany. When I studied German I was impressed with how structured it is. While not completely rigid, it's very orderly, mathematical I'd even say. Very much an example of what people consider "German".

Is it the character of a people that determines their language or, since language becomes the means through which humans conceive and describe everything in their lives (aside from math), can the characteristics of a language in turn influence the character of a people?

Cases in point: Mandarin uses inflexions and tonal variations (dunno the scientific terms) that require more from a listeners ear; meanwhile, they seem to have a great deal of very good musicians. Japanese, Russian and Korean are all very complex languages, and they have a reputation for being very good with complex mental tasks

It probably is their education more than any other factor, but like somebody once said: "Tell me how you speak and I'll tell you how you think."

yeah, for sure that language is a major part of culture and that in turn is a major part of how cultures educate. No doubt about that. It's no wonder that the Portuguese and Italians are crap engineers. Laugh


lena_chita
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Apr 24, 2012, 4:33 PM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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squierbypetzl wrote:
Is it the character of a people that determines their language or, since language becomes the means through which humans conceive and describe everything in their lives (aside from math), can the characteristics of a language in turn influence the character of a people?

Both. Coming from another language and culture background, I find the way the language and cultural concepts are entwined quite fascinating. Every language has some ideas/concepts that are so central to that particular language/culture that there is a single word to describe it, while the same concept will have to be conveyed by a paragraph-long explanation in another language. And the sum of them makes for something unique to each culture.

There is a saying in Georgian (it is from Shota Rustaveli, a 12th century poet whom the Georgians revere):

"You are as many times a human being, as many languages you know."


squierbypetzl
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Apr 24, 2012, 6:13 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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Indeed, and great quote.

I came across a word in German that's sure to come in handy, Weltschmerz - lit. World, pain; it's the grief, distress or sadness felt when thinking about the state of the world.

The Japanese have another great concept, Mono no aware: the awareness of the transcience of all things which, while heightening the appreciation of their beauty, evokes a sense of sadness at their passing.


edge


Apr 25, 2012, 6:18 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Hindu-Arabic Numbers [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
There is a saying in Georgian (it is from Shota Rustaveli, a 12th century poet whom the Georgians revere):

"You are as many times a human being, as many languages you know."


Let's see; 90% proficient at Engrish, 2% at French...

Someday I'll be a real boy!


edge


Apr 25, 2012, 6:25 AM
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I used to work in a lumber yard that milled its own pine boards. As the lumber came off the resaw, there was a "grader" whose sole duty was to label the boards for quality.

#4 pine had loose knots/slash knots, or other defects. #2 and better had tight knots, or no knots whatsoever.

In writing the numbers quickly, the 4s started looking like Xs, and the 2s morphed into 0s (try it, you'll see what I mean). So the accepted practice became Xs and 0s, and the retail crew loading the bins were responsible for separating the clear #1 pine from the Os to sell at a premium.

Not sure what that has to do with the discussion...


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